I'm trying to work out what the spell save would be for a Drow rogue using a Hat of Disguise.

I've found that Disguise Self needs to use an Intelligence check against my spell save DC. For a Drow who has some inate magic abilities would this be based on Charisma (+2)?

So for a level 7 character: 8 + (Cha) 2 + (Prof) 3 = 13?
Or do I not get to include the Charisma as I'm not a spellcaster?


2 Answers 2


About items that cast spells in general:

A magic item, such as certain staffs, may require you to use your own spellcasting ability when you cast a spell from the item. If you have more than one spellcasting ability, you choose which one to use with the item. If you don't have a spellcasting ability-perhaps you're a rogue with the Use Magic Device feature- your spellcasting ability modifier is +0 for the item, and your proficiency bonus does apply.

DMG 141

About the drow subrace the PHB says on p.24:

Drow Magic. ... Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

This could seem to say that the spellcasting ability is valid only for the spells listed there, but the same phrasing is used with classes, for example the wizard:

lntelligence is your spellcasting abilily for your wizard spells, ..

PHB 114

It would be strange if a primary spellcasting class could not use a magic item properly. From this we can say that any source of a spellcasting ability could be used for an item, and only characters unable to cast any spells would use +0.

As such a drow could use Charisma for the DC if no other options are available to him.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 as the language confused me, but I never thought to check the other classes text. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ian
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rats. I like this answer better than mine. What's protocol here? Should I delete my answer, allow it to stand so that votes can decide? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 8:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis I'd leave your answer, in theory votes should decide but up vote this if you prefer. I'm tempted to accept this one, without the more in depth look at the language used I'd have gone with yours, but I think this one may be correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ian
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 12:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I already upvoted it. I'll leave mine, then. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 18:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ The language in the description for Drow magic specifies "these" spells, as in, it is possessive of the spells in that particular list only. That is not the same as saying "your" spells, which would invalidate your reasoning for allowing the Charisma bonus for the DC, as it would only apply to the drow racial spells, not a magic item. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 18:55

Your spell save DC is 11 (8 + 3 from proficiency)

From the 5e System Resource Document:

If you don’t have a spellcasting ability—perhaps you’re a rogue with the Use Magic Device feature—your spellcasting ability modifier is +0 for the item, and your proficiency bonus does apply.


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