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D&D 3E
Believing your own illusions 
23rd-Oct-2006 10:34 am
mjbotdf
Any of you guys Star Trek fans? In one TNG episode, Lt. Barclay goes to the Holodeck and livs in his fantasies - seducing Counselor Troi, sucker punching Commander Riker, being smarter than Geordi, etc.

Could someone do that in the D&D universe? Not necessarily create entire environments, but maybe a person or two to interact with. I have a very lonely sorceress in my campaign, and, well, she was wondering if she could use an illusion for more than just fooling the baddies. (Yeah, she could go get a boyfriend, but this is more fun. :D) How powerful a spell would she need to use? Would Major Image suffice, or would you want to use a persistent image or programmed image? Obviously, if this is something for amusement's sake, lower level is better.

Thanks!
Comments 
23rd-Oct-2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
I like the episode. One of my favorites, actually, especially seeing Riker 3' tall. LOL

I don't think there is an easy way to do this with Illusion spells. From what I know, all of them require the caster to animate them for the most part, except for some basic routine things. The caster pre-programs the Illusion to do ro say a set of specific things, or Concentrates to make them do something specific.

I would offer something else, if the player really wants this and would enjoy it. Give up their familiar (or something else of your choosing) to gain the likes of a spirit guide (Spirit Shaman 1st level ability, Complete Divine page 16). Limit it as you like, but instead a familiar give them a ghostly prescense that she can interact with. You could make it an Illusion that she created in her younger years and just started talking to. She gave it a name, spoke to it, asked it questions, and eventually it became Real(ish).

Just my two copper pieces.
23rd-Oct-2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
Problem is illusions must be believed in. If she doubts, or attempts to doubt the illusion she would get a savings throw. That and even if she did believe in them, they wouldnt likely have physical substance, so the character wouldnt be able to suspend their disbelief long enough to "enjoy" the illusion.

In a campaign, we allowed a character to believe their own illusion as it manifested itself as their long lost childhood imaginary friend. He still couldnt touch it, nor could it do anything physical, but it offered conversation for the crazy character.
23rd-Oct-2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
With Lesser Planar Ally, whatever you summon is bound to a "service"... although it's a little spendy at 50 gp per minute for a non-hazardous service.
23rd-Oct-2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
Woooo Hoooo new spell time.

Ok simply put, this is a place for a new spell. Give them a Programmed image 1 level higher (since I don't have thebook in front of me) stating that they can have a "Hologram" like quality. A Sentient illusion who can act and react to people. In the end the mage can give it any personality and leave it up to the DM to run it. It will have a bonus to the saving throw but in the end have no substance. To create substance I would make it 2 level higher then Programmed Illusion. Might even make it a summons school.

thats my .02
23rd-Oct-2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
shadow subtype
23rd-Oct-2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
You could have a cursed ring [or necklace, or hairpiece, or staff...] where the owner of the item believes the item is an Item Of Casting XYZ, when in reality it's casts something else -- a spell the owner already knows, some other spell... but either way the cursed item's owner BELIEVES that he/she is casting XYZ, not the actual spell being cast.

Opposite spell, different spell, no spell at all...
24th-Oct-2006 01:52 am (UTC)
I had a character who used unseen servants to give footrubs.

But yeah, your best bet is for your lonely sorceress to give a level 1 commoner a bath and a delousing, then use a low leel spell to make him look however she wanted.

You could hire 'skilled' labor fairly cheaply too. Much cheaper than summoning a creature to do it.
28th-Oct-2006 11:33 am (UTC)
Another possibility is something similar to a psy-crystal, where fragments of the creator's personality are embedded into the crystal, giving it a personality of its own. This is just the way I'd do it, as it's really not a gameplay effecting request, and it is great character development.

Give up familiar, instead have a crystal, ring, amulet (whatever takes your fancy) with no positive effects on it, make it intelligent (to her specifications, although less intelligent than her) and then add the effect of basically project image at will as its only form of communication (but at the will of the item, not her). That adds what she wants without giving it any bonuses, and also gives a good dm plot hooks for possible adventures etc.
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