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Old 07-12-2020, 08:06 AM   #1
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Illusions as scouts?

I was wondering how people interpret the rules governing the use of illusions as scouts. One reading of the text suggests that the creator of an illusion can see through its eyes (and by extension perhaps perceive other things through the illusions other normal senses), suggesting I could create the illusion of a mouse and send it into a room to see what is there. But the language on this subject strikes me as vague so I was wondering how others read it. The only passage I could find that seems to speak directly to this is on Legacy Edition p. 139:

"...a figure who possesses Literacy,[list of other talents] can use that talent through the eyes of any illusion that he [sic] creates"
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:24 AM   #2
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

See ITL 139 for limitations on illusions.

Take an illusion of an Shadowight cast by an average IQ 17 starting wizard with Alertness walking through complete darkness.

The wizard only has a 50% chance of spotting a six die hidden door in total darkness, and the illusion has no means to open the door or spring any traps on the door. This assumes that the Shadowight is walking only three hexes per turn and so will only scout out a dozen megahexes before requiring four more points of ST to continue it.

Compare with the Summon Scout bat that has a full move of 20 and one point of ST to pull tripwires or such. "I'm using the pings to listen for hollows in the walls." (The illusion bat would have no actual physical sound pings and so find nothing that the wizard didn't already know about.)
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:56 AM   #3
zot
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
See ITL 139 for limitations on illusions.

Take an illusion of an Shadowight cast by an average IQ 17 starting wizard with Alertness walking through complete darkness.

The wizard only has a 50% chance of spotting a six die hidden door in total darkness, and the illusion has no means to open the door or spring any traps on the door. This assumes that the Shadowight is walking only three hexes per turn and so will only scout out a dozen megahexes before requiring four more points of ST to continue it.

Compare with the Summon Scout bat that has a full move of 20 and one point of ST to pull tripwires or such. "I'm using the pings to listen for hollows in the walls." (The illusion bat would have no actual physical sound pings and so find nothing that the wizard didn't already know about.)
Yep -- my default scout was an image of a mosquito (cheaper than an illusion) until Summon Scout came out.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:16 AM   #4
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

Interesting, but I can't tell from this aside whether or not you both agree with the fundamental premise that a wizard can create an illusion and then send it to and fro to observe his or her surroundings. In particular, the comment about the bat illusion not actually relaying information gathered by sonar suggests you don't think an illusion can show you something you haven't seen.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:30 AM   #5
warhorse11h
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

For what its worth, I don't think that the illusion would be able to see anything you weren't already aware of. Unless there are others in the room that the illusion can interact with. Illusions are partially fed by those who see them and don't disbelieve them. So, the illusion might be able to sense things they are aware of.

Last edited by warhorse11h; 07-12-2020 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:40 AM   #6
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

My take on the illusion bat is that it can hear ambient noises and make illusion noises that non-mindless critters can hear and so it will get illusion echos off of these figures.

Therefore if your only light source is an illusion torch then you see other figures as they see themselves, without shapeshifts or glamors.
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:00 PM   #7
zot
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
Interesting, but I can't tell from this aside whether or not you both agree with the fundamental premise that a wizard can create an illusion and then send it to and fro to observe his or her surroundings. In particular, the comment about the bat illusion not actually relaying information gathered by sonar suggests you don't think an illusion can show you something you haven't seen.
EDIT: I replied before catching up with this thread and didn't see your comment about pages 138-139 :)

Yes, I believe the rules on illusions are quite clear: the wizard sees out of the illusion's "eyes" just as with a summoned creature. The rules also characterize illusions as a "knot of forces" in the disbelief rules on page 138 and page 139 says that illusionary fire actually burns real things and illusionary weapons actually damage physical things:

"Mages theorize this is true because these few inanimate objects are so often seen as illusions that they have somehow acquired extra power."

So Illusions in TFT are more than just mental, they're quasi-physical objective manifestations, shaped by the observers.

I seem to remember a ruling from Steve about wizards using senses from a creation that the wizard didn't have, like sonar, but I don't remember what he said about it :(.

Last edited by zot; 07-14-2020 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:56 AM   #8
Axly Suregrip
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

Yes, Summon creatures, Images and Illusions can be scouts and the wizard can see through their eyes.

From ITL pg 137 bottom left it says, "A wizard can see through the eyes of the summoned beings, images, or illusions brought by his Creation spells. If he has Mage Sight, his creations have it too."

But a limitation to this already mentioned above is this quote, from Summon Scout spell on ITL pg 20:

"Caster can see through its eyes. Its other senses are also available, though the wizard will not understand everything that a rat smells or a bat hears, and may interpret those senses as vision!"

Basically Image and Summon Scout each can give you a scout at 1 ST per minute cost. The image's downside being fragile to the touch. The image spell's upside is that it can be used for more than just scouts.

Illusion and Image scouts cannot open doors or manipulate the physical world. A summoned scout rat may be able to gnaw on a cord or obstacle or maybe even take something small. For example, used to steal a magic ring or the theft of one coin at a time. :-)

Last edited by Axly Suregrip; 07-15-2020 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:17 AM   #9
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

Thanks for tracing down those additional references - it hadn't occurred to me to go back through the rules for all creation spells to find more concrete statements about this subject. In any case, this material, plus what is said on p. 139, would seem to settle the case for RAW letting you use illusions (and images) as effect 'perception' scouts (even if they can't trip trip wires, etc.). Of course those of you who don't like it are free to house rule it away, but I'm convinced that my players are working creatively within the rules on the page rather than twisting them to change their intent.
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Old 07-15-2020, 01:12 PM   #10
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Illusions as scouts?

Here's my list of all the mentions and how I resolve command and control of creations:

https://www.hcobb.com/tft/house_rules.html#CRUD
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