I understand that the effect of this spell is purely visual and will not stand up to physical interaction or extended inspection. But I’m wondering how specific a disguise one can make?

For example, if you are trying to break out of a prison can you only make yourself look like a generic guard or could you make yourself look like the warden himself including facial features (if you’ve seen him before)? Would it be good enough to convince someone who knew him?


1 Answer 1


The limits are as follows:

  • You can change your height by 1 foot up or down.
  • You can change your weight (be thin or fat)
  • Must be same body type (ie if you're 4 limbed biped, target must be as well)
  • Things don't hold up to close scrutiny.

After that the extent of the illusion is up to you, you'll probably have to work with your GM some to work out how exactly this works.

However, yes, you could definitely impersonate the warden of the prison, not just a generic guard. Though a close inspection of your face would reveal that you're not him. And someone who knows him will might know something is off if you were having a conversation, though they might be fooled from across the room.

Ultimately though, the check matters the most. It's an Intelligence (Investigation) check vs your spell save DC. That's what will determine whether your disguise is a good one or you're made.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I would rule that knowing the warden's mannerisms, speech patterns etc would give disadvantage on the check. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 1:01
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ would someone who passed the investigation check see through the disguise and know who I really am, or does he just understand that I'm trying to fool him but not be able to see the real me? \$\endgroup\$
    – flagg19
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 22:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ the successful check doesn't dispel the illusion so you would still look disguised, but the person checking would know its a fake. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 17:36
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Worth noting that mimicking anything beyond visual is unlikely to work. The actor feat grants the ability to mimic speech, contested by a check. This implies that those who don't take the feat cannot do this in the same way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lovell
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 12:53

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