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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Simple question but it has many consequences. If the shadow is just an illusion on the ground then meh whatever but if it casts a shadow can I A. Jump through the shadow as a shadow dancer B. Make a silent image of a box and cause complete darkness inside C. When it is disbelieved by one is the illusion/shadow now gone D. If it can cause darkness can it cause light that is then disbelieved. Whew ok I think that exhausted my curiosity and likely any responses will end up being up to each individual dm but I am a new dm and would like some input to bounce around

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Silent Image is a figment, which by definition creates a false sensation. That is, the image is in the mind of the viewer, not a physical object. Light would pass through normally, because there's nothing actually there, so there is no shadow. You can include a figment of a shadow in the casting of the spell, presumably, but it is not an actual shadow. So no to all the above.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by prufock View Post
    Silent Image is a figment, which by definition creates a false sensation. That is, the image is in the mind of the viewer, not a physical object.
    Not true, as figments can affect mindless creatures (who, in fact, don't even get a chance to disbelieve). You'll notice that figments like silent image do not have the "mind affecting" tag. You're thinking of a pattern.

    When it comes to the interaction between illusions and light, you're dealing with a healthy amount of DM adjudication. Obviously, an illusion must interact with light because that's what it is manipulating. Every object either reflects, scatters, or emits light. If an illusion could not cast a shadow (read: stop light) then all figments would appear as ghostly images, adding light on top of existing light, and would thus be useless for their purpose of fooling the senses.

    That said, illusions cannot protect you from environmental hazards. So, if you conjured the illusion of a tent to protect you from the desert sun, you would dehydrate just as quickly and you would as assuredly get a sun burn as if there was no tent at all.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    as mentioned, largely a DM call. if he goes by real-world physics surrounding light, then if something is visible to the naked eye (like a silent image of say a box is) then the reason it is so is because it's reflecting certain colors of light, which is to say blocking them. the areas of light that they're blocking is what creates the shadow on the ground behind them.
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    as mentioned, largely a DM call. if he goes by real-world physics surrounding light, then if something is visible to the naked eye (like a silent image of say a box is) then the reason it is so is because it's reflecting certain colors of light, which is to say blocking them. the areas of light that they're blocking is what creates the shadow on the ground behind them.
    It could be emitting light...
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    It could be emitting light...
    In which case it would be all kinds of weird.
    Take a Silent Image of a tree in summer. Put it in a dark cavern. It is now glowing.
    That doesn't happen per the spell-effect and would probably replace Light.

    My guess is that Illusions are a D&D-Specific form of matter, that perfectly mimics another state of matter but can be ignored by those 'alive' (using the broader definition of anything with that can take actions) and 'sentient' (read: non-mindless) provided they recognize it as Illusion-matter instead of Solid-Matter or Liquid-Matter.

    Ergo: They cast an Illusion-Shadow (a shadow is made from the absence of light. an Illusion-Shadow is made from the absence of light as perceived by someone). So it counts as a shadow if you don't pass your Will Save, doesn't emit any more light than regular matter, stops being shadowy for you if you pass the Save and anything inside the box that doesn't disbelieve is in total darkness
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    It is easier to have an unseen servant carry a rolled blanket and have him unroll it when you need that shadow.

    Edit: not easier but less likely to cause a rules argument.
    Last edited by Lost in books; 2012-11-03 at 12:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    A silent image can cast a shadow if the caster wants it too. I'm not sure that your Shadow Dancer can use this though since its an illusion of a shadow rather than the real thing.
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    This topic is why illusions are, in my gameworld, the most difficult magic to learn, far more so than bringing forth real material/biological/energetic changes.

    I'd let a shadowdancer try to fail a Will save to believe an ally-generated illusion of a shadow long enough to use it to shadow-jump. Of course, he'd get a +4 to the save for the equivalent of having the ally point out the illusion, if said ally had just spent an action CASTING it. And I wouldn't allow auto-fail, nor any benign effects that lower Will for just one roll.
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    I see it like this:

    Since a figment can't produce a real effect it can't cast a real shadow.

    It doesn't matter if the SD believes it's there or not, since there is no shadow he can not use it to shadowjump.
    If he tries he autofails but gets a will save for interacting with it.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    I checked the figment rules and they didn't say. The only thing made clear is that they are not in the mind of the viewer.

    Two possibilities:
    1. Illusions block light and are lit by surrounding light, similar to physical objects.
    2. The caster must make sure to create proper shadow and shading since the illusions don't necessarily contain these. Yes an illusion could include light sources, but with a duration of concentration imitating a cantrip is hardly game breaking. And some illusions might require objects like torches.

    I like the 2nd possibility because it gives the caster more flexibility in the variety of illusions he can make. He can even make illusions of shadows, for example, or strange lights approaching in the forest. The first seems a bit limiting because a lot of times the illusion you need might be beyond those limits. But the rules aren't clear on which one you really get.

    And if your'e a shadowdancer why not cast darkness instead? The spell specifically creates shadowy illumination. Not like silent image would work anyway because as soon as you cease concentration and try to shadow jump the illusion isn't there anymore. Even if that trick works you'd need minor image for that extra 2 rounds of duration which is the same level as darkness and inferior for your purposes.
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    I'm fresh from replaying Planescape Torment, which is all about the power of belief to reshape reality. It's a theme in some D&D games. If belief is powerful in your gameworld, then yes, the shadowdancer should be able to jump through what she believes is a shadow. If there are hard limits that just don't get reshaped -- a concept which may have dire consequences for spellcasting, if taken very far at all -- then the illusion of a shadow won't be enough.
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    I think illusions definitely block light: You can hide behind an illusion if the person on the other side didn't interact with te illusion/failed his will save.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Hmmm the 3rd option would be that illusions both block light and can include light/shadows. That might make a lot more sense in that it lets the caster make any visual image he wants. And far from broken since you still need a 2nd level spell to get any useful lingering shadow for things like shadow jumping.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2012-11-03 at 02:25 PM.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    biggrin Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    After reading these I think my ruling will probably be that yes you can create shadows and thus darkness that can be disbelieved but being in the darkness counts as interacting with the illusion and giving a will save. Also on the shadow dancer front I think that it will be as sleepyphoenix said, it isn't real so no real connection to the shadow realm where shadow dancers travel through. This does give me an idea for a nasty little one shot for my players though some of the comments reminded me of one of my previous dm's explanation of figment illusions. Its a work of art using floating glitter. When you see the art it has your attention but once you know what its made of you can see right through it.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordHenry View Post
    I think illusions definitely block light: You can hide behind an illusion if the person on the other side didn't interact with te illusion/failed his will save.
    Right, but only if they fail the save. The blocked light and resulting shadow are in the mind of the victim, and not actually there. One could not use an illusion to protect themselves from sunburn or light based spells.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordHenry View Post
    I think illusions definitely block light: You can hide behind an illusion if the person on the other side didn't interact with te illusion/failed his will save.
    Not exactly. A figment cannot conceal something directly (that's glamer work), so you can't use it to make yourself invisible, even by projecting a scene without you in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by roguemetal View Post
    Right, but only if they fail the save. The blocked light and resulting shadow are in the mind of the victim, and not actually there. One could not use an illusion to protect themselves from sunburn or light based spells.
    No. Figments and glamers are not mind-affecting. "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.)"
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Illusions cast no shadow, because illusions only affect creatures, which light isn't.

    HOWEVER

    when casting silent image you can have it so creatures who see it perceive it as casting one. You're screwed if the image and the light source change their relative positions.
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBento View Post
    Illusions cast no shadow, because illusions only affect creatures, which light isn't.
    Also not true. Silent image, as the old standby, does not list creatures as a target. Additionally, certain spells, like magic mouth, can be fooled by illusions. Unless it's been turned into a living spell, magic mouth is most definitely not a creature.

    This is what makes figments so hard to figure out, because they exist independent of both reality and thought, but both can affect them. It's trying to have its cake and eat it, too.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Not true, as figments can affect mindless creatures (who, in fact, don't even get a chance to disbelieve). You'll notice that figments like silent image do not have the "mind affecting" tag. You're thinking of a pattern.

    When it comes to the interaction between illusions and light, you're dealing with a healthy amount of DM adjudication. Obviously, an illusion must interact with light because that's what it is manipulating. Every object either reflects, scatters, or emits light. If an illusion could not cast a shadow (read: stop light) then all figments would appear as ghostly images, adding light on top of existing light, and would thus be useless for their purpose of fooling the senses.
    (Bill Lumbergh voice): I'm going to have to go ahead annnnnd disagree with you there. (end Bill Lumbergh voice)

    Figments don't manipulate light. According to the SRD "A figment spell creates a false sensation." If it manipulated light, the sensation would not be false. Instead, the spell directly affects the senses with false information. I put it poorly when I said "in the mind;" it's more accurately "in the eyes."

    There is no object; by definition of a "figment," those observing the spell merely perceive one. Light does not interact with it at all. Shadows should only appear if the caster includes it in the casting. Whether or not the figment includes a shadow, it "cannot produce real effects," so the silent image would not allow you to teleport.

    A mindless creature is still affected by figments as long as they have the proper senses, I agree. However, I'm not aware of any rule that states they don't get a save - can you give me a citation for that one? Mindless creatures still have a will save, after all.

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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Not true, as figments can affect mindless creatures (who, in fact, don't even get a chance to disbelieve).
    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Not exactly. A figment cannot conceal something directly (that's glamer work), so you can't use it to make yourself invisible, even by projecting a scene without you in it.
    Could I get a citation for these two? I have a DM I'd like to say, "I told you" to.
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Random NPC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Not true, as figments can affect mindless creatures (who, in fact, don't even get a chance to disbelieve). You'll notice that figments like silent image do not have the "mind affecting" tag.
    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Not exactly. A figment cannot conceal something directly (that's glamer work), so you can't use it to make yourself invisible, even by projecting a scene without you in it.
    Could I get a citation for these two? I have a DM I'd like to say, "I told you" to.
    I went ahead and expanded Deophaun's quote, which carries the reason with it. (Well, aside from the question of whether mindless creatures gain a save, which is a bit more involved.)

    My assertion is backed by this line from the description of figments: "Figments cannot make something seem to be something else." Add to that the definition of glamers, "A glamer spell changes a subject’s sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else, or even seem to disappear", and there you go.

    If you were specifically looking for a simple citation to indicate that mindless creatures get no save, I'm not sure I can help you. However, note that creatures do not get a save against illusions unless they:
    1. spend an action studying it carefully,
    2. interact with the illusion in a way that causes its inconsistencies to become manifest, or
    3. are faced with proof that it's illusionary (in which case their save auto-succeeds)


    A careful illusionist will minimize the chances of either of the last two happening, and it would be impractical for the simple instincts or programmed instructions of mindless creatures to know when to spend actions studying something. In fact, it's arguably easier than normal for an illusionist to fool a mindless creature into believing an illusion without attempting interaction, as, again, their simple instincts/instructions would tend to automatically respond to things without testing them thoroughly. Therefore it will be quite rare for a mindless creature to get a save against an illusion.
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    Default Re: Does a silent image cast a shadow?

    I couldn't ever see a mindless thing getting a save against a subtle illusion because he would never bother to check it out. But if he faced an illusory opponent for example or another blatant illusion he'd get an immediate save like everyone else simply for engaging it.

    Hmm, if a mindless creature had specific orders such as "search that area" he might get a save against a subtle illusion but in reality that's almost the controller doing it. A mindless creature with no controller seeking only to attack and eat never would.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2012-11-04 at 01:54 PM.
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