In my next session, the villain will disguise himself as a plague doctor and will be with the players for some time.
The mask will hide his identity and in any case he can disguise himself but, one of the players, however, knows his voice. The mask can also alter his voice to some extent but I wanted to make sure his voice sounded different, is there any spell that allows that?


3 Answers 3


You are looking for alter self:

You transform your appearance. You decide what you look like, including your height, weight, facial features, sound of your voice, hair length, coloration, and distinguishing characteristics, if any,... (PHB 212, emphasis mine)

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Manner You may want to get around the concentration requirement by giving the NPC some Potions of Alter Self or an Item of Alter Self that don't require concentration. \$\endgroup\$
    – nwp
    Aug 15, 2017 at 15:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @nwp A potion of Alter Self would still require concentration. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Aug 16, 2017 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doval Some potions do not grant you the ability to cast a spell, but give you the effects of a spell. If it is the latter, it would not require concentration. It would be a custom item anyway, so it would depend on the DM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Aug 16, 2017 at 13:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ All(?) spell potions work like that. That doesn't let you bypass concentration. From Magic Items, Activating an Item, Spells: "Many items, such as potions, bypass the casting of a spell and confer the spell’s effects, with their usual duration." Concentration is part of the duration. This is also addressed in Sage Advice: "A potion’s effect requires concentration only if its description says so or if it duplicates a spell that requires concentration." \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Aug 16, 2017 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doval Ah, I managed to stop reading just at the important part. You are right. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Aug 16, 2017 at 15:04

Instead of magic, you might also consider training - the Actor Feat. It grants advantage of Deception and Performance checks when pretending to be somebody else, and includes the ability to mimic the speech of a different person (which uses that same Deception skill the character gets advantage on).


Depending on your reading, you could possibly do this with the minor illusion cantrip:

You create a sound or an image of an object within range that lasts for the duration. The illusion also ends if you dismiss it as an action or cast the spell again.

If you create a sound, its volume can range from a whisper to a scream. It can be your voice, someone else's voice, a lion's roar, a beating of drums, or any other sound you choose. The sound continues unabated throughout the duration or you can make discrete sounds at different times before the spell ends.

However, in my experience many GMs rule that full speech is too much to qualify as "a sound" and limit minor illusions of a voice to yells and screams, or maybe a single word per cast (such as saying "no"). If you use this for your villain, it's only fair to allow your players to use it this way as well, so consider whether you're okay with that.

Also keep in mind that since the usual caveat of illusion magic:

If a creature uses its action to examine the sound or image, the creature can determine that it is an illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell DC. If the creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the illusion becomes faint to the creature.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You would also need to synchronize your mouth movements perfectly with the illusory speech, which does not sound easy. Especially while directing the illusion to speak what you want and follow the conversation. You cannot easily make your moving mouth part of the illusion too, because then you get into the whole territory of "can an illusion create the illusion of emtpy space where a real object is" - to which most often the answer seems to be ruled "no". \$\endgroup\$
    – TBP
    Aug 16, 2017 at 9:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TBP OP said his villain would be disguised as a Plague Doctor, so the mask will hide his mouth. But that's a good point showing why it might not be as big a deal to let your players use the spell the same way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sabre
    Aug 16, 2017 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Minor Illusion has somatic and material (a bit of fleece) components, it would be a little weird if he waved some fleece every time he had to talk. \$\endgroup\$
    – Manner
    Aug 16, 2017 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point. It wouldn't be unusual for him to have eschew materials but you would need to use a lv1 slot to still spell the somatic component, which is too much of a limitation. You might be able to get away with passing off the hand-waving as a character quirk, but I would let a Arcana detect that he's casting a spell. Another option is to homebrew an "Amulet of Disguise Voice" that allows you to cast a limited version of minor illusion at will with no S or M components. There's a couple of ways to go about this problem, is my point. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sabre
    Aug 17, 2017 at 14:28

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