Know Your Skills – Disguise

How well do you know the skills in Pathfinder?

‘Not too well’?  That’s fine, that’s what this is for!  After all, why would you put points in a skill when you don’t understand what it actually does in the context of the game?

There is more information available in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (now in A5 paperback too!) and Paizo’s Online Reference Document; plus I found a great app for phones/tablets that provides full offline access to every rule that Paizo have, and will, ever release (iOS / Android).

So, Disguise…  Sounds obvious?  Ok, but what could it be used for in the context of the game?


Pathfinder’s description of Disguise is this.

It is important to know that this roll is made by the GM, NOT by the Player.

Check. The Disguise check is made secretly, so that you don’t necessarily know whether you’ve succeeded.  Although it will probably be very obvious, very quickly!

This Check is a ‘versus’ style check on the opponent’s Perception skill.  The modifiers for your Disguise Skill are based on how much of a disguise you’re making.  Are they just minor details?  Or are you trying something far more involved like changing your age, race, or even gender?

The modifiers to the “target’s” Perception Skill are based on how well that person/thing knows the person you’re trying to disguise yourself as.


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

Using magic (such as the Disguise Self spell) reduces this action to the time required to cast the spell or trigger the effect.

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

SpecialMagic 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). 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 to determine how good the likeness is.

If you have the Deceitful feat, you gain a bonus on Disguise checks (see Feats).


Be careful out there!!


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