5E Guidance on Illusion spells
+ Log in or register to post
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30
  1. #1

    Guidance on Illusion spells

    So I'm playing a lower lv wizard and normally we don't have many illusion spells cast in our adventures.

    There are a total of 10 monsters in 30 ft area and the 3 nearest monsters near the party about 10ft.
    On our last game session, I cast Silent Image near the 3 closest (DM didnt roll for the other 7) each of the 3x all failed their spell save DC. One of the monsters attacked the Silent Image (unicorn) with a arrow, and the monster shot well enough that he knew it was an illusion, so then all the monsters could ignore it.

    The Dm said it was because when he read the spell in PHB and he quoted the bottom paragraph "physical interactions with the image reveals it to be an illusion, because things can pass through it."

    My argument was

    1) the monster didn't use it action to examine the image(they failed the spell save DC and took action to attack at it)
    2) even if you believe the one monster believes it to be an illusion, how come all the others monsters believe it to be an illusion as well? he said because they all saw the arrow go through it.

    Any suggestions how to deal with this ... I understand Illusion spells have there limitations however IMO the DM took the one line in the spell and dismissed the Illusion.

  2. #2

    Guidance on Illusion spells

    That's how my group treats it. If one monster walks through it everyone sees him walking through it. Using the action is to interact with it via observing it in my read. Since it's so low level you gotta keep that in mind. One difference is I don't roll any checks, they all see it and believe it unless there is physical interaction (all see if they witness the interaction) or investigation (solo success)performed. So depending on the situation and image they may have no reason to interact physically.

    So net result is an action is burned at a minimum for one creature. Which is about on par with other level 1 spells. With the potential of used in a non combat situation of working on a multitude of creatures...chasing situation and out of site you put up a fake dead end.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by xanstin; Wednesday, 11th January, 2017 at 08:57 PM.
    XP Saelorn, Satyrn gave XP for this post

  3. #3
    Assuming that the monsters have some basic intelligence (and in your example they are wielding bows so a pretty safe assumption) then your DM's interpretation is a reasonable one imo. An arrow going cleanly through an object as if it weren't there counts as a physical interaction and serves as a pretty big clue to figure out what's going on. One could argue that that the intent of the spell is that creatures must physically interact with the object themselves, but that's a bit of a stretch. Intelligent monsters would also naturally communicate to their allies their findings on the state of a battle.

    In my opinion the usage of illusion spells in combat is on the narrow side. Combat is generally very physical so the chances of the enemy coming into physical contact with your illusions tends to be high. I think the trick here is to create illusions that the enemy doesn't want to interact with. So creatures aren't the best choice unless you are confident that the enemy will want to retreat at the sight of your illusion (which is probably the exception, not the rule). Try creating obstacles that the enemy will want to avoid and therefore have a harder time figuring out your tricks.
    XP Saelorn gave XP for this post

  4. #4
    It's tricky to use those spells in combat because there is a LOT of physical interaction in combat.

    However, if you're going to use them, consider their utility overall and have something in mind. Your unicorn might be ignored after a single attack as illusory, but it may also block line of sight or be tangentially distracting.

    Even if you know something is an illusion (intellectually), your brain still reacts to things. Ever see people fall over during VR demos? A charging unicorn, even an illusion, could and arguably should have some consequences.

    You also want to think about using illusions to mislead. Making a rickety bridge look stable, or altering the length of a cliff side. Plenty of people will have better ideas than mine. But if you make your intent clear to your DM, they're more likely to be receptive to your use of the spell. If there's ambiguity in what you're trying to do, some DMs will be inclined to just negate it for the sake of simplicity.


    -Brad

  5. #5
    Member
    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)

    aco175's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    844
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block aco175


    Friend+
    If I all the monsters going at the same time, I may give the player a break and have most of them shooting at the image and some at the PCs. If there was multiple initiatives, I would allow the follow-on monsters to act normally.

  6. #6
    Member
    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    The Supreme Throne
    Posts
    111
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Cyrinishad


    Friend+
    Well, my most immediate suggestion would be to steer away from illusions that monsters want to attack, since the Illusion merely needs to be some visible phenomenon no larger than a 15-foot cube... However, as a DM I wouldn't have allowed the attack to "hit" the illusion since Illusions do not have an AC. If I were DMing I would have narrated the monsters Intelligence checks against the Spell DC as "attacks" against the illusion. My understanding of the tactical intent of the spell is to occupy creatures until they succeed in an intelligence check against your Spell DC.

  7. #7
    Member
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Meridian, ID
    Posts
    2,833
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block AaronOfBarbaria


    Friend+
    Illusion spells have always been tricky to adjudicate because their usefulness is entirely determined by the creativity of the player describing the illusion and the DM's ability to interpret that description in manner that doesn't make the scenario of casting an illusion feel like it is a player versus the DM negotiation.

    To that end, I often adjudicate in a way that favors the player's desired out-come.

    In this specific scenario, I would not have allowed an attack roll to count as physical interaction because the illusion has no AC against which to compare an attack roll and fairly decide between the outcomes of A) the arrow passes through the illusion, revealing it to be an illusion, and B) the illusion appears to have evaded the arrow. So the monster shooting the arrow would have to roll an Intelligence (investigation) check instead to figure out which of those outcomes it believes has occured.

    In the more general sense, I consider the physical interaction mention to be explanatory to the character casting the illusion that they cannot convincingly use illusions of the nature of chains entrapping a creature because the creature will immediately realize they cannot feel the weight, coldness, or solidity of the chains. Thus leaving all other situations of trying to figure out that the illusion is in fact an illusion down to declaration of an action that might notice, and an Intelligence (investigation) roll against spell save DC to figure out how things went.
    XP Cyrinishad gave XP for this post

  8. #8
    Member
    Time Agent (Lvl 24)



    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
    Posts
    3,825
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block lowkey13


    Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by retrace View Post

    There are a total of 10 monsters in 30 ft area and the 3 nearest monsters near the party about 10ft.
    On our last game session, I cast Silent Image near the 3 closest (DM didnt roll for the other 7) each of the 3x all failed their spell save DC.
    Arrghhhh! This is giving me terrible flashbacks. No one told me there would be math!

    Seven kobolds must line up in order to attack the party.* There are seven consecutive spots for the kobolds to line up. Assume the kobolds are named "B, C, D, F, H, J, and K" and each kobold will attack in order of its spot. Only one kobold can occupy each spot. The assignment of the kobolds to the attacking spots is subject to the following restrictions:
    B and D must occupy consecutive spots.
    B must attack earlier than K.
    D must attack later than H.
    If H does not attack in fourth attacking spot, then F must attack in the fourth spot.
    K and J cannot occupy consecutive attack spots.

    How do the kobolds attack?**


    *How did we agree to attack them?
    All at once.
    And how did we attack them?
    One at a time.


    **Answer- they don't. Kobolds run!
    Laugh MNblockhead laughed with this post

  9. #9
    Given the short time duration of a single round of combat, all the 3 creatures should have attacked the illusion (imho).

    Inviato dal mio ASUS_Z00AD utilizzando Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeezOnFire View Post
    In my opinion the usage of illusion spells in combat is on the narrow side. Combat is generally very physical so the chances of the enemy coming into physical contact with your illusions tends to be high. I think the trick here is to create illusions that the enemy doesn't want to interact with. So creatures aren't the best choice unless you are confident that the enemy will want to retreat at the sight of your illusion (which is probably the exception, not the rule). Try creating obstacles that the enemy will want to avoid and therefore have a harder time figuring out your tricks.

    I like your thinking ... I will definitely try to find examples of things like that to try out. The purpose of this spell was to try to get at least the 3x Gnolls to attack the unicorn instead of the party.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bawylie View Post
    However, if you're going to use them, consider their utility overall and have something in mind. Your unicorn might be ignored after a single attack as illusory, but it may also block line of sight or be tangentially distracting.


    -Brad

    Agree ... they can be a great utility and I fully expected that they would have been ignored after 1 or 2 rounds of combat but not one Gnoll shooting an arrow after it had fail it DC Saving

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronOfBarbaria View Post


    In this specific scenario, I would not have allowed an attack roll to count as physical interaction because the illusion has no AC against which to compare an attack roll and fairly decide between the outcomes of A) the arrow passes through the illusion, revealing it to be an illusion, and B) the illusion appears to have evaded the arrow. So the monster shooting the arrow would have to roll an Intelligence (investigation) check instead to figure out which of those outcomes it believes has occured.
    That is kinda what happen at first .. I told the DM they have to make a DC Saving throw and they all failed. but when the one Gnolls turn came up he attacked it and then magically they all knew they it was a fake unicorn



    Quote Originally Posted by wwanno View Post
    Given the short time duration of a single round of combat, all the 3 creatures should have attacked the illusion (imho).
    This is what I thought should happen as well ... they all attack it or run over to capture it, thus the party avoids 1x or 2x rounds of their attacks
    Last edited by retrace; Wednesday, 11th January, 2017 at 11:23 PM.
    XP MonkeezOnFire gave XP for this post

+ Log in or register to post
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Similar Threads

  1. Some illusion spells for Pathfinder
    By Pielorinho in forum Pathfinder & Starfinder RPG Discussion, Rules, Houserules, & Homebrews
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Saturday, 12th November, 2011, 10:49 PM
  2. Illusion Spells
    By nyc-roleplay in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Friday, 6th October, 2006, 05:33 PM
  3. New illusion spells
    By ecliptic in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Sunday, 29th August, 2004, 12:14 AM
  4. New Illusion Spells
    By Shadowind in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Saturday, 9th August, 2003, 09:05 PM
  5. On saves vs Illusion spells
    By Forrester in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Friday, 31st May, 2002, 01:54 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •