PDA

View Full Version : Common Illusion Mistake



Lysander
2010-03-13, 03:39 PM
A common error I see brought up with visual illusions is that they only allow a will save if you interact with them. People assume this means that unless you touch an illusion you automatically believe its real.

Giant pink elephant ballerina in a tutu? Unless they touch it the enemy has to believe its real, so the theory goes.

But the srd actually says this about illusions:


Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief)

Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.

A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline.

A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. A character faced with proof that an illusion isnít real needs no saving throw. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.

The more you know. So a preposterous enough illusion should itself be proof its an illusion.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2010-03-13, 03:42 PM
Then again, given what mages can do, I don't think there's much that qualifies. Maybe the elephant ballerina, but really, maybe not.

onthetown
2010-03-13, 03:44 PM
It's hard to define what's preposterous and what's not with a fantasy game. I would also say that a giant elephant in a pink tutu is unrealistic; but, given some of the monsters lying around, that might actually be believeable. :smalltongue:

Superglucose
2010-03-13, 03:44 PM
Yeah but some of the most common uses of illusions are "Wow! Where did this wall come from?" which is a perfectly reasonable thing to happen (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/wallofStone.htm), and besides this rule nerfs illusion vs casters but not melee so it is probably best to disregard it ("Hmmmm... I wonder where that wall came from after he cast a Silent Image spell?")

Gametime
2010-03-13, 03:44 PM
The more you know. So a preposterous enough illusion should itself be proof its an illusion.

Technically, knowing that something is highly improbable is not "proof" that it is not real. Proof is a very specific concept, and in a world as crazy as D&D there is no substantial evidence that elephants in tutus couldn't be summoned from the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Dance.

(That said, yes, a suspicious enough illusion should generally warrant a saving throw upon viewing.)

Lysander
2010-03-13, 03:54 PM
Summoning a wall or monster isn't preposterous since there are many spells that summon walls and monsters, so something like that would not automatically fail. But you have to assume that an enemy will examine a creature or object you magically created in front of them, which gives them a will save under the "study it carefully" rule. That's why you're better off casting illusions when an enemy can't see it appear from nowhere.

Eldan
2010-03-13, 04:40 PM
The elephant in a tutu isn't really out there after the winged gay pride wolf, or the tree stump with a bunny glued to it.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-13, 04:42 PM
So what have we learned?
We learned Fighting a Truenamer, CW Samurai, or Soulknife needs no will save. They are too preposterous to be true.

mr.fizzypop
2010-03-13, 04:43 PM
The elephant in a tutu isn't really out there after the winged gay pride wolf, or the tree stump with a bunny glued to it.

Or the infamous "Duck Bunny" and "Monkey Bees."

Harperfan7
2010-03-13, 05:42 PM
Just seeing a silent image allows a will save to disbelieve it.

Thats why you have spells like illusory wall. Why would there be a higher level spell that does the same thing as silent image? Because an illusory wall looks completely real, you only get a save if you interact with it non visually (like touching it or throwing a rock at it).

Starbuck_II
2010-03-13, 05:44 PM
Just seeing a silent image allows a will save to disbelieve it.

Thats why you have spells like illusory wall. Why would there be a higher level spell that does the same thing as silent image? Because an illusory wall looks completely real, you only get a save if you interact with it non visually (like touching it or throwing a rock at it).

However, if they fail save, it funny that they lean on thin air (thinking wall is there) and don't fall through.

Draxar
2010-03-13, 06:01 PM
http://i41.tinypic.com/ive4jq.jpg

Doesn't have a tutu, but the smaller form is a small or tiny shiny gold elephant with dragonfly/faerie wings

Harperfan7
2010-03-13, 06:06 PM
However, if they fail save, it funny that they lean on thin air (thinking wall is there) and don't fall through.

I love how the books fail to mention things like this.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-13, 06:41 PM
So what happens if you create illusionary chains around a flying creatures wings? If the creature fails it's save will it plummet to the ground, thinking it cannot flap it's wings?

PersonMan
2010-03-13, 07:12 PM
So what happens if you create illusionary chains around a flying creatures wings? If the creature fails it's save will it plummet to the ground, thinking it cannot flap it's wings?

Probably. If you absolutely believe something, you'll probably block yourself from doing something impossible.

Like if we could suddenly grow extra eyes but thought it 100% impossible, we might only find ignorant/very young people capable of doing so-since we block the ability.

Godskook
2010-03-13, 07:19 PM
So what happens if you create illusionary chains around a flying creatures wings? If the creature fails it's save will it plummet to the ground, thinking it cannot flap it's wings?

It'll fly just fine. Typically, the first reaction to being constrained is to resist, and failed save or no, illusionary chains can't provide resistance, so you'd be presented with immediate proof that the chains don't inhibit your capability to fly. Its up to the DM/Players involved to determine if that means that 'proof' of the illusion has been supplied, but that's immaterial, since the intended effect has been wasted.

The Dark Fiddler
2010-03-13, 07:25 PM
Illusions always make me think of the placebo affect, which makes me think of a discussion I had with my friend discussing a bard who use illusion spells and monster bluff checks to make his opponents think he cast spells like Finger of Death.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-13, 07:28 PM
So what happens if you create illusionary chains around a flying creatures wings? If the creature fails it's save will it plummet to the ground, thinking it cannot flap it's wings?
I'd say:
It would fall the 2st round if it failed save, but as soon as it struggles against the chains (2nd round minimum): it would fly (since they don't really chain impede).

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-13, 07:38 PM
Hmm, so what about using silent image to create pitch blackness? What if you put it around a creature's head? The text says you can move the image, so the creature would be blinded on a failed will save, and you could do it 4+level creatures.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-13, 07:42 PM
Hmm, so what about using silent image to create pitch blackness? What if you put it around a creature's head? The text says you can move the image, so the creature would be blinded on a failed will save, and you could do it 4+level creatures.

Nope. You can't block vision with it in that way. You can't make darkness (not even Core magicf does that). You could make a haze (make seeing difficult), but making lighted area dark is making something something else.


A figment spell creates a false sensation. Those who perceive the figment perceive the same thing, not their own slightly different versions of the figment. (It is not a personalized mental impression.) Figments cannot make something seem to be something else. A figment that includes audible effects cannot duplicate intelligible speech unless the spell description specifically says it can. If intelligible speech is possible, it must be in a language you can speak. If you try to duplicate a language you cannot speak, the image produces gibberish. Likewise, you cannot make a visual copy of something unless you know what it looks like.

Because figments and glamers (see below) are unreal, they cannot produce real effects the way that other types of illusions can. They cannot cause damage to objects or creatures, support weight, provide nutrition, or provide protection from the elements. Consequently, these spells are useful for confounding or delaying foes, but useless for attacking them directly.

Frosty
2010-03-13, 08:36 PM
Umm no. A wall created by Silent/Minor/Major image will NOT ever support/block someone, regardless of the Will Save's failure or non-failure. There is no material there.

What you're describing is Shadow Conjuration.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-13, 08:58 PM
Yes, it won't block them if they try to walk through it.
But if they fail save they will think there is a wall there and not fall through because they aren't leaning hard against it.

rockdeworld
2010-03-13, 09:07 PM
This spell creates the visual illusion of an object, creature, or force, as visualized by you. The illusion does not create sound, smell, texture, or temperature. You can move the image within the limits of the size of the effect.
I imagine it depends on a specific DM, but essentially an image spell can do whatever you can imagine. To me, that sounds broken.

Does that mean the following Silent Image illusions work?
1. Duplicating the dancing lights, darkness, light, greater versions of the previous two, pyrotechnics, mirror image, blur, displacement, invisibility, fog cloud, veil, or maze (at least creating a maze) spells.
2. A brilliant flash of light, duplicating the blinding effect of sunburst (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/sunburst.htm), or similarly prismatic wall (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/prismaticWall.htm).
3. A floor over a pit trap.
4. An ally flanking your enemy (giving yourself or an ally flanking).
5. A great wyrm red dragon, causing your enemies to make a will save against its frightful presence.

The Dark Fiddler
2010-03-13, 09:17 PM
But if they fail save they will think there is a wall there

Yes.


and not fall through because they aren't leaning hard against it.

No, not at all.


Touch or a probing search reveals the true nature of the surface...

and


...but physical objects can pass through it without difficulty

Soonerdj
2010-03-13, 09:23 PM
I thought illusions worked like so...

1: Interact and make your save, Illusion disappears.

2: Interact and fail your save, you realize its fake but you still see it so it still blocks LoS and such.

Yukitsu
2010-03-13, 09:30 PM
I've read that the quality is based on a craft art check, but that was for a very specific illusion casting tournement where the grandness is considered important. In general, you should assume that the image looks exactly as it should to reduce any frustration that you may find if you rule otherwise if a party member uses illusions.

That's appearance only. When the effect is only appearance in effect like fog or light, then an illusion should mimic it. When it's a status effect, like stunned or dazed or blinded, I would argue it should not, though it may similarly get in the way of the effected creatures perceptions.

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-13, 09:41 PM
I imagine it depends on a specific DM, but essentially an image spell can do whatever you can imagine. To me, that sounds broken.

Does that mean the following Silent Image illusions work?
1. Duplicating the dancing lights, darkness, light, greater versions of the previous two, pyrotechnics, mirror image, blur, displacement, invisibility, fog cloud, veil, or maze (at least creating a maze) spells.

You can duplicate how they look but they won't have any effect.


2. A brilliant flash of light, duplicating the blinding effect of sunburst (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/sunburst.htm), or similarly prismatic wall (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/prismaticWall.htm).

Yes, but it won't do anything. It's not real light so it can't do any actual damage.


3. A floor over a pit trap.

Sure, why not? It only has a duration of Concentration. Illusory Wall is the better choice for things like this, but Silent Image can do it.


4. An ally flanking your enemy (giving yourself or an ally flanking).

The enemy might think it's real for, say, a few seconds, before they realise it's not making any noise.


5. A great wyrm red dragon, causing your enemies to make a will save against its frightful presence.

Silent Images do not have the frightful presence ability. But you can certainly fool goblins into thinking you just summoned a dragon. Until they realise it's not making any noise.

rockdeworld
2010-03-13, 09:51 PM
1.You can duplicate how they look but they won't have any effect.
2.Yes, but it won't do anything. It's not real light so it can't do any actual damage.
3.Sure, why not? It only has a duration of Concentration. Illusory Wall is the better choice for things like this, but Silent Image can do it.
4.The enemy might think it's real for, say, a few seconds, before they realise it's not making any noise.
5.Silent Images do not have the frightful presence ability. But you can certainly fool goblins into thinking you just summoned a dragon. Until they realise it's not making any noise.
1. Does that mean fog cloud works? I see what you mean about invisibility (http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01447/invisible-man_1447974i.jpg).

In response to the noise, does that mean you think it works for major image?

Edit: Also, it could be a dragon flying overhead. Nothing says you should be able to hear them.

Lysander
2010-03-13, 09:59 PM
1. Just dancing lights (except they would cast no light) and fog cloud since those are visual effects. You could make a maze but it would be really small (4 10ft cubes + 1 cube/level isn't that much) plus they'd get a will save when they touch a wall. Veil/blur/invisiblity requires changing the appearance of a real object which the spell can't do. You could make something in front of you to hide behind, or replicate a crappier version of mirror image, but that's it.

2. You could make the illusion of those, but since the light isn't real it can't blind anyone.

3. Yes.

4. Yes, you could get a flanking bonus. But an illusion in melee combat is bound to be proved false pretty quick.

5. It wouldn't force them to make a will save since your dragon isn't as good as the real thing. But a person might still CHOOSE to flee if they believe there's a dragon.

HunterOfJello
2010-03-13, 10:08 PM
Giant pink elephant ballerina in a tutu? Unless they touch it the enemy has to believe its real, so the theory goes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v621/Hunterofjello/1727.jpg




uhh....... guys? Someone go touch that elephant and see if it's real.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-13, 10:16 PM
Nope. You can't block vision with it in that way. You can't make darkness (not even Core magicf does that). You could make a haze (make seeing difficult), but making lighted area dark is making something something else.


A figment spell creates a false sensation. Those who perceive the figment perceive the same thing, not their own slightly different versions of the figment. (It is not a personalized mental impression.) Figments cannot make something seem to be something else. A figment that includes audible effects cannot duplicate intelligible speech unless the spell description specifically says it can. If intelligible speech is possible, it must be in a language you can speak. If you try to duplicate a language you cannot speak, the image produces gibberish. Likewise, you cannot make a visual copy of something unless you know what it looks like.

Because figments and glamers (see below) are unreal, they cannot produce real effects the way that other types of illusions can. They cannot cause damage to objects or creatures, support weight, provide nutrition, or provide protection from the elements. Consequently, these spells are useful for confounding or delaying foes, but useless for attacking them directly.


I'm sorry, I don't follow, are you saying that the spell does nothing? Because making an illusionary wall is making whatever was in that space seem like a wall.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-13, 10:19 PM
Yeah... technically Figments do nothing by RAW.
Good point.

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-13, 10:22 PM
In response to the noise, does that mean you think it works for major image?

Major Image is a third level spell. It had better be able to provide a flanking bonus for a round.

Summon Monster spells are still better for that, of course. :smalltongue:

Lysander
2010-03-13, 10:37 PM
I'm sorry, I don't follow, are you saying that the spell does nothing? Because making an illusionary wall is making whatever was in that space seem like a wall.

You can make something that isn't there. You can't make something that actually is there appear different.

So hiding behind an illusory wall works. Using a silent image spell to make yourself appear different doesn't.

Penitent
2010-03-13, 10:44 PM
Lysander. Air is a real thing too.

And honestly, the difference between:

1) I make a wall in front of me.

and

2) I make a one millimeter cocoon around me that has the outside looking like person X.

Is really just in your imagination.

Some good uses of Silent Image:

1) Put a bag on someone's head, or multiple someones.

2) A Rain of Cherry Blossoms, which you have prewarned your party is always an illusion, you all know it's fake and can see through it, but it provides total concealment.

3) Duplicate a spell that makes people not want to go someplace. Only level 6, it's okay, you can still cast EBTs in the middle of the hallway and no one will walk in there. Same for Wall of Fire, or wall of Stone.

taltamir
2010-03-13, 10:55 PM
specific trumps generic (that is a rule btw). Even though the rules say you can't do it, if a spell specifically says it does do it, then it trumps the rules saying its impossible to do so.

there are tons of spells that are illegal by some rule or another, but the fact they exist makes them an exception.

Jacob Orlove
2010-03-13, 11:30 PM
If you're concerned for some reason about making illusions of silent creatures, just make illusory Dread Wraiths. Incorporeal creatures don't make noise if they don't want to, and they're plenty scary enough. Plus, just swinging a sword at it won't always be enough to prove that it's fake--they get a will save, but not an automatic disbelieve, since you can normally swing your sword through wraiths with no effect.

In general, for someone to "carefully study" an illusion, if the illusion was reasonable to begin with, I'd expect them to take at least a standard action to make a spot/listen/search/knowledge check before they can make their save. Doesn't have to be a hard check, they just have to take some time to examine it. And just making people waste a standard action isn't a bad deal, so it's hardly a waste of your illusion even if that's all you get.

As said, illusionary stuff that people don't want to interact with (Walls of Fire, Clouds with noxious looking vapors, etc etc) are a good bet, too.

Here's a nice guide from another forum (spoilered for length):

BRIEF SILENT IMAGE GUIDE

Silent image is probably my favorite spell in the game. It is the reason why I play wizards and beguilers. It is the spell I cast most at any level and generally among the first things I buy as a wizard is a wand of it.

Silent image at its core is a spell which creates visual sense data. Since we can make it pretty much as big as we want and almost anywhere we want that pretty much means we control what the opponent sees. So basically you can blind the entire enemy side and they only get a save if they waste an action interacting with it. Even better, you can pretty much ensure that your team will not be effected by coming up with a signal before hand that an illusion is coming or tailoring the illusion itself so that it is obviously fake from their perspective. And that's awesome.

As to what your illusion is, it could be pretty much anything but ideally it will be hazardous, so that your foe will not engage with it, opaque, so that your allies are considered to be invisible within it, and relatively permeable, so that your allies can still attack without breaking the illusion. Here are some suggestions:

Clouds

DnD has a number of clouds that will do you some serious harm if you step inside them. Walking into a fog cloud is generally a bad idea, and walking into a cloudkill will kill many creatures outright. If you surround your enemies with yellowish green smoke they probably won't voluntarily step into it and your party can fire arrows into them while they shoot back blindly.

Colors

DnD also has a variety of magic walls that do really bad things to you. If someone conjures up a wall of purple I doubt the average orc will voluntarily walk into it, and if they do you can kill them with the wall spells pretty easily. Magical walls are also strange enough that no one will find it very odd that arrows still go through.

Cages

Another option would be to just trap your enemy in a cage. This option is not as good as the one above because the enemy can still see you, but if the enemy does not have range attacks there are as good as dead. If you cover the cage with barbs and your opponent weapons are his hands or teeth he will probably not touch it. If he attacks with a melee weapon he will end up wasting his turn even if he discovers the cage is not real.

Ground Hazards

Like the last example, this one is designed to screw those enemies who like to get up close and personal. Trying laying an illusion that looks like a pit across that floor or just covering the floor with spikes or lava. You opponent can't advance, but you can shoot him full of arrows.

Blinking/Swarm/Incorporeal foes

You can also try hiding behind a wall of blinking or incorporeal foes. Unfortunately, DnD does not gives you a total concealment bonus, even if you are behind something way bigger than you. Also unfortunately, you enemy is likely to attack anything that looks attackable, so they are quite likely to interact with this illusion. At least they won't ignore it however.

Blocking Dummies

The blocking dummies strategy does not even try to pick an efficient illusion. Just tell your teammates to hold their action until the end of the round, then but something, anything between you and your opponent. Summon up an illusionary wall of stone, let your enemy swing right through it, proving it false, wait of you group to unload on then enemy, and then summon up an illusionary wall of ice to waste another turn. See how many turns you can hold that dragon with your cheap level 1 wand.

In addition to the above, Silent image has great adaptability. It can be a utility spell and hide the entire party from the guards or an emergency spell that you use to "summon" a balor or something and let your enemy run in fear.

arguskos
2010-03-13, 11:37 PM
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Dance.
But... there ISN'T a Quasi-Elemental Plane of Dance. Any truly learned scholar of planar relations would know as such, for as all such personages know, there are only 8 Quasi-Elemental Planes, and they are Lightning, Dust, Ash, Salt, Radiance, Vacuum, Mineral, and Steam. :smalltongue:

Starbuck_II
2010-03-13, 11:53 PM
There is an elemental Plane of Candy at least. And isn't that better than Dance anyway?

Jastermereel
2010-03-14, 01:04 AM
I'd side with those who stress just how unreasonable the thing would need for a character to automatically choose to disbelieve it. In a world with OwlBears...OWL-BEARS!...the words "A wizard did it" cover more than a reasonable range of possibilities.

If I saw a dancing elephant in a tutu and an effective monk, which am I more likely to think impossible first?

Demons_eye
2010-03-14, 01:20 AM
The Illusionist Variants gets Chains of Disbelief


Even if a viewer disbelieves an illusion created by an illusionist using this variant and communicates the details of the illusion to other creatures, those other creatures do not receive the normal +4 bonus on their saying throws to disbelieve the illusion. Furthermore, even when presented with incontrovertible proof that the illusion isn't real, creatures must still succeed on a Will saving throw to see objects or creatures that the illusion obscures, although they get a +10 bonus on the saving throw.

So what happens to the chained flying animal that fails it save?

Akal Saris
2010-03-14, 02:55 AM
Depending on the DM, it either thinks its falling and stops flapping its wings and then actually falls, or it thinks that it's miraculously managing to fly despite the magical chains binding it, and continues to fly normally.

I like the silent image mini-guide though. I had a cleric/beguiler/master of shrouds character once - my plan was to mix illusions of dozens of shadows along with the actual shadows that I summoned.

Either paladins run in terror from my horde of 50 illusionary shadows, or they yell to their comrades that they are illusions, and stand there trying to disbelieve while my shadows slap them to death 1d6 strength at a time.

Sadly, the game didn't get far enough for me to enact my brilliant plan.

Devils_Advocate
2010-03-14, 06:26 AM
How well known is it that illusion magic exists, and that e.g. if you see a wizard conjure up a wall to block your pursuit, you should check to see whether it's real? I'm thinking that this would be like a DC 10 Knowledge (arcana) check (common knowledge, passable untrained).


Just seeing a silent image allows a will save to disbelieve it.

Thats why you have spells like illusory wall. Why would there be a higher level spell that does the same thing as silent image?
Illusory wall doesn't do the same thing as silent image. Silent image can be used to create a visual illusion of many possible sorts, even a moving one, but it only lasts so long as you spend a standard action each round concentrating on it. Illusory wall creates a permanent visual illusion of a surface.


Because an illusory wall looks completely real, you only get a save if you interact with it non visually (like touching it or throwing a rock at it).
Do you have any basis (save misunderstanding) for your assertion that these two spells work differently in this regard? Each one has a listed saving throw of "Will disbelief (if interacted with)".


"I disbelieve!"

Traditionally, you could get a chance to see through an illusion by declaring that you disbelieve something, which creates a bit of a problem (http://agc.deskslave.org/comics/AGC5-6.GIF). Well, in 3E, you don't have to give a detailed description of how you're looking at everything; you get to make Spot checks automatically. And you don't have to declare disbelief to see through an illusion; you get a free Will save if you interact with it or closely examine it.

Wait a minute. Just what the hell is "interaction" in this context?

Obviously, just noticing the illusion isn't enough. Were that the case, you'd just get a save: since making you perceive unreal sensations is what an illusion does, you'd have a chance to negate an illusion whenever it effected you. On the other hand, proof that something is an illusion is supposed to let you disbelieve it automatically, so obviously Will (Disbelief) isn't for when you swing your sword through an illusory monster.

So when do you get a save for "interacting" with something? It doesn't say. It's a vague non-standard.

I have a better idea: Illusion spells create false sensations independent of anyone's belief of them. Creatures can disbelieve an illusion, believe in an illusion, be suspicious and uncertain about an illusion, or even mistakenly think that a real thing is an illusion, based on the evidence available to them. None of this is the direct result of the spell, nor has any impact on its functioning: You don't "successfully disbelieve" and turn the illusion translucent, but neither do you unsuccessfully disbelieve and lose any suspicions you might have

If you want to give characters a chance to tell that an illusion doesn't quite look or sound right, let them make checks opposed by a check by the caster (Spot vs. Disguise, Listen vs. Disguise, or Forgery vs. Forgery). The caster gets a +10 bonus on this check.
A few more suggested house rules / clarifications:

- When disguising yourself or someone or something else, make separate Disguise checks for visual and auditory elements. When disguising your voice and/or attempting to act in character, make a Disguise and/or a Bluff check, as appropriate. Someone who interacts with you or a figment under your control may get a Spot check, a Listen check, and a Sense Motive check, depending on the extent of the interaction. No one said that this way gonna be easy.
- A disguise kit only gives a circumstance bonus on visual disguises.
- When attempting to plausibly duplicate the appearance/sound/mannerisms of someone or something (e.g. a particular orc commander) that the individual observing you has not observed before, you get a +5 bonus for requiring "minor details only". If the individual in question is unfamiliar with this type of thing (e.g has never seen an orc, or is being confronted with an entirely imaginary monster of your own devising), then he has no chance of identifying it as an imitation, lacking as he does any basis for comparison. Obviously.
- Using illusion or shapechanging magic removes penalties for disguising yourself or someone else as a different gender, race, or age category.
- The +10 bonuses given by these spells don't stack with each other, nor can you gain the circumstance bonus from a disguise kit in combination with such a spell.
- One could make Disguise Voice a separate skill from Disguise, if one so desired. Auditory illusions and shapechanging would give a +10 bonus to this too, of course. Then there's tactile and olfactory element to be considered... It's easy to see why some systems favor generic Perception and Stealth skills.

Nidogg
2010-03-14, 09:06 AM
Giant pink elephant ballerina in a tutu? Unless they touch it the enemy has to believe its real, so the theory goes.

I screwd over a boss in a campain once by using Glibness to bluff him into thinking he was mad, then surrounding me with enough illustions to make an acid trip look like a boring wet afternoon. So if you want to do stupid illusions, convince the opponent he's mad first.

TheCountAlucard
2010-03-14, 10:12 AM
So if you want to do stupid illusions, convince the opponent he's mad first."...You're absolutely right! In fact, I'm outraged!!!" :smallfurious:

Hehehe, sorry, couldn't resist. :smalltongue:

Mad Wizard
2010-03-14, 11:11 AM
My 2 cents on the whole "elephant in a tutu" question: I don't think that an utterly ridiculous illusion should grant a saving throw or let you disbelieve it instantly. Seeing something like that might make you think that it's an illusion, but it's just a guess until you actually interact with it physically.

Tyrael Maal
2010-03-14, 11:54 AM
Illusions are one of the least ironed out areas of magic, as anyone who spends time asking questions about the rules and if it does what can tell. The thing people forget is since you're literally using magic to affect what someone perceives, then the entire point is to make them see something that will get them to react the way you want them too. Making a elephant dancing in a tutu, while ridiculous, wouldn't let you make a save just for seeing it.

1. Magic creates fantastic effects out of thin air all the time. This right there trashes the "They'd get a save if they see it come into being because nothing was there" argument. Add in the fact that spell casters are notorious for being a few french fries short of a happy meal, and it's easier to believe a lot of weird stuff.

2. This will, most of the time be taking place in a single round, which is six seconds. In the midst of combat, facing a party of blasted adventurers, you're reacting on the spot, not taking time to sit down and think to myself. "Jee, that seems awfully strange. It must be an illusion." The realistic response would be. "What the **** is that!?"

Using illusions requires you have a DM who will properly role play the victims of an illusion. A bad DM will automatically give everyone saves, and make them continue fighting without even reacting to the illusion. One of my latest wizard characters got a little ticked off at a guy who was trying to mug him. Using the dancing lights spell, in the humanoid shape, you have a mugger who is suddenly confronted by a 6 foot tall human like being made out of freaking light/fire resulted in one mugger who will never bother us again. If you use an illusion to suddenly make darkness start leaking out of your eyes and skin and forming into swarms of spiders with inhuman faces that charge out at the enemies, they're not going to get a will save until they actually physically, interact with it. And since ninety percent of all creatures faced with that are going to be running away as fast as they can, they won't be interacting with it anyway.

Once you add in the tactile, audible, thermal, and olfactory aspects of the more powerful illusions, you can see that it's really a wonderful tool for any mage. The problem is that people want tried and true rules, and to nit pick when everyone makes their save for it. It's one of the aspects of the game, that just like world building and npcs, are handled by the DM.

Also, making darkness is entirely viable, since it's a visual effect. I'd probably give the opponent a will save depending on the circumstances and intelligence and perceptiveness of the victim, but otherwise I'd wait till they noticed that the party is still attacking fine without needing sight. Depending on the opponent it'll either freak them out, or clue them in.

Roderick_BR
2010-03-14, 12:44 PM
It's a bit different from AD&D, where even with proofs, you only got another save with a +4. A classic example would be being pushed throught an illusionary wall, or seeing an ally walking through an illusionary orc when trying to hit it. It's like when Elan used ilusions to fake his and his party's death, Haley reminded him to make the ilusions "react" to the arrows "hitting" them.

Yukitsu
2010-03-14, 12:46 PM
My 2 cents on the whole "elephant in a tutu" question: I don't think that an utterly ridiculous illusion should grant a saving throw or let you disbelieve it instantly. Seeing something like that might make you think that it's an illusion, but it's just a guess until you actually interact with it physically.

I'll buy that if I can actually find an elephant in a tutu, and the character interacting with it tries to do nothing, because he wants to disbelieve it.