The Masquer skill works best for those with the imagination to utilize its very wide spectrum of effects. The fine and subtle art of the Masquer provides the character with the knowledge of constructing disguises or “masquerades” both simple and complex, from the application of simple cosmetics after the fashion of a Courtier’s Cosmetics skill to the more intricate and detailed tasks of making of various appliances to truly make a serious change to the apparent structure of the body as a part of the masquerade.
With the Masquer skill a character can accomplish anything and everything that a Courtier can do with Cosmetics, including the effect on the recipient’s BTY. It is very important that the player whose character is equipped with the Masquer skill also read the Cosmetics skill description so he understands that aspect of the Masquer’s knowledge and ability.
Sometimes less is more.
DV’s for applying the cosmetic aspects of Masques is based on the change in apparent BTY score, and the other aspects that might also be changed cosmetically, as discussed in the GM’s Notes under that skill description.
Cosmetics are but a small part of the true Masquer’s knowledge and abilities, however. The knowledge and skill more central to the Masquer’s craft involves the blending of all sorts of different types of make-up with various props and costumes, which may require the character to construct all sorts of appliances, such as wigs and special hair pieces to represent many different styles and types of hair, or lack of hair, including facial hair – beards, mustaches, and/or combinations in any style desired, also appliances to provide a straight, even and fairly white smile in its absence, or to make the recipient appear snaggle-toothed, or black out a tooth or two so they appear to be missing, or create an appliance to make it look as if they are mostly or all gone.
This is the meat of the Masquer’s craft.
The Masquer can get even more elaborate with appliances, plumping out curves with padding and structural support to make them seem greater, or binding them to make them seem less round, altering the apparent configuration of the body by means of frames and binding to even emulate a hump or hunched back, make the recipient appear crippled or afflicted in some manner, or simply change the apparent structure of the recipient – changing his apparent height, to a maximum reduction of roughly 4in’s and maximum addition of about 8in’s., his weight, and even Build, if desired, which may only be increased by one (1) category, from Light to Medium-Light, or Medium to Medium-Heavy, etc.), never decreased.
The race, sex, social class, station and personality arch-type for this disguise must first be established for it to be fully effective and believable. The Masquer must develop a persona like a Player, from whose trade this skill is derived. This skill provides only the ability to design and execute convincing physical disguises, changing only the character’s appearance.
The DV to design and construct any Masquerade is based on the changes wrought :
2 per 1/2 inch change in height, to a maximum reduction of roughly 4in’s and maximum addition of about 8in’s.
10 per change in category of Build, which may only be increased (from Light to Medium-Light, or Medium to Medium-Heavy, etc.), never decreased
1 per 5 pounds reduction in apparent weight, or per 10 pounds in addition to apparent weight.
5 per increase in apparent category of age (as per NPC’s, see Chapter 3. of Part I.), while never turning the clock back beyond Adolescent for an Adult, or beyond Adult for those who are older, and the same again if attempting to appear as a member of the opposite sex.
The player must make the d100 check for the execution, using a mirror or his own judgement and especially the casual observations of passersby and strangers to determine the success of the work. Once successful, the DV for that check will stand as the DV for others to see through it.
To the casual passerby or observers coming no closer than (observer’s AWA) feet, the character’s disguise may stand without a check.
For those coming closer than (observer’s AWA) feet that don’t seek to engage the character in conversation, a general check must be made for all, indicating the general success of the effort.
For this check the character’s Masquer skill provides one half of a Contested Roll, like the Conceal skill, due to the similarly passive nature of the character’s efforts in this case.
Every time the character wearing a masquerade after it has proved to be a success, the character’s appearance is accepted more, taken for granted more and more (unless the character has changed to a different disguise in between sightings).
Only in situations where the character in Masquerade directly encounters another person at close quarters (c. arm’s length, elbow-to-elbow in a crowd, etc., GM’s discretion) is there any serious danger the ruse might be pierced, requiring a check on d100 using the Masquer’s AV normally to overcome a DV determined by the observer’s AWA or Sentry Perception skill in order to convince him.
If those at close quarters seek to interact with the character on the basis of his appearance and the character wishes to continue the ruse by responding in a manner appropriate to the Masquerade, the focus then shifts immediately to the character’s Player Presence skill and his natural CHM and the persona developed for the masquerade.
Observers piercing the character’s disguise or false persona ruse won’t necessarily be able to determine the true appearance or true identity of the wearer.
IF the result of the d100 AWA (Sentry/Perception) Contested Roll is successful, the observer pierces the ruse and realizes that the character’s appearance is false.
IF the observer has met the character in another guise before and has successfully made the Sentry/AWA check on a previous occasion, when he meets the character in disguise again, he is allowed another AWA (Sentry/Perception) check, this time to determine if he can also deduce the fact that he has met the character before, (though not necessarily where).
It takes no less than three encounters with the disguise and three successful Sentry/AWA Contested Rolls on d100 for an observer to deduce not only the fact that he has met the character before, but the character’s true identity (if he knows him this way), or the identity in which he has met him previously (as applicable).
When the Masquerade is combined with a persona for the purposes of interacting with people directly and fooling them the AV is used normally, the PC requiring a Contested Player Roll on d100 vs. the audience’s Sentry/AWA to convince his audience.
The personality accompanying a disguise can be very important, especially if one is attempting to portray some type of character who should be either more or less charming than one’s self.
This skill may also be used to enable the character to impersonate another. When involved in an impersonation the same rules for deterioration when applied to others described under the Cosmetics skill applies to the disguise, but when facing those who are familiar with the person being impersonated the chances of the ruse being pierced is much greater.
This skill does nothing towards helping the character create nor carry off a convincing persona and voice to enable him to interact with others in a convincing manner, especially when the Masquerade chosen changes his apparent social class, as well. To make personas and convincing backgrounds to enable the character to interact with others of a different social class requires Social Graces skills, good Language skills, perhaps an education, and the Silver Tongue and Player Presence skills for a convincing air of sincerity.
To avail himself of this skill, the character must have the proper tools and supplies, a cosmetics kit for tinting and shading or changing completely the recipient’s skin texture, coloration, and general appearance for each disguise (as applicable to the design/intent).
BUT this kit does not include the materials for creating appliances for altering apparent height, weight, size, or configuration.
The character must pay 1d. per inch of change in height for the appropriate appliances, and 1hp. per 10 pounds of added weight or 5lb’s of apparent reduction in weight, roughly 2d. to change sex (minus 1fg. each for halfelf, irdanni, and elf, in descending order, or plus 1fg. each for dunlad, dwarf, halfogre, and halftroll, in ascending order), and 1fg. per point of difference in (modified) STA when the subject’s Build is being modified.
IF the character is a Smith of any kind, he may save 35% off of the total cost for constructing any Masque in regards to the appliances for changing the body-shape, as set forth in the paragraph above.
IF the character is also a tailor/seamstress Craftsman he can act as his own costumier and save the manufacturing costs and the merchants’ mark-up by making costumes himself – that is, if he cannot find clothes belonging to another of the size intended for the Masquerade to borrow them from, or a huxter from whom to buy the same.
When the character is creating a disguise based upon another culture, the he must have the corresponding Foreign Culture skill for that nationality. In working within another culture’s standards, the effective SL the character is allowed to exercise is limited to no greater than the applicable Foreign Cultures SL.
The duration of each application of common cosmetics is (AGL + Masquer SL) hours. For more dyes, the duration is (Masquer AV) days.
When practiced upon others, the Masquerade has but a limited duration, deteriorating with time unless the creator OR someone who possess’ the skill accompanies the recipient to patch up the work.
One (1) level of the disguise’s effective SL for the purposes of interacting with the public is lost after (Masquer SL) mileways have passed because the integrity slowly becomes compromised from slippage and shifting due to wear. This can be halted if a character of equal or greater SL is allowed an opportunity to patch the recipient up.
IF not repaired, the recipient continues to lose 1 effective SL from the effect of the masquerade after every (Masquer SL) mileways until the recipient’s natural appearance emerges (the effective SL of the disguise is reduced to zero) or he is rescued and his appearance repaired.
IF the character with the Masquer skill is working on himself, a small mirror and the salient parts of his kit used to create the disguise currently worn (which should fit in an average-sized purse) will enable him to step aside every so often to straighten, freshen, and maintain his appearance so he need have no fear that his appearance is becoming compromised except by physical misadventure.
The character must have some sort of decent, sizeable mirror or other similar good quality reflective surface in which to examine the state of his work, in order to exercise this skill upon himself.
The more extreme examples of the Masquer’s work can be very physically taxing to wear. The DV for constructing the Masquerade will dictate the number of points of WND the wearer must pay per mileway to wear it and make it live and breathe for those who encounter him. This is in addition to any WND cost for the false airs or persona required of the use of the Player skill when combined with the Masquerade.
Once a masquerade (disguise) has been fabricated, specifically one that requires appliances to effect, the appliance(s) involved in executing it remain after its use to be re-used again, if desired – even if it has to be re-tooled to fit a recipient of another size (different STA and/or Build).
The DV provided by this skill is equal to the character’s SL, with an att. mod. based upon the character’s CHM and CRD. This DV is reduced by 1 for every point of difference in CHM and BTY portrayed and that possessed by the person whom he is impersonating.
IF the character is a member of the Assassin trade, he is granted a bonus to his Masquer AV based on his trade SL.
GM’s Notes: Since this skill provides a DV, the GM must use AWA (Perception) checks for the purpose of determining a Masque’s effectiveness. Distance is a friend to those in Masques, as are fog and dust clouds which further obscure the nature of the ruse.
The time required to apply the cosmetic aspect of the Masque is the same quoted under the Cosmetics skill.
Creating a costume for a Masque is governed specifically by the Tailor/Seamstress aspect of the Craftsman trade (see Appendix B.), and the construction of an appliance to change apparent body structure in any way will have a DV equal to the amount of physical change it is to create, and will require a separate d100 check to construct, which will require (Masque DV) hours to complete.
For actually getting into the Masquerade once it is complete (costume and appliance, not make-up) is equal to the original DV for creating the Masque, in minutes, and is compounded for every aspect of appearance that is altered – complexion, hair color, race, and sex; so that it would take a character four times the base time requirement if his disguise involved altering all four of these facets.