What is the best way for a dragon to disguise itself as a human?


Advice


As the title.

It's said a lot that dragons are masters of disguise, and it may be that anyone you know could be a dragon in disguise.

So I was wondering, if I were a dragon, what steps would I take to disguise myself as a human?

Scarab Sages

Alter Self. That pretty much does it. They would even get a +2 to STR out of the deal.


Does it still allow for an opposing perception check, or any other way to detect that it is a dragon? Detect Magic, Spellcraft?

Would the dragon somehow mask his magic, or use more spells to further guarantee his disguise is not discovered?


Alter self is only minute per level too.


A good number of dragons have the change shape supernatural ability.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

A really big fake mustache.


vorpaljesus wrote:
A good number of dragons have the change shape supernatural ability.

source?

Liberty's Edge

It's listed among their special abilities in the Bestiary. Unfortunately, it's as per Polymorph which lasts only min/level :(

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
icantfallasleep wrote:
vorpaljesus wrote:
A good number of dragons have the change shape supernatural ability.
source?

Bestiary entries for individual dragons such as Silver and Gold.

While it's not described as part of the universal dragon toolbox, there's no reason you simply can't add it to any dragon you want to as a GM.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
quibblemuch wrote:
A really big fake mustache.

Now I've got this vision of a Dragon with a fake mustache wearing a 3-piece pinstripe suit and maxed ranks in Profession (Banker) . . . .


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
sable wrote:
It's listed among their special abilities in the Bestiary. Unfortunately, it's as per Polymorph which lasts only min/level :(

actually at least one official Paizo source would agree with the "unlimited duration" view (but still may have limits on how many times per day)

see James Jacob on Silver Dragon's Change Shape ability

I think I recall another even more official ruling (trying to find that link) that it doesn't make sense for this type of ability to be limited to the duration of the spell (for dopplegangers for example).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
icantfallasleep wrote:

As the title.

It's said a lot that dragons are masters of disguise, and it may be that anyone you know could be a dragon in disguise.

So I was wondering, if I were a dragon, what steps would I take to disguise myself as a human?

The only relevant question is are you asking as a player or a GM?

If a player it's ask your GM territory. If you are a GM, It's decide on what you want territory.


Rycaut wrote:
sable wrote:
It's listed among their special abilities in the Bestiary. Unfortunately, it's as per Polymorph which lasts only min/level :(

actually at least one official Paizo source would agree with the "unlimited duration" view (but still may have limits on how many times per day)

see James Jacob on Silver Dragon's Change Shape ability

I think I recall another even more official ruling (trying to find that link) that it doesn't make sense for this type of ability to be limited to the duration of the spell (for dopplegangers for example).

I think the "Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely." line in Change Shape means that it has to be "otherwise stated" in the creature's description, not just the duration of the referenced spell.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
quibblemuch wrote:
A really big fake mustache.

Don't forget about the trench coat and fedora. And fake accents. Dragons are VERY good at fake accents.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Rycaut wrote:
sable wrote:
It's listed among their special abilities in the Bestiary. Unfortunately, it's as per Polymorph which lasts only min/level :(

actually at least one official Paizo source would agree with the "unlimited duration" view (but still may have limits on how many times per day)

see James Jacob on Silver Dragon's Change Shape ability

I think I recall another even more official ruling (trying to find that link) that it doesn't make sense for this type of ability to be limited to the duration of the spell (for dopplegangers for example).

I think the "Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely." line in Change Shape means that it has to be "otherwise stated" in the creature's description, not just the duration of the referenced spell.

That's the ruling you use as a GM so that you can have stories such as Deathwing's attempt to seize control of the nation of Alteraac by taking on the guise of Lord Prestor.

Even Paizo won't hesitate to alter bestiary or universal monster rules to make a scenario, module, or Adventure Path run the way they wish. If they need to have a shape-changing red dragon as a political manipulator, you'll find Change Shape in it's stat block even if it's not part of the standard red dragon toolbox.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Found it - in the Bestiary FAQ

Quote:

Change Shape: Does a creature with this ability use the duration of the change shape spell, and have to keep renewing as it expires?

As originally written, with how the Pathfinder rules for change shape work, a creature with the ability must keep renewing it every few minutes, as it is based on a spell with a duration. This negatively affects creatures such as doppelgangers, which live for extended periods in an alternate form, and having to reactivate this ability would ruin the ruse, especially as it couldn't do so while it slept.
The way this ability works is being updated as of Bestiary 2. For now, unless a creature's description says otherwise, treat any creature with change shape as if it had the ability to remain in its alternate form indefinitely, without needing to reactivate the ability. (SKR 9/23/10)

posted September 2010


LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Rycaut wrote:
sable wrote:
It's listed among their special abilities in the Bestiary. Unfortunately, it's as per Polymorph which lasts only min/level :(

actually at least one official Paizo source would agree with the "unlimited duration" view (but still may have limits on how many times per day)

see James Jacob on Silver Dragon's Change Shape ability

I think I recall another even more official ruling (trying to find that link) that it doesn't make sense for this type of ability to be limited to the duration of the spell (for dopplegangers for example).

I think the "Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely." line in Change Shape means that it has to be "otherwise stated" in the creature's description, not just the duration of the referenced spell.

That's the ruling you use as a GM so that you can have stories such as Deathwing's attempt to seize control of the nation of Alteraac by taking on the guise of Lord Prestor.

Even Paizo won't hesitate to alter bestiary or universal monster rules to make a scenario, module, or Adventure Path run the way they wish.

Well, yeah, but I actually think it's the intended way for it to work. Far too many of the classic shapeshifting monsters use Change Shape referencing short duration polymorph spells for it be otherwise. Dopplegangers are the most blatant example.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Rycaut wrote:
sable wrote:
It's listed among their special abilities in the Bestiary. Unfortunately, it's as per Polymorph which lasts only min/level :(

actually at least one official Paizo source would agree with the "unlimited duration" view (but still may have limits on how many times per day)

see James Jacob on Silver Dragon's Change Shape ability

I think I recall another even more official ruling (trying to find that link) that it doesn't make sense for this type of ability to be limited to the duration of the spell (for dopplegangers for example).

I think the "Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely." line in Change Shape means that it has to be "otherwise stated" in the creature's description, not just the duration of the referenced spell.

That's the ruling you use as a GM so that you can have stories such as Deathwing's attempt to seize control of the nation of Alteraac by taking on the guise of Lord Prestor.

Even Paizo won't hesitate to alter bestiary or universal monster rules to make a scenario, module, or Adventure Path run the way they wish.

Well, yeah, but I actually think it's the intended way for it to work. Far too many of the classic shapeshifting monsters use Change Shape referencing short duration polymorph spells for it be otherwise. Dopplegangers are the most blatant example.

So do I, but there seem to be a lot of people who are determined to make their own work as GM's and world builders harder for no reason.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
A really big fake mustache.

Now I've got this vision of a Dragon with a fake mustache wearing a 3-piece pinstripe suit and maxed ranks in Profession (Banker) . . . .

"Hello sir, my name is Kris Kristofferson. I'm from the IRS, here about 10 dollars you owe in back taxes..."


Randarak wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
A really big fake mustache.
Don't forget about the trench coat and fedora. And fake accents. Dragons are VERY good at fake accents.

Ah, but it's a well-known fact that dragons constantly say "epistemology" when they mean "ontology." If you can work that into the conversation, you can spot them dead to rights!

Liberty's Edge

Rycaut wrote:

Found it - in the Bestiary FAQ

Quote:

Change Shape: Does a creature with this ability use the duration of the change shape spell, and have to keep renewing as it expires?

As originally written, with how the Pathfinder rules for change shape work, a creature with the ability must keep renewing it every few minutes, as it is based on a spell with a duration. This negatively affects creatures such as doppelgangers, which live for extended periods in an alternate form, and having to reactivate this ability would ruin the ruse, especially as it couldn't do so while it slept.
The way this ability works is being updated as of Bestiary 2. For now, unless a creature's description says otherwise, treat any creature with change shape as if it had the ability to remain in its alternate form indefinitely, without needing to reactivate the ability. (SKR 9/23/10)

posted September 2010

Thanks, I've read too many stories with dragons living unnoticed among human (and associated races) to be anywhere near satisfied with shapechanging for a few minutes.


Purchase a normal human disguise, of course.

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