The Power of Illusion

First note – check the Change Log for a couple of edits to Subtlety Feats.

Second note: Because I have been enjoying the clever use of illusions by the party (through the Feat: Bedazzle) I have, unintentionally, been letting the players stretch the boundaries of what the Feat is capable of. This is a failing on my part – I wrote the damn Feat, I should know what it does – and the aim of this post is to provide some reasoning as to why I am going to be a bit stricter from now on.

My intent with Subtlety was that it was not innately magical – practitioners do not cast spells or rituals, rather they have such an extraordinary facility with deception and misdirection that what they do borders on magic. It is mystical only to the unenlightened. There are no spirits involved, only the heightened abilities of the adept.

Bedazzle is not an ability to weave fanciful scenes out of thin air – it is the ability to have onlookers sense something that is not there, through language, misdirection, or “smoke and mirrors”. It is the illusion of stage magic, not the phantasm of Dungeons & Dragons. We are creating stories in a fantasy world, however, that is not bound by the same rules as our own. A certain degree of flexibility is required when deciding what is a credible illusion and what is not. Because the ability borders on the supernatural, the adept does not require props or a long winded setup. Also we can allow pretty much anything the character can imagine as a suitable subject.

Thus there is a line in the Feat’s description (it has been there all along, and is the part I have been ignoring/forgetting) that states, “…and is static or a short repeating loop“. This is the key phrase in determining the power of the Feat. The other key thing to remember is that Bedazzle is not a magical effect – it is, in fact, a lie – which is why it uses the Subterfuge ability instead of, say, Channel.


~ by occam99 on August 17, 2012.

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