Chameleon is an effect from the school of Illusion. It allows the user to partially blend in with their surroundings until the spell expires. The Hero can still interact with anything for the duration of the effect, unlike with invisibility. Magnitude ranges from 1–100%, with 100% providing complete undetectability.
- Columbine Root Pulp
- Daedra Silk
- Elytra Ichor SI
- Grummite Egg Mound SI
- Grummite Egg Sac SI
- Grummite Eggs SI
- Root Stalk
- St. Jahn's Wort Nectar
- Wisp Core
The maximum magnitude of chameleon that can be enchanted on a single item depends on the size of the soul used and the Illusion skill and Intelligence. 20% is the maximum that can be enchanted on one item without any boosts. Up to 30% can be achieved by using a Sigil Stone obtained from an Oblivion Gate.
At high levels, rings can be found with chameleon enchantments of up to 30%.
Chameleon's spell effect decreases the chance that the user will be detected. Even with very high magnitudes, the user will easily be detected if not sneaking, so it is primarily useful to enhance sneaking beyond what the Hero's skill level provides. Getting a total chameleon effect of 100% or greater will grant total invisibility, which works even when not sneaking (with limited exceptions; see below).
A powerful exploit is to enchant several pieces of equipment to provide a cumulative 100% chameleon effect. When equipped, this will make the Hero undetectable to nearly everything. Stealing or trespassing can be done almost with impunity.
When attacked by an invisible foe, most NPCs will either run to the nearest guard or ignore it and stand still. On occasion, they will draw their weapons or move towards the attacker, but they won't attack. Likewise, attacking people in public will no longer draw attention from guards. However, attacking a guard will earn an automatic bounty. When in a Plane of Oblivion, Dremora soldiers can be pickpocketed without being detected. Even if the Dremora "catches" the Hero, they will ignore them, and can be repeatedly pickpocketed for all of their items. 100% Chameleon will not prevent the Hero from talking to characters normally, and characters who are scripted to walk up to the Hero and initiate conversation will still do so. However, they will remain unaware of the Hero both before and after the conversation (for example, Highwaymen may still try to shake the Hero down on the road, but will not initiate combat afterward).
There are some circumstances where the Hero can be detected. Although pickpocketing ability is greatly enhanced, failure is still possible. If a non-Dremora character catches the Hero pickpocketing, they will detect them despite chameleon, and the Hero will remain detected until they leave the area, remove the armor, wait a few hours, and replace it. Talking to the guards with an outstanding bounty will prompt them to attack, and they will also be able to see through the chameleon until the Hero hides, and removes and replaces the armor. When trespassing, some characters can still detect the Hero and request them to leave. After a time, the trespass will become a crime and a bounty will be added, followed by a guard initiating conversation to collect the fine. However, refusing to pay will not make the guard aggressive as he cannot see through the disguise and the Hero will be free to leave (though the bounty will remain).
Using this exploit is not the same as invisibility. Traps will still affect the Hero; most notably, the fire shooting traps in a Plane of Oblivion will still track them and fire at them. However, since traps don't move, and can usually be avoided or disarmed, an observant Hero should have no difficulty defeating most challenges, and should be able to do so much more quickly than without the chameleon effect.