Illusionist (3.5e Class)
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|“||You are correct. The things I make are indeed fake. The smells, sounds, and even tastes are merely hallucinations. But the fear? The pain? The torment? I'm afraid they are very, very real.||”|
|—Zeonis, Human Illusionist, Sadistic Bounty Hunter|
Illusionists are magicians who specialize in the art of trickery and deception, using their target's senses as mediums with which to display their abilites. They can disable and confuse the senses, inspire action through fabricated thoughts, and even create apparitions which walk about the world. They are mysterious figures, shrouded by lies and deceit, divorced from the rest of the world. To befriend with an Illusionist is a task even harder than vilifying them, but succeeding at it is a gift one will cherish for the rest of their life.
Making an Illusionist
The main strength of an Illusionist is their power to confuse and disturb their opponents, and their unique diversity in the ability to take care of situations. Instead of subjecting the party to a compromising weapons search, one could simply make the security personal believe that they found nothing. In battle, an Illusionist remains in the background - either under the protection of allies or hidden by mirages - causing their damage at a comfortable distance.
Abilities: The most important ability for an Illusionist is Charisma, which defines their spell casting power. Besides that, one can customize their Illusionist as they wish. Perhaps Dexterity and Intelligence for a roguish Illusionist. Maybe Strength and Constitution for a up close and personal Illusionist.
Alignment: Any Non-Lawful
Starting Age: Complex
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+3||Spells, Overpowering Illusions +1, physical illusions||4||2+1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+5||Overpowering Illusions +2||5||5||2+1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+4||+2||+2||+6||Overpowering Illusions +3||5||5||4||2+1||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+6||+3||+3||+8||Overpowering Illusions +4||5||5||5||5||3+1||—||—||—||—||—|
|11th||+6||+3||+3||+8||Grasping Reality 5%||5||5||5||5||4||2+1||—||—||—||—|
|13th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+9||Overpowering Illusions +5,||5||5||5||5||5||4||2+1||—||—||—|
|14th||+7/+2||+4||+4||+10||Grasping reality 10%, Perfected Natural Guise||5||5||5||5||5||5||3+1||—||—||—|
|16th||+8/+3||+5||+5||+11||All fiction 1/day, Overpowering Illusions +6||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||3+1||—|
|17th||+8/+3||+5||+5||+11||Grasping Reality 15%||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||4||2+1|
|19th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+12||Overpowering Illusions +7||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||4+1|
|20th||+10/+5||+6||+6||+13||Grasping Reality 20%, All fiction 2/day||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||5||5|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Illusionists are proficient with Light Weapons, Light Crossbows, and Light armor.
Starting equipment: Crossbow/dagger Leather armor/robe of magic Spell focus/adventurer kit
Spells: Illusionists base their spellcasting on their Charisma, they get extra spells per day if they have a Charisma of 15+. The base Saving Throw DC is 10 + Cha modifier + Spell level.
Illusionists are arcane spellcasters and therefore do not need to prepare spells. Illusionists primarily know spells from the Illusion Domain and therefore do not have to prepare or choose spells known like wizards and sorcerers. Illusionists can cast all illusion spells that they meet the requirements for:
Overpowering Illusions: At level 1, 4 and every 4 levels afterward, an Illusionist gains and additional +1 to their Spell DC, and Spell Resistance DC.
Physical illusions: At level 1, Allows any visual or other wise illusion spells to effect a target if it fails a dexterity roll (higher than 8+ your Charisma modifier). The effect can be physical damage, or movement of a creature that falls for the illusions. The illusion (if making something), when made contact with, no matter the spells discripion, feels however the caster would like it to. Spells with physical effects already in place can't be changed.
Natural Guise At level 8, an Illusionist gains the ability to use the Disguise skill without needing extra components or tools, but at a -3 modifier. At level 14, the modifier doesn't apply any longer.
Grasping Reality: At level 11, and every 3 levels afterward, an Illusionist's spells become 5% more real, meaning spells like Shadow Conjuration and Shades get a boosted 5% to their "Real" factor.
All Fiction At level 16, an Illusionist gains the ability to become an illusion, released from the ties of reality. One per day, they can become incorporeal, partially invisible, and gain the ability to shapeshift at will. They can shafeshift into anything they wish, although they retain their stats and abilities, and are limited to becoming things up to two sizes larger or smaller than their original size. Casting spells in this form requires a Concentration check (DC 15 + Spell level x 2) This lasts for 1 minute/level. Every four levels afterward, they gain an additional use of this ability.
|21st||Overpowering Illusions +10, Bonus Feat|
|24th||Bonus Feat, All fiction 3/day|
|25th||Overpowering Illusions +12|
|28th||All fiction 4/day|
|29th||Overpowering Illusions +14|
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Bonus Feats: The epic Illusionist gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Illusionist bonus feats) at the 21th level, and every 3 levels afterward.
Epic Illusionist Bonus Feat List: Automatic Silent Spell Automatic Still Spell, Automatic Quicken Spell, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spellcasting, Improved Metamagic, Permanent Emanation, Polyglot, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell,
An Ex-Illusionist, while a still a functioning hero, suffers greatly due to the restraining nature of being a Lawful player. Their spellcasting ability is half as effective. They can cast half the amount of spells, and their spells are half as effective (half range, half size, half length, half damage, half healing, half saving throw DC, etc). They also lose access their top three spell levels.
An Illusionist simply MUST be able to work around society's rules and regulations.
Playing an Illusionist
Religion: Illusionists generally don't follow mainstream religions, likening the teachings to the illusions that they cast. It isn't uncommon to find an Illusionist who worships a magic, moon, or illusion god, however, they prefer to pursue their faith detached from others of their belief.
Other Classes: Illusionists are an arcane class, and find much common ground with Sorcerers, Wizards, and the like. They also have much in common with Manifesters, given their depth into the studies of mental function and manipulation. Roguish characters are appreciated for their wit. Warriors and Barbarians are pawns to be manipulated.
Combat: An Illusionist should stay far from the combat, casting their illusions at a range they can feel comfortable at. They can also use their Illusions to confuse the enemy as to their position, creating doubles or becoming invisible. Always keeping something between them and their opponents, be it fighters, hallucinations, or space.
Advancement: Illusionists are an extremely specified class, so while multi classing could work well, it might become too overpowered, so my suggestion for any DM is to limit their players from doing so. I encourage investing in feats and equipment that increase the Illusionist's saving throw DC and spell resistance DC, so that their illusions are used without much risk.
Illusionists in the World
|“||Reality is an interesting creature. Even though the things I create can move, can talk, can touch, can laugh, they are deemed fake. Yet the people I see around me, who are nothing but dolls, depth-less and dime-a-dozen, are deemed real. I will right these wrongs with my magic.||”|
|—Neferpitou, Eladrin Illusionist and Captain of the 3rd arcane division in the Eladrin royal army, in the battle for Lythendalious|
Daily Life: Illusionists usually keep to themselves, going about their business as they please. They avoid others when they can, assuming a fabricated persona when forced into social interaction. If challenged to do battle, they take care of their opponents as quickly and simply as possible, so as to veil their true powers.
Notables: Shaherate, a master Illusionist who lived long ago. He created a small plane that drifts about the astral realm, where reality and fantasy are the same. A calm, gentle figure who will try and befriend anyone he has not vilified.
Organizations: Illusionists are usually hired by larger organizations to provide more subtle arcane influence. Really the only two spots an Illusionist will allow themselves to be put within in an organization are payed mercenary, or grand leader themselves.
NPC Reactions: NPCs can't generally tell the difference between common mages and Illusionists, so they treat them rather normally. If they discover an Illusionist's true abilities, however, mistrust and fear will be born in place of bonds and fellowship. Most commoners don't know what kind of things an Illusionist might be able to do or be up to...
Characters with ranks in Knowledge can research Illusionists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Illusionists use Illusions.|
|10||Illusionists are masters of trickery and deceit. They can create images, sounds, smells, and physical beings to deceive their foes, using their opponents' senses against them.|
|15||Not only can Illusionists cast illusions, but they can also use mind manipulation magic, and are able to kill foes instantaneously with visages of pure terror. They are deadly foes who can cause great uproar with a single spell. Saving against an Illusionist's spells mean the difference between victory and death.|
|20||Expert Illusionists will hide within their mirages, shifting their form to distract the enemy. They can also use a unique type of shadow magic which mimics the spells of wizards and sorcerers, while being slightly less effective.|
Illusionists in the Game
Illusionists are very useful in out-of-combat situations, and with a creative mind, one could easily make them the leader of the group. The possibilities are quite endless. And as an enemy... an Illusionist would be a cruelly deadly foe.
Adaptation: One could have a delusional Illusionist who projects the creations of his demented mind.
Sample Encounter: Illusionists are generally solo adventurers, some preferring to bring a conclave of minions under their control. They make for very dangerous opponents, able to turn the battle to their favor with a single well-placed spell.