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I have a Lore Bard with Fly and Find steed spells. So, a flying horse is easy (10 minutes at a time). But now I need to make it appear like a convincing Pegasus, including the wings flapping and folding. Purpose is to avoid wrong kind of attention (a pegasus is more normal than a flying horse), and appear more fancy (riding a pegasus is fancier than riding a horse), and just RP flavor.

Can Seeming spell do this?

Relevant snippets from spell description, emphasis mine:

The spell disguises physical appearance as well as clothing, armor, weapons, and equipment. You can make each creature seem 1 foot shorter or taller and appear thin, fat, or in between. You can't change a target's body type, so you must choose a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs. Otherwise, the extent of the illusion is up to you.

Clearly the wings can't be new limbs, but could they be illusory magical wing items, made from real illusory Pegasus feathers? This would be same for the purpose of illusion, which doesm't hold up to physical inspection anyway.


If Seeming can't do this, what could?


Notes on limitations:

Spell level up to 5.

Fly requires concentration, so either the Pegasus-faking method must not require it, or I need a different way to make my Steed fly.

I have different plans for future Bard's Magical Secrets, so getting Find Greater Steed for a real Pegasus is not desirable. Also, this horse is my loyal steed and not something my character wants to just abandon.

I can't count on rest of the party to be willing to sacrifice eg. spell slots or prepared spells to support my bard's shenanigans, so I'd rather not depend on them.

I guess non-illusory fake Pegasus wings could be an option, but I see complications in making them move while not being ripped off by wind, not to mention quite inconvenient to lug around.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This has to be an XY-Problem. VTCing "needs details". I suggest telling us the problem you're actually trying to solve, rather than asking if a possible solution works. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Providing some background on why you need something that resembles specifically a flying horse and why something like a griffin or a magic carpet are not acceptable alternatives would be helpful to understanding the actual problem here \$\endgroup\$
    – Medix2
    Feb 10 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, a note on why we need to avoid using concentration would be helpful. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10 at 19:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I hope my edits clarify that. If not, I can add more. I guess it doesn't have to be a horse (not sure if DM would allow me to change the appearance without changing the identity), but I can't make it a flying mount by default. A fake Griffin would be ok I guess, if it helps (but I don't see how). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10 at 22:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you interested in solution involving only spells? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Feb 11 at 7:48
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Probably not with Seeming

A pegasus obviously doesn't have "The same basic arrangement of limbs" as a horse, so if it were going to work it would be leaning heavily on the equipment portion, creating an illusion of "horse wearing fake pegasus wings". While not definitively outside the scope of the spell, I probably would only allow it as a DM if you were at least aware of some specific fake pegasus wings to copy, or you were willing to give up on them moving. Requiring the same basic arrangement of limbs would be effectively a meaningless rule if players were allowed to have "a fake limb that just moves correctly at all times and is indistinguishable from a real limb" or "it has the right number of limbs but some of them are covered by an invisibility cloak". You can always ask your DM (I don't think it's overpowered or anything) but I wouldn't interpret the rules that way.

So what other options do you have?

Glyph of Warding

Major Image can easily handle the wings alone, even including appropriate sounds and smells, though probably not wind. If you wanted just a walking pegasus this would be trivial. Fly can give you a flying horse, and though it's not a Bard spell you already have that handled. The challenge is that both spells are concentration, and your party hates fun. Enter Glyph of Warding. Glyph of Warding has a bunch of text, but here is the relevant part with some emphasis added:

You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph. The spell must target a single creature or an area. The spell being stored has no immediate effect when cast in this way. When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast. If the spell has a target, it targets the creature that triggered the glyph. If the spell affects an area, the area is centered on that creature. If the spell summons hostile creatures or creates harmful objects or traps, they appear as close as possible to the intruder and attack it. If the spell requires concentration, it lasts until the end of its full duration.

Fly is a 3rd level spell which targets a single creature, so if you put it in a Glyph of Warding and have the horse trigger it, then the horse will get the full duration of Fly while you are free to concentrate on Major Image. This will fulfill all your conditions at least as well as your proposed use of Seeming + Fly using only 3rd level spells. Of course, there are a couple potentially major caveats: First, Glyph of Warding has a casting time of 1 hour, as opposed to the two actions that would be needed for just Fly and Seeming. Second, Glyph of Warding requires 200gp of material components, which could both strain your finances and attract attention in a different way. While this would give you 10 minutes of a very convincing fake pegasus it's definitely for special occasions only.

Polymorph

While regular Polymorph can't turn your steed into a Pegasus, both for CR reasons and because a Pegasus isn't a beast, it should be able to turn it into a different flying creature. Assuming your steed is a Warhorse from the Find Steed spell, D&D Beyond lists these valid Polymorph targets which are large enough to meet the basic requirement to serve as a mount for the typical adventurer. By far the most reasonable option there is the Giant Owl, which certainly isn't a Pegasus but would still be an impressive flying mount. Polymorph is a 4th level Bard spell and can last 1 hour with concentration, so this could even be maintained longer than Fly. You are subject to the DM ruling on whether an Owl has "appropriate anatomy" to serve as a mount though, so run it by them first.

Feather Fall

It requires some effort and setup, plus DM ruling on how momentum works if you want anything other than landing straight down, but Feather Fall could combine with Major Image for a "pegasus" gracefully coming to land. You would set up (presumably out of sight) by using Fly to reach 600 feet in the air, then drop concentration, immediately cast Feather Fall, then you are free to concentrate on Major Image. This is a fairly narrow way of achieving the effect (grand entrances only, pretty much) and a lot could go wrong since you won't have much control of the trajectory after you start the fall, but if you want people talking about "that impressive fellow that flew into town on a pegasus" as opposed to "that guy who can cast Fly" then it could do in a pinch.

Magic Items

In a comment you have clarified that magic items are an option. Interestingly, I haven't found many that seem like they would work, depending on your DM's interpretations. The most straightforward option is the Potion of Flying, since I don't think it's a stretch that a horse can drink a potion with a little help; this would provide a very similar effect to the Fly spell, which could then combine with Major Image. Potions are one-time use though, and going by official rarities a Potion of Flying seems like a hard thing to find. A more practical option would be the Winged Boots, but I think it's a bit harder to sell both "Horse can wear boots" and "Horse can attune items". If they are allowed or a functionally-similar Horseshoe-type magic item can be arranged, then you could have your "pegasus" as often as you can cast Major Image. I was unable to find any magic items which provide the other half of the solution, either through transmutation or illusion, though I could be missing one.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Glyph of warding cast on an object fails if the object is moved more than 10 feet, and the spell can’t be cast on a creature. I think you could get this to work by casting it on a specific position that represents your “takeoff” location, and have the horse step there just as the fly spell takes effect. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonAristotle That was what I intended by "put it in a Glyph of Warding and have the horse trigger it", do you think that wasn't clear enough? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16 at 18:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose, I might have skimmed it a bit haha \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17 at 7:33
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No

... you must choose a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs ...

A horse is a 4-limbed creature, a pegasus is a 6-limbed creature: they do not meet this requirement.

Out of the box, there is no Illusion spell that will meet your requirements.

Off the cuff, you have Wish (which could probably deal with the flying at the same time) or True Polymorph (to actually turn the horse into a pegasus).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A Warhorse is CR 1/2, a Pegasus is CR 2, so you can't Polymorph a Horse into a Pegasus. You could turn a rock into a Pegasus though, which mostly solves the problem, but it won't be the same horse. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon 2 True Polymorphs works: horse -> rock -> pegasus \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Feb 11 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not actually sure if that works, since even though it's a rock, even if it's permanent, it's also still a CR1/2 warhorse. I feel like we have a question on this interaction somewhere. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15 at 21:22
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Seeming does not work, due to the limbs restriction; moreover, other spells (mainly from the Illusion school) need concentration, hence it is hardly possible to combine these latter with Fly. This answer offers a couple of options to overcome this concentration issues.

Nonetheless, there are several items that can be useful for your purpose.

  • Potion of flying: this magic item allows you to concentrate on an Illusion spell (such as Major Image) to simulate the wings of your steed. The cons are that you need one potion each time you fly, it may become quite expansive and/or hard to find.

  • Wings of Flying: this item overcomes all your problems. Indeed, it makes the creature fly and a couple of wings spread on creature's back. The usage of this item depends mainly on your DM, if they let your steed attune to the item (for reference, here it is stated that this is actually possible: Can an animal attune to a magic item?)

  • Instrument of Illusion: while you play this instrument, you can create harmless, illusory visual effects within a 5-foot-radius sphere centered on the instrument. If you are a bard, the radius increases to 15 feet. This let you create the wings large as you desire, since you satisfies the requirement of being a bard. The drawback is that you have to keep on playing the instrument in order to have the wings appearing. You may discuss about it with your DM: they may let you have a very simple instrument that does not require so much effort to play (as a thelarr, for example).

All these magic items may help in achieving what you desire, but nothing is for free: the potion is consumable, the cloak needs approval by your DM and you have to make your steed attune to it and, finally, the Instrument of Illusion must be played for having the wings appearing.

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