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Masters of Disguise (PFRPG) PDF

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He can appear as anyone. He can vanish into a crowd, changing his face in the process. He uses his skills to gather information, sow rumors, and bluff his way into off-limits areas. He is the masque, the master of disguise.

Masters of Disguise is a printer-friendly PDF featuring the masque, a new 20-level base class whose talents with disguise cross over into the supernatural. This PDF also includes these crunchy items:

  • Favored class options for the masque
  • The Disguise subdomain
  • New rogue talents
  • Expanded uses for Diplomacy, Disguise, Linguistics, and Use Magic Device
  • Four new combat feats, including Snap the Cloak
  • Rules for customizing equipment
  • 12 new spells and 13 new magic items

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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Secret agent-style class with cool additional material

****( )

This pdf is 29 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of SRD, leaving 15 pages of new content, so let's dig in!

The pdf kicks off with an aptly-written introduction to why this pdf was created in the first place and subsequently goes on to provide the meat of this pdf, the new Masque base class:

The Masque gets d8, 6+Int skill-modifiers, good ref and will-saves, proficiency with simple weapons and light armor as well as "rogueish" equipment, medium BAB-progression and access to its own spell-list (spontaneous caster, limited spell-list up to lvl 4, Cha is key attribute). The main focus of the class, though, is the mastery of disguise and secret agent-like abilities that start with rather mundane bonuses to disguise-checks and goes on to the ability to emulate skills, feats and even abilities and spells of the classes they disguise as at the higher levels. This mechanic, known as "Play the Part" improves in 7 steps, making sure that the pool of abilities to emulate doesn't become over- or under-powered for the respective levels.

The Masque gets a selection of 18 talents and 8 advanced talents to choose from, somewhat similar to the rogue.

We also get one favored class option for each of the standard races - nice to see some APG-love.

After that, we are introduced to a new cleric subdomain and 7 new rogue talents. We also get new uses for Diplomacy (e.g. rumormongering - nice), Disguise and Linguistics (encoding) and Use Magic Device. This is where my first point of major criticism comes into play: A usage of Use Magic Device is introduced that lets you fake a race, an alignment, etc. for the purpose of spells and the like. The new usage has the potential to severely unhinge speciic encounters and I'm not going to use it any time in the future. Beware to read it carefully and then stat out an encounter with an evil cleric or Antipaladin/similar bad-ass prior to implementing it.

We also get 4 new feats related to cloak & dagger-style fighting:

-Duelist: +1 Dodge to AC, + 1 to attack when using chosen weapon

-Cloak Style: +1 dodge bonus to AC

-Improved Cloak Style: +1 shield bonus to AC

-Snap the Cloak: Deal non-lethal damage via cloak
In defense of cloaks and clothes in general, a variant rule penalizing naked characters is introduced -nice idea.

After that, we get 12 new spells - the spells feature, where applicable, also their places on the APG-spell-lists. The spells are:

-Conjurer's Toolbelt (bard 0, cleric/oracle 0, druid 0, inquisitor 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, summoner 0, witch 0 ): Conjure little objects.

-Dramatic Visage(bard 2, masque 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, summoner 2): makes you more stylish and thus more intimidating

-Felonious Friend(bard 2, masque 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, summoner 2 ) : Unseen Servant that can steal stuff. Very nice spell.

-Felonious Friend, Greater (bard 4, masque 4, sorcerer/wizard 4, summoner 4): As the lesser version, but can disable devices - GREAT idea.

-Lurk (alchemist 2, bard 2, inquisitor 2, masque 2, sorcerer/wizard 2): Makes it easier to hide.

-Message in a Bottle (bard 1, druid 1, sorcerer/wizard 1): Puts a verbal message in a bottle, to be opened later.

-Moonlit Way (sorcerer/wizard 2, witch 2): Produces a light-weight-carrying escape-route of light

-Path through Darkness (alchemist 2, masque 1, sorcerer/wizard 2 ): Replaces sight with blindsight.

-Phantom Blade (masque 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1): Quasi-real weapons

-Slip the Ranks (bard 2, inquisitor 2, masque 2, sorcerer/wizard 2): Teleport 10 ft instead of 5-ft. steps - seems to be quite strong for my tastes.

-Summarize(bard 0, cleric/oracle 0, druid 0, inquisitor 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, summoner 0, witch 0): Summarizes the contents of e.g. a book

-Trigger Trap (bard 2, cleric/oracle 2, masque 2, sorcerer/wizard 2): Self-explanatory, triggers traps

Finally, we get 12 new magic items and 1 new magic item quality:

-Adventurer's Catalog: A book to store small items

-Boots of Water walking: Self-explanatory

-Clanwarden's Stick: Halfling stick helps with acrobatics

-Lookout Strips: One-use alarm strips

-Mask of Faces: Alter Self via blood poored on the mask - great item.

-Mask of Faces, Greater: Also become physical match

-Mask of masks: Always another mask behind the first one

-Mask of the Reveler: Makes you euphoric/drunk. Nice idea.

-Motley Armor: Blur armor. Rather bland, could have been much cooler.

-Twinned Masks: Exchange faces. Great idea for intrigue-laden games.

-Unseen Shot weapon quality - makes launched projectile invisible after launch, making it harder to spot.

-Vaporous Buckler: Buckler that also lets you take gaseous form.

- Wrathful Blade: Lets you cast wrath as an inquisitor.


Layout is clear and concise, the pdf is extensively book-marked. Art is public domain, as far as I could tell. I found only one minor typo. The writing is concise and well-written, the footnotes provide additional insight into the design-process. None of the feats or additional material felt over- or under-powered apart from the usage of Use Magic Device. The heart of this book, the new class, will find a definite place in my campaigns and can make for an awesome addition for just about any campaign that features some major roleplaying and/or intrigue. That being said, the new spells are great and the APG-support rocks, too. However, I always had the feeling that something is missing from the pdf, perhaps magic items geared towards the class, some feats expanding upon its abilities or some magic items that enhance the Masque's abilities. Due to this, I'll refrain from giving this file the full 5-stars, instead settling for a final verdict of 4 stars.

A interesting class idea and extra's

****( )

Master of Disguise by Spes Magna Games

This product is 29 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC and forward. (3 pages)

Master of Disguise Class (9 pages)
This part is the bulk of the class. D8, 6 skills, medium BaB, 2 good saves, weapons and armor similar to a rogue, 4 level caster. They cast spells like a Sorcerer and start being able to cast at 1st level if they have a bonus spell or 2nd level. They can start to cast 2nd level spells at 4th, 3rd at 7th and 4th at 10th level. Spell list reminds me a bit of the beguiler class from 3.5.

All of the class abilities help them to disguise and pretend to be other people, they also gain some talents somewhat similar to rogue talents, though mostly again focused on disguise or social abilities. Play the Part is the closest thing they get to a cap stone ability. They get it earlier but it maxs out at 20th. It allows them to mimic skills, feats or class abilities from other classes to pull of a disguise.

Favored Class Options (6 pages)
This has favored class options for this class by race. It also includes one new subdomain Disguise for the Trickery Domain, 7 new rogue talents, expanded uses of Diplomacy, Disguise, Linguistics, and Use Magic Device skills, 4 new feats.

Equipment (2 pages)
This starts off talking about the relevance of cloaks and the purpose they serve. It moves on to talk about why cloaks and cloths are important by pointing out the draw backs to not having any aka being naked. Then it goes into talking about how masterwork style clothes could add bonuses to skills. Such as cold weather clothes etc. It ends with three examples of normal equipment meant to add bonuses to skills. A Blessed Salve that adds a bonus to con checks for stability, Spellcraft for Dummies – bonus to spellcraft checks if you have time to consult the book first before a roll is made, Winter Camouflage Cloak – bonus to fort saves against cold and stealth checks.

Spells (4 pages)
This section has new spells. There is 12 new spells and they include the new APG classes if they can or can not cast them as well.

Magic Items (5 pages)
There is 13 new magic items in this section several of them are masks.

It ends with a OGL. (2 pages)

Closing Thoughts. The class is a very focused class. I think it is a ok class, it seems fairly well balanced but because it is so focused. I think it some cases it will be fairly strong and others a bit on the weak side depending on the campaign. One with a lot of social and more urban focused will favor the class, a lot of dungeon crawls hurts the class. I was disappointed with one aspect of the class, it lacks trapfinding ability. Since it takes the place of a rogue I feel the class should really have it.

The new rogue talents I think add a bit to the rogue and they are fairly well done. The skill section was well done showing more uses for the skills. The Use Magic device is the only one I am not so sure I would use. It lets you bypass some spells like protection spells, It is not a bad ability I just didn't care for it personally.

The class options where all decent, none wowed me but I didn't feel any ways bad either. The new domain was interest and fit well with the theme. I actually really liked all the feats, one is a duelist which adds a bonus on one on one fights, the other three are all about using a cloak in combat. Something we have all seen in movies, there is a few more I could think of that I would have liked to have been added though. The ones there are all good but I would have liked to have seen more.

I really liked what was being discussed about the equipment. I just found it to be lacking enough information. I really wish the section had been expanded greatly, or left out. As it is there is not really enough to make good use of a very nifty idea, perhaps that is something worthy of it's own small PDF with plenty of examples. I liked most of the spells and one seemed overly powerful, they was more fluff style spells, useful spells in interesting ways for the most part. Same can be said of the magic items most of them where well done and I can see myself using many of them.

Which brings me to one of my critics, layout. It is not bad but with the names of magic items etc just being bolded it is hard to tell where they start at a quick glance. On most of the sections with less bold it is easier but in some sections especially the magic item section it is very hard to quickly spot the magic item names. I would have liked them to have been underlined or something as well.

There is no art and very little color other than a few section headers. It is black and white text on a plain style PDF, no borders etc. Which makes it very print friendly but also pretty plain looking. There is little notes on the bottom of some of the pages which explain why the author choose to do what he did. Not really needed but it was nice to read anyways.

So whats my rating? Well on one hand the class is a very niche class, which hurts it appeal some. I think it makes a much better NPC class, it is useful as a PC in some types of campaigns. As a NPC though it is very nice. The other stuff in the book while mostly geared for the class can by used by most anyone and virtually of it is useful. There is a few minor flaws with the product that I mentioned, but it is cheap too. So for the price I am giving it a 4 star review.

Masterfully Done

****( )

I really like this book a lot. While the Class itself is very narrow, it is also really flavorful and fun, appealing to my very sneaky side.

The new feats, skill uses, spells and magic items are really niffty and useful, as well as being unique enough to stand out from all the rest we've seen.

There are however three complaints:
1) No Capstone is a rather large turn off for me. I get that at 20th level you gain Play the Part 7, which is strong, but i see the continuation of an earlier ability to be a very poor last level feature.

Perfect Performance might have been better at 20, but even that lacks some oomph when compared to a lot of the other capstones out there.

2) the lack of any real new equipment. the discussion was neat, but if that's all you were going to include, why not just save that for something else, and add in pages of actual material, or cut those pages entirely?

I understand your desire to include new equipment due to the glut of stuff out there, but this book seems like a great way to introduce really innovative and fun new mundane items that would greatly aid both the Masque and other stealthy characters without needing magic.

3) I wish Bluff had an expanded use. I'll be damned if i can think of anything else, but I doubt i would have thought up of the new uses for the skills that you did include.

overall, even with those three complaints(strong though they may be) this book is definitely going to be used by myself a fair amount, and almost definitely by my other gamer friends for our upcoming game.

4 outta 5 for sure. Gift Certificates
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