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Scenario:
A character has an obviously evil magical beast as a mount, i.e. a Nightmare. How would one go about disguising it for the populus? Would it be able to activate a Hat of Disguise, for instance?

I want it to be disguised in a way so it will no longer be obviously evil (breathing fire, fiery hooves and manes, eating meat, that kind of stuff). A commoner in your stereotypical fantasy setting should be able to look at it without even considering it could be evil.

I will only accept answers that do not change the type of the creature. For instance, I will not turn it into an undead and cast Disguise Undead. I want to disguise it the way it is.

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    \$\begingroup\$ [Related] What is an effective way to disguise an undead riding horse? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 7 '15 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Given that a Nightmare is (arguably) continually surrounded by a cloud of smoke, this is a tricky one. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Dec 8 '15 at 23:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe: it is only surrounded in smoke During the excitement of battle, at which point in the presence of casters you could always argue the smoke comes from a spell cast on it or something I guess. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Dec 9 '15 at 15:41
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Your Hat of Disguise solution works within the limits of the spell. Disguise Self does not disguise tactile or audible features. So the Nightmare's flaming hooves would not be disguised nor would the smokey emanation. The flaming mane would be disguised because it's cosmetic. Disguise Self wouldn't even need to hide the heat from that.

Permanent Image should handle everything because it covers "visual, auditory, olfactory, and thermal elements..." That nails the smoke, heat from the hooves and everything. The problem is moving with that effect. Maybe the Nightmare has a familiar and Familiar Concentration

Otherwise I think changing the creature via Polymorph or Shapechange is the only option.

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