Disbelieving Illusions

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Jaracove
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Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Jaracove » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Page 267 Disbelieving Illusions
"Illusionists have access to spells that are both real and illusory. The target must decide if they are going to disbelieve prior to the Spellcasting test being made."

Does the above apply to all illusions or just the less subtle ones like damaging illusions?

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Tattered Rags
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Tattered Rags » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:05 pm

From the same page:
These types of illusions are mainly damaging spells, and it will be noted in the spell description if the spell can be disbelieved.

Jaracove
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Jaracove » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:56 pm

Thank you

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Tattered Rags
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Tattered Rags » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:02 pm

What I want to know is, how does someone know that a spell might be an illusion? Say you cast Earth Darts at me: I don't know one magic Discipline from another, so how can I differentiate between one spell and another, real and illusion?

How do others handle that so that a player can reasonably make the choice between disbelieving and not. I'd rather not have them making the decision with literally every spell thrown at them.

Edit: To expound on why I chose Earth Darts, anyone unfamiliar with spells wouldn't be able to identify it as Elementalism any more than they could identify Ephemeral Dart as possibly being an illusion.

Telarus_KSC
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Telarus_KSC » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:00 pm

It applies after you or some-one you witness shakes off a damage effect. Keep in mind that not all Illusionists know both copies of the spell, and that illusionary damage is "real" for all purposes unless you manage to sense/disbelieve it, or it pushes you past your KO rating (anything past KO is reduced to zero). But, once it "locks in", the effects are "real". I've had fun with illusionists with my players (and had this used on me as a player).

The illusionist pretending to be the old beggar launches his attack, casting "STOP RIGHT THERE" and freezing you and your companions. He then blasts the first one with Ephemeral Bolt (hoping for a good amount of damage without a Sensing Test), but it causes a Wound and the character makes the Knockdown test and that test also exceeds the Sensing difficulty. You all, frozen in place, see him scream as he is roasted in electric-green flame, then a second later the smell of buring hair disappears completely and your friend is left there unscathed. You make your Will check to break free, and the old-man is retreating down the alley, hands glowing that same electric green. You want to follow him? Tell me if you are disbelieving the next spell in advance. :evil grin:
Last edited by Telarus_KSC on Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Tattered Rags
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Tattered Rags » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:07 pm

Ah, I forgot about some of those effects (like wounds, etc.) that give a tell to the illusion.

Do you do anything to prevent gaming the disbelief? That is, keep people from making it real because the others said they'd disbelieve (or vice versa)?

Telarus_KSC
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Telarus_KSC » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:20 pm

I usually try to determine the Illusionist's spells ahead of time (semi-randomly), and alternate or throw a dice to decide if the NPC illusionist will cast the True or Illusion version.

Hm, some of that language seems to have been edited out of 4th edition. Disbelief also no longer costs a standard action, and happens right at the time the mage takes his Spellcasting action... hm, might need to re-think some Illusionist tactics :(

These are in 3rd:
Sensing: "Any Action Tests made against an illusion are considered Sensing Tests."
Ephemeral Bolt: "If the target takes a Wound, his Knockdown Test is considered to be a Sensing Test (see Illusions, p. 139)."

I think they are still valid, "implied" rules based on the 4E Sensing rules:
"A character may sense an illusion whenever he acts against or reacts to it. Many tests made directly against an illusion give the character a chance to notice it. If the test succeeds against the Sensing Difficulty for the illusion (as listed on the Sensing Difficulty Table), then the character notices the spell is an illusion and it no longer has any effect on that character. The character can still sense the illusion, but it no longer has any real substance, effectively becoming a figment."

The Undying
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby The Undying » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:35 pm

As people are describing here, I think this is a case of Emergent Knowledge that characters can develop.

- Until a character becomes familiar with the idea that some damaging spells can be illusions, they cannot disbelieve them. A generous or adventurous GM might have players roll a disbelieve roll, without telling them what it is, when struck by such a spell. If they get 1-2 extra successes, tell them that the character realizes something is off. In that way, they are introduced to the concept.

- After that, characters can attempt to disbelieve any spell they want. I cannot recall, but I BELIEVE disbelieving requires a Strain, which makes this prohibitive. However, aside from Astral Sight use to determine the nature of a magician's Discipline, an enemy screaming "I AM AN ILLUSIONIST" before attacking, or general character knowledge that they're facing an Illusionist (e.g., they're tracking an Illusionist when they encounter this guy, an Illusionist in the party recognizes the spell once it's cast), then the GM should not prompt the players by saying "do you want to disbelieve" only when they are facing off against an Illusionist. Especially for non-magician Adepts, there is little/no reason for a character to assume that certain spells can never be illusions, etc. GM should prompt the characters a bit for a while, before ANY spell, after which they are left to their own devices.

- Disbelief must be done before the Spellcasting roll because astute players can game the dice pool. Illusion spells do higher damage then their True counterparts. So, if left until the Effect roll, a player could use OOC knowledge to determine if it is a True or Illusion spell. Also, if a GM is adding a lot of flavor to the combat description, then throwing in a statement about what the casting looked like would allow the player to say "Fireball? That's never an illusion..." and the like. Finally, if the enemy manages to roll something obscene on the Spellcasting roll (52!!!), what player WOULDN'T risk a Strain to potentially negate all the damage? Personally, if a GM wants to slow their game down a bit, I'd say that an Illusionist targeted by an Illusionist can make a Disbelief roll AFTER the Spellcasting but BEFORE the Effect since they could recognize the spell; maybe they have to make a successful Perception-based Half-Magic test again the Dispel difficulty of the spell ... but, again, we're slowing the game down.

Telarus_KSC
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Telarus_KSC » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:41 pm

No Strain, but here are the current drawbacks: "If the spell is not an illusion, however, the target’s Mystic Defense is considered to be
2 for the purpose of determining the number of successes, as they have opened themselves up to the magic. In addition, the target cannot use any active defenses (such as Steel Thought) to resist the spell."

Also, there is no longer a "Disbelief Test", you make Sensing Tests (& that chart got simple, just Spell Circle and Sensing difficulty now) - or you actively Disbelieve when you are target by that Spellcasting roll. The "Mystic Defense is considered to be 2" part means you want players to declare _before_ rolling. ;P

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Mataxes
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Re: Disbelieving Illusions

Postby Mataxes » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:47 pm

Telarus_KSC wrote:The illusionist pretending to be the old beggar launches his attack, casting "STOP RIGHT THERE" and freezing you and your companions. He then blasts the first one with Ephemeral Bolt (hoping for a good amount of damage without a Sensing Test), but it causes a Wound and the character makes the Knockdown test and that test also exceeds the Sensing difficulty. You all, frozen in place, see him scream as he is roasted in electric-green flame, then a second later the smell of buring hair disappears completely and your friend is left there unscathed. You make your Will check to break free, and the old-man is retreating down the alley, hands glowing that same electric green. You want to follow him? Tell me if you are disbelieving the next spell in advance. :evil grin:


(Emphasis mine.)

This is no longer the case in ED4. There is also no longer a strain cost associated with disbelieving. It's an all-or-nothing proposition.

Really, the division between sensing and disbelief is much more stark.

Sensing is how you detect sustained, usually environmental or appearance based illusions.

Edit: And Telarus ninja'd me.

"Short-term" (almost always damaging) illusions cannot be 'sensed'. The target must decide at the time whether they believe it or not. Believe it, and the magic affects you. Disbelieve, and it doesn't. The drawback is that if you disbelieve and it's real, you open yourself up and the effects are greater (because your MD is considered 2 for the purposes of determining successes, this means the spell will almost certainly score at least one success more than it otherwise would have).
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