The Illusionist: Class, Background or Theme?


Krampus ate my d20s
The class discussion threads felt incomplete without talk of the benighted Illusionist. In the spirit of thoroughness, what are our thoughts on the Illusionist?

School specific wizards should be be reflected in theme and spell selection. That is all the Illusionist brings to the table.

The Beguiler was an interesting Enchanter/Illusionist blend. If there is a 5E Illusionist class, it would do well to blend in more than straight illusion. A class built around 'the power to cloud minds' would be interesting. How do you differentiate from a wizard, psion or bard?

log in or register to remove this ad


Victoria Rules
Class, class, class!

Necromancer as a class too, while we're at it.

The rest of the wizard variants (Conjurer, Diviner, Evoker, etc.) aren't really distinct enough and can easily be lumped into general Wizard/Magic-User.

Lan-"Illusionist - best class ever!"-efan

EDIT: is there supposed to be a poll with this - all the other class threads have one...

Jeff Carlsen

Theme or part of the Wizard class. Possibly as one of the advanced themes they're considering.

I like the idea that someone could specialize in any school, even the ones that aren't as obviously useful. It adds flavor to the world.


I tend to theme that schools of magic are best handled with themes, for two reasons.

First, the primary difference between a specialist and a non-specialist is spell selection. Wizard (and sorcerer) class mechanics should be sufficient to allow casters to select spells appropriate to their school of choice.

Second, the limited number special abilities that should apply to the specialists are perfectly valid for a number of classes. Sure, there can be wizard illusionists, but why not sorcerer illusionists or bard illusionists? For that matter, I wouldn't rule out a cleric necromancer or a druid transformer. Just like how fighters, rangers and rogues can all be two-weapon specialists, the school specialist mechanics apply to multiple classes and are good candidates for themes.



First Post
Honestly, I'm really hoping class. I really don't feel like we need specialist for every school of magic, and but some types of magic are special enough to warrant making them their own classes so they have license to make them actually unique. I really could see Illusionist, Necromancer, Enchanter, and Summoner being their own thing.

Specialization requires a level of symmetry that is sometimes an ill fit, making things more similar that they need to be.


Part of the Wizard class. I like the idea that schools of magic are purely a Wizard thing due to the way they study it.


Unique spell lists and spell casting look very doable in this version of the game. That would be cool. I'd like to see Druids and Illusionists (and any other spellcasting subclasses) get their geek on in their own cool way. Remember Backgrounds are just skills and Themes simply feat groupings. Neither are necessary to the game. Having an Illusionist class would mean a caster with fewer spells, but ones far more applicable to nearly any situation. Plus, I always thought they had a bit more thief or fighter in them too, so they might be better in a fight.

2e magic schools would be cool too, but I'd rather they were an option. Just like any class is.


I want to see illusion as a wizard class specialization. Note that I am all in favor of exclusive spells and class features for the various schools, to give them all something unique the generalist wizard can't do (or can't do as well). This would have the effect of making them mimic the 1e illusionist in spirit, but I don't think a completely separate class write-up is warranted for them.

An Advertisement