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Disguises 'n imitation A common sense guide by Azheron
#1
Disguises: The way to hide yourself without hiding
Forewords
Yes. These petty things allow us to do a lot of things. For example, meta-game, hide from our arch nemesis, and what ever you would ever like to do, hidden. However, there are a lot of misconceptions, which I've seen being used. This is why, I wrote the guide. This guide will hopefully say, how do you create the perfect disguise, why/where would your disguise never work and what items are good for this.

Here we go!
[1.0] Recognizing
[1.1] Well, duh, I can't disguise then?
[1.2] Why would we even do it, then?
[1.3] The perfect disguise
[1.4] But I can just change my voice, right?

[1.0] Recognizing
First things first, how do you actually recognize? I mean, anyone. At all. Well, you don't note faces you haven't actually seen, that's for sure. But! When you talk to someone, your brain notes a few things.
  • - Your nose
    - Your bone-shape
    - Your eye shape
    - Your chin
    - Your forehead
    - Your cheeks
    - Your -ears-
    - Your voice
    - The way you stand
    - The way you act
    - The way you move
    - The way you cough or talk.
Every single one of these is written in your memory. After a few meetings, you'd be able to recognize the feller by the shape of his shoulders. Let's say, you see a friend IRL. You'll probably see him from far away. And even if the mate'd be wearing a mask and a hat, you'd -still- recognize him. Because of this event.

[1.1] Well, duh, I can't disguise then?

Wrong! You can disguise. But it'll be harder, if you've got to do it to talk to a friend/enemy from close-up. I'll be going into that later.

Disguises are hard. And they are used light headedly. First of all, all masks and face covers are forbidden in most cities and towns. Why? Because of the reason they're for. Also, what makes them even more difficult, is this. Have you ever tried breathing in a mask? It's horrible. Your breath generates humidity, which sticks on the mask, making it sticky, and finally cold and a hell of a thing to try and wear. This means, a mask should never be used full-time. Then again, as I said in the beginning, a simple mask wouldn't do a thing. A mask with a hat, maybe, but that's hard to try and do in CotH, so you'd have to have this. [item]Shadowcraft Cap[/item]

That helmet would cover your face pretty nicely, at least if you mention that it fully covers your head. This is one of the items, that are good for disguising.

[1.2] Why would we even do it, then?

Well. Disguising can be a good method to stay hidden. When used correctly.

Plus sides
+ Disguising well can cover your face, rendering you unrecognizable
Minus sides
- Most disguises that do this, actually stiffen your movement and make it harder to breathe and move.
- It costs a lot of money, and mostly isn't effective enough.
- It isn't allowed in cities

Ehh. All of these are what I've said, but I shortened it up a bit. Well, darn. It is damn impossible to disguise 100% Unrecognizably. Or is it?
Well let's see!

[1.3] The perfect disguise
There would be a perfect disguise in existence. There -is-. Firstly, you pick a costume, that'll allow you to hide everything you have. All skin. All of your face. Well, a mask that'll do this, is here [item]51252[/item] Or this [item]45523[/item]. Well, there's loads of these! But they are disgusting, mostly. And the other one makes you look like a retard, but who cares. You're trying to disguise yourself, not trying to be fab. Well, after that, you'll need to make a costy enchant on the helmet to distort your voice. Why? See the imitations-thing.

This would be from a mage, and it costs a heckload of money. After that, you'll need something to cover up your shoulders, something with a lot of toppings. -Then- you'll need to wear high heel shoes, to get some length. You could also say that your arm's been cut off.

And by now, you'll look like a robot. But at least no one'll recognize you! Even your friends. Though, you'll need some practising in hiding your normal emotes, as in, you will need to be another person. You'll have to change your walking style and the length of your words.

[1.4] But I can just change my voice, right?
Wrong. Your voice is a trait in where your eyes are, and basically impossible to cover up. You would need years of practise in imitating to disguise the basic sound in your voice. Years. And if someone knows you better than a stranger, it's even harder to imitate an accent or another voice perfectly. It's so damn difficult to cover up that basic sound, that you shouldn't even try if you haven't trained, as I said.

Oh come on, I'll just change my hairstyle and never talk and stay real shady!

Oh dear god. No. You won't. At this point, let's look down and see our dear Piroskas comment. Once you -try- to look shady, you'll be noted even more. And changing your hairstyle doesn't really change anything.

What have we learned so far? Disguising is a very temporary method to stay hidden. And a pretty bad one.

So! If you truly want to stay hidden, never talk to anyone or get any friends!

Uhh. This is quite ready now, but I'm not sure of all the 'facts' I said, so I'd like some of that sweet feedback. Did I do something/everything wrong? Did I fail horribly? Should I stop living? Anything goes! Just, your thoughts 's all.
Azheron's back in business. For reals.
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#2
You should most definately stop living!

Spoiler:
Kidding!

Looks great in my opinion! Good work!
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#3
I love how, in addition to physical characteristics that a person has, you also mentioned that we tend to recognize them by their physical traits. How does someone normally walk? Does he walk up straight? Does he hunch his shoulders? Is he walking proudly or trying to remain inconspicuous?

The way that people conduct themselves can be as good a disguise as changing their clothes or donning a mask. If someone recently committed a crime, what type of person do you think the guards are going to be immediately looking for: someone who is running away or perhaps looking furtively around? Unless they have a good physical description, their eyes might look right over someone who is engaged in pleasant conversation with a vendor or trying to help the guards. This is because people expect a criminal to act a certain way, while regular people don't necessarily have those same characteristics.

Anyone who looks outside of the norms or fails to conform to a certain expectation is going to be noticed by the viewer. Someone clearly in a disguise is going to get further scrutiny. Someone who wears an outfit that covers every inch of exposed skin is probably going to mark himself as a potential criminal, even if the intent was be hidden. Why? Because he's conspicuous. He stands out. He's looking different from other people's expectations of that area.

The best disguise is blending in with the surrounding area. Cater to people's expectations and prejudices. Any time you act outside of the norm, you potentially bring further attention to yourself. Even while interacting with other people, the way that you speak or the topics you discuss or the knowledge that you possess can gives cues that people can pick up.

Example? Suppose a gnome rogue decides to pose as a mage in Stormwind (in this situation, she also posed as a male). She has a heist that she's going to pull, but doesn't want to bring scrutiny to herself because she's had run-ins with the law in the past; like most criminals, she doesn't want to be caught. If she strolled into Stormwind and started talking about different fighting styles or was lurking in the shadows, she would probably bring attention to herself. However, if she bumbled around, maybe bumped into a guard, and then had to ask a handful of guards for directions, she would probably bring less attention to herself. Why? Because she's living up to the stereotypes most people assume of male gnome mages: they're absent-minded, because they're so focused on heady magical concepts. And, having actively sought a guard for directions actually might help her since no one would expect a thief or assassin to willingly engage in conversation with a representative of the local law.
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#4
Most disguises are usually a temporary means of concealing who you are. Temporary, meaning only a few minutes. I remember, this guy trying to sneak into Sin's bar... soley by changing his voice and hairstyle... over, and over, and over again. Mind you, he was a Gnome, so Sin's current influx of Gnome patrons -sort of- clued him in to who this dude was.

The player cried foul play over me saying "Sin's not -that- stupid, c'mon now."
[Image: desc_head_freemasons.jpg]

△Move along.△


△△
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#5
Piroska Wrote:I love how, in addition to physical characteristics that a person has, you also mentioned that we tend to recognize them by their physical traits. How does someone normally walk? Does he walk up straight? Does he hunch his shoulders? Is he walking proudly or trying to remain inconspicuous?

The way that people conduct themselves can be as good a disguise as changing their clothes or donning a mask. If someone recently committed a crime, what type of person do you think the guards are going to be immediately looking for: someone who is running away or perhaps looking furtively around? Unless they have a good physical description, their eyes might look right over someone who is engaged in pleasant conversation with a vendor or trying to help the guards. This is because people expect a criminal to act a certain way, while regular people don't necessarily have those same characteristics.

Anyone who looks outside of the norms or fails to conform to a certain expectation is going to be noticed by the viewer. Someone clearly in a disguise is going to get further scrutiny. Someone who wears an outfit that covers every inch of exposed skin is probably going to mark himself as a potential criminal, even if the intent was be hidden. Why? Because he's conspicuous. He stands out. He's looking different from other people's expectations of that area.

The best disguise is blending in with the surrounding area. Cater to people's expectations and prejudices. Any time you act outside of the norm, you potentially bring further attention to yourself. Even while interacting with other people, the way that you speak or the topics you discuss or the knowledge that you possess can gives cues that people can pick up.

Example? Suppose a gnome rogue decides to pose as a mage in Stormwind (in this situation, she also posed as a male). She has a heist that she's going to pull, but doesn't want to bring scrutiny to herself because she's had run-ins with the law in the past; like most criminals, she doesn't want to be caught. If she strolled into Stormwind and started talking about different fighting styles or was lurking in the shadows, she would probably bring attention to herself. However, if she bumbled around, maybe bumped into a guard, and then had to ask a handful of guards for directions, she would probably bring less attention to herself. Why? Because she's living up to the stereotypes most people assume of male gnome mages: they're absent-minded, because they're so focused on heady magical concepts. And, having actively sought a guard for directions actually might help her since no one would expect a thief or assassin to willingly engage in conversation with a representative of the local law.

... This. Yes.

@Rensin Ayup. That's the reason I wrote this thin'. ... To note people that changing their hairstyles and trying to do things with their voice doesn't actually help that much.


pletious Wrote:You should most definately stop living!
... QQ I am planning on it, NOW!

*Stops*
Azheron's back in business. For reals.
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#6
I'd like to clear the myth about masks up. As a test of faith I've gone a whole day, almost two, wearing a ceremonial bit of headware and fasted. After one or two hours of wearing the full-face cover I actually stopped noticing it entirely and it was only when I went to scratch my face that I felt it and remembered I was wearing something on my head. The damp feeling is there for the first thirty minutes to an hour, and it is very uncomfortable at first, but after you push through it, it shouldn't be a problem at all. HOWEVER it should be noted that masks like this are OUTLAWED in almost all cities, and this would be an effective disguise outside of cilization, but then people themselves would feel super uneasy about you anyways, making it a poor choice. Oh, also the worst thing about it was the heat. They get hot.

Another thing you should note is that the voice change thing. Yes, you can not logically change your voice enough to sound like a real voice, but it IS possible to make voices that are obviously masked and faked. Which, once again, ruins disguises.

Edit: Took a picture of me with the headgear I was talking about
Spoiler:
[Image: 351ftlh.jpg]
This was a real rough-tie and a weird angle. One eye is not actually covered.
☃ This is my snowman. He's there to remind me how much I hate the snow.
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#7
Well, I actually tried it too. For me, it dampened in 10-15 minutes, and after 20? It was unwearable and I was unable to breathe. I don't have a picture now, and I don't think you are actually wrong, but I'd say it's about the material. I didn't actually wear it in the same purpose though.

So, conclusion, if it's a thick mask, then it gets damp. If it breathes, then not.

I'm not sure though. Anyone else got an opinion on this?
Azheron's back in business. For reals.
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#8
There's a term you sometimes hear that applies to this discussion: breathable fabrics. Essentially, when you sweat some types of fabrics absorb that moisture and causes it to stick to the skin, thereby preventing the evaporation process. Breathable fabrics are special fabrics that draw this moisture from the skin and to the surface of the fabric, thereby allowing it to evaporate. This can be done by treating the cloth or with special weaves.

From Wikipedia's waterproof fabric article:

Quote:Waterproof/breathable fabrics resist water droplets from passing through while at the same time allowing water vapour through. Their ability to block out rain and snow while allowing vapour from sweat to evaporate lends to their use in outdoor sports clothing and single wall tents.

[...]

Fabric construction which directs water away from the body can be used to keep the wearer dry, rather than membranes, coatings or laminates. This means that perspiration can be moved away from the body more effectively as both liquid water and water vapour can be directed. These are Directional like Nikwax Analogy or FurTech fabrics, which are also breathable in the conventional sense (although these examples are actually a combination of two different fabrics, a directional "pump" layer underneath a distinct windproof and water resistant outer layer, and while effectively completely waterproof against rain they would fail a strict hydrostatic head test as given in the definition above).
I'd also think that different types of fabrics would also affect whether or not a fabric is breathable. Think of wearing, saying, a cotton mask in a thin weave and then one of heavy canvas. One is probably more likely to retain more perspiration than others, thereby being a bit more suitable to the task.

So, why are we all able to provide examples? Because some of us have worn breathable fabrics while wearing some sort of a mask and some of us haven't.
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#9
Azheron Wrote:Well, I actually tried it too. For me, it dampened in 10-15 minutes, and after 20? It was unwearable and I was unable to breathe. I don't have a picture now, and I don't think you are actually wrong, but I'd say it's about the material. I didn't actually wear it in the same purpose though.

So, conclusion, if it's a thick mask, then it gets damp. If it breathes, then not.

I'm not sure though. Anyone else got an opinion on this?

The fabric is roughly .5 inches thick (including how thick it is from folding) around the mouth and very tight, and I think it is either wool or cotton since traditionally it is that material. I would like to see a representation of how it was worn, because if it isn't folded properly then it is rended 100% ineffective.
☃ This is my snowman. He's there to remind me how much I hate the snow.
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#10
Heh. Sorry, 't was a long time ago, and I ain't got the thing anymore.
Azheron's back in business. For reals.
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#11
I used to play LARP when I was younger with my friends and we had these black masks on(like the Red Defias Mask, just black) - I swear, we had to take them off all the time even though it was a silk mask. Not only because its hard breathing through it, but it also irritates your nose and the most of your face.
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#12
Darn. This is hard to decide.

I guess it really has things to do with the composition of the mask.

So, feel free to use it as you like for now.
Azheron's back in business. For reals.
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#13
I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect disguise. I mean, look at it this way. A perfect disguise would mean that noone would be able to find you out, AND noone would be suspicious of you. If you were walking around with your entire head wrapped, while wrapped from head to toe in robes, I'd say it's a safe bet people would look at you wierd.

Not trying to step on any GM's toes here, but from what I've seen here at CoTH there is -no- perfect disguise, mostly due to the fact that everything can be detected at some point, which really makes a lot of sense.

To me, the perfect disguise is when you are the same race, noone knows who you are to begin with, and your intentions are completely masked by a false persona that your character has adopted. However, I don't see anyone with the incentive or reasons to do this, as most that attempt to disguise themselves aren't wanted in that area for one reason or another.
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#14
I think I mentioned it a few times or so.

Yeah, there is no perfect disguise.

Of course, going in to a cave in a forest with your head wrapped would mean no one would recognize you.

But I doubt anyone would.
Azheron's back in business. For reals.
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#15
If anyone gets suspicious you could always lie and say your face was horribly disfigured, couldn't you? Although I don't know what they'd think of that.
[Image: Ml7sNnX.gif]
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