Want a wizard to disguise themselves as another class


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm toying with the idea of the BBEG, a high-level wizard or other spellcaster, disguising themselves for their machinations, and found myself wondering if it'd be possible for one to pretend to be an entirely different class to further distance themselves from their true identity? Any suggestions? Ideas?

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I believe UE has fake armor with no arcane failure chance. Granted, there's no bonus so it's just to look like a non squishy.

Liberty's Edge

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Razmiran priest sorcerer is a classic, of course. Dopplegangers specialize in this type of thing. Pretending to be a monk or cloistered cleric might also work out well. It's amazing how far a simple disguise like a visible holy symbol, monk's robes, or rapier and jaunty hat with a feather will get you people's assumptions.

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MageHunter wrote:
I believe UE has fake armor with no arcane failure chance. Granted, there's no bonus so it's just to look like a non squishy.

And then the Wizard could also wear defensive magic items so as to actually be non-squishy. Also have an option for actual armor with no chance of arcane spell failure (although it's really expensive, and non-proficiency penalties could still apply, possibly visibly, depending upon what else you're doing).

Before going into more detail: For fakers (including Wizard) that don't have Disguise as a class skill, it would be good to use a trait to get it in class, so that you can at least look the part when trying to pretend to be of some other class -- otherwise you might never get to the point of being tested according to your martial proficiency or spellcasting.

If you've gotten past the first impression, then some more detailed fakery is in order:

Racial proficiencies (including Human Military Tradition) could get you proficiency with martial or even exotic weapons without needing to dip in another class or spend a feat.

False Casting and False Focus are useful for faking divine spellcasting, the former in conjunction with magic items that you can use to cast divine spells, and the latter providing real cost-saving benefits of its own even when you aren't trying to fake anything.

I was going to recommend the Razmiran Priest prestige class, which is accessible (although dangerously) to Wizards, but even if you manage to infiltrate the Razmiran priesthood to get it, it's actually rather bad at the parts of its job other than infiltration(*). This is not to be confused with the Razmiran Priest Sorcerer archetype, which is very good at its job, but which has no corresponding Wizard archetype (but if you're not tied to Wizard, this could be the way to go).

(*)Losing the 1st of every 4 levels of spellcasting progression while remaining d6, 1/2 BAB really hurts.

Short of taking a Wizard archetype that actually gives some access to spell lists of other classes(*), the spell Infernal Healing (and its Greater version) allow a Wizard to do some actual healing, which is helpful if you are pretending to be a divine caster. If you summon the right monsters, you can get some other divine spells off them (often as spell-like abilities).

(*)Spell Sage, which is quite good if you need to substitute for a divine caster for real, but requires very careful resource management of a type that a villain might not want to do.

For pretenders other than Wizard and the above-mentioned Razmiran Priest Sorcerer archetype, a Skald of 5th level or higher can use Spell Kenning(*) to cast any spell on the Bard, Cleric, or Sorcerer/Wizard spell list once per day (eventually more), and a Skald natively has the weapon and armor proficiencies needed to do a decent job of being of a good variety of other classes. Skald only gets 4 + IntMod skill ranks per level, so don't skimp on Intelligence.

(*)DON'T take an archetype that trades this out!

An Ecclesitheurge Cleric with the right Domains could do a decent job of pretending to be a Wizard, but lacks the weapon and armor proficiency (and that's not even getting into the restrictions of Ecclesitheurge's Vow) to be able to fake being a martial class.

Strangely, Infiltrator Inquisitor doesn't seem to be well-suited for pretending to be a member of another class (except for having Disguise in class), but only for pretending to be an Inquisitor (or maybe, with considerable additional work, some other divine caster) of a different faith.

Medium has pretending to be another class as the core of its class features. Unfortunately, apparently it doesn't do a very good job of any of them, except for making a passable martial . . . when the circumstances are just right. Although if you just need to fake it -- this might not be so bad. And the Medium does have decent armor proficiency, and with racial weapon proficiency added on top of this, might be able to get by. Disguise is not a class skill, so again you'll need a trait to get this in class.

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I would imagine the disguise and bluff skills would go a long way towards this, along with either a Glamor or just wearing some weapons you don't intend to use. Bonus points if you don't look like a total weakling. Either don't dump strength, or use various buffs and illusions to make yourself look strong and or be strong.

But if you don't want people to know you're a wizard, don't let them see you cast spells. Yeah, you could use Eschew Materials and a fake holy symbol to pass yourself off as another form of Caster, but how relevant of a distinction is that when it comes to anti Caster tactics and response? Instead, invest in silent and still spells and that Cunning Caster feat or whatever it is called.

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Get a henchman, and pretend to be one of his minion. You'll be practically invisible.

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There's a million ways to make this work, honestly. Perhaps it's best to start with your bad guy's personality and motivations, to narrow down what sort of masquerade she'd be most comfortable with and find most useful.

Have them Baleful Polymorph themselves into a form suitable for a familiar or animal companion (intentionally fail fort save, have minion able to dispel if they fail will save). Then have them act as an animal companion/familiar for an NPC.

I can't find anything on whether or not a baleful polymorphed creature could serve as a familiar/animal companion, so you could have them actually take the role, or pretend to do so.

The NPC could be friendly, neutral or antagonistic to the party depending on how you want to play it. They could also be in on the ruse or dominated to act as the wizard wishes.

Eschew materials would be useful, as would a form that can speak and/or perform somatic components (still spell/silent spell if needed).

If they are a shapeshifter such as a skinwalker, they can break the spell at will if they choose to.

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