Hat of Disguise Question


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It says the Hat of Disguise is created at CL 3rd. Does this mean its effects only last 30 minutes or are they permanent until the wearer "turns it off" and "back on" again?


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Sadly, the description is vague. Also, its caster level is CL 1st, not CL 3rd. (The Greater Hat of Disguise is CL 3rd.)

Ultimate Equipment, Wondrous Items, Hat of Disguise wrote:

Price 1,800 gp; Aura faint illusion; CL 1st; Weight—

This apparently normal hat allows its wearer to alter her appearance as with a disguise self spell. As part of the disguise, the hat can be changed to appear as a comb, ribbon, headband, cap, coif, hood, helmet, or other headwear.

Most items that take up a magic item slot of the character, such as the Hat of Disguise in the head slot, function continuously while worn. There are many exceptions that spell out in the text that they are activated. For example, the Ring of Invisibility says, "By activating this simple silver ring, the wearer can benefit from invisibility, as the spell." As a GM, I rule that such items mentally warn when the effect is about to expire, and the wearer can activate it again to extend the duration. The activation is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. It is not necessarily conspicuous.

Core Rulebook, Combat chapter, Activate Magic Item wrote:
Many magic items don't need to be activated. Certain magic items, however, do need to be activated, especially potions, scrolls, wands, rods, and staves. Unless otherwise noted, activating a magic item is a standard action.

The word "allows" could mean that it is activated, which would be like applying a Disguise Self spell at caster level 1. An activation would give a clear opportunity to select the disguise.


Sounds good. Thank you.


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Capt. Geoffrey T. Spaulding wrote:
It says the Hat of Disguise is created at CL 3rd. Does this mean its effects only last 30 minutes or are they permanent until the wearer "turns it off" and "back on" again?

Captain,

The Hat of Disguise is not a single use magic item and can be activated/deactivated with a command word as a standard action. Here is the reference document entry on it for further information:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/h-l/hat-o f-disguise


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Capt. Geoffrey T. Spaulding wrote:
It says the Hat of Disguise is created at CL 3rd. Does this mean its effects only last 30 minutes or are they permanent until the wearer "turns it off" and "back on" again?

Each activation has a duration of 30 minutes, but you can activate it again when you want.

FAQ wrote:

When I use a magic item like ring of invisibility or hat of disguise that can be activated to gain the effects of a spell, does the wording "as the spell" also include the spell’s duration?

Yes, such items' effects have a duration, as indicated by the spell’s duration and the item’s caster level. If the item has no daily use limit, however, you can simply use the item again to reset the duration.


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Or you can just house rule that it operates continuously, which tends to make more sense for items like the hat of disguise such that you don't have to say a magical command word every 30 minutes to maintain your disguise, thus ruining your infiltration of the enemy's castle.

But yeah, according to the FAQ, that would be a house rule.


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You could check out Hat of Infinite Disguises from Inner Sea Intrigue, 25,000gp


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_Ozy_ wrote:

Or you can just house rule that it operates continuously, which tends to make more sense for items like the hat of disguise such that you don't have to say a magical command word every 30 minutes to maintain your disguise, thus ruining your infiltration of the enemy's castle.

But yeah, according to the FAQ, that would be a house rule.

Intelligent crafters should make the command word the local language version of "excuse me." Just cough or bump into something every time you renew, that'll attract less attention than saying a weird arcane word.


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Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

Or you can just house rule that it operates continuously, which tends to make more sense for items like the hat of disguise such that you don't have to say a magical command word every 30 minutes to maintain your disguise, thus ruining your infiltration of the enemy's castle.

But yeah, according to the FAQ, that would be a house rule.

Intelligent crafters should make the command word the local language version of "excuse me." Just cough or bump into something every time you renew, that'll attract less attention than saying a weird arcane word.

Except if you take the manifestations FAQ seriously, it's obvious that a magical spell effect has just happened.


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I've house ruled that it does operate continuously, or until deactivated or removed, for a long time now. But I was just curious about the actual official rules for it. Thank you all for your time and answers.


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_Ozy_ wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

Or you can just house rule that it operates continuously, which tends to make more sense for items like the hat of disguise such that you don't have to say a magical command word every 30 minutes to maintain your disguise, thus ruining your infiltration of the enemy's castle.

But yeah, according to the FAQ, that would be a house rule.

Intelligent crafters should make the command word the local language version of "excuse me." Just cough or bump into something every time you renew, that'll attract less attention than saying a weird arcane word.
Except if you take the manifestations FAQ seriously, it's obvious that a magical spell effect has just happened.

That FAQ doesn't even mention activating magic items. It only addresses casting spells and using SLAs.


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Hat of disguise says specifically that it acts 'as the spell' which is why it has the duration of the spell. Since you are explicitly activating a spell effect, why would you think it wouldn't have a corresponding manifestation just like a SLA? And SLAs don't even have command words.


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Yet another excellent point that the PDT likely didn't consider when they wrote the FAQ.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Hat of disguise says specifically that it acts 'as the spell' which is why it has the duration of the spell. Since you are explicitly activating a spell effect, why would you think it wouldn't have a corresponding manifestation just like a SLA? And SLAs don't even have command words.

I think that because the FAQ only mentions casting spells and using SLAs. Activating a magic item is not casting a spell and activating a magic item is not using an SLA.


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From the FAQ:

Quote:
Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation.

Now, are you trying to tell me that activating a spell from an item does not qualify for 'and the like' compared to SLAs and casting a spell?

Heck, SLAs don't even require a command word, and yet they trigger manifestations. Why wouldn't magic items that specifically say that they manifest 'as the spell' also have manifestation as per the 'and the like' part of the FAQ?


_Ozy_ wrote:

From the FAQ:

Quote:
Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation.

Now, are you trying to tell me that activating a spell from an item does not qualify for 'and the like' compared to SLAs and casting a spell?

Heck, SLAs don't even require a command word, and yet they trigger manifestations. Why wouldn't magic items that specifically say that they manifest 'as the spell' also have manifestation as per the 'and the like' part of the FAQ?

The initial activation of a Hat of Disguise has a dramatic effect: the wearer changes appearance. Adding magical mansifestations would make it more blatantly obvious, but it was already startlingly obvious. I see no problem with magical manifestations here.

Later activations are to extend the duration of the effect. With the Disguise Self spell, this requires casting an independent spells with full somatic and verbal components. With the Hat of Disguise, however, we could imagine it as the hat recharging its own current spell rather than casting a new Disguise Self spell. That could have a very subtle manifestation.


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Mathmuse wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

From the FAQ:

Quote:
Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation.

Now, are you trying to tell me that activating a spell from an item does not qualify for 'and the like' compared to SLAs and casting a spell?

Heck, SLAs don't even require a command word, and yet they trigger manifestations. Why wouldn't magic items that specifically say that they manifest 'as the spell' also have manifestation as per the 'and the like' part of the FAQ?

The initial activation of a Hat of Disguise has a dramatic effect: the wearer changes appearance. Adding magical mansifestations would make it more blatantly obvious, but it was already startlingly obvious. I see no problem with magical manifestations here.

Later activations are to extend the duration of the effect. With the Disguise Self spell, this requires casting an independent spells with full somatic and verbal components. With the Hat of Disguise, however, we could imagine it as the hat recharging its own current spell rather than casting a new Disguise Self spell. That could have a very subtle manifestation.

None of that actually speaks to the fact that someone with an at will disguise self SLA would be manifesting each time they 'recharged' their disguise in exactly the same way. Why should a hat of disguise be any different, especially given that the FAQ indicates such similar types of magic use cause manifestations?

The fact that the initial result is obvious doesn't preclude manifestations. At will SLAs cause manifestations each time they are used. Don't see why the Hat of Disguise wouldn't operate the same way.


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Wow, after looking at that FAQ... does that mean that a Greater Hat of Disguise is actually worse than a normal Hat of Disguise for, you know, disguising?

A normal Hat of Disguise is CL 1, functioning as disguise self (10min/lvl) - lasts 10min total.
A Greater Hat of Disguise is CL 3, functioning as alter self (1min/lvl) - lasts 3min total.

At the end of the duration, you'd have to reactivate the effect with a magical command word and create some very obvious (and very suspicious) magical effects around you in order to keep your disguise up. With the greater version, you'd be dropping 12,000gp on something that won't keep a disguise without having to be refreshed multiple times during a long conversation...


_Ozy_ wrote:

Or you can just house rule that it operates continuously, which tends to make more sense for items like the hat of disguise such that you don't have to say a magical command word every 30 minutes to maintain your disguise, thus ruining your infiltration of the enemy's castle.

But yeah, according to the FAQ, that would be a house rule.

In that case, there would be no point to the Greater Hat.


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The Greater Hat was written before the FAQ. The FAQ didn't cover every circumstance it broke through its general rule. But this is something that is broken if you follow the FAQ by its plain language.

Monsters that can't practically use their Detect Thoughts anymore are another problem.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

Or you can just house rule that it operates continuously, which tends to make more sense for items like the hat of disguise such that you don't have to say a magical command word every 30 minutes to maintain your disguise, thus ruining your infiltration of the enemy's castle.

But yeah, according to the FAQ, that would be a house rule.

In that case, there would be no point to the Greater Hat.

Er, what? The Greater Hat lets you use Alter Self instead of Disguise Self, so yeah, there is certainly a point to the Greater Hat. Free darkvision, lowlight, reduce person, scent, swim, 40' movement, +2 Dex or Str ... Though the greater hat still, according to RAW, needs a new command word every 3 minutes.


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Let me point out the game necessity for the Hat of Disguise.

The party in my Iron Gods campaign is about to start the 5th module, Palace of Fallen Stars. Entering the city of Starfall will be the first urban adventure for the party. Due to their previous activities, they have enemies in the city before they ever set foot there. Yet no-one besides NPCs has invested ranks in Disguise skill, because Disguise was not necessary in previous modules. Moreover, the unusual races inside the party, such as a strix, will need more difficult disguises. The strix plans to disguise herself as a winged aasimar, because as far as we know, she is the only strix in Numeria. That switches her Disguise check modifier from +5 for minor details only to -2 for another race.

In order for my players to have the fun of covert dealings in an urban setting, they will need aid in disguise. They have enough gold to afford items that give a bonus. What are their options?

The strix is a skald, has Disguise Self and Disguise Other on her spell list, and therefore can use wands of those spells. A wand of Disguise Self for herself or Disguise Other for the others would have to be created at CL 6 or higher in order to have a practical one-hour duration. They would cost 4500 gp and 9000 gp, respectively.

A Disguise Kit good for 10 uses costs 50 gp. One use lasts all day, possibly longer if the character protects the wig while sleeping and washes via Prestidigitation. It gives a +2 circumstance bonus to disguise instead of the +10 bonus from Disguise Self. If we imagine a Magic Disguise Kit that give a +10 bonus, then by the square-the-bonus pricing on magical enhancements, it would cost 1250 gp.

They could hire a make-up artist. In the real world, movie make-up artists can apply disguises to other people, so they ought to do the same in the game, too. They should be able to find a 3rd-level expert with Cha 14, Disguise as a class skill, and 3 skill ranks in Disguise for only 10 gp per day. (An artist with higher Charisma or Disguise-related feats ought to charge more.) Give that artist a Disguise Kit and that is +10 to Disguise.

And finally, we have the Hat of Disguise. As a magic item, it ought to be the most convenient method: don the hat and get a +10 bonus to Disguise. The December 2014 duration FAQ that Gisher quoted said, "If the item has no daily use limit, however, you can simply use the item again to reset the duration." Alas, the word "simply" no longer applies, due to the October 2015 manifestations FAQ saying, "Although this isn’t directly stated in the Core Rulebook, many elements of the game system work assuming that all spells have their own manifestations, regardless of whether or not they also produce an obvious visual effect, like fireball." Fortunately, I am the GM. I am going to houserule that extending the duration of a spell is simple, as the first FAQ said, and lacks the obvious manifestation.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

There's also the western star ioun stone which has a nice caster level of 12th.

So two hours.

Admittedly double the price but it's slotless and invisible.


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Or, follow the item creation rules, to make a constant hat of disguise for 2,000gp instead of the command word for 1,800 that already exists.

The Exchange

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link to an older thread on this subject.... and the observation I had over there...

Duration of hats of disguise and rings.

If the item is just allowing the user to cast the spell on himself, and then has a limited duration... does that mean he can remove the item and have the spell still be in effect?

So a party of adventurers could make themselves invisible by passing a Ring of Invisibility around? Each putting it on, activating it, removing it and passing it to the next player?

Wow...

I always figured it was more limited than that...

If we have the magic item being used to "cast the spell" - then removing the item does not end the spell. When means one H.o.D. could be passed around a party of adventurers to cast the spell multiple times, each having a duration of 10 minutes.

Short term disguises got a big boost - though long term disguises will get damaged...


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
nosig wrote:

link to an older thread on this subject.... and the observation I had over there...

Duration of hats of disguise and rings.

If the item is just allowing the user to cast the spell on himself, and then has a limited duration... does that mean he can remove the item and have the spell still be in effect?

So a party of adventurers could make themselves invisible by passing a Ring of Invisibility around? Each putting it on, activating it, removing it and passing it to the next player?

Wow...

I always figured it was more limited than that...

If we have the magic item being used to "cast the spell" - then removing the item does not end the spell. When means one H.o.D. could be passed around a party of adventurers to cast the spell multiple times, each having a duration of 10 minutes.

Short term disguises got a big boost - though long term disguises will get damaged...

There was actually a FAQ for that too. Although it did come out after your original post.


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Yup, all of the limitations of casting a spell and none of the benefits. ;)


Or you could look at it this way.

That the Manifestations of the spell happens only when the spell is being cast.
In the making of the Hat of Disguise, Bob casts the Spell Disguise Self. Bob is covered with blue Runes of Power during the creation of the Hat.

Bill later activates the Hat of Disguise, no blue Runes of Power cover Bill. The Hat of Disguise is not casting the spell, it is just using the effect of the spell Bob cast.

Remember that it is not a Spell Completion or a Spell Trigger Item. It's a spell use item of a spell already cast.


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Dr Styx wrote:
It's a spell use item of a spell already cast.

That doesn't exist. Its a command word item. Its a special word you say, that makes it activate. It could be, "disguise me" or it could be something in a foreign language. Either way, you're not going to pass it off as not having happened while disguised.


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Mathmuse wrote:

Let me point out the game necessity for the Hat of Disguise.

The party in my Iron Gods campaign is about to start the 5th module, Palace of Fallen Stars. Entering the city of Starfall will be the first urban adventure for the party. Due to their previous activities, they have enemies in the city before they ever set foot there. Yet no-one besides NPCs has invested ranks in Disguise skill, because Disguise was not necessary in previous modules.

I'm in the same situation as a player. I found the spell Veil and am hoping it will do the trick. There is no disguise roll needed unless you want to look like a specific individual. So one cast of this and your party can all look like Thog the Generic Barbarian. Drawback is that it is a 6th level spell, so one less intensified dazing fireball a day for my wizard, oh well.


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i thought hat of disguise was continuous if it wasn't a few modules would be unplayable (way of the wicked being one of them) as the pc's need to be under the guise of the hat practically 24/7 or else they get caught and killed.


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Well, the Iron Circlets are already a bit special, so when I GM that AP I'm going to rule them to work continually.


WagnerSika wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

Let me point out the game necessity for the Hat of Disguise.

The party in my Iron Gods campaign is about to start the 5th module, Palace of Fallen Stars. Entering the city of Starfall will be the first urban adventure for the party. Due to their previous activities, they have enemies in the city before they ever set foot there. Yet no-one besides NPCs has invested ranks in Disguise skill, because Disguise was not necessary in previous modules.

I'm in the same situation as a player. I found the spell Veil and am hoping it will do the trick. There is no disguise roll needed unless you want to look like a specific individual. So one cast of this and your party can all look like Thog the Generic Barbarian. Drawback is that it is a 6th level spell, so one less intensified dazing fireball a day for my wizard, oh well.

Thank you for the advice. The skald cannot cast 6th level bard spells until 16th level, the magus does not have that spell on his spell list, but the fighter has an 11th-level wizard as a Leadership cohort who could learn and cast Veil.

Back when I ran a Jade Regent campaign, the 13th-level kitsune sorcerer used Veil quite effectively so that the party could infiltrate a meeting of oni. (This is not a spoiler. I added the meeting to the module because the players loved direct fights with the oni.) However, I had to allow them an opportunity to slip away temporarily when the 13-hour duration ran out, so that the sorcerer could recast the spell.


Tarantula wrote:
Dr Styx wrote:
It's a spell use item of a spell already cast.
That doesn't exist. Its a command word item. Its a special word you say, that makes it activate. It could be, "disguise me" or it could be something in a foreign language. Either way, you're not going to pass it off as not having happened while disguised.
Use Activated wrote:
However, some items made for wearing must still be activated. Although this activation sometimes requires a command word (see above), usually it means mentally willing the activation to happen. The description of an item states whether a command word is needed in such a case.
Hat of Disguise wrote:
This apparently normal hat allows its wearer to alter her appearance as with a disguise self spell. As part of the disguise, the hat can be changed to appear as a comb, ribbon, headband, cap, coif, hood, helmet, and so on.

No mention of a Camand Word.


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Dr Styx wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Dr Styx wrote:
It's a spell use item of a spell already cast.
That doesn't exist. Its a command word item. Its a special word you say, that makes it activate. It could be, "disguise me" or it could be something in a foreign language. Either way, you're not going to pass it off as not having happened while disguised.
Use Activated wrote:
However, some items made for wearing must still be activated. Although this activation sometimes requires a command word (see above), usually it means mentally willing the activation to happen. The description of an item states whether a command word is needed in such a case.
Hat of Disguise wrote:
This apparently normal hat allows its wearer to alter her appearance as with a disguise self spell. As part of the disguise, the hat can be changed to appear as a comb, ribbon, headband, cap, coif, hood, helmet, and so on.
No mention of a Camand Word.

It's priced at 1800 GP, the price suggested for a Level 1, CL1 Command Word magic item. Continuous/Use-Activated items typically cost 2000.


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Wu Nakitu wrote:
It's priced at 1800 GP, the price suggested for a Level 1, CL1 Command Word magic item. Continuous/Use-Activated items typically cost 2000.

According to Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values, especially footnote 2, at Magic Item Gold Piece Values, the value for a continuous magic item is also affected by the duration of the spell that it mimics. Shorter spells are more expensive to convert into continuous magic items. The formula is cost = spell level x caster level x duration multiplier x 2,000 gp.

Disguise Self's duration is 10 minutes per level, so it has a duration multiplier of 1.5. Thus, a Continuous Hat of Disguise, based on the 1st-level spell Disguise Self, would cost 3000 gp. That seems a reasonable substitute for the usual 1800 gp Hat of Disguise, since it frees the character from having to repeat a command word every ten minutes.

Alter Self's duration is 1 minute per level, so it has a duration multiplier of 2. A Continuous Greater Hat of Disguise, based on the 2nd-level spell Alter Self, would cost 24,000 gp. That is terribly expensive for disguise, but it also gives a +2 size bonus to Strength or Dexterity that stacks with a Belt.


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Given the short duration to the hat [placed there by 3rd edition*], you need to "Activate" it often. If activating it causes manifestations, then it becomes nearly useless for any need over a single duration. Yet it is implied to be used for just such a purpose.

The Hat says "This apparently normal hat allows its wearer to alter her appearance as with a disguise self spell." It does not say it is casting a spell. "X as Y" means you get the effects of Y, not the casting of Y.

While you can debate if activating an item causes manifestations, I don't think they do. The manifesting FAQ says "this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation." Items can be used by anyone, so this reason does not apply. Therefore, using this FAQ to justify a manifestation is weak.

....

You can get another +10 untyped to disguise with Vocal Alteration, but only 1 minute per level.

/cevah

*Earlier editions did not limit the time to CL effective duration. The Ring of Invisible worked until it was broken. The Hat worked until you turned it off or changed the disguise.


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Cevah wrote:

Given the short duration to the hat [placed there by 3rd edition*], you need to "Activate" it often. If activating it causes manifestations, then it becomes nearly useless for any need over a single duration. Yet it is implied to be used for just such a purpose. ...

*Earlier editions did not limit the time to CL effective duration. The Ring of Invisible worked until it was broken. The Hat worked until you turned it off or changed the disguise.

Mark Rosewater, a Magic: The Gathering designer at Wizards of the Coast, said in one of his articles that if the players repeatedly misinterpreted a prototype Magic card in playtesting, then the developers changed the card to do what the playtesters thought the card did. Magic: The Gathering is too confusing overall to insist on a literal interpretation that players won't follow.

I long assumed that putting a Hat of Disguise on one's head created the disguise until the hat was removed. I would consider a standard action and an obvious magical manifestation to set the disguise to be perfectly reasonable.

The magical manifestation matter is not the true problem; rather, it further highlights the silliness of the 10-minute reset issue. Saying a command word every ten minutes is silly. In theory the end of the ten minutes could come when the player is too busy to use a standard action to reset the spell. In practice, as a GM, I want the tension to come from the events, not from tracking the clock, "I calculate that ten minutes have passed. Reset your hat now, or you will be exposed!" For dramatic storytelling, it might be fun to force a player to have to retreat after one hour to renew the disguise with an obvious magical effect, but ten minutes is too short and too often. A party passing through a guarded gate via Hats of Disguise could be foiled by a routine ten-minute wait in a line. A character who heads to the privy every 10 minutes for privacy to renew the disguise is suspicious.

The 3rd-level Fly spell has a safety factor built into it: if the spell runs out or is dispelled, then the flier floats to the ground safely. Why did wizards design the Hat of Disguise without a similar safety factor, such as automatic renewal? That does not fit the venue. The wizards would have developed a Continuous Hat of Disguise. Therefore, I will offer my players that option. A 3000 gp magic item that does its job is better than a 1800 gp magic item that doesn't.


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Mathmuse wrote:
Cevah wrote:

Given the short duration to the hat [placed there by 3rd edition*], you need to "Activate" it often. If activating it causes manifestations, then it becomes nearly useless for any need over a single duration. Yet it is implied to be used for just such a purpose. ...

*Earlier editions did not limit the time to CL effective duration. The Ring of Invisible worked until it was broken. The Hat worked until you turned it off or changed the disguise.

Mark Rosewater, a Magic: The Gathering designer at Wizards of the Coast, said in one of his articles that if the players repeatedly misinterpreted a prototype Magic card in playtesting, then the developers changed the card to do what the playtesters thought the card did. Magic: The Gathering is too confusing overall to insist on a literal interpretation that players won't follow.

I like this guy.

Mathmuse wrote:
Why did wizards design the Hat of Disguise without a similar safety factor, such as automatic renewal?

They didn't. TSR did.

2nd ed:
Hat of Disguise: This normal-appearing hat contains a powerful enchantment that allows its wearer to alter his appearance as follows:
Height: +/-25% of actual height
Weight: +/-50% of actual weight
Sex: Male or female
Hair: Any color
Eyes: Any color
Complexion: Any color
Facial features: Highly mutable
Thus, the wearer could appear as a comely woman, a half-orc, or possibly even a gnome. If the hat is removed, the disguise is instantly dispelled. The headgear can be used over and over. Note that the hat can be changed (as part of a disguise) to appear as a comb, ribbon, head band, fillet, cap, coif, hood, helmet, etc.

While I have the 1st ed books, I don't want to bother checking if they are there. I think they are 1st or 1.5 [Unearthed Arcana].

/cevah


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Thank you, Cevah, for the 2nd Edition wording of the Hat of Disguise. My wife and I once owned AD&D books, but we gave them to a collector friend. The wording is eerily congruent:

2nd Edition: "This normal-appearing hat contains a powerful enchantment that allows its wearer to alter his appearance as follows: Height: +/-25% of actual height. Weight: ..."

3rd Edition: "This apparently normal hat allows its wearer to alter her appearance as with a disguise self spell. ..."

Pathfinder: "This apparently normal hat allows its wearer to alter her appearance as with a disguise self spell. ..."

The phrasing from the 2nd Edition version is almost identical to the later versions, with the main difference a substitution of, "as with a disguise spell," for a description of a disguise.

I think that changing the Hat of Disguise from a continuous effect in 2nd Edition to a 10-minute renewable effect in Pathfinder was accidental. I think that the writers of 3rd Edition used a unifying and word-saving shortcut of linking the disguise effects of the hat to the disguise effect of a spell, but did not expect a series of FAQs that gave different meaning to the phrasing they used. If use-activation is not mentioned, then it is command word activated. If duration is not mentioned, then it defaults to the duration of the spell. If inconspicuous casting is not mentioned, then casting has magical manifestations.


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Mathmuse wrote:
I think that changing the Hat of Disguise from a continuous effect in 2nd Edition to a 10-minute renewable effect in Pathfinder was accidental. I think that the writers of 3rd Edition used a unifying and word-saving shortcut of linking the disguise effects of the hat to the disguise effect of a spell, but did not expect a series of FAQs that gave different meaning to the phrasing they used. If use-activation is not mentioned, then it is command word activated. If duration is not mentioned, then it defaults to the duration of the spell. If inconspicuous casting is not mentioned, then casting has magical manifestations.
2nd ed Dispel Magic wrote:
A dispel magic spell does not affect a specially enchanted item, such as a magical scroll, ring, wand, rod, staff, miscellaneous item, weapon, shield, or armor, unless it is cast directly upon the item. This renders the item nonoperational for 1d4 rounds. An item possessed and carried by a creature gains the creature's saving throw against this effect; otherwise, it is automatically rendered nonoperational. An interdimensional interface (such as a bag of holding) rendered nonoperational would be temporarily closed. Note that an item's physical properties are unchanged: A nonoperational magical sword is still a sword.

2nd Ed items did not use a CL for dispel attempts. 3rd Ed items, however, do. Thus they had to add CL for all items to allow them to interact with Dispel Magic. Then they used the new CL to also control duration, even though the 2nd Ed did not define duration that way. This is why in 3.0, the ring of invisibility lasted 24 hours if you came from 2nd or for 3 minutes if you started with 3rd. It changed so many items to have duration keyed off of CL, that many things that were good got nerfed. PF just followed 3.5 which followed 3.0 in using CL.

/cevah


I like the idea of having to constantly reset the duration of the Hat of Disguise. That way if the user is unable to reset it by being unconscious (or other condition), the disguise ends. I just think that making the resetting so BLATINGLY OBVIOUS that it goes against the hole idea of being in disguise is just wrong, and not what the designers or players want.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I really hate that FAQ.

Hats of disguise and rings of invisibility always had unlimited duration before that clarification.*

*:
*Cough* Rules change *Cough*


Mathmuse wrote:
...Saying a command word every ten minutes is silly. In theory the end of the ten minutes could come when the player is too busy to use a standard action to reset the spell.

Unfortunately, that is akin to saying,

"6 rounds in a gun?! What if I have to reload at an inconvenient time, like in the middle of a fight?"
"Okay then, here's a gun with a 100-round clip."
"What if I shoot all 100 rounds in a fight? Then I have to spend a reloading action to reload it during the scene?"
What do you want, a gun that just shoots and shoots and never needs reloading...? Fair enough, then get one. Unfortunately, this particular gun does not do that.

I don't care either way, whether the hat works (as long as worn) for a duration and needs resetting or works continuously, or works continuously until you lose consciousness, fall asleep, or die. As long as it makes sense and doesn't blatantly contradict what it's supposed to do. Having to reactivate the item every so often, even by speaking a command word, does not negate its use or functionality. Command words can actually be common words. While having common words for Command words can cause accidental activation, this isn't really dangerous where the hat of disguise is concerned. Since you likely have to envisioning the change you want, this usually shouldn't be a problem unless you're legitimately thinking of something to look like when you speak it (as opposed to a wand of fireballs going off in your pants).

It is possible for the hat to have a common word you would use in a sentence that wouldn't be noticeable. Unless your magical item specifically has a manifestation, like blue sparkles, (which I don't believe they do unless specifically called out) then you're fine.

Quote:
In practice, as a GM, I want the tension to come from the events, not from tracking the clock,

Then, that's your call, but a lot of tension in events comes from the 'ticking clock'. That is, in fact, one of the main causes of tension. Whether it be a deadline to reach an item in a dungeon (otherwise, the PCs just do one encounter and rest, over and over because "There's no rush!") or:

Is your ally down and bleeding? Ticking clock.
Is the bad guy holding a knife to a girl's throat and ordering you to surrender in 6 seconds or she dies? Ticking clock.
Are you standing in a ring of fire and your resist energy or protection from fire is about to expire within the next round if you don't get out? Ticking clock?
Are you swimming for the surface and you've been holding your breath for 18 rounds already and are making increasingly higher Constitution checks? Ticking clock.
Are you trying to ransack someone's study while your friend has them distracted outside and you don't know how long you have? Ticking clock.
Are you disguised as the landlord and are trying to distract someone from going into their house and finding your friend ransacking their study and your disguise is about to fall off? Ticking clock. Is the real landlord supposed to be coming home sometimes within the next 5 minutes? Ticking clock. (Yes, this is the scenario you don't like.) The only other thing that could cause tension without it is just the anxiety of failing a roll then and that's easily countered by just having a high skill, can't even fail one a 1. How are you supposed to cause tension with no chance of failure? All I'm saying is that the 'ticking clock' is not the bad guy here.

Dr Styx wrote:
I just think that making the resetting so BLATINGLY OBVIOUS that it goes against the hole idea of being in disguise is just wrong, and not what the designers or players want.

I agree, and I don't believe this is a case of the 'manifestation' FAQ. Unless the item specifically says it, or it has a quirk (which is possible) that makes it glow or makes a farting noise when you use it, then the only 'manifestation' would be the actual physical (by that I mean, 'visual') alteration. If you activate your flaming sword then the manifestation is the flames that appear. Visions of Castle Greyskull do not always have to appear behind you while you hold it aloft and shout the command word (though there's no reason it couldn't).

If you are a human and want to use your hat of disguise to look like you have pointy, elf ears (or look like an elf) then anyone watching you when you do it sees it (or has a chance to see it).

If you already have green eyes, and you use the hat of disguise to have the exact same green eyes, then there's nothing to see (unless they can perceive illusions), any more than if you used the hat to make your unholy symbol look like it was a holy symbol before you remove it from inside you robe. No one can see the 'manifestation' if it can't be seen (or noticed.) Just like if you were standing in a rose garden and the manifestation was that the air filled with the scent of roses. No one (without incredibly keen scent and specific knowledge/association) will notice the manifestation. What I mean by this is that, even having to renew the effect, I don't see any reason that maintaining the disguise (even by having to speak the command word) is noticeable (beyond what you are doing to maintain the effect, which is just saying a word.)

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
The FAQ didn't cover every circumstance it broke through its general rule.

That FAQ reinforced how spells in a can items should have always worked from 1e to 3.5/PF. It was different than many players used the items.

In original 1st edition rules:

DMG p129 wrote:
Rings' spell-like abilities function as 12th level of magic use unless the power requires a higher level of magic use. The latter function at the mini- mum level of magic use necessary to cast the equivalent spell.
DMG p130 wrote:
The wearer of an invisibility ring is able to become in- visible at will, instantly, This non-visible state is exactly the same as the magic-user invisibility spell (q.v.) ...
PHB p70 wrote:

Invisibility

Duration: Special
The spell remains in effect until it is magically broken or dispelled, or the magic-user or the other recipient cancels it or until he, she or it attacks any creature.

This always comes up in every question about this subject. The rules for how magic item "spell in a can" items work has not materially changed. In 1e, rings had a CL of 12 and a duration of what ever that CL makes.

What did change is the Invisibility spell changed from indefinite duration to being duration based.

Most people conflate "ring of invisibility worked for ever because one activation of the spell worked forever" to "ring activations work forever."

Tarantula wrote:
Or, follow the item creation rules, to make a constant hat of disguise for 2,000gp instead of the command word for 1,800 that already exists.

Which would violate the item creation guidelines because we already have a Hat of Disguise and Greater Hat of Disguise.


James Risner wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Or, follow the item creation rules, to make a constant hat of disguise for 2,000gp instead of the command word for 1,800 that already exists.
Which would violate the item creation guidelines because we already have a Hat of Disguise and Greater Hat of Disguise.

How does it violate them?

Quote:
Many factors must be considered when determining the price of new magic items. The easiest way to come up with a price is to compare the new item to an item that is already priced, using that price as a guide. Otherwise, use the guidelines summarized on Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values.

The price of a duration limited hat of disguise is 1800. It makes sense that a constant hat of disguise would cost more. Looking at the table, it suggests 2000 as a price for a constant hat of disguise. That is more than the duration based hat of disguise, so it all matches up.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

200 gp seems a small price to pay for increased action economy similar to how a "true strike" item would be too cheap to pay for an activated item granting +20 to attack.

But sure, using the table, you can get to 2000 gp for continuous. I just don't think you do following the guidelines.


Even a command word truestrike would be too cheap to pay per the guidelines.

For truestrike, I'd argue you take half the price of a weapon bonus (because its only to hit) plus the activation prices.

That gives you 20^2x1000 for the attack bonus. (400,000) * 1800 for command or 2000 for constant. (720,000,000) or (800,000,000). I think 800,000,000 is a reasonable price for a ring of constant truestrike.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Pizza Lord wrote:

Unfortunately, that is akin to saying,

"6 rounds in a gun?! What if I have to reload at an inconvenient time, like in the middle of a fight?"
"Okay then, here's a gun with a 100-round clip."
"What if I shoot all 100 rounds in a fight? Then I have to spend a reloading action to reload it during the scene?"
What do you want, a gun that just shoots and shoots and never needs reloading...? Fair enough, then get one. Unfortunately, this particular gun does not do that.

It's about as bad, and makes just as much sense, as having an emergency flotation device that only keeps you afloat for 5 minutes before deflating. Most people whose boats sink are going to drown if they used such a device.

Such a device is practically useless in most situations!

The same is true of the ring of invisibility and the hat of disguise with their limited duration. They are meant to keep you from becoming exposed (keeping you afloat), but will only serve to expose you at an inopportune time (drowning you).

It's climbing a mountain with an old rope. More risk than it's worth! Who would ever invent such a thing? (Nobody. That answer is nobody. Such items should not exist as clarified.)

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