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I am DMing a game in which the king's son is a dragonborn, born from the human king and a female shadow dragon.

I need the dragonborn prince to appear human for periods of 8 to 16 hours. He has to cast any spell needed all by himself, but has to be a level 8 sorcerer at most.

Everything has to fit within the official rules rather than be homebrew, partly because I'm not confident of my ability to construct a homebrew that isn't broken and partly for OCD-ish reasons.

This is mainly for plot and aesthetic purposes rather than fighting ability, but all solutions need to be within the published rules.

How could I do this?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It may be worth noting that a child of a dragon and other being would usually be a half-dragon, not a dragonborn. At least in standard settings. \$\endgroup\$ – Peeps May 12 '16 at 8:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ I see you accepted an answer but if you don't mind how did he avoid notice before becoming a higher level sorcerer or having a hat of disguise? \$\endgroup\$ – Ringo_St R May 12 '16 at 12:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Bards can disguise others pretty easily - if you don't have a bard, you could probably hire one for the task. \$\endgroup\$ – Zibbobz May 12 '16 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ringo_StR Before then I'm thinking either his dragon parent or a high-level caster took care of it and he didn't go out in public much, due to being "sickly". However, I don't want him to be dependent on the caster/parent as he gets older. \$\endgroup\$ – Layla May 12 '16 at 19:23
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The easiest way to do this would be to give him a Hat of Disguise. This would allow him to cast disguise self at will, so as long as he can get a moment to himself to refresh it once per hour, he can stay disguised for an unlimited amount of time. If you're worried about the hat falling off, we have the technology.

Alternatively, he could cast disguise self himself. At 8th level, using the Extend Spell metamagic, he could easily maintain the disguise for a full day. This has the benefit of only needing to refresh the disguise once every 2 hours instead of once every hour, but the drawback of using a bunch of spell slots every day. Casting the spell himself would also allow him to use the Subtle Spell metamagic (credit to @Tijnkwan) so that he can do it in front of people without them noticing anything. Note that he can't use both Subtle Spell and Extend Spell, since you can only use one metamagic option on a spell.

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If you're willing to make the character as high as 8th level, then two levels in Warlock would give him access to the Mask of Many Faces Eldritch Invocation, which would allow him to cast Disguise Self at will, without expending a spell slot.

This would still give you 6 levels of Sorcerer to apply to the character, and wouldn't require the use of a magic item which could be taken away.

The Prince would just need to wear gloves to keep anyone from touching his skin and feeling the scales hidden by the illusion.

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So first off, he should definitely not rely on magic. Anyone might have catch that via detect magic and while it's a low chance he should be wary of true sight as well. Weirder things have happened, like his birth at all for example. So every morning he should spend an hour applying a disguise the mundane way. Mechanically this will actually be similar to his spell save anyway. Actually it'll average slightly higher as it's probably a passive check that others have to use investigation or insight against, provided of course he has proficiency in Disguise kit, which there is no reason for him not to take. Regardless this means if for some reason the spell fails, he'll be fine. It also means is face will feel correct if he has to kiss the back of a palm or anything.

In addition he should always he dressed in the finest foppery, that covers the most of his body possible. This will help throw off his body shape again if for any reason his spell fails.

He may also want to adopt a reputation as a recluse or sickly. That means fewer times he'll have to appear in public and easier excuses to leave. This will also help perverse the illusion in case he doesn't do it exactly the same one day to the next as he likely wouldn't(though there's nothing in the mechanics for that)

Lastly, for spells in general Disguise Self is good, but requires frequent upkeep drawing suspicion. If he could cast seeming it would be better as with extend spell that will be 16 hours, pretty much a whole day. However that requires he's a level 9. But since he was taken care of by a powerful caster growing up, it's likely they wouldn't have abandoned him with out making sure he could take care of himself. So it's not hard to expect that he might have a stack of scrolls for seeming. Each is valued at 2,500 which is alot...but he's a prince with a dragon mother. So even if whatever wizard was taking care of him couldn't leave him with them he would still be able to get his hands on alot without too much issue. Consider in non fantasy England Richard the Lionheart was ransomed for 150,000 coins and that's in a world where the economy makes sense. It shouldn't be hard for him to raise enough to handle it. He can cast the spell as a level higher with an ability check if he thinks he'll be out for a long period of time. If he fails he can simply use disguise self as others have pointed out or try again if he really needs to be careful for some reason.

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