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View Full Version : Crafty use of Illusions



Denkal
2010-04-16, 01:34 AM
Often, when sitting idly, I'll try to think up different crafty uses for illusions.

Hiding the party behind a fake cave-in underground while they rest is useful, but I find myself wanting...more.

So, what are some crafty uses for illusions you have all seen or thought of? I'm not sure the specific system is important.
Bonus points if the use isn't situational, but hey. If it's crafty, I don't mind if it only worked because you were against pink orcs riding unicycles.
The type of illusion spell isn't too specific. Just Silent/Minor/Major/Permanent/Programmed Image is preferred.

I just like ideas that can get creative juices flowing.

Octopus Jack
2010-04-16, 01:41 AM
Using an illusionry floor to cover up a pit or chasm, that's always fun

Chaelos
2010-04-16, 01:55 AM
Not a tactical use per se, but one of my favorite character's was an Illusionist/Master Specialist/Archmage who used his powers, in part, to create a massive art gallery replicating famous paintings, statues and other fine artifacts.

The best part came when he and the party rogue used this ability to pull off a massive art heist from a grand gallery. The rogue would defeat the magical protection and swipe the painting/statue/artifacts while, at the same instant, the wizard would place a shining new permanent image in their place. 'Twas awesome.

PhoenixRivers
2010-04-16, 01:59 AM
Use an illusionary pit to cover up a floor. It's great for discouraging pursuit.

Cyrion
2010-04-16, 09:47 AM
Silent image as a signalling device. It's got an excellent range for sending a flying pig skyward and visible for quite a ways.

Using your illusion to change all of the stoplights in an intersection green at once.

Use it to put some kind of binding around a flyer's wings. Will save or fall from the sky. It takes damage from the fall and then is within reach of the ground-bound fighters. DM's I've worked with generally have this work better if the illusion has some sound component.

Use it to make the rock flow up around the feet and legs of an opponent. Will save or be immobilized. It's generally good to leave a target open so that when you start beating on it you're not violating the integrity of the illusion by having your axe cutting through the stone.

Drogorn
2010-04-16, 10:01 AM
Cyrion, immobilizing a creature with an illusion makes zero sense. They'd immediately resist your bonds and discover that they don't impede their movement. Kind of like trying to net a person with tissue paper.

oxinabox
2010-04-16, 10:16 AM
I had a DM once pull a "Hallway of Holes" on use
first there was Illusion of a Hole,
then there was an Illusion of a Hole, cast on top of a real Hole
Then there was well done painting of a whole on the floor (it was a easy spot check and only like 2 players crit failed it)
then there was a Hole with an illusion of a Hole in the bottom of the hole.
then there was a hole with an illusion of ground over it.
then a hole with an illusion of ground with a paintting of a hole on it,


... this dungeon also featured demoralising traps.
Like a door wich is riggeds to a balista wich is queit distant.
then when you cast protection from arrows (technically works against any ranged) and set it off, you realise that it was a trick of perspective and the balista is acutally tiny and fires tooth picks at you. Take a -2 Moral penalty for next half hour (ic)

Much lols were had by all

Demons_eye
2010-04-16, 10:59 AM
Cyrion, immobilizing a creature with an illusion makes zero sense. They'd immediately resist your bonds and discover that they don't impede their movement. Kind of like trying to net a person with tissue paper.

Not with an Illusionist. They have chain of disbelieve and even if shown proof that its an illusion they still have to make a save but with +10 to it.

Drogorn
2010-04-16, 11:30 AM
Not with an Illusionist. They have chain of disbelieve and even if shown proof that its an illusion they still have to make a save but with +10 to it.

No, what the illusionist has done in that situation is convince the creature that the caster has conjured up bonds that weigh nothing and do not impede movement. That's why I made the tissue paper analogy. Sure the creature thinks the bonds exist, but it also thinks that they do nothing because it can still move fine.

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-16, 11:50 AM
No, what the illusionist has done in that situation is convince the creature that the caster has conjured up bonds that weigh nothing and do not impede movement. That's why I made the tissue paper analogy. Sure the creature thinks the bonds exist, but it also thinks that they do nothing because it can still move fine.

I agree that this wouldn't work. Try putting the illusion of a Prismatic Sphere around an enemy. Only very foolish enemies would risk running through that.

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Mirage Arcana. Everywhere. Freaks the hell out of NPCs when they're suddenly living in the bowels of hell. Conjure up some Fiendish monsters and they'll do your bidding forever :smallbiggrin:

MarvinMartian
2010-04-16, 01:56 PM
I am playing a Beguiler at the moment (Gnome of course) and have been having a lot of fun with illusions. Most are for BFC such as walls to funnel bad guys into the meat shields. Or coded use of an illusionary fog cloud. Also fun is to mix both illusions and real spells. Send in a few summoned monsters followed by illusionary hordes.

Had some fun with same character working to attract a full crowd to an exhibition arena match we had set up. Fireworks, giant replicas of our team. Booming sounds... Good fun was had!

I like to use illusions to backup my bluffs and or diplomacy checks. Social skills can be fun in combination with said illusions. Sometimes its possible to breeze through the guards with the appropriate disguise and some clever use of illusions. Indiana jones sneaking into the nazi held castle as a scotish art critic comes to mind...

Anyways my 2 copper pieces.

Cyrion
2010-04-16, 02:45 PM
No, what the illusionist has done in that situation is convince the creature that the caster has conjured up bonds that weigh nothing and do not impede movement. That's why I made the tissue paper analogy. Sure the creature thinks the bonds exist, but it also thinks that they do nothing because it can still move fine.

Binding its wings works on the same principle as a phantasmal strangler or phantasmal grappler. You might be required to use a phantasm instead of a figment, but it should still be viable.

Besides, the essence of illusions is that you are fooling the subject into believing that something unreal is real. If the subject fails the Will save, it will interact with the illusion as if it were real. Thus, if the creature believed the bindings, it will stop moving its wings because it thinks something is interfering with them. You have to craft the illusion so that the binding closes in on the creature rather than appears all at once to give it verisimilitude. Use constricting bands or a falling net instead of a sudden cocoon.

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-16, 02:50 PM
Binding its wings works on the same principle as a phantasmal strangler or phantasmal grappler. You might be required to use a phantasm instead of a figment, but it should still be viable.

Besides, the essence of illusions is that you are fooling the subject into believing that something unreal is real. If the subject fails the Will save, it will interact with the illusion as if it were real. Thus, if the creature believed the bindings, it will stop moving its wings because it thinks something is interfering with them. You have to craft the illusion so that the binding closes in on the creature rather than appears all at once to give it verisimilitude. Use constricting bands or a falling net instead of a sudden cocoon.

But a falling creature (I assume) will inherently try to struggle against it's bonds to try and break free. Which it will do against an illusion (unless it's a Phantasm or a Shadow).

Drogorn
2010-04-16, 02:59 PM
Binding its wings works on the same principle as a phantasmal strangler or phantasmal grappler. You might be required to use a phantasm instead of a figment, but it should still be viable.

Besides, the essence of illusions is that you are fooling the subject into believing that something unreal is real. If the subject fails the Will save, it will interact with the illusion as if it were real. Thus, if the creature believed the bindings, it will stop moving its wings because it thinks something is interfering with them. You have to craft the illusion so that the binding closes in on the creature rather than appears all at once to give it verisimilitude. Use constricting bands or a falling net instead of a sudden cocoon.

Phantasms are mind-affecting. That's the difference.

jiriku
2010-04-16, 02:59 PM
Binding its wings works on the same principle as a phantasmal strangler or phantasmal grappler. You might be required to use a phantasm instead of a figment, but it should still be viable.

Besides, the essence of illusions is that you are fooling the subject into believing that something unreal is real. If the subject fails the Will save, it will interact with the illusion as if it were real. Thus, if the creature believed the bindings, it will stop moving its wings because it thinks something is interfering with them. You have to craft the illusion so that the binding closes in on the creature rather than appears all at once to give it verisimilitude. Use constricting bands or a falling net instead of a sudden cocoon.

I can see where you're going with that, but on the principle of game balance, I'd have to shoot that down. Using silent image to create illusionary bonds on a target's wings is similar to wingbind, which is a 4th level evocation spell. That's too powerful an effect for a 1st-level spell, and is more properly something you ought to be doing with shadow evocation (which is 5th level and is intended to duplicate high-level spells in that fashion).

It should also be remembered that basic illusion spells can't create forces. A character who leans against an illusionary wall or walks on an illusionary floor falls through it, even if he believes it should support his weight. A character who tries to flap his wings against illusionary bonds flaps through the illusion, regardless of whether he thinks he should be able to or not.

Tinydwarfman
2010-04-16, 03:26 PM
Shadowcraft Mage.

What? It says it right there in the name, you're crafting illusions, and just doing better than anyone else.

graeylin
2010-04-16, 07:59 PM
if i can get a melee to last long enough, i love to mix illusion with real spells... cast a scorching ray or fireball or burning hands. then, follow up with an illusion version. perhaps even two.. if people start to disbelieve, follow up with a real...

can be very effective...

or, have someone start the melee with a stupid comment: Use your illusion to create a wall of flames!.. make a bad one, perhaps with silent image only. follow up with real spells when the enemy is convinced you are shooting blanks...

i've had DM's rule they give up their reflex saves, for example, if they try to stand there and disbelieve instead of react.

Magikeeper
2010-04-16, 09:26 PM
Oh, I have a story for this one.

Myself and another party member (Dvati twins that used yo-yos to fight) found ourselves in a facility (in Sharn, I think) defended by hired mercenaries. They didnít know there were intruders. So we stopped in an empty room, and set up the following silent image:

> A large box with cloth-covered slits is in the corner. A sign on it says: Try to dodge the disks! How many can [i]you[i] avoid?
> It also noted it was a new design from training company so-and-so, I have forgotten this part. We made knowledge checks?

The twins would jump out and kill any lone mercenaries, but otherwise we kept to the illusion. The biggest group had a contest with each other Ė we ended up knocking out most of them. It did get hard when they started throwing stuff at the box to see how many disks it could toss at once. :D

The image also covered an enveloping pit next to the box, but we ended up just using it to dispose of the bodies. We actually had problems when some of the party-goers were about to fall into the pit and thus wreck our surprisingly successful yo-yo box.

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Using disguise undead (or other similar spells) has worked well for me in the past. Itís good for implicating groups when the other group already suspects (or is planning) treachery. Better when the groups are not the same creature type.

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If you ever get the chance, mixing (101+)% real illusions with quasi-real illusions with actual spells is hilarious. At least, I assume so. I havenít had the chance to do it yet but I can only imagine the situation where the enemy isnít sure if they should even risk trying to disbelieve.

Abd al-Azrad
2010-04-16, 10:21 PM
i've had DM's rule they give up their reflex saves, for example, if they try to stand there and disbelieve instead of react.

I love this. Not because it's efficient or even particularly good a tactic, just because the idea of convincing a foe that you're merely a very crappy illusionist, then pulling out a real Fireball that they ignore (and thus fail to save against) is incredibly demeaning. You will die, yes, but you will die a true Gnome's death, laughing at your opponent's failings. And thus you will also win.

Kobold-Bard
2010-04-17, 03:23 AM
I love this. Not because it's efficient or even particularly good a tactic, just because the idea of convincing a foe that you're merely a very crappy illusionist, then pulling out a real Fireball that they ignore (and thus fail to save against) is incredibly demeaning. You will die, yes, but you will die a true Gnome's death, laughing at your opponent's failings. And thus you will also win.

I am taking this bit out of context and assimilating it into my sig, hope that's ok with you.