Warlock – Eldritch Invocations – Mask of Many Faces(Disguise Self)
At first, I really didn’t think that non-combat spells were all that useful compared to the immediate need of a combat spell, particularly in what was turning out to be mostly a dungeon crawl. However, I wanted to stay true to my character so upon reaching second level my half-elf Warlock, Sagan Bra’el acquired the mastery of Mask of Many Faces.
In the D&D Player’s Handbook 5e p.107, Warlocks at level two begin to learn fragments of forbidden knowledge know as Eldritch Invocations. At this level you uncover two invocations and at higher levels you get more. Most invocations are available unless they have a prerequisite. For example, at level one,my character Sagan learnt the cantrip Eldritch Blast (p237). Eldritch Blast is a prerequisite for the Eldritch Invocation, Agonizing Blast (p110) which allows the Warlock to add its Charisma modifier to the damage it deals.
Mask of Many Faces
The Eldritch Invocation, Mask of Many Faces is essentially Disguise Self (p233).
However in this Warlock invocations the player can call upon the mask at will without using up a spell slot. Disguise self allows you to look like another humanoid creature of similar stature and build. Everything you are carrying and wearing also changed into your desired disguise. You are limited by about a foot taller or shorter in height and you must keep the same about of limbs. The disguise is more of an illusion and won’t hold up to physical scrutiny, so don’t get too close.
I think the best part of using this invocation is that you can call it whenever you want and it won’t use up the Warlock’s very limited spell slots.
Using Mask of Many Faces
I used Mask of Many Faces in my last campaign as part of my warlock character named Sagan. I used this three time through what was mostly a dungeon crawl. I didn’t expect to use this invocation so much, but my vision of my character’s relationship with its Otherworldly Patron (p108) was such that to keep my relationship with her, I had to convince young lads to bed my succubus mistress in exchange for the power she gave me. Using the Mask of Many Faces allowed me to carry out this task anonymously.
In the game, I used this invocation two times during encounters and one time towards the end of my character’s life to show the increasing power Sagan’s mistress, Silussa, had over him.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Shit! I can hear them coming. There are way too many of them for me to take out and our party is separated and our Rogue is currently hiding behind the table.
Stuff it, I think. If I slouch down in the chair and reduce myself down to my minimum disguise height, I should be able to bluff our way out.
I change instantly as two goblins burst through the door and see a slightly odd looking Goblin slouched in a chair, clearly drunk. The ‘drunk goblin’ hurls and empty cup at the wall in the hope to illustrate the source of the noise that drew these two goblins here. The two goblins mutter something to me in my goblin form. Bugger, I don’t speak goblin. How do I charisma drunk mumble? Nevermind, I just try. They get close and as I think they are about to leave, my Rogue companion throws a dart at one of them. So…ah…yeah. No point staying in disguise now.
Delivering a Message
My companions and I find a series of messages on the skeletal remains of a pair of hobgoblins. It just so happens that there is a company of hobgoblin mercenaries protecting the entrance to a place we need to access. The messages that we find suggest that the person who hired them may not be the best of character, even for a hobgoblin. The leader of the mercenaries must have sent these two – now skeleton – hobgoblins to the mercenaries guarding this place with this message.
I take the form of one of them and make it appear that I have a devastatingly gaping wound across my face making it impossible for me to speak. Then with the support of my Rogue companion in the shadows, I stagger down stairs to meet the hobgoblin crumpling on the stairs as if return to report a message on my last legs. Feebly I raise my my hand clasping the messages to the mercenaries.
They ask for the password. Seriously? Are their eyes painted on? Look at me! I splutter and gurgle incoherently as I inform my DM that I slowly lift my disfigured hobgoblin face towards the light for them to see.
One of them takes the message while the other one guards me.
A little time later, an elderly hobgoblin emerges and instructs one of them to pick me up. Bugger, my ruse is undone. When one of the hobgoblin guards reaches to pick me up he notice an odd discrepancy with what he perceives and what is physically there. He baulks, unsure. This gives me time to escape up the stairs, but not before my Rogue companion shoots one of them with a crossbow bolt (because that’s what he does, I guess).
Well, so much for a peaceful settlement.
A Fiend Takes Hold
My mistress has not fed in some time. She warned that there would be consequences of my disobedience. First, the humiliations would increase, then the madness would creep in. I know that she has a plan for me and a reason for me to be here but I don’t know what.
The first outward signs of things going awry is when one of our party transforms into a spider to reconnoiter the area ahead. In response, my fiendish mistress forces Mask of Many Faces upon me in the guise of a spider-man bodysuit. My staff now features a fluttering fag reading, ‘Go Spidey!’ I endure this humiliation until my spider companion returns and awkwardly thanks me.
Moments later, after an impressive monologue from a floating illusion of Kalarel, my mistress decides to dress me in a ram onesie thinking it an amusing way to meet the ram-headed god of the undead, Orcus.
This all provides a visual aid for the internal conflicts that my character is facing that my companions might not otherwise notice. It also provides a little humour to Sagan’s tragic end.
Note: All page numbers refer to the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook 5e.