Can you automatically succeed on a WILL save against your own illusion


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

Can you automatically succeed on a WILL save against a Silent Image spell that you cast yourself. If, say, you make an illusory wall of stone can you see thru your own illusion.

The Exchange

PRD wrote:

Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief): Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.

A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline.

A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. A character faced with proof that an illusion isn't real needs no saving throw. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.

You have proof. Nothing was there until YOU put it there. :)

Grand Lodge

You don't get a saving throw at all, as quoted.


So in the example given by the OP, you can see through it without an issue.

What if you cast an illusion and then were somehow forgot that you did? Maybe you're in a maze, and you have no idea if the wall you're looking at is true, maybe some spell wiped your memory, whatever you like. Would you know it's false because magic just works that way, or would you have to make a saving throw?

Dark Archive

I believe you would have to make a St at that point.

The Exchange

Vendis wrote:

So in the example given by the OP, you can see through it without an issue.

What if you cast an illusion and then were somehow forgot that you did? Maybe you're in a maze, and you have no idea if the wall you're looking at is true, maybe some spell wiped your memory, whatever you like. Would you know it's false because magic just works that way, or would you have to make a saving throw?

Eh, gonna depend on the GM and the situation a lot. In your particular example I'd say that if it was a permanent image then you might need to make a save. Anything with a duration of concentration (or concentration + x rounds) is going to go away when you forget you cast it.

Also bear in mind that in the original example (silent image) even though you can see through it you wouldn't actually be able to take actions past it. The duration is concentration, so as soon as you stop concentrating to shoot a magic missile the wall would disappear for all viewers.

I can't actually find a rule stating that you don't need to save (though there probably is one), what I quoted above is the closest I could find. Also some common sense can be applied: all the "image" spells allow you to control the illusion while concentrating. Kinda hard to do that if there's a chance you could fail against your own spell.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

its a slippery slope. just be generous to the PC and avoid solid comments and hope the PCs don't think to hard on it.


You've always been able to disbelieve your own illusion. Unless, as some suggested, you forgot you cast it or if you weren't in control of your own mind at the time.


Technically isn't there the option to 'fail your throw on purpose' as well?

Mind you, less reason to do so with a basic illusion spell, but with shadow conjuration high enough, you could summon some healers or other types to use their spell abilities on you until they wear off. no % of auto fail on the spell or the like.

I recall it's come up before about purposefully failing some saves if you had a reason for wanting to.


Asking if an illusionist believes his own illusions is like asking if George Lucas believes Jar Jar Binks is real. Lucas knows beyond doubt that Jar Jar is CGI, and the illusionist knows beyond doubt that his illusion is IGI (Illusion Generated Image). No question.

Now, the real question is whether an illusionist can see through a solid-looking illusion of his own creation - he knows beyond doubt that the wall is not there, but does he still see it and does it block his line of sight to whatever is on the other side of the illusionary wall?

I know of no rules in any official book that answer this question. The way I run illusions is that they look real all the time. Making a save (or simply knowing it's an illusion) doesn't make it suddenly invisible to you (or else how could an illusionist control his images and make them look and act real if he can't even see them himself?), but it does allow you to notice the more subtle details, like how lighting and shadow don't seem real, or where the flaws in the seams between illusion and reality don't quite line up, etc. So you know it's not real, and can tell where reality ends and illusion begins, but you still see the illusion.

This means, by my way of running it, that illusionist better create his illusions with tiny peek-holes to look through, just like a real mason might build a real stone wall with tiny holes he could peek through.

But that's just my interpretation.

Sovereign Court

Yes, someone using illusion spells knows that they don't produce real effects (unless they are very deluded) and would be able to see through the translucent outline.


Morgen wrote:
Yes, someone using illusion spells knows that they don't produce real effects (unless they are very deluded) and would be able to see through the translucent outline.

Now that'd be a fun character concept. An Illusionist who's deluded into thinking he's a conjurationist and believes he's actually summoning creatures, when instead he's just creating illusions. Maybe not incredibly effective, but eh.


I think the one caveat to remember here would be that specific trumps general. For instance, Phantasmal Killer is an illusion school spell that, under certain circumstances, could require the caster to make a Will saving throw; in that specific instance, I would not allow an auto-success.

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