Changeable Illusions


Rules Questions


One of my players is an illusionist. I'm brushing up on illusion spells and their limitations. However, I have been completely unable to locate an answer to one question, which is why I come to you.

Do you have complete illusory control of the 10-foot cubes that you choose your spells to affect? (I am using Silent Image as the base spell.) Let's say that you've created the illusion of a boulder in one cube. After continuing the spell for several rounds, can you suddenly have a figure (previously non-existent) pop out from behind the boulder? Can you make the boulder disappear and a chair appear in its place?

Here's my initial take: you can create a single illusion in each of the cubes. (This can be a single creature, object, etc.) This illusion cannot change as long as the spell continues and cannot leave the cube.

What is your opinion?


Unless the spell states that it can change through concentration of the spellcaster, ordinarily no, it doesnt change again once the spell is cast - whatever was determined to be in that illusion at the time of the casting is what you are stuck with until dispelled or dismissed. At least thats my belief on the issue.


it creates the illusion of a creature, object or force, if you decide to make a boulder you are stuck with that.

You'd need multiple illusions to do that, it might be possible to make a boulder and then as people approach it allow it to transform in an earth elemental or something similar. Though without the proper illusionary effects this would be doomed to failure, and will almost certainly allow saves.


Barcas wrote:


Here's my initial take: you can create a single illusion in each of the cubes. (This can be a single creature, object, etc.) This illusion cannot change as long as the spell continues and cannot leave the cube.

What is your opinion?

I'd say that you can't create more illusions afterwards, but you can cause the object to move. For example, instead of creating the illusion of a rock, you might create the illusion of an earth elemental that sits so it looks like a rock, and then cause it to move about (within the cube).

Sovereign Court

I have to disagree with all of the other replies here. In every previous edition, all spells based on Silent Image that don't specifically say you are locked into one set image (Illusionary Wall, for example) let you totall change whatever you want so long as it fits in the area of effect. Illusion spells are already pretty weak, there is no reason to make them worse. After all, if you can create an illusion of an orc, control him, make him breakdance and do jumping jacks, there is no reason to be stuck with an inanimate rock.


"This spell creates the visual illusion of an object, creature, or force,
as visualized by you. The illusion does not create sound, smell,
texture, or temperature. You can move the image within the limits
of the size of the effect."

I didn't say you were stuck by an inanimate rock, but you can not change everything within the area at will either, you can make the illusion of an orc and do all that silly stuff or a rock that slowly changes into humanoid shape or have it roll downhill.

An illusion spell doesn't make the whole area into your personal nightmare scape unless that is obviously the intention of the spell.

Any DM will know soon enough that illusion spells can't be free of rules and limits, the spell sets some limits but illusion spells will always leave alot in the hands of the DM by their nature.


I'd say so long as the illusion spell has duration, you could use a concentration check, or spellcraft or something to change the rock into something else.

ASIDE FROM THAT.

If you wanted a person to appear from behind the rock (two illusions) you'd have to cast an additional illusion (use a spell slot)

Fairly simple, allows versatility, and IMO fair magical realism.

==========================================
If someone see's a rock turn into a tree. They are most likely going to assume magic is at hand. Illusion isn't a far guess from there.


Eyolf The Wild Commoner wrote:
If you wanted a person to appear from behind the rock (two illusions) you'd have to cast an additional illusion (use a spell slot)

This is tricky, because it's a standard action to cast and a standard action to concentrate and maintain the original illusion. You can't do both at the same time.


Barcas wrote:

One of my players is an illusionist. I'm brushing up on illusion spells and their limitations. However, I have been completely unable to locate an answer to one question, which is why I come to you.

Do you have complete illusory control of the 10-foot cubes that you choose your spells to affect? (I am using Silent Image as the base spell.) Let's say that you've created the illusion of a boulder in one cube. After continuing the spell for several rounds, can you suddenly have a figure (previously non-existent) pop out from behind the boulder? Can you make the boulder disappear and a chair appear in its place?

Here's my initial take: you can create a single illusion in each of the cubes. (This can be a single creature, object, etc.) This illusion cannot change as long as the spell continues and cannot leave the cube.

What is your opinion?

I'll disagree with almost everyone here and say "yes, absolutely, you can change the illusion as long as you are concentrating on it".

Elsewise, it'd be pretty darn limited to the point of almost being useless.
"I create an illusion of a knight drawing his sword"
He gets stuck by the enemy's arrow
"The illusion is of the knight with the arrow sticking out of him"
er, you didn't say anything about an arrow in your original description of the illusion!
I guess I didn't. Crap, the illusion is broken!


Why all the fuss? There's a mechanical way to solve these situations :)

LilithsThrall wrote:

"I create an illusion of a knight drawing his sword"

He gets stuck by the enemy's arrow

Interaction! Will save to disbelieve.

1) the archer fails the save

Quote:
"The illusion is of the knight with the arrow sticking out of him"
Quote:
er, you didn't say anything about an arrow in your original description of the illusion!

You failed the save, suck it up.

Or:
What illusion? That there is a real Knight...

2) the archer saves

Quote:
Crap, the illusion is broken!

Yep, absolutely.


nidho wrote:

Why all the fuss? There's a mechanical way to solve these situations :)

LilithsThrall wrote:

"I create an illusion of a knight drawing his sword"

He gets stuck by the enemy's arrow

Interaction! Will save to disbelieve.

1) the archer fails the save

Quote:
"The illusion is of the knight with the arrow sticking out of him"
Quote:
er, you didn't say anything about an arrow in your original description of the illusion!

You failed the save, suck it up.

Or:
What illusion? That there is a real Knight...

2) the archer saves

Quote:
Crap, the illusion is broken!

Yep, absolutely.

er..what?

Play out that scenario and assume that the will save was failed.
That'll help clarify what you are trying to tell me.


mmm, ok, let's see if I can put more sense into this...

the archer shoots an arrow, the illusion does not have an armor class, the attack roll cannot succeed or fail so instead a will save to disbelieve is triggered.

If the save is failed, regardless of what happens to the real arrow, the archer perceives the arrow as hitting the knight so the illusion now is of a knight with an arrow stuck in him.

...does it make sense? Not much, I admit.

Alternatively the archer could perceive the shot as a miss and then the illusion doesn't have to be adjusted.

A simpler solution really, and this directly roots out the problem of an arrow hitting an illusion which by the rules cannot happen.


nidho wrote:

mmm, ok, let's see if I can put more sense into this...

the archer shoots an arrow, the illusion does not have an armor class, the attack roll cannot succeed or fail so instead a will save to disbelieve is triggered.

If the save is failed, regardless of what happens to the real arrow, the archer perceives the arrow as hitting the knight so the illusion now is of a knight with an arrow stuck in him.

...does it make sense? Not much, I admit.

Alternatively the archer could perceive the shot as a miss and then the illusion doesn't have to be adjusted.

A simpler solution really, and this directly roots out the problem of an arrow hitting an illusion which by the rules cannot happen.

So, you are agreeing that the illusion should be able to create new things (such as an arrow)?

You're just adding that creating new things requires a will save?

I agree with that.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I believe that you can change any ongoing illusion that you are concentrating on. The rules say "any creature, object, or force as visualized by you." Therefore if you "visualize" the illusion of your knight transforming into a dragon (or even into a bolt of lightning that disappears into the sky) you are following the rules of the spell (the illusion is of the three categories and performs exactly as visualized by you).


LilithsThrall wrote:
So, you are agreeing that the illusion should be able to create new things (such as an arrow)?

Each DM should have final word on what is plausible as an adjustment of an already cast illusion.

But yes, there should be a margin for adjustment.

Quote:

You're just adding that creating new things requires a will save?

I agree with that.

Sometimes. What triggers the save is the interaction.

Then a failed save implies the illusion is still in effect despite the interaction. Sometimes this implies the caster has to adjust the illusion to keep plausibility; like in the first the arrow example.

Also a radical change on a cast illusion should trigger a save, or outright disvelievement of said illusion.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As a rule of thumb I traditionally don't count things as an interaction unless the subject spends an action of some kind to interact with it (such as a move action or standard action, for example). Therefore an attack against an illusion, or simply examining it closely as a standard action, would be enough for a save. I allow for a few exceptions, such as if someone fell off a barn's roof and fell through the illusion of a farmer. They would get a save even though they didn't spend an action because something unexpected just happened. If they fail, they walk away thinking something to the effect of "must have hit the ground harder than I thought."


Here's a bit of thread necromancy to get people's take on a specific case. I have an enemy in the next room wanting to parley with my wizard; at the moment he can see me. He wants me to approach into the middle of the room. Could I step back into the hallway, supposedly to confer for a moment with my allies, cast minor image, and then have an illusion of me walk into the next room and conduct negotiations while I stay out of sight? Instead of actually saying whatever I wanted to reply to the enemy's words, I'd visualize my illusory self responding as I want to respond. Anything in the RAW say I can't do that?


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cleanthes wrote:
Here's a bit of thread necromancy to get people's take on a specific case. I have an enemy in the next room wanting to parley with my wizard; at the moment he can see me. He wants me to approach into the middle of the room. Could I step back into the hallway, supposedly to confer for a moment with my allies, cast minor image, and then have an illusion of me walk into the next room and conduct negotiations while I stay out of sight? Instead of actually saying whatever I wanted to reply to the enemy's words, I'd visualize my illusory self responding as I want to respond. Anything in the RAW say I can't do that?

RAW that wouldn't work as minor image prohibits speech. You'd be better off hiding in the ceiling while using project image.

LilithsThrall wrote:
I'll disagree with almost everyone here and say "yes, absolutely, you can change the illusion as long as you are concentrating on it".

As do I. The whole point of concentrating on it is so that you can continue to manipulate the illusion, having it move react or change. You can indeed have multiple creatures, objects, etc. in the area as they are all jointly part of the SINGLE illusion.


D'oh! I missed that about speech. As a 3rd level wizard, project image is quite beyond me for now. Looks like I'll just have to stay visible and take my chances.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Or buy a scroll.

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