D&D 1E Why do Wizard hot dogs come in packages of 9, but Cleric buns come in packages of 7?


log in or register to remove this ad

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
Yes.


Going back to seriously address the OP ( @Gradine ). I've been thinking about this for a while, as I don't recall ever seeing a definitive answer to this question. What I do want to stress (as someone who was familiar with the era) is that it just seemed natural at the time.
I thank you for your extrapolations! I will note that on the forum that served as the genesis for this question, they have already happily accepted your original answer as canon.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The 1e Illusionist's design is insanely bizarre, but I don't know anyone who ever played one. I'm curious what the play experience was like, though I imagine, like illusion spells throughout the game's history, it really comes down to your DM (Illusions being one of the most "Mother May I" elements in the game).
I've played two major ones, one in our 1e variant and another in 3e; there I intentionally tried to replicate a 1e Illusionist in order to see if the system would let me. The Illusionist replication was only vaguely successful, the character herself wildly so - probably the best one I've ever had.

The main thing you have to realize when playing an Illusionist is that you're a trickster, not a blaster. If you're casting spells intending to do direct damage to something, you're probably doing it wrong. Also, in 1e illusions above 1st level can affect more senses than just sight - the 3rd-level spell Spectral Force affects all five senses, which includes touch, meaning its illusions can make the targets think they're taking real damage. You're trying to mess with their minds, perceptions, emotions, and so forth such that if you're lucky they'll damage themselves for you, e.g. using Spook to send someone fleeing off a cliff in terror.

You can't fireball the bridge, but you can try to make people think it's six feet to the left of where it really is.

Another key is that you need to be well aware that there's going to be times when you're the mainstay of the party and they're just there to mop up and other times when you're about as useful as a pack mule.

A tomb full of mindless undead? Yeah, thanks for comin' out; next contestant please. You can't touch this.
A camp full of Ogres and Orcs whose average intelligence is roughly that of a shoe? Hold my beer and leave this to me.... :)

The primary thing the DM has to keep in mind is that NPCs aren't always going to think to try disbelieving illusions unless they have good reason to e.g. thye've already found one nearby.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I've played two major ones, one in our 1e variant and another in 3e; there I intentionally tried to replicate a 1e Illusionist in order to see if the system would let me. The Illusionist replication was only vaguely successful, the character herself wildly so - probably the best one I've ever had.

The main thing you have to realize when playing an Illusionist is that you're a trickster, not a blaster. If you're casting spells intending to do direct damage to something, you're probably doing it wrong. Also, in 1e illusions above 1st level can affect more senses than just sight - the 3rd-level spell Spectral Force affects all five senses, which includes touch, meaning its illusions can make the targets think they're taking real damage. You're trying to mess with their minds, perceptions, emotions, and so forth such that if you're lucky they'll damage themselves for you, e.g. using Spook to send someone fleeing off a cliff in terror.

You can't fireball the bridge, but you can try to make people think it's six feet to the left of where it really is.

Another key is that you need to be well aware that there's going to be times when you're the mainstay of the party and they're just there to mop up and other times when you're about as useful as a pack mule.

A tomb full of mindless undead? Yeah, thanks for comin' out; next contestant please. You can't touch this.
A camp full of Ogres and Orcs whose average intelligence is roughly that of a shoe? Hold my beer and leave this to me.... :)

The primary thing the DM has to keep in mind is that NPCs aren't always going to think to try disbelieving illusions unless they have good reason to e.g. thye've already found one nearby.
See this is what I mean though. So many DM's I've played with have this innate knee-jerk reaction to illusion spells. Not the ones that are hard to argue with, like mirror image or invisibility, but things like phantasmal force or minor illusion; any time a player gets creative, there's this moment where the DM crosses their eyes, either not happy about their enemy being "tricked", or not wanting to let the player get away with too much.

Though in fairness, on the flipside, I've noticed a lot of players who use illusion spells always want to push the envelop a little far as well, summoning demon princes out of thin air when a mere ogre would do the trick.
 

Voadam

Legend
Fun with illusions

As a noble sorcerer I welcomed a fellow PC aspiring arcane trickster to magic club and gave her some advice on a spell of hers for when we knew we were going up against a basilisk. The barbarian with blindfighting went first, and ran up to fight it with reduced penalties while avoiding the gaze. The DM gets around to the trickster's turn expecting her to run up to try and sneak attack ineffectually with her dagger as she has against foes in the past but instead she pulls out the 1st level phantasmal force illusion and conjures a strapped on hood over the basilisk's head. "Like the eyeless ones you use on hawks before unleashing them." as I had suggested in my magic club adviser role. Her one non-cantrip spell. The DM looks annoyed and thinks for a while then smiles and says "It is interacting with the hood, it can get a save, and it does. It turns its gaze upon . . ." at which point I chime in "Let's all just choose not to save against the illusion on our end so we do not meet its gaze." The DM's smile froze, then dropped and he whispered, "Oh god, that works." High fives for the magic club.

Illusions can be very satisfying.

That was a pathfinder 1e game though.
 


Voadam

Legend
Fun with illusions AD&D

So spectral force allowed multiple illusory sensations such as heat. Higher level permanent and programmed illusions could do full on spectral force illusions with sight, sound, heat, etc.

I had a high level merchant prince AD&D wizard who eventually had a few permanent and programmed illusions set up just in case after getting the spells and thinking through some options.

Programmed illusions to summon a greater fire elemental, fireballs, and wall of fire if I needed a quick distraction. Also spectral undead who it would be completely believable that weapons went right through them.

Permanent illusions of invisible/ethereal monsters who I could control and have them come in if needed for a distraction but otherwise stay out of the picture. Phase spider. Pixie. This one was inspired by casting detect invisibility once and inadvertently finding out the grand druid had an invisible pixie bodyguard that accompanied him.

Permanent illusion of magic items so my ring could do illusory ring of the stars effects, or my staff could do illusory staff of power/thunder and lightning effects for a distraction. Illusory thunderclap can be a great aesthetic effect without using up valuable actual charges.
 


Voadam

Legend
Oh I see someone else bought Dragon Kings besides me!
Hey now, don't exaggerate. Psionic enchantments are only 10th level spells. :)

I have Dragon Kings, Tome of Magic with Quest spells, and the Role Aids Arch Magic which has flat out full on 10th level spells, and the Wizard's Spell Compendiums which include the dark sun stuff and information on mythal magic.

You have to go to ancient Netheril to get the official AD&D level 11 Mavin's World Weave, Level 11 Proctiv's Breach Crystal Sphere, and the level 12 Karsus's Avatar spells. In world for the Forgotten Realms Karsus's avatar from the netheril age killed Mystril, caused a magical apocalypse, and the new goddess of magic Mystra changed the weave so mortal casters could only access up to level 9 spells from then on.

I am not that familiar with a lot of Larloch's specifics in the realms, he might have some special stuff too.

Edit - The Role Aids archmagic had AD&D spells up to 15th level such as greater apocalypse.
 
Last edited:

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
In world for the Forgotten Realms Karsus's avatar from the netheril age killed Mystril, caused a magical apocalypse, and the new goddess of magic Mystra changed the weave so mortal casters could only access up to level 9 spells from then on.
Minor correction: Mystra made it so that mortals could only cast spells of 10th-level and below after Karsus. That's why you have two 10th-level spells, Moryggan's mythaleash and The Srinshee's spellshift, in The Fall of Myth Drannor (which doesn't seem to be available on DriveThruRPG).
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Apropos of illusions, Dragon Magazine issue #130 (Feb 1988) had a great article called Hold Onto Your Illusions! which gave some nice guidelines and suggestions and a supplemental rule or two to make adjudicating illusions easier.

If anyone's interested in help adjudicating illusions for their games, I definitely recommend looking it up.
 
Last edited:

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Hey now, don't exaggerate. Psionic enchantments are only 10th level spells. :)

I have Dragon Kings, Tome of Magic with Quest spells, and the Role Aids Arch Magic which has flat out full on 10th level spells, and the Wizard's Spell Compendiums which include the dark sun stuff and information on mythal magic.

You have to go to ancient Netheril to get the official AD&D level 11 Mavin's World Weave, Level 11 Proctiv's Breach Crystal Sphere, and the level 12 Karsus's Avatar spells. In world for the Forgotten Realms Karsus's avatar from the netheril age killed Mystril, caused a magical apocalypse, and the new goddess of magic Mystra changed the weave so mortal casters could only access up to level 9 spells from then on.

I am not that familiar with a lot of Larloch's specifics in the realms, he might have some special stuff too.

Edit - The Role Aids archmagic had AD&D spells up to 15th level such as greater apocalypse.
Ah yes, I forgot about the ancient Netheril supplements. I have all those same books, including whichever one has Elven High Magics (whichever one it was, Evermeet, Myth Drannor, or Cormanthor). Arch-Magic, in particular, is a favorite of mine, even if it's not "official" content.
 

Voadam

Legend
Ah yes, I forgot about the ancient Netheril supplements. I have all those same books, including whichever one has Elven High Magics (whichever one it was, Evermeet, Myth Drannor, or Cormanthor). Arch-Magic, in particular, is a favorite of mine, even if it's not "official" content.
Mayfair Games had a lot of great AD&D stuff. I particularly enjoyed their Demons line, Archmagic, their monster books, and a number of their general sourcebooks. I really wish WotC would take the old ones and put them out as PDFs instead of continuing the TSR "bury them after acquisition" strategy.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Mayfair Games had a lot of great AD&D stuff. I particularly enjoyed their Demons line, Archmagic, their monster books, and a number of their general sourcebooks. I really wish WotC would take the old ones and put them out as PDFs instead of continuing the TSR "bury them after acquisition" strategy.
Yeah, it would be nice to see things like Fantastic Treasures be readily available.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
The 1e Illusionist's design is insanely bizarre, but I don't know anyone who ever played one. I'm curious what the play experience was like, though I imagine, like illusion spells throughout the game's history, it really comes down to your DM (Illusions being one of the most "Mother May I" elements in the game).
In my longest running campaign there was an illusionist and we reached high levels. He was quite powerful . I'm currently playing at 10th level illusionist in a PBEM and I can't complain. The spells are quite good and the progression is faster than a MU.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
In my longest running campaign there was an illusionist and we reached high levels. He was quite powerful . I'm currently playing at 10th level illusionist in a PBEM and I can't complain. The spells are quite good and the progression is faster than a MU.
Thanks for the information, it's good to have data on these things- a lot of the classes people like to complain about, if you investigate, you find out weren't played for very long. At least, in my experience- I saw a lot of bothersome Cavaliers and Barbarians, but never any high level Cavaliers or Paladins!

The extreme table variance on illusion spells still scares me away from playing one, even though, objectively, playing an illusionist (or even an enchanter!) sounds like it should be fun.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
See this is what I mean though. So many DM's I've played with have this innate knee-jerk reaction to illusion spells. Not the ones that are hard to argue with, like mirror image or invisibility, but things like phantasmal force or minor illusion; any time a player gets creative, there's this moment where the DM crosses their eyes, either not happy about their enemy being "tricked", or not wanting to let the player get away with too much.
Illusions have also been nerfed hard in the more recent editions, to the point where I almost wonder whether they'd have preferred to get rid of them entirely but didn't only because of tradition. For me, playing an Illusionist in 5e would be nothing more than an exercise in frustration.
Though in fairness, on the flipside, I've noticed a lot of players who use illusion spells always want to push the envelop a little far as well, summoning demon princes out of thin air when a mere ogre would do the trick.
That's where the DM has to think about both a) what's believable and b) the capabilities of the Illusionist.

I mean, sure, I could cast an illusion of a demon prince walking into the room, but three big factors would work against me. 1) Has anyone in the room ever seen a demon prince or know what one is, 'cause if not it's just gonna look like some weird monster to them. 2) Does a demon prince appearing make the least bit of sense in the surroundings, 'cause if not the viewers are liable to be skeptical. 3) Do I as caster have the first clue about how to operate a demon prince and make its actions believable, 'cause if not this could become comedy hour real quick.

An Ogre, however, is familiar to many (almost certainly including me, the caster); and though by no means universal, the appearance of one is at least vaguely plausible in a wide variety of situations and surroundings.
 



An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top