Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A&A School of Magic Illusion


This impeccable picture fits almost all these spells
Conceptually illusionist are one of my top favorite classes.  When it comes to playing one, or even worse running one, I find them very worrisome.  Illusions have the unchecked power of imagination.  Most standard illusion spells are pretty free form and can do or create almost anything.  The limiting factors are how far the DM is willing to let you go and any constraints (if any) imposed in the spell description.  Rather than add some more freeform "it's your problem DM" spells I decided to keep things in line with the rest of my design ethos.  Spells are for niche areas or very specific effects based on their name.  Below you'll find a number of illusions, glamours, nightmares and phantasms to stoke the imagination without giving your DM a headache.

  • The Atypical Ostentatious Wardrobe
    • A classic trickster's spell, the gullible target is convinced they are wearing the most expensive and tasteful of Lumiere fashion where in reality they are wearing a gaudy and unsightly piece, or in some excruciatingly oblivious circumstances they are reenacting the emperors new clothes.
      • Some Avant Garde Adventurers have repurposed this spell to clad themselves in the most grossly incandescent garments the spell will allow providing glittering illumination for nearby surroundings.
  • Charm of the Sudden Raucous Jest
    • The caster causes a noisy bit of guffawing and laughter to accompany his joke or jab regardless of value.  The noise emanates from within the nearest crowd making it difficult for those inside or outside to determine who started the laughter.  If the spell backfires then the laughter is instead directed at the caster rather than his intended victim.
  • Trew’s Chimerical Augury
    • This spell gives the caster the ear of whatever higher power will listen. They may ask if their current course of action is as ludicrous as it may seem or if there is some small hope in the harebrained scheme that can exist only as the product of untold imagination. 
  • Conspicuous Chameleon                                               Save Discovers: Instinct
    • Hiding in plain sight the caster assumes the form of some manner of dungeon dressing.  Barrels, crates, sacks, statues, coffins, shrubbery, oddly shaped boulders, or anything your imagination comes up with that is agreeable with the Game Maestro.  Denizens of the dungeon familiar with its layout may find the new scenery peculiar and can easily suss out an interloper.  All others must figure out for themselves with the likes of 10ft poles or the caster's unpleasant allergy to troglodytes and purple pigs.
  • Disgruntled Decoy                                                        Save Discovers: Instinct
    • This illusion gives the intended target the appearance of someone else's quarry (often the caster's own image!). Imagine their surprise when it turns out their appearance is
      • a) Rabbit-Jack the most hated enemy of lazy dog-men
      • b) the escaping crown prince with the misled invaders hot on their heels
      • c) T-Rex Chow
      • d) a tree hugging druid in the midst of the arcane academy
      • e) something else suitably enraging for onlookers. 
    • To make matters worse the more the disgruntled target protests the mix-up the more their pursuers believe they are in fact the real deal increasing the DL of the Saving Throw by 3. Only by performing the opposite and acting as if they are the real incarnation will those among the witch hunt realize they have made a terrible mistake. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
  • The Impotent Capricious Phantom                               Save Ignores: Instinct
    • An invisible voice of authority often posing as a gatekeeper or evil spirit haunting a treasure trove. The phantom is quite convincing in its stated purpose although its requirement for safe passage changes as easily as the wind. When confronted about the constant inconsistencies the phantom promises certain doom which it cannot deliver. The phantom can do nothing at all besides stall for time and ward away those who believe their spurious tales.
  • Phantasmal Afterimage                                                 Save Deduces: Instinct / Discipline
    • An afterimage of the caster appears whenever they move to a new location.  The phantasm performs the same action you did last round whether it be striking or spell slinging.  Determining which is the real one requires an attention for detail and a cool head most do not keep in the throes of a struggle.
  • Secret Base                                                                   Suspicion arouses Save: Instinct
    • A labyrinth accessed through the narcissistic eye of a volcano or a secret bunker beneath a polar cap. Replete with scores of henchman in matching jumpsuits or a perfectly articulate robot-butler.  This spell creates the perfect well-stocked lair for a hero or villain. Unfortunately it's all fake. The more your mark begins to probe and the more you oversell the more this glamour begins to fall apart and reveal itself as the hole in the wall that it is.
      • Actually successful adventurers use this spell to hide their real secret base as a hole in the wall.
    • Why do there always seem to be fireworks stashed in these places?

  • Impromptu Mirrored Maze                                           Save Escapes: Instinct
    • The target(s) of this funhouse finds themselves beset on all sides by a multitude of mirrors placed haphazardly on all walls, floors and ceilings regardless of their surroundings. There are two ways out of the maze.  One is to kill the caster, the other is to break through the right mirror. There are 6 mirrors for every target trapped within the maze (excluding the caster) one of every six offers escape but only once. 
    • The caster's image is reflected amongst numerous mirrors and any attempts to attack him must first be prefixed with a non-standard d6 roll. A result of 1 finds freedom, a result of 2-5 breaks a mirror freeing a simulacrum and a result of 6 is accurately directed at the caster. From the shattered pieces of the four of every six incorrect mirrors form a hostile simulacrum of the attacker with identical (but illusory) gear and abilities.
  • Gateaux’s Unknown Horrors                                      Save Mitigates: Discipline every round
    • This nightmare afflicts the target with prosopagnosia.  Amidst the sea of blank faces their mind continues its treacherous tour where once lay architectural beauty is instead replaced with the horrid visage of deplorable beasts, monsters begin populating every shadow and whispering madness can be heard from every corner of the idle mind.  Most do not last long.
  • Edgar’s All-Encompassing Mirage                              Suspicion arouses Save: Instinct
    • Bend enough light waves and you can show the target anything they desire. The illusionist is able to create a fantastic mirage of any location or scene. Temporarily restoring ancient ruins to their once pristine glory, returning the sun to the darkened palace of the gods, making a dormant volcano seem active or that a dragon's lair is falsely uninhabited and ripe for the plundering. The mirage is as intricate as it needs to be but the illusionist must knows their target audience lest the illusion fall apart due to a wrong coloring, placement or inaccurate number amidst the finer details. Fortunately, any mirage far enough away is believable enough to draw in most fools.

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