The Grand Illusionist's Delusion [Levels 5-8; Haunted House]

The Grand Illusionist's Delusion [Levels 5-8; Haunted House]


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The Grand Illusionist's Delusion [Levels 5-8; Haunted House]

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XP Jonathan Friedman, Anthony Sulpizio gave XP for this post
The Tome of Absence is a powerful spellbook of illusion magic. Many of the greatest illusionists throughout history possessed the tome, but most hid it someplace secret, died at the hands of a rival magician, or simply disappeared. The tome has a dark secret: it feeds on the spirit of its owner, using the magician’s own life to fuel his or her illusions, eventually killing its master and trapping his or her soul.

Urlach the Grand Illusionist is a rogue wizard who fancies himself the greatest illusionist of the current age. He has sought the Tome of Absence for more than a decade,believing that the tome will elevate him to be the greatest illusionist of all time. He tracked down the tome, claimed it for himself, and dove into studying the text, taking few precautions as he did. By the time he learned of the Tome’s deadly secret, it was too late. Now, Urlach is frantically searching for a way to remove the tome’s curse before it kills him.

The PCs might become the targets of one of Urlach’s servants, hunt Urlach for the bounty on his head, or be hired by the people of Dinton to rescue missing priests. The PCs will explore the mansion where Urlach found the Tome and at first it seems welcoming, but they will quickly realize that nothing within the mansion is what it seems. Illusions, traps, and arcane defenders hinder their progress through a mansion that is literally falling apart around them. If the PCs encounter and defeat Urlach, they will be left with the dilemma of responsibly disposing of the tome - or perhaps the temptation of using its power for themselves...

The Grand Illusionist’s Delusion is an adventure designed for a party of four 5th-8th level adventurers. The adventure was designed with 6th level characters in mind but it is still appropriate for characters of 7th or 8th level.
  1. seankreynolds
    Grand Illusionist's Delusion
    The criteria I'm looking for are:
    (A) encounters that play up various party roles (martial, skill, magic, etc.)
    (B) whether the adventure sites have a reasonable ecology (what, no bathrooms?)
    (C) the narrative flow of the overall adventure.

    I like the (nonmagical) Compendium Copper book as treasure.

    I like that there are significant NPCs who are doppelgangers and they actually have personalities and distinct identities.

    I like the idea of an inhabited, decaying mansion that looks pristine because of illusions, and how the magic book makes those illusions quasi-real (like actually being able to sit on a nonexistent chair) for anyone who believes them.

    I like that you can talk to the "boss" at the end of the adventure and don't have to fight him... but can still fight him if that's how it works out.

    (A) There's a reasonable variety of things for the PCs to fight, keeping the fights from being repetitive for martial characters.

    There's a nice breakdown of what the PCs can learn in town as the result of various skill checks, the valuable adventure book, identifying what killed a found body, and so on.

    Magic-oriented characters have the opportunity to use things like dispel magic, remove curse, and remove disease.

    (B) What's interesting about the ecology of this place is that it's a house, and had a kitchen and similar necessary rooms, but has fallen into disrepair, and has some oozes and similar opportunist creatures living in it. On top of that is an illusion, and the place is inhabited by living people, who interact with a false layer on top of the real, brokedown house.

    (C) Mainly this adventure is about the PCs exploring the mansion, and most will realize that because they enter at the bottom and therefore the goal is the top.
  2. Daemini
    So on the boss reactions, it says, "Disappearing Trick: As the Mage ability by the same name (Classes pg. 34)." I'm guessing this is the Next playtest rules, is this anywhere in the 5e rules?

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