Disguise Self 5e D&D Guide

The possibility of changing their appearance completely is vital for certain characters. A good example is “Disguise Self.” 

It is limited to changing appearance, has a limited impact, and often fails when subjected to intense scrutiny.

The guidelines for Disguise Self are available within the Players Handbook on page 233.

Disguise Self 5e

  • Illusion: 1st Level
  • Time to Cast: 1 Action
  • Range: self
  • Components: V, S
  • Duration: 1 hour

Your clothing and armor, weapons as well as other things on your body, appear completely different until the spell is over or you perform your actions to end the spell. 

You may appear 1 inch taller or shorter, and look thin or fat or anywhere all of the above. You cannot alter your body shape, therefore you need to choose a shape that has the same fundamental arrangement as your limbs. 

The extent effect of your illusion will be left to the individual.

The effects of this spell do not stand against physical examination. For instance, if you employ this spell to add the appearance of a hat, objects will pass through the hat, and those who touch it will not feel anything, or even feel your hair and head. 

If you employ the magic to look smaller than you are then the hand of someone reaching out to touch you will crash into you even though it appeared to be in mid-air.

To detect that you’re disguised, a creature may utilize its power to scrutinize your appearance. It must also succeed in an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC.

The guidelines for Disguise Self describe how the transformation happens and what changes are made. 

They outline the limitations of how far the appearance of the person can be changed. The other issue discussed is the possibility that someone could see through the disguise, and how this could occur.

What is the best way to disguise self-employment?

Casting Disguise Self alters the appearance of the caster’s physical appearance. The description clearly defines the possibilities of altering the physical appearance, proportions, weapons, items, and other equipment of the casting. 

A check on the accuracy versus save spells could expose the illusion. Several intriguing challenges can be added to the rules, based on exact words and practicality.

The spell allows for the manipulation of physical dimensions, ranging from 1 foot shorter or taller and thinner or wider. 

There isn’t any explanation regarding what happens when changes occur beyond the boundaries.

For instance, there is no specific rule for the interplay between Disguise Self and Enlarge/Reduce. 

The disguised creature to expand proportionally beyond the limit of 1 foot. This is a DM understanding of what the spells do.

The rules do not provide details on the exact effects that could be imposed on armor or weapons armorer objects. 

It’s technically possible for the appearance of an item to completely change, requiring the need for a DM decision. 

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For example, a sword disguised as a dagger might catch anyone off guard when they can only see its length.

These rules of Disguise Self are vague in order to permit creative use of the spell. What they do is completely dependent on the DM in the event this is used in a way that is not within the rules set forth. 

It is recommended that you method to discuss the plan in advance with the DM and perhaps have their opinion beforehand to avoid any confusion.

Does disguised self alter voice?

The spell doesn’t alter the voice in any way. It will be stated in the rules if this is a part of the function of the spell. 

Alter Self Alter Self does allow the complete imitation of the disguise used. Disguise Self does not alter how the physical form of the person casting it and their possessions.

Disguise Self doesn’t alter the character’s voice.

However, an effective performance test could permit the actor to impersonate a voice in a way that mimics the voice of another person or disguises it as their own voice.

Are you able to disguise yourself for others?

The spell is able to alter the appearance of self, which means it can just the caster who is affected. 

There are spells that permit the caster to alter the appearance of other people, however. There is a spell called Seeming however it’s a 5th-grade spell. 

Polymorph could also give you the ability to alter the appearance of another person however the target will take characteristics that the animal.

Is Disguise Self Concentration?

There is a timer of one hour and no requirement for concentration. When being disguised, the caster is free to do other tasks that require concentration. 

Also, combat might reveal that the illusion is not destroyed by the damage.

The absence of a concentration requirement implies that the disguised self will continue to work regardless of whether the person casting it is disabled. 

The spell will continue throughout the duration unless it is eliminated by the person casting it. 

Naturally, contact with the body can reveal the existence of the symbol. This will make it more difficult for any medical test performed by the casting.

What are Creative ways to Disguise Self?

  • The person who is a caster may use disguise as self-defense to alter their appearance to fit the surroundings. This can be done using camouflage.
  • The caster can create a blurred appearance to imitate Blur. Blur spell.
  • The caster can alter their appearance, revealing an elemental being, for example, fire or ice skin, for instance.
  • The caster can alter their appearance by a foot shorter, and also peer over walls unnoticed.
  • The caster can alter their appearance in order to match the appearance of a bipedal adversary, creating confusion within the crowd.

Illusion spells depend heavily on the kind of game you’re playing. They can be extremely effective.

However, it is essential to be aware that low-level spells such as Disguise Self have a great chance of being discovered rapidly.

Is Disguise Self Good?

Depending on the situation, it can be seen as good. You can’t do much damage, help your allies, or hurt your opponents on the battlefield with Disguise Self. Again, there is no one right way to use the spell. Most of the time, you won’t use the Disguise Self spell in battle.

For example, if you want to get into someone else’s house, you could use the Disguise Self spell. You can use it to make yourself look like the owner, and no one would question your right to be there. Another great way to use it is to trick other people.

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For instance, you might want to get the villain’s minions to leave the castle gates. You can use the spell “Disguise Self” to look like the bad guy, then tell his minions to go somewhere far away from the gates.

The spell is good because it is a first-level spell. This means it’s easy to get to early in the game. You can use this to trick your opponents as early as the first level. In short, it would depend on the situation to tell how good Disguise Self is.

To use the spell to its fullest extent, you need to be very creative. It really is a helpful spell.

Who Can Use Disguise Self?

Disguise Self 5e D&D Guide

Surprisingly, a character can use Disguise Self in a lot of different ways. Let’s start by talking about which D&D classes can use it.

The four classes that can use the spell, where they got it, and their spell save DCs are listed below.

Note: If you are picky about whether a character is allowed in the Adventurers League, the Artificer is only allowed in Eberron campaigns and not in Forgotten Realms campaigns.

But if your DM wants to, they can still add this class. It’s all up to you how you play.

Classes That Can Use Disguise SelfSourceSpell Save DC
ArtificerTasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 9  8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
bardPlayer’s Handbook, page 518 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
SorcererPlayer’s Handbook, page 998 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
WizardPlayer’s Handbook, page 1128 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

The subclasses come next. Here are four subclasses that can let you use Disguise Self, along with where they come from and their spell save DCs.

Subclasses that can use Disguise SelfOriginating ClassSourceSpell Save DC
Arcane TricksterprayPlayer’s Handbook, page 978 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Eldritch KnightFighterPlayer’s Handbook, page 748 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Gloom StalkercreakXanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 418 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
trickery domainClericPlayer’s Handbook, page 628 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Some races can naturally cast Disguise Self because of how they were made. The four races that can do this are listed below, along with their ability to cast, where their spells come from, and their spell save DCs.

Keep in mind that races from the setting of Eberron, like the Mark of Shadow Elf, are AL Legal only for those campaigns.

But again, it’s up to you, the other players, and the DM to decide. D&D is a fun game, not a strict set of rules that you have to follow.

Races that can use Disguise SelfThe ability that allows its castingSourceSpell Save DC
Elf (Mark of Shadow)Spells of the Mark (needs to have the Spellcasting or the Pact Magic class feature)Eberron: Rising from the Last War, page 49depends on the class
FirbolgFirbolg MagicVolo’s Guide to Monsters, page 1078 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Tiefling (Dispater)Legacy of DisMordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, page 218 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Tiefling (Glasya)Legacy of MalbolgeMordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, page 228 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

And there are still three more ways to use this spell! Unbelievable, right? The first one is from page 46 of the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and is the Dimir Operative background.

This is also not AL Legal for the campaigns in the Forgotten Realms. It is only AL Legal for the campaigns in Eberron.

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If your character has this background and the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature, they can add “Disguise Self” to their list of spells.

Mask of Many Faces is an Eldritch Invocation that can be used instead of Disguise Self. It can be found on page 111 of the Player’s Handbook. Warlocks can learn how to use Eldritch Invocations, which are forbidden skills.

Depending on their level, they can get more than one of these. One of them is the Mask of Many Faces, which lets warlocks cast “Disguise Self” whenever they want without taking up any spell slots.

Lastly, you can also use items to use Disguise Self. On page 173 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, on the Magic Item Table F, you can find the Hat of Disguise.

When someone wears this hat, they can use the “Disguise Self” spell whenever they want. In combat, this would take one action. When the hat is taken off, the spell and the disguise end on their own.

Disguise Self 5e Compared To Alter Self

At first glance, you might think that if you learn Alter Self at second level, you’ll never need to use Disguise Self again. Even though Alter Self is more useful and has more uses than Disguise Self, it also has some restrictions that Disguise Self doesn’t have.

The most important thing about Disguise Self is that it can change how your clothes and equipment look. Also, with Alter Self, you have to focus, but with Disguise Self, you don’t.

Even though Alter Self is the better spell, it doesn’t mean that Disguise Self is useless.

Last but not least, keep in mind that a player can use both Alter Self and Disguise Self at the same time. Because both spells require concentration, a mage can’t use Alter Self and Enlarge/Reduce at the same time. But you could use Enlarge/Reduce and Disguise Self at the same time.

Final Words

Illusion spells are one of the more difficult spells for spellcasters to determine. 

They’re usually provided with sufficient rules to allow them to function but aren’t clear enough to create issues or cause confusion.

It’s the same with Disguise Self. However, the bulk of the effects is due to the DM’s understanding of the way in which the spell operates across the globe. 

Always, it is ideal to discuss potential applications of this spell in conjunction with your DM prior to committing, so that you avoid any disputes during the session.


What’s the Difference Between Disguise Self vs. Alter Self?

Disguise Self is an illusion spell of level one, while Alter Self is a transformation spell of level two. The main difference between the two is that Disguise Self only changes how you look, while Alter Self changes how your body works.

What’s the Difference Between Disguise Self vs. Disguise Kit?

The Disguise Kit is a tool used to make disguises, and the Disguise Self spell is a level one illusion spell. Using the Disguise Kit to make a disguise would make sense, but it would take time and you would need to know how to use it well. Disguise Self, on the other hand, is an illusion that works right away and doesn’t need any preparation.

Can Disguise Self Change Your Voice?

Since it’s not mentioned in the spell’s description, one can’t change their voice with Disguise Self. It only has an effect on how the caster looks.

Can Disguise Self Allow One to Hide or Gain Wings?

If you look like a person but have wings, like Winged Tieflings or Aarakocra, then no, in a literal sense. The spell “Disguise Self” can only change your body into a form that has the same number of limbs as you. But it’s up to your DM to decide if they’ll let you do it or not. After all, you don’t have to be strict and follow the rules all the time.

Can Disguise Self Allow One to Hide or Gain a Tail?

Yes. Since tails are not limbs, they can be hidden or made to look like they belong to someone else.

Can Disguise Self Change One’s Race?

Yes, as long as (1) the race is the same shape as the caster (has the same number of limbs) and (2) the race is no more than one foot taller or shorter than the caster’s body.

Does Disguise Self Require Concentration?

No, it doesn’t, because the spell doesn’t say that it does.

How Long does Disguise Self Last?

This is the same as 3600 seconds. It would last 600 rounds in battle.

Can I Cast Disguise Self on Others?

No. If you want to make disguises for other people, the Seeming spell, which is a fifth-level illusion spell, is what you need. You could also use “Disguise Kits,” but again, it would take time, planning, and skill to be good at this.