by Eric Jwo
Illusionists are heroes who wield great powers in creating phantasms and illusions. They can render people invisible, or even create illusions as impressive as those created in the Fourth Age. Illusionists are a welcome addition to any adventuring party and can be very powerful in their own right. Wonderful Waylan, Tika Majere's father and Raistlin Majere's inspiration, is an example of an illusionist.
Illusionists are very secretive people. Many only befriend a few people. There are some who are only con-artists who use their powers for gain. However, there are also master mages who have spent years dedicated to creating illusions.
Illusionists don't like to engage in combat of any kind. They prefer to stay hidden and confuse their enemies with illusions. Elves, centaurs, and kender find illusionists as inventive, creative people to be held in awe. Dwarves and minotaurs think that illusionists are cowards who hide behind the trickery of light and air.
Illusionists need to be able to concentrate on their spells. To reflect this, illusionist heroes need a minimum of 7 in both Reason and Perception. Illusionists also need a minimum of 6 in Dexterity because of the high degree of manipulation involved in many illusions.
Illusionists pursue academic pursuits rather than physical ones. To reflect this, Illusionists have a maximum code of "B" in all Physical abilities. To reflect their training in the sorcerous arts, illusionists need a minimum code of "B" in both their Reason and Spirit. Illusionists also need to choose spectramancy and mentalism as their beginning school and sphere of magic.
All races that meet the following requirements may become illusionists, except minotaurs, centaurs, goblins, and dwarves.
Illusions are crafted with hybrid spells combining both mentalism and spectramancy. When casting illusion spells, the caster gets a trump bonus regardless of what the suit of the card really is. Illusionists are also experts at detecting illusions. All actions to detect illusions, phantasms, invisible objects, etc., are also trump.
Illusionists study the magic of illusion so exclusively that they tend to neglect their other schools and spheres, if any. Illusionists study a magic so different from traditional sorcery that normal spells are more difficult for them to grasp. Any spell that an illusionist casts that is not an illusion is never a trump action regardless of the actual suit. This penalty includes spells from the school of spectramancy and the sphere of mentalism if the spell cast is not an illusion.
Because illusionists need both hands and extreme mobility in order to craft their illusions, illusionists can never use shields wear armor heavier than leather armor. Also, illusionists never have a decent chance to practice the art of war. Defending oneself is usually the province of an illusionists magic. Therefore, all physical defensive actions, such as dodging an arrow, parrying a sword thrust, whatever, are never considered trump.
Illusion magic is significantly more advanced than the simple illusions created through spectramancy. True illusions are created through a hybrid technique using both spectramancy and mentalism. The mentalism helps convince the viewers of the reality of the illusion.
Using illusion magic, when cast depends on the caster's Reason score. Resolving illusion spells differ from normal spells though. Casting an illusion spell requires a normal challenging Reason (Perception) action. Resisting one requires an easy Perception (Reason) action. A failed action to cast the spell or a successful action to resist the illusion means that the illusion is dispelled for that person. Heroes must resist the effects of an illusion spell individually, whereas characters may attempt to resist illusion spells en mass if it is easier. Almost any spell can be duplicated, from any sphere or school. For example, an illusionist who does not know pyromancy can cast an illusory fireball. The area portion of the spell determines either the number of people affected, or the area that the illusion occurs in. Total the number of points lost as if the fireball was the spell being cast. Divide this by half and subtract from the illusionists Sorcery and Mysticism pool respectively. Once either an illusionists Sorcery or Mysticism pool is drained, an illusionist cannot cast any more illusions.
Once a hero has already resisted a successful illusion cast by the same illusionists recently (like within the same battle) gain a higher resistance to "disbelieving" the illusionists illusions. Heroes in this situation can opt to "disbelieve" something they see, be it a giant fist or oncoming fireball, and therefore gain a bonus to their action to resist an illusion. A hero who opts to "disbelieve" an illusion may add his Presence score to the action to resist the illusion. However, heroes may attempt to resist things that aren't illusions! A hero who simply attempts to disbelieve a danger or event suffers all penalties as if he did nothing. For example, an illusionists casts an illusory fireball at a Drake, a thick but competent warrior. Drake dodges the illusory fireball only to discover its true nature. When the illusionist casts another fireball, Drake bravely laughs at the spell and attempts to disbelieve it. Unknown to Drake, the illusionist knows pyromancy and has actually cast a fireball! Drake is burnt to a crisp.
Illusionists can cast spells that can duplicate nearly any experience. If an illusionist casts a spell with first-hand experience of the subject of the illusion suffers no penalties for casting the spell. However, if an illusionist casts an illusion spell detailing something that he has never witnessed, such as the Cataclysm, then the action to cast the spell is one degree more difficult.
Illusions can also cause damage. For example, a hero who fails to resist an illusory fireball, he suffers the damage done by the fireball. So if the fireball supposedly did 10 damage, the hero suffers 10 points illusory damage. This damage lasts until the hero disbelieves the illusion, at which point the lost cards or points are returned. If a hero loses all cards or points due to illusory damage, then he falls unconscious for one hour. At the end of the hour, he awakes with all illusory damage healed.
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