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How do you handle Illusions?


Harshax

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When I played RQ3, Illusions were effectively Real. :confused:

Not sure if I want to go down that road again. How have you ruled on illusions in your BRP games?

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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They "appear" real... which means that as long as they do not interact physically, they will appear real, but they can not affect the physical world.

Thus, illusionary aircraft can strafe and bomb things causing explosions, but there will be no heat, no concussion, etc. The fake fire will look real, cause fake smoke (that can be used as concealment, etc), but nothing else.

I rule that an illusionary knight can fight a real knight, but as soon as the blades come together with a clash of ringing steel, the real blade will not be stopped on its journey, thus passing through the illusion...

Also, if a character is in the area of effect for an illusionary fireball or something, they will appear to be on fire, but no damage will occur and after they move out of the area of effect or the time limit passes, all the "illusionary" damage disappears.

That's how I handle it...

-STS

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Well, in RQIII, illusions are temporary reality.

So an illusory sword, with illusory substance and illusory sight is as efficient as a real sword, as long as the magic lasts.

Q Who needs to carry a sword when a magical one can be conjured?

A anyone who will fight a magician who knows dispell magic, because a bronze (iron, silver, wooden ..) sword will not disappear when such a spell is cast on it, while the illusory one will

Jean

The nastiest trick is to have an illusory floor concealing a gorgon. Experienced characters will detect the illusion, dispell the illusion and free the monster ...

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Well, Glorantha is it's own beast. I cut my teeth on the Rules Cyclopedia, so illusions are illusions. They'll do temporary damage unless you disbelieve unless you fall below your hit points. If you take too much damage, your brain tells you your dead... and you're dead.

70/420

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...is to deal with them with a glass or four of 12-year old Bunnahabhain single malt from the Isle of Islay (smacks lips appreciatively). After which I could care less if 'tis illusion or no, as the fine line between reality and illusion begins to blur quite nicely :P.

:focus:

As long as the players have no way of knowing is it, in fact, an illusion, and they believe it to be real, it is.

Slainte'

Sunwolfe

Present home-port: home-brew BRP/OQ SRD variant; past ports-of-call: SB '81, RQIII '84, BGB '08, RQIV(Mythras) '12,  MW '15, and OQ '17

BGB BRP: 0 edition: 20/420; .pdf edition: 06/11/08; 1st edition: 06/13/08

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You could always treat illusions like a waking dream. While the illusion is in effect, a character can take damage and even "die" ... but at the end, he wakes up, alive, with the illusory damage gone.

Some treatments of Celtic Myth insist all illusions have to have a supporting reality: faerie gold is rocks and leaves, not air, and a mighty throne has to be a rock or hillock to be sat upon.

It all depends how powerful you want illusions to be. In The Fantasy Trip illusions could do real, permanent damage (leading to death) unless disbelieved, which made them only slightly less powerful than individual summoning spells, and far easier to remember. Also, the mage could "see through the illusion's eyes"; in one adventure I used successive illusions of a swift bird to do recon on a castle. Illusions can be the swiss-army-knife spell if you're not careful to set limits. (Of course, a magic system built entirely on illusions would be interesting.)

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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RQ3 is what I am most familiar with, and you calling it exactly what it was "conjuring" gives me the idea to keep those spells in place as conjuration magic. Funny that never occurred to me.

I need to dig up my old RQ Excel Character sheet (fully automated. . . just saying), I have the intensity lists printed there. Maybe illusions cost less than conjuration, because they are easier to dispel. They can be dismissed with dispelling magic, and additionally characters can resist with an idea roll the first time they interact with one. The more complex the illusion (sight, touch, weight, etc), the more chances a character has to resist it. Should the illusion overcome the character's INT, then it is treated as reality for the duration.

Have to think that through a little more. Sounds like too many dice rolls. Then again, I'd love to somehow translate illusionary damage into temporary SAN loss or something. >:->

Well, in RQIII, illusions are temporary reality.

So an illusory sword, with illusory substance and illusory sight is as efficient as a real sword, as long as the magic lasts.

Q Who needs to carry a sword when a magical one can be conjured?

A anyone who will fight a magician who knows dispell magic, because a bronze (iron, silver, wooden ..) sword will not disappear when such a spell is cast on it, while the illusory one will

Jean

The nastiest trick is to have an illusory floor concealing a gorgon. Experienced characters will detect the illusion, dispell the illusion and free the monster ...

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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I always thought the "temporary reality" implementation of this rule was one of the coolest metaphysics around...

An illusory floor concealing a gorgon? There's a spiteful, vendictive GM! I'll happily add that to my bag of tricks. :thumb:

The other way I've seen illusions handled was that it presented only a single, targetted character with false images. They were, indeed, false images. It was worked in the gamescience that any time the target wanted to do something that would break the illusion, the caster had to make a POW vs. POW against the target again.

Success for the caster meant that she anticipated the interaction and could manipulate the illusion to accomodate the target.

Success for the target meant that she encountered enough discrepancy that the illusion was seen through. Note that this does NOT dispel the visions! It does, however, provide the target with enough cues that things are not what they seem.

In this scheme, the illusionist only got a single check on POW for the initial casting. Also, she had to do this in a convincing manner so that the target didn't suddenly see a pink elephant where noone else did...

I always meant to ask that particular GM to write those rules down. He doesn't live near me anymore, and I've lost contact. Clark, you out there dude?!?

Hope this helps -

-pax-

Emerging from my Dark Age...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Quick aside, after reading the illusion spell definition in the BRP magic section of the powers chapter it would appear to make reference to illusions with sound, but it does not define how one creates the effect of an illusion with sound (or touch). I presume this is an oversight.

How would you handle adding sound, touch, smell, etc? 1 extra MP per sense?

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Quick aside, after reading the illusion spell definition in the BRP magic section of the powers chapter it would appear to make reference to illusions with sound, but it does not define how one creates the effect of an illusion with sound (or touch). I presume this is an oversight.

Err, I could be wrong, but from the way I read it, it only creates visual illusions, and makes explicit reference to having to use OTHER means to create the auditory component:

If the illusion has appropriate sound to accompany it, such as through the use of a recording device or some other means, a successful Difficult Listen check may be required to notice any discrepancies between the sound and the image, or a successful Difficult Sense check may be needed to gain any telltale clues that it is not real.

How would you handle adding sound, touch, smell, etc? 1 extra MP per sense?

I'd add them as separate spells, and rename the existing Illusion as Illusion (Visual), taking inspiration from the RQIII Sorcery Phantom Sense spells. But i wouldn't allow "touch" - this is an illusion, so physical contact would reveal its unreality (I hate "holo-deck" Illusions!).

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
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I'd add them as separate spells, and rename the existing Illusion as Illusion (Visual), taking inspiration from the RQIII Sorcery Phantom Sense spells. But i wouldn't allow "touch" - this is an illusion, so physical contact would reveal its unreality (I hate "holo-deck" Illusions!).

I always think of illusions of projections into the targets minds rather than some k,ind of "magic lantern" effect, so personally I have no problem with touch, taste, smell and sound as part of an illusion.

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I always think of illusions of projections into the targets minds rather than some kind of "magic lantern" effect, so personally I have no problem with touch, taste, smell and sound as part of an illusion.

All the senses bar touch I'm quite happy with - but allowing touch starts leading into holodeck territory. If you have an illusionary mace and it hits a character, does it do real damage? Illusory damage? Hence, touch is the one thing (in fantasy / magic type settings) I don't let illusions have... But as I said, I think the RQIII Phantom (Sense) spells are a good model.

Cheers,

Nick

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I think the RQIII Phantom (Sense) spells are a good model.

But RQ3 allowed phantom touch, and allowed it to do damage too.

I had a friend in a non gloranthan RQ3 game that had a pc with a 1 year duration sight & touch illusion (of controllable flame) up that could do 1d8 damage. He used to do all sorts of displays etc etc with it and use it in combat instead of a sword.

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Touch Illusions are useful - you walk through a room and something touches your back, an illusionary woman appears and taps you on the shoulder, you feel along a wall that appears to be solid.

Illusionary weapons are iffy, but it depends on how you see illusions.

In D&D - if you don't Disbelieve an illusion, does it still hurt you? I think it does and am fine with that.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I always think of illusions of projections into the targets minds rather than some k,ind of "magic lantern" effect, so personally I have no problem with touch, taste, smell and sound as part of an illusion.

I don't see it can't go both ways; both actual images and mental phantasms seem viable approaches, even within the same magic system in most cases. They do have different implications to me, though.

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