Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > The Fantasy Trip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-08-2018, 05:00 PM   #1
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Fantasy Trip Illusions

This is a sort of opposite of the Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities thread. Here, I'd like to mention TFT illusions. I'm fairly sure that TFT's treatment of illusions is unique (or extremely unusual). You'll recall that illusions act exactly like the real thing, including being able to cause damage to living creatures. You either have to do enough damage to kill it, or make an IQ roll to disbelieve it (and forego a combat action).

Because of this unique treatment, I strongly feel that illusions are one of the critical TFT "must keeps".

So I'd like for this thread to be a list of issues and questions that arise when dealing with illusions. I doubt that it's really possible to write a comprehensive rule to cover every contingency. But a list like this would give some idea of what the problems are. And at least provide a "this is a list of common issues and the relevant guidelines" resource.

I'll start.

The rules state that an illusion of a particular person has the abilities that that person had (or that you think he had). What happens when people with very different opinions of that person's abilities are involved in the same encounter. I would suggest that the GM define the person as the character who knows him best thinks he is. Unless, of course, the Rule of Funny is applicable.
tbeard1999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 01:18 AM   #2
ak_aramis
 
ak_aramis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Illusions

I agree. I'll note that it's not unique, but it's uncommon.

I also like that "Disbelieve" is actually a 0-slot spell, known to most everyone (Wizard)... Which is relatively unique.

The other thing I particularly like is that there are no colleges for the magic system, no spell prerequisites except stats.
ak_aramis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 05:21 AM   #3
pyratejohn
 
pyratejohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Illusions

I agree. I love how TFT handled illusions, and images. Of course, players really have to be on their toes when facing illusions since they can be quite deadly.
__________________
Happily RPGing since 1976.
My Gaming and Reenacting Site (under construction)
pyratejohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 07:18 AM   #4
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Illusions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
I agree. I'll note that it's not unique, but it's uncommon.

I also like that "Disbelieve" is actually a 0-slot spell, known to most everyone (Wizard)... Which is relatively unique.

The other thing I particularly like is that there are no colleges for the magic system, no spell prerequisites except stats.
Agree on magic colleges. I always thought that magic colleges should be campaign features, not part of the rules.
tbeard1999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 08:32 AM   #5
Dave Crowell
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Illusions

A question on Illusions that I have seen raised elsewhere by others, how do they interact with projectile weapons?

An image struck by a projectile will vanish and the projectile continue on, but the rules don't say for an illusion. Would an Illusionary wall stop an arrow?
Dave Crowell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 09:02 AM   #6
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Illusions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Crowell View Post
A question on Illusions that I have seen raised elsewhere by others, how do they interact with projectile weapons?

An image struck by a projectile will vanish and the projectile continue on, but the rules don't say for an illusion. Would an Illusionary wall stop an arrow?
I always ruled that it did. The rationale (such as it is) is that an Illusion spell acts as a sorta magical lens. It focuses the inate natural magic energy of those who perceive the illusion to warp reality as necessary to conform with the illusion. It's power is limited though. An illusory wall can stop an arrow, but probably not an arbalest bolt. A rock might bounce off an illusory floor, but something as heavy as a human body would likely fall through. Unless the Wile E. Coyote Rule intersects with the Rule of Funny...

Yeah, it's the fantasy equivalent of Star Trek TNG technobabble, but what are you gonna do?

I also told my players - at the beginning of the campaigns - that the effects of illusions were often inconsistent in unusual cases. Wizards pretty much know how an illusory swordsman will fight. They may not be able to predict how large or fast an object an illusory wall will block. There's sufficient variation that the scientific method won't help either. In other words, just go with the ruling and understand that attempts to abuse illusion rules have a good chance of blowing back on you.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 01-09-2018 at 06:32 PM.
tbeard1999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 02:13 PM   #7
JLV
 
JLV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Illusions

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I always ruled that it did. The rationale (such as it is) is that an Illusion spell acts as a sorta magical lens. It focuses the inate natural magic energy of those who perceive the illusion to warp reality as necessary to conform with the illusion. It's power is limited though. An illusory wall can stop an arrow, but probably not an arbalest bolt. A rock might bounce off an illusory floor, but something as heavy as a human body would likely fall through. Unless the Wile E. Coyote Rule intersects with the Rule of Funny...

Yeah, it's the fantasy equivalent of Star Trek TNG technobabble, but what are you gonna do?

I also told my players - at the beginning of the campaigns - that the effects of illusions were often inconsistent in unusual cases. Wizards pretty much know how an illusory swordsman will fight. They may not be able to predict how large or fast an object an illusory wall will block. There's sufficient variation that the scientific method won't help either. In other words, just go with the ruling and understand that attempts to abuse illusion rules have a good chance of blowing back on you.
I'm sort of with Ty on this -- I believe the only way to render an illusory wall useless was to disbelieve it. (It's also simpler to just have a hard and fast rule.) The argument becomes "but the bullet, like a slime, can't even perceive the illusion and should go right through it," but my contention is that as stupid as it is, a slime has agency, and a bullet doesn't; inanimate objects will act as we perceive that they should -- otherwise you could just toss a rock and immediately "disprove" an illusion. That works against an Image, but Illusions have a whole lot more mystical energy tied into making them work than an image does, and thus has more "reality" than the Image does.

Images and illusions were very different for a reason, and it worked extremely well. It's also one of the most elegant treatments I've ever seen on the topic in any game. All in all, I don't personally find that there is much to quibble with in illusions per se.
JLV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2018, 11:11 PM   #8
Kirk
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Illusions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Crowell View Post
A question on Illusions that I have seen raised elsewhere by others, how do they interact with projectile weapons?

An image struck by a projectile will vanish and the projectile continue on, but the rules don't say for an illusion. Would an Illusionary wall stop an arrow?
In general, I think the image/illusion/summoned being/disbelief rules work very well in TFT, almost genius, I might say. The unusual situation is what the GM is for, and not everything in magic is known to the players, just like the physical world.

I had a university engineering prof that put this bonus question on a final exam:

Question:

What happens when an unstoppable projectile strikes an impenetrable object?
.................................................. .................................................. ........
Answer:

It goes through without making a hole.
Kirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.