Disguise (CHA)

(Player's Handbook v.3.5 variant, p. 72)


Use this skill to change your appearance or someone else’s. The effort requires at least a few props, some makeup, and some time. The use of a disguise kit (page 130) provides a +2 circumstance bonus to a Disguise check. A disguise can include an apparent change of height or weight of no more than one-tenth the original.

You can also use Disguise to impersonate people, either individuals or types. For example, you might, with little or no actual disguise, make yourself seem like a traveller even if you’re a local.


Your Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is, and it is opposed by others’ Spot check results. If you don’t draw any attention to yourself, others do not get to make Spot checks. If you come to the attention of people who are suspicious (such as a guard who is watching commoners walking through a city gate), the DM can assume that such observers are taking 10 on their Spot checks.

The effectiveness of your disguise depends in part on how much you’re attempting to change your appearance.

Disguise Disguise Check Modifier
Minor details only +5
Disguised as different gender 1 –2
Disguised as different race 1 –2
Disguised as different age category 1 –2 2

1 These modifiers are cumulative; use any that apply.
2 Per step of difference between your actual age category and your disguised age category. The steps are: young (younger than adulthood), adulthood, middle age, old, and venerable.

If you are impersonating a particular individual, those who know what that person looks like get a bonus on their Spot checks according to the table below. Furthermore, they are automatically considered to be suspicious of you, so opposed checks are always called for.

Familiarity Viewer’s Spot Check Bonus
Recognizes on sight +4
Friends or associates +6
Close friends +8
Intimate +10

Usually, an individual makes a Spot check to see through your disguise immediately upon meeting you and each hour thereafter. If you casually meet many different creatures, each for a short time, check once per day or hour, using an average Spot modifier for the group. For example, if you are trying to pass for a merchant at a bazaar, the DM can make one Spot check per hour for the people you encounter, using a +1 bonus on the check to represent the average for the crowd (most people with no Spot ranks and a few with good Spot modifiers).


Creating a disguise requires 1d3×10 minutes of work.

Try again

Yes. You may try to redo a failed disguise, but once others know that a disguise was attempted, they’ll be more suspicious.


Magic that alters your form, such as alter self, disguise self, polymorph, or shapechange, grants you a +10 bonus on Disguise checks (see the individual spell descriptions in Chapter 11: Spells). You must succeed on a Disguise check with a +10 bonus to duplicate the appearance of a specific individual using the veil spell. Divination magic that allows people to see through illusions (such as true seeing) does not penetrate a mundane disguise, but it can negate the magical component of a magically enhanced one.
You must make a Disguise check when you cast a simulacrum spell (page 279), to determine how good the likeness is.

If you have the Deceptive feat, you get a +2 bonus on Disguise checks.


If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you get a +2 bonus on Disguise checks when you know that you’re being observed and you try to act in character.

Required for feats

Feat name
Assume Quirk
Mask of Gentility
Second Impression

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