I am starting a new game in Pathfinder. I will be a 5th level Magus Drow Noble. He will be a chaotic good character who escaped his city and is trying to do good in the world.

My problem is that most people and races view Drow as evil. So, until I am able to build a reputation for myself I want to protect myself in any way possible from getting into needless fights. I know disguise self would do exactly what I am looking for but the problem is that it lasts a limited time. But, the spell Silent Image can last as long as you can keep concentrating on it. Which is fine if im going through a city or town.

My question is:

Can I use Silent Image to change my face and make the illusion move with my facial expressions and my mouth move when I speak? Or is this too complex for the spell?


1 Answer 1


A face can't be changed with silent image, but other options exist

Because the spell silent image is in the figment subschool of school of illusion, the spell "cannot make something seem to be something else." An illusion spell of glamer subschool like the spell disguise self, for example, can make a drow's face appear to be a different face, as spells of that subschool can make things "look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else."

However, the Disguise skill is usable untrained, and the drow's friends—if he has any—can aid him on the check… or, if a friend is more capable than the drow, the friend can make the Disguise skill check on the drow's behalf, disguising the drow. With enough friends—and the GM's permission—the drow should be able to roam the town unhindered until some high-level watchman with a super-high Perception modifier penetrates the disguise anyway. A disguise created by the Disguise skill has the added advantage of not being magical, so the spell detect magic won't reveal it, the spell dispel magic won't collapse it, and the spell true seeing won't penetrate it.

Also, as a level 5 PC—if this avenue is really important—, the drow could invest 1,800 gp of his 10,500 gp PC wealth in a hat of disguise. Just make sure the command word is utterly mundane so the drow doesn't look like a weirdo when he must reactivate the hat every 10 min.

Finally, confirm with the GM that in the GM's campaign that drow are still feared and hated. In many settings, drow are just different elves, and folks won't, like, kill them on sight or anything.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is exactly what I was looking for and what was stumping me. I have ranks in disguise and have thought about that as an option as well. But, I just wanted to know all of my options and the extent at which certain spells can work. At the moment I have no gold. We will be starting off right after me escaping the city. So, I will have only what I had on my person and my spellbook. But, the hat will be great for down the road when I acquire enough money for one. Thanks for all the options and explanations of how to use them for my character! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2017 at 4:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Plus if the command word is mundane you can activate it as a free action even out of turn by 'accident'! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2017 at 6:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be fair, you could likely use a Silent Image to CONCEAL your face, potentially with a very lifelike other face. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Aug 23, 2017 at 8:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think Silent Image would work even if you superimpose a face; I don't think it moves with the caster. Even if you can shape the illusion while it's ongoing, you wouldn't be able to walk more than a few feet before the illusion goes beyond its boundary. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Aug 23, 2017 at 8:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik That was my thought, too, but, since the description of the figment subschool so neatly addresses the asker's situation, that seemed a more elegant answer than tackling the silent image spell's range. Illusions are complicated, and the more creative a caster gets with them, the more house rules the DM must make, and the more powerful they usually become. I prefer a gentleman's agreement of If PCs use figments only to do simple things, then the GM will use figments sparingly and simply. So much heartache avoided! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23, 2017 at 8:28

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