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D&D 3E
How exactly do you handle illusions in 3e? Like, let's say there is… 
12th-Dec-2005 04:34 pm
How exactly do you handle illusions in 3e?

Like, let's say there is an illusion of... a potted plant in the middle of the room. The PCs look at it and see a potted plant. The srd says they get a will save if they "interact" with the illusion. So one goes up and touch the plant. What happens if they fail their will save? They touch the plant and it feels real? What if they fail, then they stick their arm right through it? Now what do the other PCs see? Can one still bomb a will save and so touch the plant even after seeing someone else walk through it? I can't find anything in the srd, and I don't recall Wizard's giving any hints. How do you guys play it?
12th-Dec-2005 11:50 pm (UTC)
If they try to touch it, they pass through it and get a will save. If they pass the will save, they see through the illusion, ie they can see it's an illusion, and can probably actually see through it. If they fail, they may KNOW it's an illusion, but it still looks real, and they certainly can't see through it.

Take an illusionary wall. One PC walks through it - everyone watching gets a will save. Those who pass can see what's on the other side. Those who fail can't, until they too walk through it.
12th-Dec-2005 11:51 pm (UTC)
Update - even having walked through it, they still can't see through it, they can only see what's on the other side because they, too, are on the other side. I realised it might be unclear from what I wrote.
13th-Dec-2005 12:06 am (UTC)
I think an important thing to rememebr is WEIRD stuff happens all the time in D&D, so if someone say touched a plant and passed through it it is not like you can automatically say "aha, illusion!"

I mean people hurl fire from their hands, and fight dragons. A ghostly, or intangable plant is not unbelivable...

and for the wall, maybe it's a teleport trap, or a gate to the etheral plane, or who knows what else..
13th-Dec-2005 12:14 am (UTC)
From the SRD:

Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief)

Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.

A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline.

A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. A character faced with proof that an illusion isn’t real needs no saving throw. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.
13th-Dec-2005 12:54 am (UTC)
Yes, yes, but what is involved in "recognizing it as illusory?" How can you interact with something and not recognize it as an illusion? Is it just a vision blocking thing (so a simple manipulation of light?)
13th-Dec-2005 02:06 am (UTC)
Interaction entails more than a passive observation. Seeing a pot made with minor image shows you a pot. Touching a pot made with minor image reveals an illusion, since it doesn't include tactile data. If you can inspect it and say "Hey, plant leaves don't look like that", then you've interacted with it enough to warrant a save.
13th-Dec-2005 03:23 am (UTC)
Recognizing it as illusory is, well, ... recognizing/realizing that it's an illusion, not a real object. I'm not sure how much more clear that can be.

As for interacting with an illusion, well, it depends on the spell used to generate the effect. Some include sound, others don't. Interacting could be speaking with an illusory person in the former case. In the latter case, perhaps you trip and fall on an illusion of a cushion...if you fail the saving throw, you don't think anything of the fact that your fall was harder than it should have been for landing on a cushion.

In general, don't try too hard to link real-life common sense with D&D game mechanics. Such attempts will only take you to a very dark place.
14th-Dec-2005 12:37 am (UTC)
It depends on if the illusion is external to the player or somehow enacted from within the player's head. If it's outside the player's character and the character is of sound mind, then they should simply see that there is an illusion if they interact with it in a way that would point to an incongruency; for example, running their hand through an illusory pot. If the illusion is some kind of projection of an ill mind, then it won't be as simple for them to see that it's an illusion; for example, take the cartoons where Bugs Bunny is wandering around the desert, starving, and sees a mirage, realising it's a mirage only after he's got a mouthful of sand, not just after he saw it wasn't consistent with reality. The same thing could be applied to mental condition imposed on the player by spell or special ability, or even real sicknesses like the various forms of dementia.

What's important is making the distinction between internally and externally produced illusions. Try working from that and accepting your results, even if they aren't perfect, so as to keep the game moving.
16th-Dec-2005 03:40 pm (UTC) - Illusion
The best comment I can think of is a hypnosis show. If you have ever seen a show where the hypnotist tells the subjects that there is a cat in their lap, the subject will pantomime the existance of the cat. The person (depending on suggestability) will either see, hear, and/or "feel" the cat in their laps. The audience, who made their will saves in this example, would see nothing.

That is my 2-cents
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