In Pathfinder, the disguise skill allows you to create disguises. Can you create a disguise for others or are you limited to creating disguises only for yourself (outside of e.g. class features enabling the contrary)? How sure can one be that this is the case?

I'm looking for what the rules say, and how strongly/clearly that is said. I am not looking for what is effective in games, I am looking for what the rules say. If we had a "rules-as-written" tag, this question would have it. I am looking for textual analysis, especially incorporating sources apart from the CRB to draw a conclusion as to the various prominent RAW-compatible interpretations on the matter and to what extent those interpretations vary in linguistic plausibility.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Fluffier things are okay, but that's a less strong source. Like if your argument that you can do this is that a monster in an adventure path is described that way in some backstory notes, that's not a very strong argument that the rules work this way. Similarly, if your argument that you can't do this is that no published NPC does that's also not the best argument. In both cases, though, that is probably evidence worth discussing, particularly given what appears to me to be the derth of strong evidence either way. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 26 '19 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ In general, use whatever evidence you like, but provide an explanation of why that is good evidence for or otherwise has bearing on what the rules say. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 26 '19 at 17:57
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Molot comments on another question indicated that someone else with a pretty good knowledge of the game was under the impression that you can do this, whereas I was under the impression that you can maybe do this but the rules never address it either way (not, like, how they never say you can't start next to a pile of scrolls of wish but more like how they never say what skill you use to ID cause of death). \$\endgroup\$ Dec 26 '19 at 18:01

No, you cannot.

The description of the Disguise skill opens and closes it pretty succinctly.

You are skilled at changing your appearance.

But even that is little to go on and nearly fluff, so looking more into it, you find that every reference for the skill is "you" using Disguise or "others" trying to pierce the Disguise.

Your Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is, and it is opposed by others’ Perception check results. If you don’t draw any attention to yourself, others do not get to make Perception checks. If you come to the attention of people who are suspicious (such as a guard who is watching commoners walking through a city gate), it can be assumed that such observers are taking 10 on their Perception checks.

You get only one Disguise check per use of the skill, even if several people make Perception checks against it. The Disguise check is made secretly, so that you can’t be sure how good the result is.

The effectiveness of your disguise depends on how much you’re changing your appearance. Disguise can be used to make yourself appear like a creature that is one size category larger or smaller than your actual size. This does not change your actual size or reach, should you enter combat while wearing such a disguise.

No references to Disguise are made in PHB errata, and the official database returns limited associated material. There are a few other noteworthy points

  • Perform can be used to Disguise Yourself "as the Disguise Core skill"
  • Disguise in Conflict from Ultimate Intrigue expands and clarifies the Disguise rules very well
    • It includes reference that Disguise is more than just makeup and a set of clothes (using the vocal alteration spell as an example), implying that your benefit really is how good you are at pulling off a Disguise
  • Numerous class features affect Disguise, and many of the benefits gained would make no sense when applied to Disguise another

Furthermore, Paizo changed the text from D&D 3.5 (SRD link does not include original text)

Use this skill to change your appearance or someone else’s.

This shows clearly that not only can you not Disguise another RAW, but also that you aren't intended to be able to.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Is it reasonable for a GM to ignore this answer and allow it? Yes. Yes it is. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Dec 27 '19 at 2:25
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, absolutely, but that 3.5 change certainly looks like strong evidence that finding any case where the rules assume you can do that regardless of/contrary to the fluff is very unlikely. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27 '19 at 8:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.