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Would a disguise self spell be sufficient for making prehensile hair appear as a bunch of (silent) snakes?

"You make yourself [...] look different. [...] You cannot change your creature type (although you can appear as another subtype)

Two sub questions:

  1. Is a Monstrous Humanoid a humanoid subtype? If so since the Medusa (a monstrous humanoid) has serpentile hair, this should work.

If not, there's a "Humanoid (reptilian)" subtype.

  1. Could the witch make different parts of herself appear as different subtypes (i.e. face elf-like, hair reptilian subtype)?
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First Monstrous humanoid is not a subtype of Humanoid. Check the back of your bestiaries for creatures by type.

The emphasis on not changing creature type is based on the extent of the illusions power.

This is only a level 1 illusion spell the extent of the changes are quite limited to only minor things within reason. Obviously when compared to more powerful illusions the area and effects are greater. Within reason try to consider each level to be the cutoff of power for each. Ex. invisibility is an illusion + glamer, but it is higher level than disguise self so this would indicate that disguise self is not entirely capable of doing something as complete as full body invisibility.

A typical type of creature from another is so different that it would be too obviously different. Like a Human in disguise as a lizard man. The tail and bone structure are so different that you would look like a person glitching through the character model that is being overlapped on top of you. This spell is only an illusion with the Glamer type.

Glamer: A glamer spell changes a subject’s sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else, or even seem to disappear.

In general if you go outside of the bounds of the illusion or are disrupting it in some way it either fails or can be seen through.

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Yes

You cannot change your creature type (although you can appear as another subtype). Otherwise, the extent of the apparent change is up to you. You could add or obscure a minor feature or look like an entirely different person or gender. The spell does not provide the abilities or mannerisms of the chosen form, nor does it alter the perceived tactile (touch) or audible (sound) properties of you or your equipment. If you use this spell to create a disguise, you get a +10 bonus on the Disguise check. A creature that interacts with the glamer gets a Will save to recognize it as an illusion.

Emphasis mine. That being said, you may still have to roll a Disguise check (at the appropriate bonus) to make it convincing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You cannot change your creature subtype either, only the appeared creature subtype, so why the emphasis on not being able to change creature type? Did they mean you cannot appear as another creature type? Monsterous humanoids aren't of the humanoid type after all. I always interpreted it the way you do now, but now the "cannot change creature type" seems strange to me... \$\endgroup\$ – Julix Jan 13 '14 at 0:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure the first part of that sentence was to prevent it from being used to make, say, a human appear to be a dragon. That being said, changing one's hair doesn't bar one from being humanoid. There's plenty of humanoids with weird things going on, and what you claim about it ("Great grandma was a medusa") won't affect the spell. Frankly, though, I'd just ask my DM about my hair being non-venomous snakes unless faking it appeals for some specific reason. Refluffing is much cleaner. \$\endgroup\$ – Lord_Gareth Jan 13 '14 at 0:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean having real snakes stored in the hair or the hair literally being made of snakes? - The former for some reason didn't cross my mind until about half an hour when thinking about what KRyan and mxyzplk said, and is actually quite plausible to me. Doing the latter without an ingame cause just rubs me all the wrong ways, perhaps I'm not used to high fantasy yet. For immersion I need cause and effect even in fantasy worlds, though cause and effect is allowed to include divine intevention, magic, and what ever else happens in that particular universe ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Julix Jan 13 '14 at 10:33
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Disguise Self is not as powerful as you want it to be.

Disguise Self

You make yourself – including clothing, armor, weapons, and equipment – look different. You can seem 1 foot shorter or taller, thin, fat, or in between. You cannot change your creature type (although you can appear as another subtype). Otherwise, the extent of the apparent change is up to you. You could add or obscure a minor feature or look like an entirely different person or gender.

The spell does not provide the abilities or mannerisms of the chosen form, nor does it alter the perceived tactile (touch) or audible (sound) properties of you or your equipment. If you use this spell to create a disguise, you get a +10 bonus on the Disguise check. A creature that interacts with the glamer gets a Will save to recognize it as an illusion.

Firstly, Monstrous Humanoid is its own (admittedly poorly named) Type, so you cannot choose Medusa to gain the apparent hair. Second, it does not provide abilities like Prehensile Hair even if you do take that form.

Second, it will be between you and your GM if they consider snake hair a "minor feature" but most people will probably agree that it is not.

Finally, you can appear as a different subtype, not many. You could mix and match "minor features" but you would not be able to have "face elf-like, hair reptilian subtype" (and furthermore, Humanoid (reptilian) don't generally have snake hair).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ When the spell description says, "You could add or obscure a minor feature or look like an entirely different person or gender," I think it's describing a spectrum of changes the spell can make. That is, I agree that most folks wouldn't consider snake hair a minor feature, but I do think that most folks would consider changing snake hair to regular hair part of looking like an entirely different person! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 9 at 4:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that you could remove snake hair because you would be taking the form of a Humanoid that doesn't typically have snake hair. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jun 9 at 5:13

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