Illusions - fainting through the wall

  1. Would a character faint through an illusionary wall that includes the sense of touch or would he be held by it?
  2. Can you walk over your own illusory bridges?
  3. If he falls through could he become trapped in the artificial wall, I mean if half the body hits the floor on each side and he wakes up later?

The wall/bridge would feel solid when you touch it, but you would fall right through it nonetheless as it is merely an illusion - it is not solid and wouldn't bear any weight. You cannot walk on it. You wouldn't get trapped in either.

And yes, it would probably feel just as weird and confusing as it sounds.

1. Would a character faint through an illusionary wall that includes the sense of touch or would he be held by it?

The fact that you ask worries me. You think that gravity is fooled by the illusion?

An illusion is completely in the mind of the observer of the sensory illusion - if unconscious, how could anything be sensed, much less believed to be real?

More importantly, an illusion has no physical element to it - no force, except in the mind of the observer. How could it possibly support anything?

2. Can you walk over your own illusory bridges?

Knowing that it's an illusion, and it's really not there? Perhaps even less than #1, (tho' it's a close thing to someone who cannot perceive it at all.)

Interacting physically with an illusion, even one that fools the sense of Touch, is one of the more likely ways of realizing it's an illusion. Perfect belief does not levitate you, nor keep you from falling on your ass (in most situations).

Example: There is an illusory wall. Believing it to be real and solid, you casually lean up against it - you "feel" the wall, but you're also now off-balance with nothing solid holding you up. Tho' your sense of Touch "feels" the wall holding you up, you also feel yourself fall - mass confusion results with conflicting input, then you hit the floor. From there you have to figure it out...

Illusions have no real force, no real effect except in the mind. People believe them to be real, but that belief does not make them real or give them any physical force.

Let's say the person tried to mark the illusionary wall with chalk. Unless the illusion was programed/controlled to change appropriately, the chalk would achieve nothing in the mind of the victim - there is no wall there to scrape the chalk, the chalk is not fooled, nothing is written.

Now you are hit with an illusory maul, a huge hammer. You feel the force, you believe you are thrown across the room with broken ribs. You say "ouch". But others see the hit, and you fall - there is no "force" to the blow, so they do not see you get thrown back. They are confused - you are busy trying to breath.

Now you are stabbed in the stomach with an illusory spear. You feel the pain, you might believe you're dieing, you might pass out, it's conceivable you might even die from the shock (the mind is very powerful!). But your clothes are not torn, nor is there any blood (not that complex of an illusion.)

What's the difference between a real fire and an illusory one? The pain may be the same, and the memory of the pain is just as intense, but after one you still have your clothes and no burns, and after the other no clothes and real burns.

Illusions have no force, except in the mind.

3. If he falls through could he become trapped in the artificial wall, I mean if half the body hits the floor on each side and he wakes up later?

Possibly, but only if he believes himself to be trapped! But anyone observing this and figuring it out could pull him out as easily as they could drag anyone across that ground. The illusion convinces the person they are trapped - it does not physically trap them.

(And since this illusion was created as a wall, not as a wall that is trapping someone, it might not work at all. The premise of the illusion - a solid wall - has already been shown as false, because of the body thru it. I'd say that IF it's even possible to be fooled at that point, the victim would have a huge bonus to realize what's going on. First thing I'd do is struggle - and nothing is stopping a body from moving out from the illusion of the wall.)

I'd refine this by noting in the current edition you -don't- say ouch. Illusions of pain are a lot harder when they were in 4th. Being hit by an illusionary maul does not cause pain, because it has no matter. It's like being hit by a 3D cinema projection of a maul. It doesn't actually hurt you.

This does actually have some bearing - an illusion is a magical creation which emits mundane species, rather than a direct magical creation of species (which would render all magi rather resistant to illusions.) As such, whether an illusion can support (but not hurt) you depends on your interpretation of the Parma.

If you go for the stops-all-magic-dead aproach then you can probably walk on an illusion. CrIm spells become phenomenally powerful. If you favour the stops-magical-properties interpretation then the insubstantial nature of the bridge isn't trying to do anything to you and so you can't.

It certainly does not cause "damage", but I thought they did cause "pain". A person victimized by an illusory fire feels it "burn" them, even if no damage is done, correct?

I thought there was indeed "pain" felt, even if no real harm was done - no? Can you point me to the part of the rules where this is clarified?

What does adding the sense of Touch to an illusory weapon attack achieve, then?

When I think "power of illusions" I always envision Dune and that scary box used by the Bene Jesserit to test Paul Atreides. IMS illusions can make you feel damage. If tthey beat your parma, that is.

It can be extremely ofdd to feel the sword going through you and seeing no cut, though. If you fall is because you think you should fall, not because the damage causes you to fall


That was not my impression (I've no book handy to double check).

Under vanilla hermetic magic, imaginem effects are composed of species and as such have no substance.

A magus possessing the "Glamour" virtue, or an infernalist using Debauchery/Phantasm can, however, create "real" illusions that are capable of inflicting harm.

According to HoH: Societates page 63, imaginem spells cannot be used to create pain because pain is the mind's interpretation of sensory data making it a mentem effect (you can also create pain with corpus though!). Of course, one could argue that the mind would interpret an the feeling of a being stabbed with an illusionary sword the same as it would a real one, but Ars Magica canon in general has tended to associate the sense of touch with texture. Therefore, a maga would feel cold metal against her flesh, but none of the force (and hence no pain) as a result of an illusionary sword attack.

Hope I was able to help,
~ gremlin44


The Jerbiton chapter of Societates.

Very little: it makes it a bit more convincing in battle, because people think they have been hit, but defelected the hit somehow, like through armor, but basically to make pain you need to get species inside the body. You can't just spray species from outside to cause pain, because the receptors for pain aren't on the outside of the body.

Again, is there a passage in the rules that explains this, or is this a consensus from on-line discussion of species? Is this explained, or implied?

Societates, page 63, second sidebar. Pain is Mentem.

I am so glad the last saga's "make illusion real for a while then turning it back on you" ring is no longer here...

I think some Merinita can still do this with Glamor, but its not vanilla anymore, IMO.