Friday, 12 May 2017

Magic Item: Cloak of Disguise

Cloak of Disguise

Appears to be a simple grey woollen cloak, although it will detect as alteration magic if tested. When donned, the cloak’s main affect will to keep the wearer warm in the cold in the same way as any woollen cloak would. However, if the wearer holds any item strongly associated with another person (or touches them) and concentrates, they will transform into the appearance of that person, as visualised. At this point the DM should make a hidden Int roll using the following table. If the total on the dice is less than the wearer’s INT, the disguise has been successful.

Level of Familiarity Dice (d6)
Close friend or relative 2
Acquaintance or distant relative 3
Talked to on several occasions 4
Met briefly 5
Described by one of the above +1

Thus, a description by someone who has only met the target briefly would require a roll of 6d6. Rolling the PC’s INT score or higher indicates that the disguise is “poor” and the difference between the roll and the character’s INT should be noted for later (i.e., this will be a modifier of 0 or more).

Once the disguise is established its usefulness will depend on whether it is poor or not. If not, then the PC will be able to pass as the target without any difficulty in casual circumstances, including talking (although the cloak does not provide any translation ability).

In more exacting circumstances than casual conversation, the disguise will be tested. Examples of such situations are: talking to close relatives or friends for more than a minute; openly contradicting some known habit or opinion of the target; interacting with enemies in unexpected ways (e.g., being friendly); spending an hour or more with less familiar companions. The DM can adjudicate others.

The first time this happens, any witness is allowed a saving throw against magic (with WIS mods). Success indicates that the NPC is suspicious and may try to engage the PC in further interactions to find the source of this feeling. A second save caused by such interaction indicates that they have seen through the magic, although filing the throw indicates that they have become reassured.

Witnesses automatically save against the first test of a poor disguise (i.e., they’re automatically suspicious). Subsequent saves are modified by the number noted earlier to represent how poor the disguise is.

For example: Jackomo dons the cloak hoping to get access to the seraglio of the Sultan in the guise of a midwife he knows works there. He has only met the woman a few times and has an Int of 14. On putting the cloak on the DM rolls 18 on 4d6, indicating a poor disguise with a modifier of +4.

The 0-level guard at the door (WIS 15) needs to roll 19 to see through the disguise modified by 1 for wisdom and 4 for the quality of the disguise, for a final target roll of 14+. Since Jackomo has to talk to the guard to get past, and the guard is automatically suspicious, there is no way for him to avoid this roll.

If Jackomo had been successful in his initial INT roll, the guard would probably have simply waved him through unless, say, the midwife was actually his own mother.

Players will naturally attempt to check a disguise and if they ask another PC to look at it, simply make a secret saving throw roll and inform the players whether or not the checker feels uneasy or not. In this case, the checker is assumed to start off suspicious, so this is equivalent to the second saving throw of a totally unaware witness.

Sex changes are possible, as are forms with more than one set of arms or legs, providing that the difference in size/weight is no more than 50%. However, any extra body parts compared to the wearer’s natural form will not be functional (including disguise limbs which replace ones the wearer has lost). Scent is not changed, nor are thoughts hidden from spells or psionic abilities. The cloak will not fit anything bigger than a gnoll or smaller than a halfling.

Objects held or worn, including the cloak itself, are subject to a version of polymorph any object in order to fit in with the disguise but shifts must be within kingdom (so leather armour can become a leather coat, but not metal armour). No net improvement in AC can be obtained (although it can be reduced) and weight/encumbrance is not changed. Items that are part of the disguise return to their normal forms after more than a turn of being 10 feet away from the user of the cloak and will detect for alteration magic while disguised.

The cloak can be removed at any time, dispelling the disguise immediately for the wearer and any items even if not currently about their person.

Finally, a dispel magic will deactivate the cloak for a day if the spell succeeds against a caster level of 16.

xp: 800
gp: 7000

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