Illusionist spells "stacking"

Discussion on playing Earthdawn. Experiences, stories, and questions related to being a player.
Post Reply
Belenus
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:27 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Illusionist spells "stacking"

Post by Belenus » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:09 pm

I had several discussions this saturday about how / if some spells might work (together):
Displace Image p. 300 wrote:Illusion. This spell makes a character “invisible” by displacing the image that others see and shifting it a short distance. The magician quickly traces an outline of the target, then touches the “shoulder” of the outline, followed by the shoulder of the target, and makes a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, an outlined figure shrouded in a shimmering blur appears drifting 4 yards away, quickly transforming into an identical image of the target. The target is no longer visible in his actual location, the illusion having displaced his image.
Attacks made against the image have no effect, and the magician must concentrate to maintain the facade. Each round that the magician does not concentrate gives all attackers a cumulative +5 to Sensing tests against the illusion. Attack tests made against the image count as Sensing tests (see Illusions, p.266).
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)
Extra Threads: Additional Target (+1)
1. This spell displaces the image "others see". Is this intentionally formulated this way? Or did you mean this spell displaces the image "others would normally see if they were able to do so"? So does this spell work if it was casted before the target was even near the enemy?
Or if the target was already invisible to begin with (see Notice Not below)?

2.
a. Just noticed now: In the german translation the word "cumulative" is missing. So if I casted this spell and havn't concentrated two rounds on it, the enemies get +10 to the Sensing tests?
b. If I concentrate on the spell in the 3rd round, is the +10 bonus gone and I can stop concentration in the fourth round starting again with a +5 bonus?

Notice Not p. 305 wrote:Illusion. This spell masks a character, making others ignore him entirely. The magician quietly touches the target and makes a Spellcasting test against the target’s Mystic Defense. If successful, anyone in the target’s area will ignore them and subconsciously move out of the way to avoid his presence. If the target interacts with anything in the area, onlookers may make Sensing tests as appropriate. Anyone actively aware (such as guards) may make Perception tests as Sensing tests. Any intention to cause violence will result in the spell ending immediately. This spell explicitly does not protect against any form of astral sensing (e.g. Astral Sight).
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Additional Target (+1)
3. So the intention to engage in combat is already enough to stop the spell? Or does it only stop after I actually attacked an enemy?

4. Do those two spells work together?
In my opinion I would make the characters and their image created by Displace Self invisible with Notice Not.
After engaging in combat (or after having the intention to do so), the created image will become visible, while the character is still invisbile.

Aegharan
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:58 pm

Re: Illusionist spells "stacking"

Post by Aegharan » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:37 pm

1: In my mind it wouldn't make sense to only be able to cast it while visible to the enemy. An enemy in sight would see the transformation and get an instant perception-sensing test and probably even a bonus. I only ever saw it used as "cast, then go around corner"

2a: yes. See 2b
2b: stacks, doesn't reset.
1st round: casting, 0 bonus
2nd: concentration, 0 bonus
3rd: round, doing something else, +5 bonus after the illusionist'a turn
4th: no concentration, +10 bonus
5th: concentration, bonus stays +10
6th: no concentration, bonus +15

3: The "intention to cause violence", so casting a harmful spell, or attacking an enemy, etc. The intention is important because you don't have to be successful with the attack to drop the spell. If you're a shitty swordsman, you still drop the spell.

4: Notice Not doesn't make you invisible! It makes others ignore you and "subconsciously move out of the way". If that image is also displaced, people move out of the way of the wrong image and probably towards the actual character, causing a sensing test as the GM sees it "appropriate". But yes, it stacks *evil-GM-grin*

Bonhumm
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:43 pm
Location: Right behind you

Re: Illusionist spells "stacking"

Post by Bonhumm » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:28 pm

IMHO:

As for 2b: I'd say if you resume your concentration on the spell on the third round, there is no longer any penalty since the illusion is now back into 'acting normally'; how 'weird' it acted in previous rounds would not affect a sensing test done while everything is 'normal'. If you drop the concentration immediately after, the penalty would begin again at +5 and so on.

As for 3; I would personally rule that the intention would turn you back visible the round before the attack (i.e. giving your target the opportunity to act before you strike; basically nullifying the possibility of a Surprise Strike). But the wording is up to interpretation and is ultimately up to the GM. For example, my current GM has ruled that using that talent with the clear intent to get near a target for attack means that the spell effect 'fails' immediately (i.e. you do not 'turn invisible' at all, even if the 'strike' would be several rounds in the future).

Aegharan
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:58 pm

Re: Illusionist spells "stacking"

Post by Aegharan » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:39 pm

Re 2b: I see the cumulative bonus to sensing tests as result of general "doing weird stuff", like running into walls, etc. Just because concentration is then upheld quickly, doesn't mean that the image did weird stuff in the last rounds. That's why it's cumulative, in contrast to it acting increasingly weird each round that passes, then normal for 1 round and then more and more crazy again.

Re 3: I can see where you're coming from. That's now a question that begs for an answer from Mataxes and Panda :-)

Panda
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Illusionist spells "stacking"

Post by Panda » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:55 pm

Greetings,

My phone ate my previous attempts to reply... sigh. These questions refer to "Displace Self" a few times, which is a different Wizard spell. I'm assuming "Displace Image" (Illusionist spell) is the correct spell.
Belenus wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:09 pm
1. This spell displaces the image "others see". Is this intentionally formulated this way? Or did you mean this spell displaces the image "others would normally see if they were able to do so"? So does this spell work if it was casted before the target was even near the enemy?
Or if the target was already invisible to begin with (see Notice Not below)?
I don't think I understand the intent behind the first part of this question. However, it does not matter if there is someone to see the target before the spell is cast.
Belenus wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:09 pm
2.
a. Just noticed now: In the german translation the word "cumulative" is missing. So if I casted this spell and havn't concentrated two rounds on it, the enemies get +10 to the Sensing tests?
b. If I concentrate on the spell in the 3rd round, is the +10 bonus gone and I can stop concentration in the fourth round starting again with a +5 bonus?
a. Correct.
b. The bonus to Sensing tests is cumulative, it does not decrease because the caster is concentrating again.

Belenus wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:09 pm
3. So the intention to engage in combat is already enough to stop the spell? Or does it only stop after I actually attacked an enemy?
The intent to engage in combat is enough to immediately end the spell. It cannot be used under any circumstance to ever ambush someone. If moving somewhere to where it can end, then continue using Stealthy Stride to ambush, it ends as soon as this series of events begins.
Belenus wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:09 pm
4. Do those two spells work together?
In my opinion I would make the characters and their image created by Displace Self invisible with Notice Not.
After engaging in combat (or after having the intention to do so), the created image will become visible, while the character is still invisbile.
Before getting into the idea of how these spells interact, the question of what is the intent needs to be answered first. The uses of Displace Image outside of combat are limited enough to effectively be none. Especially when Notice Not is on the table. Which means Notice Not doesn't do anything more often than not; it simply ends as soon as it is cast. If there is no violent intent behind their combination, Notice Not makes the target ignored, but this does not affect their displaced image at all. The displaced image can be seen normally, though their actual body is ignored. While it could be seen as double coverage for their actual location being detected, the same Sensing tests are likely to apply to both with Displace Image causing more Sensing tests due to the additional potential interactions (and having the lower Sensing Difficulty).

Belenus
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:27 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Illusionist spells "stacking"

Post by Belenus » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:03 pm

Well, not the answer I hoped for but at least I'm relieved that here were different opinions on this topic too :lol:
Just thought that the part about Notice Not "This spell masks a character, making others ignore him entirely." contained the spells on this character too.
So if a character was buffed by an Air Armor and Notice Not, the character would be "invisible" but the Air Armor could be seen by the oponent?

Panda
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Illusionist spells "stacking"

Post by Panda » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:56 pm

Greetings,

Air Armor is part of the target, thus still part of the piece that's ignored. Otherwise we go down the hole of "clothes aren't affected", which quickly becomes ridiculous. A target affected by Displace Image and Notice not effectively has the same effect causing people to ignore the target, however Notice Not doesn't affect the projected image since that's explicitly not the character. It's a projected image linked to an effect that causes people to ignore the target. If Notice Not affected that image, that means any effect generated by the character external to them would also be affected, such as Illusion. Again, the displaced image is not the character, which is what Notice Not affects.

Post Reply