Concerning Major Image spell


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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a few Illusion questions.

What happens if a spell caster first casts fire ball at a group of adventurers and then in the next round casts Major Illusion ( I believe it has thermal components) and creates an illusion of a fire ball which "detonates" in the middle of a group of adventurers?

What happens to those who fail their will save?

Someone only gets a will save if they interact with an illusion spell correct?

Is there any way for the illusionist to make it appear as if he is casting a fire ball ( getting out the sulphur and bat guano) instead of Major Image where he gets out a bit of fleece ( to pull the wool over someone's eyes) so someone with the spell craft skill isn't immediately tipped off that an illusion is coming their way?

Thank you


If you throw an illusion of a fireball at them, I would definitely count that as interacting. If they fail their will save, then they would have the following information.

A fireball was thrown at you. Make a reflex save. You took no damage (regardless of reflex result).

The player/character can make of that what they will.

Yes, most spellcasters will be able to make a spellcraft check and instantly see through your farce.

There is a particular ability from some PrC that allows you to disguise your casting, but I can't remember it right now.


Spell bluffing from ultimate magic is your caster bluffing. The damage from the fireball comes from the heat. Can you create heat and will it do damage is it not really there? Also, do illusionary walls block UV. Could a vampire go into the sun under an illusionary umbrella?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

If my players wanted to do something like that, I would allow them a Sleight of Hand check opposed by the targets' Perception to pull off the material component trick. [If I did it to my players, the rolls would be done in secret.] If the Perception beats SoH, then a Spellcraft check is allowed. [Again, secret if I did it to my players.]

As the posters above me have said in different words, the illusion interacts with the players in this case, and not the other way around, so there is an automatic Will save.

This is where it gets tricky. I would not allow the fireball itself to do any damage, because there are other illusion spells for that. However, the illusionist could concentrate to make it appear that the players avoided damage but are surrounded by burning whatever... walls, grass, trees, etc. I would require a concentration check for each mentioned "interaction" with the illusion: attempt to stomp or bat out a flame, attempt to injure a foe with a burning plank, etc. Failure on the caster's part to make the check or even do the check would expose the illusion for that target. If a player wanted, I would also consider a knowledge (nature) or other check (if the player can justify it) to see if the fire burns as it normally (or magically, or alchemically, or elementally) would. Again, this depends mainly on the circumstances.

I would also require the casters' allies to make the checks as appropriate unless they are aware of the casters' plans (told ahead of time, or if that's his/her usual modus operandi).

Shadow Lodge

Could you not include the sensation of pain and burning into the illusion? then as the DM tell them they took x damage and write that number down? If the players failed their save, i think its reasonable that they believe whole heartedly that they took a fireball and it hurt like hell. They wouldn't realy figure it out until their total damage was reduced to 0 and they didn't lose consciousness. I think that sort of encounter would be super cool.


Gol Zayvian wrote:

Could you not include the sensation of pain and burning into the illusion? then as the DM tell them they took x damage and write that number down? If the players failed their save, i think its reasonable that they believe whole heartedly that they took a fireball and it hurt like hell. They wouldn't realy figure it out until their total damage was reduced to 0 and they didn't lose consciousness. I think that sort of encounter would be super cool.

No, the feeling of damage is more than most illusion spells can create. Short of the illusion spells that actually cause damage, I don't think any of them have the ability to cause pain.

Sczarni

Here is few thoughts about illusions.

Unfortunately, nothing special happens. Characters would feel heat, but not receive any damage from illusionary fireball. There is little profit in creating such direct illusion unless there are feats, class abilities or effects that alter it.

If you cast a fireball in the first round and raise an illusionary wall of fire on the other hand, it can fool the persons in combat long enough. Using illusions requires inventive mind and practice. You need to shift between real and illusionary spells otherwise people will assume that everything is illusion and simply ignore it.

Illusions are best used in hit and run tactics that combine real dangerous effects and illusions. I have fooled my players many times with Minor Image and Major Image and made them waste their spells on potentially dangerous enemy, but this pretty much works only in the first round of combat when characters aren't expecting it.

Second problem with illusions is that, any spellcaster can identify illusions through Spellcraft easily. There is little in the way of countering this. Perhaps blinding/deafening enemy casters might be a good idea in order to prevent spell detection. The use of mundane disguises should also not be underestimated because enemy casters typically do not have a very high Perception skill.

That's a few general idea's about illusions.

Adam


You know, I really would like a rule about spellcraft and illusion spells.

It seems like any character that can identify the illusion as its being cast would have proof that it's not real.

And these kinds of ambiguity are why people have such a hard time running this school of magic.

Sczarni

@Claxton

If there are feats, abilities and/or effects to disguise and fool casters in identifying those spells, then you don't really have a proof that it's not real. You can only suspect that it's not real. I usually do not give my players any bonus for this, but I do tell them that there is a high chance that spell is illusionary.


Claxon wrote:

You know, I really would like a rule about spellcraft and illusion spells.

It seems like any character that can identify the illusion as its being cast would have proof that it's not real.

And these kinds of ambiguity are why people have such a hard time running this school of magic.

You don't have to tell them "That dragon is an illusion". You just say "You identified the spell he was casting as major image. Now a dragon appears". If they don't put 2 and 2 together it's their own fault.


Malag wrote:

@Claxton

If there are feats, abilities and/or effects to disguise and fool casters in identifying those spells, then you don't really have a proof that it's not real. You can only suspect that it's not real. I usually do not give my players any bonus for this, but I do tell them that there is a high chance that spell is illusionary.

That's a big if though. Are there any that do that?

Sczarni

@Claxon

Secret Signs (I think that's the feat) does something like that, but I wouldn't know exactly which do that. In the end, illusions were always pretty much grey area where GM is a final arbiter of what is interaction and what's a proof of being (not)real.

From the mechanic's perspective, you are effectively replacing Spellcraft skill check with a spell's designed Will Save if such identification is considered a proof of being real. This seems quite unfair towards the caster of a spell, whether that caster is PC or not.


There is a clause that if you have "proof" of an illusion, you can just auto-disbelieve it. I would say that not being damaged MAY be proof, but it is subjective.

I mean I guess it's plausible that you may believe it's a real fireball, but that somehow you gained fire immunity without knowing it, explaining the lack of damage without disconfirming it as a real fireball.

Standard for "proof" should be quite high, like... actual proof, not "suspiciousness" This is a bit borderline.

But anyway, if you don't think that applies, and they fail their save, then they just invent some reason in their heads for why they were safe.

Quote:
You don't have to tell them "That dragon is an illusion". You just say "You identified the spell he was casting as major image. Now a dragon appears". If they don't put 2 and 2 together it's their own fault.

No I think if you fail your save, you should not be allowed to roleplay as the dragon being an illusion just because the player can deduce it. Failing your save == TRULY BELIEVING it, not just seeing it. Acting otherwise without some other plausible explanation of why you would act that way even though you truly believe it is metagaming.

Personally in my games I give a will save for identifying and add a +4 to the will save in that case, but I don't remember what portion of that if any is house rules. Actually believing a failed will save though is definitely RAW.


Malag wrote:

@Claxon

Secret Signs (I think that's the feat) does something like that, but I wouldn't know exactly which do that. In the end, illusions were always pretty much grey area where GM is a final arbiter of what is interaction and what's a proof of being (not)real.

From the mechanic's perspective, you are effectively replacing Spellcraft skill check with a spell's designed Will Save if such identification is considered a proof of being real. This seems quite unfair towards the caster of a spell, whether that caster is PC or not.

I agree, but at the same time being able to identify that an illusion spell was just cast in your presence should do something.

And this is why running illusions spells is really challenging to me as a GM, and why I avoid them as a player.

It's just such a huge grey area.


Major Image - "This spell functions like silent image, except that sound, smell, and thermal illusions are included in the spell effect. While concentrating, you can move the image within the range.

The image disappears when struck by an opponent unless you cause the illusion to react appropriately."

Concerning the Major image spell it can create thermal illusions so could this not simulate fire damage? maybe not actual permanent damage, but until you make your will save you believe you are damaged? This is how my DM has run illusory damage, both from fire and from melee combatants.


It can't cause damage. If you want cause damage you need shadow conjuration.

Edit: To back this up, Major Image is an illusion with the figment subtype. The magic section of the core rule book says this:

Quote:
Because figments and glamers are unreal, they cannot produce real effects the way that other types of illusions can. Figments and glamers cannot cause damage to objects or creatures, support weight, provide nutrition, or provide protection from the elements. Consequently, these spells are useful for confounding foes, but useless for attacking them directly.


Quote:
Concerning the Major image spell it can create thermal illusions so could this not simulate fire damage? maybe not actual permanent damage, but until you make your will save you believe you are damaged? This is how my DM has run illusory damage, both from fire and from melee combatants.

I think this is within the scope of the rules to interpret, yes, but it causes a lot of unnecessary problems. What happens if a character takes up to negative his hitpoint total in illusory damage?

Does he just believe he's dead and never believe otherwise thus refusing to do anything until he eventually actually starves to death?

...much cleaner to just say no illusory damage.


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I did not explain well enough I guess. The spell does not actually cause damage, but since the character believes he was hit with a fire ball, he felt the heat and saw it and failed his will save, he BELIEVES he is damaged, and can see the burns and effects of a fire ball upon himself.

At this point the DM hands out HP damage as a way of leading the players on, to be tricked as well to increase the immersion, and records it himself to later tell players when they make their will save to remove the damage since it did not actually happen(taking players aside some what helps with keeping the illusion going but not much). This has the added bonus of not being an immediate give away as an illusion due to "oh this is an illusion, I didn't take any damage".

Also, the player does not go below 0 hit points until he is actually at 0 hit points not including the imaginary damage. So when his character sheet says -11 hit points (as an example) but the DM says "no you keep fighting as normal" you get the idea that something is not quite right.

I find this method more immersive, though you have to be willing to attempt to trick the actual players instead of just the characters. it is also more work for the DM.


Quote:
So when his character sheet says -11 hit points (as an example) but the DM says "no you keep fighting as normal" you get the idea that something is not quite right.

But at that point I don't think it's RAW anymore, as this provides a backdoor method of disbelieving an illusion. Which is totally fine, but for purposes of rules forum I would say this doesn't strictly work.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
So when his character sheet says -11 hit points (as an example) but the DM says "no you keep fighting as normal" you get the idea that something is not quite right.
But at that point I don't think it's RAW anymore, as this provides a backdoor method of disbelieving an illusion. Which is totally fine, but for purposes of rules forum I would say this doesn't strictly work.

Depends on how you want to define "interact with it in some fashion" in the Saving Throws and Illusions(Disbelief) section. Though I will cede the point here as it is a tenuous arguement.


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No. A false fireball does not even cause the illusion of pain. Frankly, an illusory fireball is a waste of an illusion spell because it's so freaking obvious that it's not real fire. If you want to trick players into thinking they're hurt, you need an enchantment spell of some kind.


You can also cause damage with Shadow Gambit.

Sovereign Court

A major image fake Fireball is useless.

A major image fake Firewall can be extremely handy. You can put your foes in mazes of it to control the battlefield, with the image of massive adamantium bars behind the fire so that they won't attempt to just rush through and take a bit of damage. (Just have a coded signal to tell your buddies that it's fake.)

That and similar illusions are my gnome sorceror's bread & butter. As long as you have a good reason that checking out an illusion is stupid - illusions are amazing.

Sczarni

Claxon wrote:
Malag wrote:

@Claxon

Secret Signs (I think that's the feat) does something like that, but I wouldn't know exactly which do that. In the end, illusions were always pretty much grey area where GM is a final arbiter of what is interaction and what's a proof of being (not)real.

From the mechanic's perspective, you are effectively replacing Spellcraft skill check with a spell's designed Will Save if such identification is considered a proof of being real. This seems quite unfair towards the caster of a spell, whether that caster is PC or not.

I agree, but at the same time being able to identify that an illusion spell was just cast in your presence should do something.

And this is why running illusions spells is really challenging to me as a GM, and why I avoid them as a player.

It's just such a huge grey area.

The pure knowledge that you know which spell is being cast seems enough to me. If the player can't connect the dots like CampingCarl said, well, that's on him.

Otherwise, I can completely understand you. Most of other GM's that I know, don't personally know what to do with illusions.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you all for your posts. I have a couple more questions about illusions I'll post them tomorrow.

On the subject of hiding Illusion spells from identification by the spell craft skill,

There is the Rakshasha blood line. I don't remember the exact text. I think it's something like "add half level to the DC of IDentifying a spell by spell craft. If the observer fails by 5 or more, you can make the spell to appear as if you have cast whatever spell you want.

Anyways, Im just thinking of making a gnome illusionist...I'm thinking sorcerer. What would be a good blood line?

Would an arcanist or wizard make a better illusionist?

Thank you


Malag wrote:

The pure knowledge that you know which spell is being cast seems enough to me. If the player can't connect the dots like CampingCarl said, well, that's on him.

Otherwise, I can completely understand you. Most of other GM's that I know, don't personally know what to do with illusions.

But doesn't that create problems with what you were saying before (or perhaps I misunderstood).

Player makes spell craft check and determines that the spell the enemy cast is an illusion spell.

Then a wall of fire appears in front of them.

The character in question doesn't know factually that the wall is an illusion, but is reasonable certain because they know the caster they could see didn't just cast Wall of Fire because it's not an illusion.

So the character essentially has just made their saving throw against the illusion, because they're going to act as if they know the wall is an illusion and act accordingly.

I guess the issue is that, effectively you're replacing the will save and interaction with an illusion with a spellcraft check instead. They don't know it's fake, but they're reasonable certain it is based on the information they have. Which allows them to act as if they had succeeded on a save after interaction.

Now personally I'm okay with this, mostly because I support anything that weakens magic. But I thought you were against that, but maybe I misunderstood.


While I haven't made nearly as much use out of major image, my bard has made use of silent image many times to create "wall" spells to seemingly block off escape routes or create choke points, etc. I started off with walls of stone, then upgraded to walls of iron, and towards the end (around level 14 or 15) jokingly said I would start creating walls of adamantine golems. The funniest thing is that several of my fellow party members wound up believing they were real! They were amazed that my little bard could conjure up such powerful walls. Priceless.

Sovereign Court

Dosgamer wrote:
While I haven't made nearly as much use out of major image, my bard has made use of silent image many times to create "wall" spells to seemingly block off escape routes or create choke points, etc. I started off with walls of stone, then upgraded to walls of iron, and towards the end (around level 14 or 15) jokingly said I would start creating walls of adamantine golems. The funniest thing is that several of my fellow party members wound up believing they were real! They were amazed that my little bard could conjure up such powerful walls. Priceless.

I will say - my favorite silent image wasn't a wall - but a floor.

There was a bridge over a chasm, and we knew that we were being followed. So I set up a small wall for us to hide behind - and then made much of the chasm appear to be a part of the bridge. A part covered in treasure. One of the following party stepped onto it and dropped the 60ft or so to their death. (the GM rolled near max damage - and it was only level 4-5)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Though not really supported by the rules themselves, there is an officially published Paizo scenario somewhere, in which an illusionist used an illusory fireball on enemies to great effect. They were specifically described as believing they had been burned, even going so far as to "lose consciousness."

Sorry, I don't recall the source.

Also, the Spell Bluff feat from Ultimate Magic is total rubbish. Identifying spells is far too easy; a +4 DC increase isn't going to make a lick of difference 95% of the time.

Better to min/max your Bluff skill and take the Cunning Caster feat instead (From Heroes of the Streets). At least then you can make an opposed check in which your "DC" scales as much or as little as you like. (I also recommend taking Eschew Materials, Silent Spell, and Still Spell along with Cunning Caster for true stealth casting.) Heck, if you succeed at the opposed check, onlookers won't even realize that it was YOU who cast that fireball!

Shadow Lodge

So for you nay sayers, The illusion can generate thermal effects, and heat absolutely does cause pain, so fake heat would also induce pain, and if your illusion doesn't end with the detonation of the fireball, but continues with scorch marks and blistering and the ongoing effects of being burned appearing on the body, then a failed save absolutely could cause them to feel as though they were struck by a real fireball. a well crafted illusion would even include blisters that broke open and felt like more burning heat when characters moved or touched effected appendages. At that point the only interaction that would allow you a second save would be not dying when HP dropped too low.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gol Zayvian wrote:

So for you nay sayers, The illusion can generate thermal effects, and heat absolutely does cause pain, so fake heat would also induce pain, and if your illusion doesn't end with the detonation of the fireball, but continues with scorch marks and blistering and the ongoing effects of being burned appearing on the body, then a failed save absolutely could cause them to feel as though they were struck by a real fireball. a well crafted illusion would even include blisters that broke open and felt like more burning heat when characters moved or touched effected appendages. At that point the only interaction that would allow you a second save would be not dying when HP dropped too low.

So if illusory fire can cause burning sensations, what is the point of the higher level illusion spells that include tactile sensation?

Isn't a feeling of burning not a tactile sensation, one that major image doesn't, or shouldn't, duplicate?


I agree with Ravingdork. Illusion spells of that level are not meant to trick people into thinking they've been seriously harmed. Either get a higher level or cast an enchantment spell.


Gol Zayvian wrote:

So for you nay sayers, The illusion can generate thermal effects, and heat absolutely does cause pain, so fake heat would also induce pain....

Heat causes pain, and it can also cause hideous deformation or even kill you. Major image does not do that. You percieve a false sensation of heat plus whatever else silent image explicitly allows, and that's it. Because it's fake. The illusionist can toss in illusions of blisters, but since the combatants aren't impeded in any way and don't feel any pain, it isn't likely to be very effective for a number of reasons.

Crimeo wrote:

...

Quote:
You don't have to tell them "That dragon is an illusion". You just say "You identified the spell he was casting as major image. Now a dragon appears". If they don't put 2 and 2 together it's their own fault.

No I think if you fail your save, you should not be allowed to roleplay as the dragon being an illusion just because the player can deduce it. Failing your save == TRULY BELIEVING it, not just seeing it. Acting otherwise without some other plausible explanation of why you would act that way even though you truly believe it is metagaming.

Personally in my games I give a will save for identifying and add a +4 to the will save in that case, but I don't remember what portion of that if any is house rules. Actually believing a failed will save though is definitely RAW.

I take it you didn't actually read the rules before you posted that, did you?

Magic - Illusion School, Figment Subschool wrote:
Figment: A figment spell creates a false sensation.

You experience the false visual sensation of a dragon aka you see a dragon. Beyond that, how the PC reacts is up to the player. If someone else tells the PC that the dragon they are perceiving is an illusion, the PC is able to behave as if the dragon is an illusion. They still see the dragon barring proof or passing a will save, but they can do what the hell they want about it, including ignoring it and going for the illusionist.

Shadow Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:

So if illusory fire can cause burning sensations, what is the point of the higher level illusion spells that include tactile sensation?

Isn't a feeling of burning not a tactile sensation, one that major image doesn't, or shouldn't, duplicate?

Nope, the difference is with major image i can create heat your body will respond naturally to that heat and creates the tactile sensation for me. Not the same thing for example as using Mirage Arcana to create a table and chairs you can sit on.

If we were to bring real world science into it (i am normally the last person to do so) thermal effects alone would be enough to cause damage, because it isn't the flame itself that causes damage in a fireball, it is the exposure to sudden and extremely intense heat. It's the heat of the chemical reaction that produces flame which is what burns you not the flame itself.
Basic physiology of the human body will tell you that exposure to high heat (i.e. thermal effects) will cause pain and blistering. With the exception of some very extreme cases of humans with way above average mental discipline, these bodily reactions are largely involuntary and will happen at temperatures much lower than those needed to turn air into plasma.

However, since the spell cannot deal damage, we're left with merely simulating it, and I posit that the spell description provides enough information that an intelligent wizard could effectively do so well enough for a DM to hand out damage which didn't really happen so that he can fool his players.

I also submit that many players would be awed and entertained by an illusionist foe that skilled. so cases of butt hurt should be few.


Well said Snowblind.

I remember once having a heated argument with a GM about an illusion. We were in a high level game and I was playing a fighter. The oracle made a save against an illusionary wall and then told the party the wall was fake. I them announced that my character walks through the wall. The GM said that I believed the wall was there so I couldn't do that. I just said that my character trusts the spellcasters in the party to protect him from magical threats, so he believes the oracle is telling the truth, trusting his senses over his own.

It's just an illusion. Not an enchantment.


The illusion creates a single obect, creature or force. Fireball is fine, but it can't make numerous blisters on many people. Also figments in general can't make something seem like something else (typically glamer), so an unburned person shouldn't be able to be made into a burned person.

I should mention there are official scenarios that violate these rules, but almost no one plays illusions raw anyway.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I guess I was going to ask what happens if someone sticks their hands in an illusionary fire created by a major image spell.....Say for example from a wall of fire created by a major image spell.

Now I seem to remember a long time ago...say in 2nd edition, I seem to remember that illusions "damaged" you if you believed they existed. and you collapsed when you reached 0 hp. But you were only unconscious.

Could you say use a summoning spell to summon a lion, then use a major image spell to duplicate the lion so your opponents think they are facing two summoned lions?

Thank you.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gol Zayvian wrote:
...the difference is with major image i can create heat your body will respond naturally to that heat and creates the tactile sensation for me. Not the same thing for example as using Mirage Arcana to create a table and chairs you can sit on.

Nothing in mirage arcana changes the fact that an illusion can't support weight.

Gol Zayvian wrote:

However, since the spell cannot deal damage, we're left with merely simulating it, and I posit that the spell description provides enough information that an intelligent wizard could effectively do so well enough for a DM to hand out damage which didn't really happen so that he can fool his players.

I also submit that many players would be awed and entertained by an illusionist foe that skilled. so cases of butt hurt should be few.

This is how I would handle it in my games.


Claxon wrote:
Malag wrote:

The pure knowledge that you know which spell is being cast seems enough to me. If the player can't connect the dots like CampingCarl said, well, that's on him.

Otherwise, I can completely understand you. Most of other GM's that I know, don't personally know what to do with illusions.

But doesn't that create problems with what you were saying before (or perhaps I misunderstood).

Player makes spell craft check and determines that the spell the enemy cast is an illusion spell.

Then a wall of fire appears in front of them.

The character in question doesn't know factually that the wall is an illusion, but is reasonable certain because they know the caster they could see didn't just cast Wall of Fire because it's not an illusion.

So the character essentially has just made their saving throw against the illusion, because they're going to act as if they know the wall is an illusion and act accordingly.

I guess the issue is that, effectively you're replacing the will save and interaction with an illusion with a spellcraft check instead. They don't know it's fake, but they're reasonable certain it is based on the information they have. Which allows them to act as if they had succeeded on a save after interaction.

Now personally I'm okay with this, mostly because I support anything that weakens magic. But I thought you were against that, but maybe I misunderstood.

GM:"You identified the spell he was casting as major image. Now a Wall of Fire appears"

GM:"Make a Will Save"

Player:"I rolled a 4, but I know the Wall is an illusion. I walk through it."

GM: "You take 20 damage. Now a 2nd, previously invisible, caster (who had cast an actual silenced Wall of Fire) appears. He hits you with a Scorching Ray"


Quantum Steve wrote:

GM:"You identified the spell he was casting as major image. Now a Wall of Fire appears"

GM:"Make a Will Save"

Player:"I rolled a 4, but I know the Wall is an illusion. I walk through it."

GM: "You take 20 damage. Now a 2nd, previously invisible, caster (who had cast an actual silenced Wall of Fire) appears. He hits you with a Scorching Ray"

Ha! I gotta remember that one.

Sczarni

Claxon wrote:


But doesn't that create problems with what you were saying before (or perhaps I misunderstood).

Player makes spell craft check and determines that the spell the enemy cast is an illusion spell.

Then a wall of fire appears in front of them.

The character in question doesn't know factually that the wall is an illusion, but is reasonable certain because they know the caster they could see didn't just cast Wall of Fire because it's not an illusion.

So the character essentially has just made their saving throw against the illusion, because they're going to act as if they know the wall is an illusion and act accordingly.

I guess the issue is that, effectively you're replacing the will save and interaction with an illusion with a spellcraft check instead. They don't know it's fake, but they're reasonable certain it is based on the information they have. Which allows them to act as if they had succeeded on a save after interaction.

Now personally I'm okay with this, mostly because I support anything that weakens magic. But I thought you were against that, but maybe I misunderstood.

I am against that yes, because like I said, it seems unfair toward the caster of effect. Again, character can notice that spell being cast is Major Image, but I am not personally inclined to grant him a free Will Save or anything like that. Entire illusion school is fairly undermined then, not just this spell.

The issue is also that even if the character knows it's illusion, he has to disbelieve it. In the upper example, if enemy caster created an illusion of wall, it could block a line of sight if he doesn't successfully disbelieve it. Sure he can walk through it, but that's still an action required. Another corner case might be where illusion is an distraction and enemy caster has additional helper by the side or trap planned out.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Still, there are plenty of players (and GMs too) that will argue until they are red in the face that seeing the spell cast is "absolute proof" that it is fake.


All you do is tell them what happens. You don't have to tell them their interpretation of it.

"You identify the spell he is casting as major image. A dragon appears and you feel its hot breath on your neck as it looks like it's ready to attack."

That is all you say. Let the players make their conclusions from that.

Sczarni

ElyasRavenwood wrote:

I guess I was going to ask what happens if someone sticks their hands in an illusionary fire created by a major image spell.....Say for example from a wall of fire created by a major image spell.

Now I seem to remember a long time ago...say in 2nd edition, I seem to remember that illusions "damaged" you if you believed they existed. and you collapsed when you reached 0 hp. But you were only unconscious.

Could you say use a summoning spell to summon a lion, then use a major image spell to duplicate the lion so your opponents think they are facing two summoned lions?

Thank you.

If you stick a hand into illusionary fire, you will probably (I say probably because it's up to GM) try to reflexively pull it back due to heat, but not suffer any damage in the process. At least, that's how I would rule it, but if character persists and continues to push his hand, he eventually disbelieves it.

The mix of fake and real lion is what illusions are about! That's the best use of spell if used in combat conditions. Even if the enemy caster identifies spell, he might have difficulty in recognizing which is which if visual conditions are impaired for example.

The most lovely illusion that I personally had, was illusion of Mr.Frederick who was my bodyguard (I concentrated on Minor Image permanently for several hours). NPCs still had to hit his AC 10 and disbelieve him, and considering that the spell was cast before actual combat, they had no way of knowing that he was fake.


Quote:

I take it you didn't actually read the rules before you posted that, did you?

Magic - Illusion School, Figment Subschool wrote:

"Figment: A figment spell creates a false sensation."

You experience the false visual sensation of a dragon aka you see a dragon. Beyond that, how the PC reacts is up to the player.

Have read it, thanks. Also I didn't STOP reading there, but went right on down to the part that applies to figments and glamers and patterns equally entitled "Saving throws and illusions (Disbelief) Which says quite plainly

"A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss."

So no, you don't get to conclude whatever you want as a player. You can make choices as if the thing is real. You cannot roleplay it not being believed as real.


Crimeo wrote:
no, you don't get to conclude whatever you want as a player. You can make choices as if the thing is real. You cannot roleplay it not being believed as real.

Why do you suggest then? That if a cunning player figures out it's an illusion after failing his save, you just tell him "No, it's real." What happens when he ignores the illusion as it does nothing? Do you tell him he HAS to pay attention to it because you said so?

As a GM, you control 99% of the reality of your game, but you don't get to choose what your PCs think or how they act. Even the most railroading GM lets them handle walking and talking on their own. If I am a spellcaster and I identify an illusion cast, I will calmly ignore said illusion and instruct the rest of the party to do the same.

What are you gonna do about it? Make the illusion real just to spite them?

Sovereign Court

CampinCarl9127 wrote:
What are you gonna do about it? Make the illusion real just to spite them?

It depends upon the illusion.

You literally can't walk through a wall that you believe is real.

You could be flanked by illusionary foes that your character believes in even if he doesn't swing at them.

etc.

(And this sort of disagreement is why I don't play my PFS illusion based sorcerer much anymore. Too much table variation.)


Charon's Little Helper wrote:

You literally can't walk through a wall that you believe is real.

Why not? It's an illusion, regardless of you believe it's real or not. Belief doesn't make it any more real.


Quote:
Why do you suggest then? That if a cunning player figures out it's an illusion after failing his save, you just tell him "No, it's real."

Yes, that is what the rules plainly say. (Nor is this even unreasonable in the slightest. It is MAGIC, it can override cunning and affect your mind. There is no reason why intuitive [will save] defenses might not be the only ones)

Ignoring an illusion because you feel like it as a player is no better than ignoring black tentacles or a brick wall because you feel like it.

Quote:
What happens when he ignores the illusion as it does nothing? Do you tell him he HAS to pay attention to it because you said so?

There are not rules on how to confirm metagaming vs. not or how to deal with it, so this is up to the GM to adjudicate.

Personally, I would require them to roleplay a plausible explanation for why their character does ____, like in any potential suspicious metagaming situation. Say a plausible reason why you are nonchalantly walking past a dragon's jaws you believe to be real without any protection or sane hope of survival, or you don't do that. But this is just my own house rule since you asked.


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I'm not saying the player is metagaming. Let me explain clearly the situation.

Enemy caster uses silent image to create a wall. Fighter fails his save. Wizard makes his save. Wizard tells fighter the wall is fake. Fighter trusts the wizard. Fighter walks through the wall.

What happens?

Or another scenario.

Enemy caster uses silent image to create a wall. Fighter fails his save. Fighter sees somebody walk through wall. Fighter shoots an arrow through the wall. Fighter decides something is up, so he puts his arm through the wall. Fighter then walks through the wall.

What happens?

Or another scenario.

Enemy caster uses silent image to create a wall. Fighter fails his save. An enemy bull rush maneuver pushes fighter through the wall.

What happens?

Answer to all three: The fighter goes through the wall, because the wall is not real.

The will save corresponds to the character's natural ability to prevent the magic from tricking him. That doesn't mean that if he fails his save he is automatically completely convinced 100% of the time no matter what happens in the future that the illusion is real.

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