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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Apr 2017

    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Yeah I mean, if you like blasting and don't like illusions, you're not gonna get much out of it. 5e definitely has a place for blasting (Sorcerer is right up your alley) but if you're looking at illusion spells you're in the wrong place.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    hellgrammite's Avatar

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    Yeah, I originally went that route and made the mistake of posting it on here only to have everyone complain that I had too many attack spells and nothing else, but my creativity just doesn't seem geared towards spells that mess with the mind. It's really depressing to find out that my ind is so limited, is all. Not whining, but feeling kind of depressed that I'm not able to play a 'good' spellcaster like so many people put stock into. I also lack damage boosts from subclasses by being a Hexblade (for added defenses from med. armor and shield) and Divine Soul (for the wider range of spells), so my damage output will never be as good as more focused blaster-casters.
    Listen to advice, don't always follow it unless its the DM or people you play with (who should know the situation better.)

    It took me being DM in about 3 campaigns until I started feeling I was doing a good job at it. It took me even longer to feel like I was a strong roleplaying PC.
    Last edited by hellgrammite; 2018-01-02 at 10:56 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Nov 2015

    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    I guess I'm not selling it, but I've found the strength of the spell depends on how the DM treats illusions made by PCs.

    You have the extreme where no illusion of any kind by a player will ever work. At most you'll get a one round respite long enough for the bad guy to spend its action to realize it's an illusion, if not its move or bonus action, but BBEG's will automatically know it's an illusion for free. The illusion school is useless for a player with such a DM. Such DMs do, unfortunately, exist.

    Less extreme are the DMs who let illusions work but can't stand the thought of a player getting away with something. The DM will treat the illusion almost like Wish. The DM will assume you want to use the illusion to Win D&D thus will look for an excuse for the bad guy to realize it's an illusion. Not necessarily an autosuccess or in the same round, but quickly. Anything far fetched in his mind will fail to work automatically. If the player gimps himself and limits his imagination the DM is more likely to let the illusion work as the player intended.

    Regular DMs do not assume malice upon PCs. The illusion functions as is, and the DM follows normal rules. He does not metagame for the bad guys. They'll assume the illusion is real unless a logical reason is given otherwise, just as a player would when confronted by a bad guy's illusion. Particular BBEGs might be less susceptible. At worst they'll automatically get an Investigation check without justifiable cause to represent their ingenuity to be a BBEG, but it's a fair die roll using the BBEG's Investigation modifier. The BBEG can fail the roll and act accordingly.

    Lenient DMs let anything go. PC illusions always work as the player intended. Bad guys make saving throws and Investigation checks as normal, but once failed the bad guys are full into believing the illusion unless something absolutely obvious justifies another check.
    My DM is more openminded. He said that he wants players to 'have fun and be happpy' but is hesitant on things like allowing me to play a warforged wizard with +2 INT and no other stat bonuses based on the quirks of the race not needing sleep, food/drink/breathing, and the +1 AC (using the Unearthed Arcana Warforged from the Eberron UA). He's allowed me to make a middle-aged african american mother for the form my spiritual weapon takes and lets me have her talk smack to the baddies she's attacking (but I cannot control what she says and it's a one-way conversation such as "Mama's gonna whoop yo' a**!"), so he allows for some creativity, but doesn't want any overpowered pcs.
    "I'll have my revenge, and Deathstalker (part) II! "

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by hellgrammite View Post
    Listen to advice, don't always follow it unless its the DM or people you play with (who should know the situation better.)

    It took me being DM in about 3 campaigns until I started feeling I was doing a good job at it. It took me even longer to feel like I was a strong roleplaying PC.
    Admittedly, my experience with playing D&D is very limited. I played 1e or maybe 2e once, then 2e once, then 4e for about a dozen sessions, then this campaign as my first foray into 5e, so I'm still learning the game. I just wanted to play a caster as they have many more options on attacking than martial characters do. I mean there's only so many ways to swing or stab or shoot (since there's been very few battles against special bosses where targetting specific area has been permitted), whereas a caster can shoot fire, lightning, freeze enemies, do AoE damage, teleport, heal, etc. making them much more versatile. I guess I simply lack the kind of creativity an illusionist/enchanter player requires. I just wanna throw Fireballs, Disentegrate, Shatter, or freeze then skip away to my next target(s). >:)
    "I'll have my revenge, and Deathstalker (part) II! "

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    honestly, the damage boost that certain archetypes get is largely overblown. i mean, it's there, no question of that, but apart from some edge cases (like magic missile for an evoker) the damage boost is not that big.

    normal sorcerer fireballs for average 28 damage. fire dragon sorcerer averages 33. yeah, the fire sorcerer is doing more damage, but it isn't like the regular fireball is a waste of time.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Here are some fun things to do with Phantasmal Force:

    1. A medusa near the PCs to make the target choose to close its eyes.
    2. A skintight, shrinking metal necklace around the target's neck.
    3. A red-hot lump of iron on the target's skin or in the target's stomach.
    4. A metal (or wooden, if the target is a vampire) stake slowly pushing its way into the victim's body towards the heart (or eye).
    5. A sacrab beetle burrowing under the target's skin and moving toward the heart.
    6. A chokepear slowly expanding.
    7. A swarm (if the DM rules a swarm counts as a creature) of insects inside the target's lungs.
    8. An Intellect Devourer cluching the back (or front) of the target's head, going for the brain.
    9. A wasp on the target's eyeball trying to climb up under the eyelid.


    All of these should take out of combat a target who isn't actively being attacked, because the target will spend its actions trying to deal with the illusion. Even better, actions futily spent dealing with the illusion aren't being spent investigating the illusion.

    For added fun, with Twin Spell, make two targets each see an Intellect Devourer clinging to the back of the other target's head....
    Last edited by Xetheral; 2018-01-03 at 01:38 AM. Reason: Added Wasp

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    hellgrammite's Avatar

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Here is an interesting question on Phantasmal Force:

    Could you use it to make it appear that one of your enemies is a different creature to the target?

    Example: So if your fighting Drow, you make one of its allies appear to be an elf mocking his family with hostility. Considering the illusion is in the targets mind, this would seem to be allowable, no? As long as it fits the space conditions of the spell.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    LeonBH's Avatar

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Yes it can, if the DM permits it.

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Dec 2014

    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by hellgrammite View Post
    Here is an interesting question on Phantasmal Force:

    Could you use it to make it appear that one of your enemies is a different creature to the target?

    Example: So if your fighting Drow, you make one of its allies appear to be an elf mocking his family with hostility. Considering the illusion is in the targets mind, this would seem to be allowable, no? As long as it fits the space conditions of the spell.
    generally speaking no. it creates a new thing, which is not the same as modifying something that is already there.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    At this point, I see no point in attempting to use this spell. It has too many restrictions, requires too much knowledge to use, can be defeated too easily and the only appeal to using it at all is that it targets the worst non-wizard stat in the game. I'm just too limited in my imagination to be able to ever use it to effect, so I'll stick to blasting.

    Besides, most battles are over in 2 rounds anyways, so focusing on damage will allow me to accomplish something useful so long as I focus on choosing correctly between targeting AC or DEX on my damaging spells and worry only about damage, defense via reactions (Shield spell) and utility out of combat such as healing, removing status effects from poison or disease, and flying.

    A perfect example is from a battle against a satyr boss who could Enthral(? I guess), and I got low initiative (Last place). It enslaved our fighter to attack the rest of us and I cast Protection from Evil and Good to ensure I didn't get enslaved as well. The rotation goes through ones and my allies pile on the damage, the boss attacks someone else on his turn. For the second round, the player just before me on the rotation kills him and I'm standing there like an idiot who wasted his only turn and did nothing useful during the fight.

    As most battles are over very quickly for us, I need to focus on only doing damage and protecting myself during the enemies' turn if I want to accomplish anything in combat. :(
    "I'll have my revenge, and Deathstalker (part) II! "

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    At this point, I see no point in attempting to use this spell. It has too many restrictions, requires too much knowledge to use, can be defeated too easily and the only appeal to using it at all is that it targets the worst non-wizard stat in the game. I'm just too limited in my imagination to be able to ever use it to effect, so I'll stick to blasting.

    Besides, most battles are over in 2 rounds anyways, so focusing on damage will allow me to accomplish something useful so long as I focus on choosing correctly between targeting AC or DEX on my damaging spells and worry only about damage, defense via reactions (Shield spell) and utility out of combat such as healing, removing status effects from poison or disease, and flying.

    A perfect example is from a battle against a satyr boss who could Enthral(? I guess), and I got low initiative (Last place). It enslaved our fighter to attack the rest of us and I cast Protection from Evil and Good to ensure I didn't get enslaved as well. The rotation goes through ones and my allies pile on the damage, the boss attacks someone else on his turn. For the second round, the player just before me on the rotation kills him and I'm standing there like an idiot who wasted his only turn and did nothing useful during the fight.

    As most battles are over very quickly for us, I need to focus on only doing damage and protecting myself during the enemies' turn if I want to accomplish anything in combat. :(
    Seems like your DM needs to be giving you tougher battles, then. Battles shouldn't drag on, but constantly taking 2 rounds or less is problematic, and does lead to more and more characters choosing blasting over any semblance of control.

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aett_Thorn View Post
    Seems like your DM needs to be giving you tougher battles, then. Battles shouldn't drag on, but constantly taking 2 rounds or less is problematic, and does lead to more and more characters choosing blasting over any semblance of control.
    And as a player, I lack the mindset or understanding that is required to play a controller due to the complex and incredibly hard to understand nature of control spells. :(

    Sorry to sound like I'm whining here, but as someone with low self-esteem, finding out I lack the mental capacity to play the kinds of casters I might like is rather depressing. :/
    "I'll have my revenge, and Deathstalker (part) II! "

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by samcifer View Post
    And as a player, I lack the mindset or understanding that is required to play a controller due to the complex and incredibly hard to understand nature of control spells. :(

    Sorry to sound like I'm whining here, but as someone with low self-esteem, finding out I lack the mental capacity to play the kinds of casters I might like is rather depressing. :/
    Not all control spells are like this, though. Hold Person, Hypnotic Pattern, Web, etc. are all simpler to use and understand. Illusions are all about versatility, and depend on a good DM/Player combo. Illusions might not be your bag of tricks, but I'd say that's true of a lot of players, and not at all indicative of your own abilities. But I doubt that control spells that are actually designed to be control spells aren't the problem. I think that you're just trying to shoehorn Phantasmal Force into being a control spell when that is probably the hardest way to use it.

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    I wouldn't extend your issues with Phantasmal Force to control spells in general.

    Illusion spells have a reputation for being very DM dependent and excelling primarily with players who can come up with useful and creative applications on the fly. (And just because someone has trouble thinking quickly enough to catch good uses of them in the moment doesn't mean they're unintelligent, either. People's brains work differently.)

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    generally speaking no. it creates a new thing, which is not the same as modifying something that is already there.
    so, i've been thinking about this since i posted (but kinda had to leave), and modify is not the correct word for what i wanted to say. phantasmal force is open enough in the description that you may or may not be able to modify depending on what it is you want to do, and how your DM interprets the spell... as long as you're not making anything actually invisible, because the spell cannot make things invisible. so you might be able to add a beard onto someone for example depending on what your DM thinks, but you couldn't make them shorter (or rather, you could, but you'd still also be able to see the taller person).

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Nov 2015

    Default Re: So sell me on Phantasmal Force a.k.a. how can it possibly be useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZZTRaider View Post
    I wouldn't extend your issues with Phantasmal Force to control spells in general.

    Illusion spells have a reputation for being very DM dependent and excelling primarily with players who can come up with useful and creative applications on the fly. (And just because someone has trouble thinking quickly enough to catch good uses of them in the moment doesn't mean they're unintelligent, either. People's brains work differently.)
    Thanks for that. Yeah, I guess illusion spells aren't my thing for stuff like that. Making cover with minor illusion seems to be more akin to my way of thinking, though I managed to once use that to prevent sharkmen from attacking our ship from underwater by creating an illusion of sharp spikes covering the underside of the ship and the sharkman who challenged it got a botch, so we were safe from the other sharkmen as well.
    "I'll have my revenge, and Deathstalker (part) II! "

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