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Sunday, 23rd October, 2011, 08:22 AM #11
Guide (Lvl 11)
Here's a silly proposal: Invent a new Feat - Mask Illusions.
The effect is that the caster of an illusion has developed such an understanding of how magics interact that he can include in his spells the magical aura he'd like someone else to see under Detect Magic. In essence, his illusions include an illusion of some spell school, other than Illusion.
Make it a contested Spellcraft check to see through the illusory magical aura, though the caster of the illusion is at a penalty if they try to include the lack of a magical aura as their mask.
This allows the determined illusionist another layer to their deceptions. Not sure if specialization in illusions should be a prerequisite for the feat, or simply give a bonus on the contested roll.
Q: Should it be a contested roll at all, or should it be a case of 10 + Illusionist's spellcraft to set the DC for the other caster to see the real aura?
A: My observation has always been that, while players like to roll dice, they don't like to roll too many dice. I'd probably go with the 10+spellcraft option.
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Sunday, 23rd October, 2011, 09:45 AM #12
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I've never had a problem with detect magic trumping illusion magic in my games, for all of the reasons others have pointed out and maybe more. Once in a great while, if used correctly, detect magic foils an illusion. For me, that's a feature, not a bug.
Sunday, 23rd October, 2011, 10:58 AM #13
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
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The thing is, Detect Magic is so necessary that making it a non-cantrip s with the whole party. It was a 1st level spell in AD&D, and that was a pain. Except for high-level play, you were almost always forced to fill a goodly amount of your first-level slots with Detect Magic. You hated that, but you needed the spell. In low-level play, this sucked majorly. In my book, it's a good thing that Detect Magic is a mere cantrip now. It also seems to make sense that the detection of magic in its most general form would be a cantrip known to everybody who can cast spells at all.
Now on to what the spell does: first of all, you only get a general idea that "something's magical". After concentrating for a few rounds, you can ascertain the number, location and strength of magical auras. But standing still and concentrating real hard will certainly give away that you're doing a detection sweep of the area. Anybody invisible or magically disguised should take their cue from that and move about a little - this is quite often a very good option, since it's rather easy to leave a 60' cone. Even a Silent Image can often be moved from the area of detection, since its own area is quite large. Other illusion spells are either not practically affected, like Mirror Image (you can't at the same time concentrate on Detect Magic, and do something with your newfound knowledge of which one is the real caster), or Simulacrum (for reasons already spelled out upthread).
Most of the time, the only real knowledge you gain from Detect Magic is the fact that, yes, there is an illusion spell working on the subject - if you manage to study them for the full three rounds and make you Spellcraft check. Now this might or might not be useful to you, since it doesn't tell you what illusion is being employed. Or, in the case of magical disguises, what the disguised person really looks like (maybe it's actually a Warforged with laser cannons for arms? Or maybe only the eye color is changed?). Occasionally, it will be obvious what's up once you know an illusion is being employed. At other times, it will keep you guessing (magically shrouded alignment? Magic item being concealed? Disguise? Not a real person at all?), merely providing a hint that guessing might be in order at all.
While the overall utility of Detect Magic is immense, it's far from a direct counter to the illusion school of magic. In fact, it may help from time to time (which is as it should be in my book), but it takes a lot of setup and just the right circumstances to work. What's more, it's easily foiled by counter-countermeasures like Nondetection or a simple lead sheet. :-)
Sunday, 23rd October, 2011, 01:40 PM #14
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
casting detect magic in order to detect an invisible attacker essentially amounts to having to use 3 combat rounds worth of actions.
Scenario 1: Round 1 Someone in the party makes a listen check to hear someone casting a spell, but nobody can see anything so wizard casts detect magic. Round 2 2 or 3 summoned creatures appear next to the wizard who is concentrating very hard on his detect magic and knock the crap out of him. Everyone else spends their turn moving back to the wizard to try and protect him from the summoned monsters. The party still needs 2 more rounds before they can pinpoint the invisible guy at this rate, and they are all nicely clustered for a wall of fire or whatever. This is in not how the party ever wants combat to begin.
Scenario 2: Round 1 second verse, same as the first, except this time the wizard casts See invis. The wizard still gets mauled by the summoned monsters for a round, but can spend his next turn glitterdusting, or dispelling, or telegraphing a location to the druid for a faerie fire, or disintegrating or whatever on the enemy spellcaster.
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Sunday, 23rd October, 2011, 04:42 PM #15
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
A smart illusionist doesn't need the rules changed for this. Now, if you are playing an illusionist and every one of your illusions gets defeated by detect magic then the problem is really the DM.
Sunday, 23rd October, 2011, 07:31 PM #16
Guide (Lvl 11)
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Actually, Jimlock, I'd say that there's a pretty good case to be made that your solution #1 is RAW already. An illusion is generally meant to deceive the senses. Detect magic allows you to "see" auras. If you cast detect magic, I would say that at least qualifies as studying the illusion, so you get a saving throw. But if you fail, your magical "sight," such as it is, would be deceived by the illusion and you don't detect the presence of an illusion. I've generally run illusions that way IMC and never seen a balance issue from it.
Second of all, your thread title is utter hyperbole. It takes time to cast detect magic. It takes time to identify the location of an aura. It takes time to get that Spellcraft check. If you are talking about combat illusions, that is time the caster should probably be spending doing something else. If he even suspects it is an illusion, he should probably try to cast dispel magic instead. If you aren't talking about combat illusions, then a lot of illusions are by their very nature combat effects. Color spray? Phantasmal killer? Blur? Even if detect magic is helpful in determining that some effect is an illusion, it isn't going to really help you against any of those. Calm the heck down.
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Monday, 24th October, 2011, 12:13 AM #17
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Ok so I didn't take the time to read but a few of the posts in this thread having solved the problem by then so I may be repeating the solution.
Ok Detect magic does exactly what it says and I think we all agree on that so lets focus on Illusions. First off lets define Illusions and to do so forget what SRD says and use the PHB as this is the offical source not the ammended paraphrased source. Illusions are basically tricks of the mind and that is the key. So even if you conjure an illusion such as a silent image its not the image that gives off magic as this is not where the magic is directed. If it was then this would be a conjuration spell. The way this spell works is you try to trick those around you to believe there is something there, hence the magic is affecting their minds. So even if they detect magic they will only get at most that it is an illusion on their minds but won't know what, or where and must still save or see it.
The key to almost all Illusions (shadow spells not included) is that they are tricks on the subjects mind, not actual things going on. They are mind effecting spells and nothing more so the magic is directed at the PC's mind, not the actual thing the spell does. This is why on many illusions you must interact with it for your mind to understand that it is not real (as it is very possible with magic or just in general that it could be. Who is the common peasant to say that the red dragon at the edge of the city isn't real and ready to burn them to bits)
Even you or I can fall subject to Illusions of today. Think of mega superstar magicians such as Hoodini, David Copperfield, and Chris Angel. Are these tricks really magic or Illusions? If magic actually did exist who would be able to tell that? We know it doesn't so we know somehow they tricked our mind but becuase we can't figure it out we have all failed our saving throws even though we know its not real..it still looks real, acts real, and feels real. Heat waves coming off the road cause it to wave and distort in the distance. Is the road really moving? Physics tells us no but our mind still sees it. Just as a magic illusion works the same. We see the red dragon but once we walk through it our mind realizes it is an Illusion even though we can still see it, but we no longer believe it. Why? because the magic is still trying to affect our minds and this is why I may know it is an Illusion but you may not.
So does Detect magic negate Illusions? no. Could it give a bonus to a saving throw? Yes but only if the person knows what to look for that could be the illusion which means they are studying the illusion anyway and think it might not be real.
This is why Detect Magic does not detect most Illusion spells unless they actually conjure something(such as shadow spells) but True Seeing does as this spell lets you see the world as it really is.
Monday, 24th October, 2011, 04:01 AM #18
Guide (Lvl 11)
I'm afraid I'm about to blow that out of the water.
Look at any of the Illusion spells described in the PHB. Find one that lists the people to be fooled as the targets, or says that they must be within the range of the spell or it's area of effect.
The lower level versions describe themselves as being "visual only", with the higher level ones adding auditory, thermal, olfactory or tactile elements.
Note that none of them say "mental", and that Saves aren't automatic, as they would be if someone was implanting a suggestion in a character's mind.
Audible Glamer, as an example, will serve to distract a Golem. The mindless creature can and will be fooled by it, even though it's immune to mind affecting spells. Why? Because the spell isn't listed as "mind affecting".
So when someone casts Detect Magic, they'll pick up the magical aura right in the area where the illusion appears to be, and it will show a school of Illusion. Why? Because that's the designated area, as laid out in the spell's description block, where the illusion was cast, and where it appears to exist.
Monday, 24th October, 2011, 05:55 AM #19
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Ahhh..Seems an Illusion has been performed right infront on our eyes and Greenfield is both the caster and the one being fooled. He sees what he wants.
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Apperently you missed the part where I said to ignore SRD and use the PHB. Read the section on Illusion spells on pg 158 in the PHB 3.0. Or if you're a 3.5 person its on pg 173 in the PHB.
Several of them are direct mind affecting spells. Phantasmal killer is one.
Ok so if illusions aren't tricks of the mind then how do they work? They aren't really there. Are they conjurations of images? If so then they should be in the conjuration school of magic. They are all lies and how do you believe a lie? with your mind. This magic affects your sense, hence it affects your mind (you can't see without your brain recieving electrical impulses)
So if Illusions aren't tricks of the mind then we stop looking at them do we cease to believe what we just saw? No we still believe it because it is a magic of the mind. How can it produce heat if no heat exists? The magic fools our mind to make it think it is warmer than it really is. This is why illusions are considered mind affecting spells. Because without the mind it will do nothing to you. Think of a dead body. Will an illusion warm the dead body? no, Will it harm a dead body, no. Will it do anything to a dead body? no. And we can see the effects of it doing nothing on the dead body. This is why illusions are mind affecting. Dead bodies have no working minds. The living mind makes the illusion real.
Think of the Matrix. "Your mind makes it real" "It's a system of control"
Monday, 24th October, 2011, 08:14 AM #20
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Yep. Phantasmal killer, like all mind-affecting spells, has the [mind-affecting] descriptor. Illusion spells that don't have that descriptor aren't mind-affecting; the illusion isn't just in the perceiver's mind, it really is there.Originally Posted by cjosephs1s