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Illusionist build?


Advice


Trying to make an illusionist character for an upcoming game, but all the advice I can find on them seem outdated at best, not considering some of the newer options which could be great. It seems to me, as a spontaneous caster, sorcerer would have the advantage if they had a good bloodline around it(I also always have trouble when it comes to prepared casters and predicting which spells I'll need).

DM rules: Official pathfinder only, limited race choice: human, elf, half elf, halfling, dwarf(he is wavering on this rule though, uncertain.)
Also splitting off into Oracle for the heavens trick isn't really an option due to another player not wanting me stepping on her toes as an Oracle.

I know undead lets you use illusions on them, and so does impossible with constructs, pestilence with vermin(and yes, groveborn with plants too, but when will that come up?).
Shadow/umbral gives bonuses to your shadow spells, which is good but figments are the stars of the illusion school.
Psychic has the benefit of no one really being able to tell you are casting.
Rakshasa you can disguise your illusions.
Arcane is arcane, and arcane is just plain good.

The thing is, wizards get some options which may make up for them not being spontaneous.
Mainly, Extended illusions from their specializations and the ability to get a school familiar, which can take over concentrations for their illusions.

Is there really anything a sorcerer can do to make up for an illusionist wizard keeping up 3 illusions like that?

Or are there other options I haven't even considered yet?


One option you haven't considered is an arcanist. They don't get school familiars, but they can get a blood arcana with the blood arcanist archetype, and they can also get a school power with the school understanding exploit. Being half-spontaneous might work for you.

Another is the veiled illusionist prestige class. They get a number of advantages with illusions as the class name suggests. IMO the psychic class would work very well with this.

Edit: one more is a magus. No, hear me out. The puppetmaster archetype gets a neat trick with concentration (with prep you can cast a harmless enchantment on a friend or familiar to make it work) and they can use their arcane pool to boost illusion or enchantment DCs. And who would suspect a magus of bing an illusionist?


Vyol wrote:
I know undead lets you use illusions on them, and so does impossible with constructs, pestilence with vermin(and yes, groveborn with plants too, but when will that come up?).

No need for such trickery, illusions work just fine on these creature types as long as they're not mind-affecting. In fact, an illusionary wall or something like that is perfect against mindless creatures - they can't reason it away. When a giant spider sees, say, another giant spider suddenly pop into existence, it has no choice to respond to that.

As for Wizard vs. Sorcerer: go Wizard, unless you have plans that require a high Charisma. Wizards get more of everything.


.


Shadow discipline Psychic is an option.


I've usually considered wizard as a generally better option than arcanist for myself(I love magical discoveries), so I never really considered them.

It also didn't occur to me to look at the psychic's spell list, for some reason I didn't think they got illusions(no idea why).

I can't find anything on the shadow discipline though, I don't see it on the d20PFSRD at all. What is it from?


Vyol wrote:

I've usually considered wizard as a generally better option than arcanist for myself(I love magical discoveries), so I never really considered them.

It also didn't occur to me to look at the psychic's spell list, for some reason I didn't think they got illusions(no idea why).

I can't find anything on the shadow discipline though, I don't see it on the d20PFSRD at all. What is it from?

Blood of the Shadows.

Grand Lodge

I would ask about gnomes. Effortless Trickery is amazing.

Expand you versatility with shadow conjuration and evocation line of spells. Solid Shadows makes them even better.

There is a shadow mystery.

Threatening illusion can be handy.

Veiled Illusionist is a pertinent class that specializes in illusions and hiding what spell is being cast.


Arcane Sorcerer with the Tattoo archetype. You have a familiar that's better than normal, bonus to caster level with illusions and create tattoo is simply amazing for power and trickery

I prefer Sorcerer over wizard because as an illusionist it's all about being creative with a few specific spells, fake bridges, fake threats, decoys, walls, the king is coming, isn't that your wife?

Once you have major image you have what you need.

From a power perspective yes Wizard and Arcanist but you are often need to be a miser when it comes to spells, for a play style like illusionist you will often want to cast for fun and non-combat situations

Grand Lodge

Gnomes have several racial feats which really boost the utility of illusions. If your GM won't let you play a gnome, maybe ask if you can take the human racial feat 'Racial Heritage' to make yourself part Gnome to qualify for the Gnomish feats.

Wizards and Sorcerers both make excellent illusionists, and I would imagine Arcanists do as well, but I really haven't messed with that class.

The Gnomish feat 'Effortless Trickery' is absolutely AMAZING, maintain an existing illusion that requires concentration as a swift action instead of a standard...I cannot express enough how awesome that is.

Feats like Spell Focus and Greater Spell focus are always nice to boost your DCs and make your spells harder to resist. Threathening Illusion, Shadow Gambit, and Persistent Spell are also quite good feats.

Grand Lodge

I would also recommend both you and your GM read this article. Technically it was written for D&D 3.5, but everything it talks about still applies to the current Pathfinder rules.

All About Illusions


Something I hadn't considered before, but found while looking around.

Variant multiclassing wizard as sorcerer?

For half your feats(not including your bonus ones) you get:
A familiar
school specializations(so yes, school familiar)
An arcane discovery/wizard bonus feat
A Cantrip
All school powers(excluding their level 20 alteration)

So basically my question is. is this worth it?

Yes I know arcane and tatooed would become redundant a bit.

Other than that, veiled illusionist does seem amazing. And may be worth trying to combine with this(though,less bonus feats when already giving up normal feats could be horrible).

Liberty's Edge

Sorcerer is very useful, Consider the Arcane Bloodline which gives you the Arcane Bond (familiar or item)

After which depending on level & Race

Feats (*Bloodline Feats)
H- Deceitful
1- Eschew Materials
1- Skill Focus [Disguise]
3- Merciful Spell
5- Extend Spell
7- Improved Initiative*
7- Silent Spell
9- Skill Focus [Bluff]
11- Still Spell
13- Iron Will*
13- Quicken Spell

This lets you use Evocation spells at their level but do non-lethal and due to bloodline Arcana, adds +1 DC due to having a Metamagic Feat applied to them.


Michael Talley 759 wrote:
This lets you use Evocation spells at their level but do non-lethal and due to bloodline Arcana, adds +1 DC due to having a Metamagic Feat applied to them.

The bloodline arcana only applies to +1 or bigger metamagics. Merciful's a zero increase as you note.

Arcane Bloodline Arcana wrote:
Whenever you apply a metamagic feat to a spell that increases the slot used by at least one level, increase the spell's DC by +1. This bonus does not stack with itself and does not apply to spells modified by the Heighten Spell feat.


It will depend on the makeup of your part. Sorcerer will work if you have another player who can cover the spell casting arenas you cannot. If you are the only arcane caster, then I recommend wizard (or arcanist). I suggest this because even though you want to specialize in illusions, you will also need the versatility to do other things too. “Hey wizard, why can’t you teleport us?” “What do you mean you can’t cast fly?” The other consideration is that certain spells allow more GM interpretation. There is a reason that evocation spells are popular. Blowing things up is fun, and you the player knows exactly what the spell will do (usually a handful of dice). Enchantments, divinations, and especially illusions involve the GM making choices about the effects. “That wall wasn’t there before. It’s obviosuly real, but this doesn’t make sense. I question reality and touch the wall to see if its real.” “An ogre just appeared, but my sword is going right through it! Something fishy is going on!” The GM’s style and how clever you are are -big- factors. Just in case, don’t throw every one of your eggs into the illusion basket. You need to be able to save the day with other spells too.

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