Using Illusion in combat

I ran my monthly one off for a gaming group I play with this past Saturday. I had a character work up a Sorceror who had the Illusion shtick, or he had Illusion, I'm not looking at a book and working from memory.

The point was that he began using it in a fight. I enjoyed what he was doing with it, while it was a bit silly, it was fun and fit the theme of what we were doing, in other words the group was fighting a named assassin and he was using it to distract and confuse her. Instead of applying damage I began to give the assassin levels of impairment based on his rolls, though the math was fuzzy.

What would be a good system for this in the future, because I really enjoyed it but don't want to over power it. Essentially the spell caster is going to be making a check against the person's Will, but this can get fuzzy because the outcome of such a check can become astronomical, so doing something such as what the Scrappy Kid can do where the person suffers -1 impairment for the outcome's number of shots.

Perhaps it becomes based on the outcome of the will check that the person suffers impairment for the next three shots, considering that spell caster is concentrating on casting the illusion on the person for the next three shots as well, and that the person is at an impairment based on the outcome. For instance if the outcome is less than 5 then the person is impaired at -1. If it's 6-10, it becomes -2, 11-15 it's -3, etc. You could also throw in an extra bonus to their roll if for instance they're using something about the NPC that would make them more susceptible, such as someone who suffers from arachnophobia seeing spiders crawling all over them or vice versa if the person is especially fond of spiders then they aren't bothered by the illusion and get a bonus to their Will.

Just a thought and trying to flesh out a house rule or see if it's been covered somewhere else and I just don't remember.

From the book, there's Influence rather than Illusion- although Illusion made it into Out for Blood. Influence is rolled against the target's Willpower, Illusion is rolled against a set Difficulty number.

Whichever way you slice it, it has potential to be unbalancing- but the best thing in the GM toolkit is the Sorcery difficulty modifier chart- if the use is boring, it's penalised, if it hoses the plot, it automatically fails. I'd say let that kind of spell work really well the first time, then have the enemies get wise to it, giving them large bonuses to their Willpower. That encourages the player to save up the first use for something entertaining and spectacular.

Sorcery modifiers sound like a solid way to tackle this issue. But for that one time you want a major baddie/baddies to be immune to this for some epic fight, dont' forget that 'Fairy Eye's can see through any illusion. :smiley:

Iron and Silk book methinks.


Hi there,

From the old 'Jade Agenda' website. (Thanks to Jay_Nola for showing this the light of day)

Skills 40- Genes 0

[i]You may have noticed that Attributes are almost no defense against schticks that call for rolling the appropiate skill vs. certain attribute. This is because skill are calculated adding a (usually large) bonus to one of the Attributes and, in a game where differences of 3 or more points between skills are a large advantage, you may have easily differences of up to 10 points between skills and their opposing Attributes, making Difficulty checks close to automatic. This is particularly abusive in some Sorcery and Chi shticks (Influence, Talon of the Crane and Warning, to name a few). We suggest two possible options for this:

1) Double Attributes when they are the Difficulty of an skill check, or they must be rolled against a skill AV or Action Result.

2) Add a flat +7 to those Attribute Difficulties or AVs. The Enchantment effect of Influence is a special case; add a +3 instead

Apply these options only for named characters.[/i]