Revising the illusionist

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
Post Reply
Lord Dynel
Maukling
Posts: 5843
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:00 am

Revising the illusionist

Post by Lord Dynel »

Based on The Mighty Troll Lord's post here...
Quote:
The barbarian will be revised in the 4th printing. Several more abilities are added and its revamped to better reflect is non-civilized nature.

The other class that is going to get some treatment is the Illusionist.

Steve

...I thought it might be a good idea to start a conversation on the illusionist seperately from the barbarian talk.

Maybe Steve would be kind enough to drop us some hints as to what changes to illusionists/illusions are coming down the pike?

Me, personally, I would like to see illusion rules a little more fleshed out.
LD's C&C creations - CL Checker, a witch class, the half-ogre, skills, and 0-level rules
Troll Lord wrote:Lord D: you understand where I"m coming from.

User avatar
Go0gleplex
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3723
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Location: Keizer, OR

Post by Go0gleplex »

They get card tricks and are able to pull a small white bunny out of their hat for free.

(Safety Note: be sure to point the bunny AWAY from you before release. Do NOT use if you are out of HOLY HAND GRENADES OF ANTIOCH!)
_________________
The obvious will always trip you up FAR more than the obscure.

Baron Grignak Hammerhand of the Pacifica Provinces-

High Warden of the Castles & Crusades Society
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."

Lord Dynel
Maukling
Posts: 5843
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:00 am

Post by Lord Dynel »

Har har.
Wouldn't that be magician instead of illusionist?
LD's C&C creations - CL Checker, a witch class, the half-ogre, skills, and 0-level rules
Troll Lord wrote:Lord D: you understand where I"m coming from.

User avatar
Dagger
Red Cap
Posts: 324
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:00 am
Location: Central Florida

Post by Dagger »

Maybe it's just our group or whatever, but Illusionists have been played a couple of times and we haven't had any complaints. They are a lot of fun to play.

On the other hand, all the people I know in my area that are playing C&C house rule the Fighter's Combat Dominance, the Barbarian's Fury, and tweak the Monk in some way.

If any changes are made to any classes, I would hope to see them become closer to their AD&D cousins and further from their d20 ones.
_________________
Rusty

User avatar
Go0gleplex
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3723
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Location: Keizer, OR

Post by Go0gleplex »

But aren't our present day magicians not but illusionists?
Definitely like to see a few more spells. Just never seen anything wrong with them as is myself really. They simply require a little more "work" to play well.
_________________
The obvious will always trip you up FAR more than the obscure.

Baron Grignak Hammerhand of the Pacifica Provinces-

High Warden of the Castles & Crusades Society
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."

User avatar
gideon_thorne
Maukling
Posts: 6176
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am
Contact:

Post by gideon_thorne »

Go0gleplex wrote:
Just never seen anything wrong with them as is myself really. They simply require a little more "work" to play well.

Exactly.
_________________
"We'll go out through the kitchen!" Tanis Half-Elven

Peter Bradley
"The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout, 'Save us!' And I'll look down, and whisper 'No.' " ~Rorschach

Lord Dynel
Maukling
Posts: 5843
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:00 am

Post by Lord Dynel »

gideon_thorne wrote:
Exactly.

I actually agree with y'all on this, which was part of my reasons for asking Steve to come aboard and drop us some hints. I do think illusion rules could be a bit clearer, though (mainly concerning interactions with them and the like).
LD's C&C creations - CL Checker, a witch class, the half-ogre, skills, and 0-level rules
Troll Lord wrote:Lord D: you understand where I"m coming from.

User avatar
Breakdaddy
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3875
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:00 am

Post by Breakdaddy »

Lord Dynel wrote:
Har har.
Wouldn't that be magician instead of illusionist?

That would be "Presto" from the old D&D cartoon.
"If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
-Genghis Khan

User avatar
Breakdaddy
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3875
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:00 am

Post by Breakdaddy »

As for the topic at hand:

I dont see a huge problem with Illusionists other than a bit more codification of the rules as pertains to the working of illusory magics in the game. It would be nice to have a baseline reference from which to adjudicate these spells. I also would love to see an expanded spell list a la the original ADnD Unearthed Arcana that actually provides a bit more punch to the Illusionist class while keeping it from sapping the utility of a generalist Mage.
"If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
-Genghis Khan

serleran
Mogrl
Posts: 13866
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:00 am

Post by serleran »

Here are a few ideas I've been tossing about:

Identify Illusion -- they can detect such, but they have no way of knowing what the illusion is, only that it exists. This is important, especially, for magic items that involve illusions.

The sharp senses ability is redundant and, relatively, weak considering it supposedly requires a successful ability check before it can be used (meaning, the character does not always have sharp senses). I'd suggest dropping the ability check requirement and simply making it a flat bonus.

A sleight-of-hand class ability would make them far more useful when their spells run out; this is something I had wanted for them since day 1 and is something I know my wife would want for her character.

Let the illusionist's disguise ability also function as a skill for forgery (something the rogue also needs, and possibly the assassin) but at some pretty penalty.

Reduce the XP progression because, until high levels, illusion spells are weak -- they are not comparable to wizard spells. This would end with a chart that is relatively quick, but around 6th level, starts to climb, like a balloon. If this is not desired, increase the spell lists -- add 6 spells per level available so they have more variety of spell selection, another reason they are nowhere near as powerful (hence the XP requirements) of the wizard until they get their extreme spells.

Those are some of the things the people I have known play an illusionist have requested; some are things I wanted to see in the class originally (and was told it was not AD&D-enough... I think that's a good thing. C&C needs to be a game of its own, too.)
_________________
If it matters, leave a message at the beep.
Serl's Corner

User avatar
Troll Lord
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am

Post by Troll Lord »

Hey,

Mac and I've talked about the illusionist for awhile. Its one of my favorite classes actually, and I don't think it needs very much tweeking at all. Whats in the offering now is the spell section is going to be rewritten, the how you cast your spells, as is the spell ability itself on the class. More explanatory text on how illusions work in game play and how to work them.

There isn't any room in the PH for my illusionist spells...peter is going to IM me in a few seconds after he reads this and tell me that he can do this and that, but he'll end up shrinking the font by another point or so and I can't read it as it is...but we will have no illusionist spells in the Adventure's Backpack and the Gods & Monsters book. I'm going to create a section similar to the Monsters of Aihrde section in the Crusader specifically designed for spells with a focus on illusionists. In this way the PH remains as is content wise, but we can get more illusionist spells out and in the gaming sphere.

We are discussing things like slight of hand or some minor abilities, but really we don't want the class to become a less-than-wizard class by giving it that type of ability. Illusionists should be and are very powerful spell casters able weave magic so powerful that even the greatest minds believe it.

Steve
_________________
The High Lord, Coburg the Undying

He who sits on the elephants back

Castle and Crusade Society
troll@trolllord.com
_____________________________
He Who Sits on the Elephants Back
The Troll Lord
Steve Chenault, President & CEO of Chenault & Gray Publishing, Troll Lord Games

User avatar
gideon_thorne
Maukling
Posts: 6176
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am
Contact:

Post by gideon_thorne »

*chuckles* Further, a character who can do, well, pretty much anything that the player can imagine, and make other characters believe it, is pretty powerful.

Just cause a characters is an illusionist doesn't automatically assume that everyone is going to know that what they see is an illusion. Thats the key to the class right there.

The mind is a powerful tool, and like all tools, it can be abused very easily.
_________________
"We'll go out through the kitchen!" Tanis Half-Elven

Peter Bradley
"The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout, 'Save us!' And I'll look down, and whisper 'No.' " ~Rorschach

anonymous

Post by anonymous »

Troll Lord wrote:
Illusionists should be and are very powerful spell casters able weave magic so powerful that even the greatest minds believe it.

Which is the essence of some people's problem with them. They are currently one trick ponies. In a situation where you want to deceive people and monsters (the ones that can be so deceived) they are obviously very good at it. In a situation where that is not applicable, they can be next to useless. Wizards can do much more in general with their spells, even though they can't get as "tricksy". As an example: clerics, druids and wizards can all dispel each other's spells as well as those of illusionists, whereas illusionists are totally unable to do the same in return. Rebalancing this would need one less illusionist spell!

As I think I've said elsewhere, part of the problem arises from C&C's intention to create a balance between the old and new: the old MU sub-class version had only 7 spell levels, allowing more powerful stuff to be accessed earlier. The later version had their spells spread over 9 levels, but as specialist wizards, they had a far wider selection from which to choose. C&C has returned to the exclusive list, but spread over 9 levels, weakening them with respect to both earlier versions.

To improve them without adding more spells, they would need more wizard (or possibly even cleric or druid) spells adding to the illusionist lists, at higher casting levels if appropriate.

User avatar
Troll Lord
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3232
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am

Post by Troll Lord »

Its a good point Tenser, and an accurate portrayal of what has happened, even if inadvertently. I am leaning toward more spells for the illusionist and not more abilities. The advantage of having more spells is that it gives the caster, of whatever class, a greater freedom to push the limits and use the spell beyond its obvious design. Abilities are pretty limiting.

Looking over the spell list at least half the spells (a rough guess) offered are borrowed from the other classes. This is a disproportionate number of spells that are not unique to the class. They need more spells that are illusion oriented, for example some of the spells I've been working on are "mockery", "dream", "semblance", "misbelief". This last one address two problems, the first was posed by Robert above, should an illusionist be able to see through another illusion. Secondly it puts the mechanic for the disbelieving into the game (something missing as breakdaddy pointed out).

On second thought, I may talk to Peter by the possibility of putting in more spells in the spell section.

Steve
_________________
The High Lord, Coburg the Undying

He who sits on the elephants back

Castle and Crusade Society
troll@trolllord.com
_____________________________
He Who Sits on the Elephants Back
The Troll Lord
Steve Chenault, President & CEO of Chenault & Gray Publishing, Troll Lord Games

User avatar
Aladar
Lore Drake
Posts: 1261
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:00 am
Location: Elgin, OK

Post by Aladar »

More illusionist spells would be much appreciated. One of my players plays an illusionist, but she is always complaining about not having enough spell diversity.
_________________
Lord Aladar

Warden of the Welk Wood

Baron of the Castles & Crusades Society

The Poster formerly known as Alwyn

Senior Gamer - Member of the Senior RPG Tour

"NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT - At least not in Yu Gi Oh"
http://www.cncsociety.org/
Lord Aladar
Warden of the Welk Wood
Baron of the Castles & Crusades Society
The Poster formerly known as Alwyn
Senior Gamer - Member of the Senior RPG Tour
"NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT - At least not in Yu Gi Oh"

http://www.cncsociety.org/

anonymous

Post by anonymous »

If anyone's interested, I toyed with creating a few extra spells myself to help fill the gaps in th the Illusionist's capabilities.

Treebore
Mogrl
Posts: 20660
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Arizona and St Louis

Post by Treebore »

Shadow spells are able to become solid, so expand those into Shadow Wall, Shadow Creation (pretty much same as creation spells, just everything is made out of shadow stuff), plus I think Illusionists are masters of light/color, so should play off of that more. Not to mention they are masters of sound. Taking the Marvel comics character Dazzler as an example, Illusionists could, instead of creating fireballs, be that one that creates Laser Bolts (intensified light energy), and Sonic Bombs.
_________________
The Ruby Lord, Earl of the Society

Next Con I am attending: http://www.neoncon.com/

My House Rules: http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... llordgames
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

User avatar
Rhuvein
Cleric of Zagyg
Posts: 10792
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Somewhere in Time

Post by Rhuvein »

Troll Lord wrote:
I'm going to create a section similar to the Monsters of Aihrde section in the Crusader specifically designed for spells with a focus on illusionists.
Troll Lord Also wrote:
They need more spells that are illusion oriented, for example some of the spells I've been working on are "mockery", "dream", "semblance", "misbelief". This last one address two problems, the first was posed by Robert above, should an illusionist be able to see through another illusion. Secondly it puts the mechanic for the disbelieving into the game (something missing as breakdaddy pointed out).

Yes!!

_________________
Count Rhuveinus - Lejendary Keeper of Castle Franqueforte

"Enjoy a 'world' where the fantastic is fact and magic really works!" ~ Gary Gygax

"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes:" - Macbeth
Count Rhuveinus - Lejendary Keeper of Castle Franqueforte

"Enjoy a 'world' where the fantastic is fact and magic really works!" ~ Gary Gygax

"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes:" - Macbeth

User avatar
Go0gleplex
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3723
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Location: Keizer, OR

Post by Go0gleplex »

Laser beams...hehehee...reminds me of a trap I had waaaaay back. Torch light magnified and reflected back. Cavalier in plate armor...PHFFFFT! or was that sizzle?

can't seem to remember that bit...
_________________
The obvious will always trip you up FAR more than the obscure.

Baron Grignak Hammerhand of the Pacifica Provinces-

High Warden of the Castles & Crusades Society
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."

Treebore
Mogrl
Posts: 20660
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Arizona and St Louis

Post by Treebore »

CSPerkins has a nice list of spells, and the spells, all nicely written up in his "3E AD&D" pdf on his website. Not to mention his nice Necromancer, Psionicist, and Cloistered Cleric write ups.

So for those of us who like house ruling, DLing and selective copy and pasting can give you a nice house rule document pretty quick. You may want to look into his Unearthed Arcana PDF if you liked 2E Specialty Priests.
_________________
The Ruby Lord, Earl of the Society

Next Con I am attending: http://www.neoncon.com/

My House Rules: http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... llordgames
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

User avatar
Relaxo
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3350
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:00 am

Post by Relaxo »

Tenser, I'd be interested in seeing your spell list.

Steve,

Not to sound like the cheap bastard I am, but are these updates going to be available without buying the PHB again? Like, an... unearthed arcana type thing, or just an official rules supplement thing?

I personally would be willing to buy such a thing, at like, 5 bucks in pdf or 10 bucks softcover, if it was chock full of goodies. If it's just the two classes reworked, maybe only the pdf.

or something.
Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781

Lord Dynel
Maukling
Posts: 5843
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:00 am

Post by Lord Dynel »

Troll Lord wrote:
Whats in the offering now is the spell section is going to be rewritten, the how you cast your spells, as is the spell ability itself on the class. More explanatory text on how illusions work in game play and how to work them.

Sounds good, Steve. I think that more "spelling out" of illusion magic rules (interactions, etc.) is a good idea. I remember when my group first started playing 1st Edition back in the day - the biggest concern with spellcasters was illusions and how to adjudicate them. Any assistance on this would be appreciated.

Even though you stated that you weren't working so much on special abilities for illusionists, I'd suggest that you consider serl's idea of detecting illusions. Maybe incoporate it into Shapr Senses - leave the bonuses for when the illusionist isn't actively looking for illusions and if they are let them be able to detect them automatically. Then remove Detect Illusion from the spell list and replace it with something else (I'd suggest Mage Hand). Just a thought.

Everything else sounds pretty good!
LD's C&C creations - CL Checker, a witch class, the half-ogre, skills, and 0-level rules
Troll Lord wrote:Lord D: you understand where I"m coming from.

Heavy_Crossbow
Ungern
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:00 am

Post by Heavy_Crossbow »

illusionists have always suffered in a standard dungeon-crawl setting, especially in smaller parties. In larger parties, or in more "socially charged" campaigns, it can prove to be an extremely valuable asset. But in a dungeon, especially at lower levels, it can't compete with its more powerful counterpart.

My main beef with the Illusionist is that it levels up at the same rate as the wizard. If it leveled up a bit more rapidly, I think that all other problems would seem insignificant.

Also, I'm not sure I understand how illusions work. So they can damage people, apparently. It's all a little confusing. If there was an example or something somewhere, it would probably make more sense. Can the illusions kill people?
_________________
Scientists will never understand that the world doesn't have to adhere to laws. A world where Firefly gets cancelled and Nip/Tuck thrives clearly obeys powers not known to us.

User avatar
gideon_thorne
Maukling
Posts: 6176
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am
Contact:

Post by gideon_thorne »

Heavy_Crossbow wrote:
Also, I'm not sure I understand how illusions work. So they can damage people, apparently. It's all a little confusing. If there was an example or something somewhere, it would probably make more sense. Can the illusions kill people?

If the target believes it can, yes.

Or

"As far as you can see, the floor ahead of you is clear with no unusual bumps, stone triggers or other such devices that might cause arrows to shoot out of the walls."

But... the character didn't see the illusion of the floor covering the pit with spikes in the bottom.

I think the biggest mistake made in arbitrating illusions is that both the game master and players just assume that, when there is an illusion present, there is a roll involved.

Not in my game. If your not actively trying to spot an illusion or disbelieve one, and say so, your going to be affected just like it's the real thing.

And since the brain is capable of doing some remarkable things to the body, including self inflict wounds, your going to suffer real damage, because your mind has convinced you that it will happen.
_________________
"We'll go out through the kitchen!" Tanis Half-Elven

Peter Bradley
"The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout, 'Save us!' And I'll look down, and whisper 'No.' " ~Rorschach

Heavy_Crossbow
Ungern
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:00 am

Post by Heavy_Crossbow »

I like the idea of avoiding the rolls, but it just seems strange. Like, I could understand an illusion of a dragon giving heart-attacks, but as far as psycho-somatically self-inflicting wounds, it just seems a bit contrived. I don't think that your average peasant or creature would have the mental force, conviction, or imagination to do such a thing. Running away is far more believable. The whole "damaging thing"...

Yeah, I know that there are many instances of such events in real life. But I'm not sure that that should equate to "If you believe in it it can kill you" in the game. Subdual damage I can believe, where once you hit zero hit points, you have to make a save or like, have a heart attack or have a shut-down.
_________________
Scientists will never understand that the world doesn't have to adhere to laws. A world where Firefly gets cancelled and Nip/Tuck thrives clearly obeys powers not known to us.

anonymous

Post by anonymous »

gideon_thorne wrote:
If the target believes it can, yes.

Illusory damage is subdual damage, so therefore death is at the CK's discretion only if you are immediately reduced to -10 HP or lower; you might have a heart attack or something. The (I'm afraid mind-numbingly rambling) paragraph on Magic Damage contradicts this, and says you always die at -10. You choose.

Heavy_Crossbow
Ungern
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:00 am

Post by Heavy_Crossbow »

Thanks for the...clarification? Well, as long as it's at my discretion.

I think that the revision sounds like a good idea. The illusionist is underpowered. I don't think that many can disagree that the Wizard is a stronger class than the Illusionist in most games.
_________________
Scientists will never understand that the world doesn't have to adhere to laws. A world where Firefly gets cancelled and Nip/Tuck thrives clearly obeys powers not known to us.

User avatar
gideon_thorne
Maukling
Posts: 6176
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am
Contact:

Post by gideon_thorne »

Tenser's Floating Disk wrote:
Illusory damage is subdual damage, so therefore death is at the CK's discretion only if you are immediately reduced to -10 HP or lower; you might have a heart attack or something. The (I'm afraid mind-numbingly rambling) paragraph on Magic Damage contradicts this, and says you always die at -10. You choose.

Doesn't really contradict me. I'm just a bigger bastard of a game master than most I guess? ^_^

I've just seen too much of the mind accomplishing too much strange and inexplicable stuff in my time to underestimate its power. ^_~`
_________________
"We'll go out through the kitchen!" Tanis Half-Elven

Peter Bradley
"The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout, 'Save us!' And I'll look down, and whisper 'No.' " ~Rorschach

User avatar
Go0gleplex
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3723
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:00 am
Location: Keizer, OR

Post by Go0gleplex »

One of the things to keep in mind when formulating ad hoc illusions is how familiar the intended target/victim is with the surroundings that you are in. If very familiar, they are less likely to believe that pit suddenly appearing when it was never there before. Though maybe altering the actual apparent location slightly...or running through a doorway, then 'moving' it a couple fee left or right...
As I said before...the key to running a great illusionist is attention to details, imagination, and subtlety. With some of the expanded spell ideas, allowing for a bit more damage or incapacitation type (aka Dazzler effects) this class has the potential to seriously kick butt. Even against non-intelligent foes and normal animals whose sensory perceptions go beyond the norm. Color me excited.
_________________
The obvious will always trip you up FAR more than the obscure.

Baron Grignak Hammerhand of the Pacifica Provinces-

High Warden of the Castles & Crusades Society
"Rolling dice and killing characters since September 1976."
"Author of Wardogs! and Contributor to Iron Stars and Starmada-Admiralty ed."
"Certified crazy since 2009."

User avatar
Breakdaddy
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 3875
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:00 am

Post by Breakdaddy »

gideon_thorne wrote:
I've just seen too much of the mind accomplishing too much strange and inexplicable stuff in my time to underestimate its power. ^_~`

Like how you've convinced yourself you're always right?

PS- Ooooh burned by Breakdaddy!!!1111

*sizzles*
"If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
-Genghis Khan

Post Reply