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Old 07-07-2022, 03:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Krait's Summon Wolf vs Yzor's Illusion Wolf

I was checking out this example combat on pg 23 and the descriptions of the spells after pg 12 (Wizard Reference Pages aren't numbered) and it raised some questions...

Assuming you had access to both spells (Summon Wolf at Krait's IQ 9 is accessible earlier than Illusion at Yzor's IQ 11) would the benefits of Summon Wolf be worth the drawbacks?

The spells have identical damage outputs (illusions have same stats as real things)

Illusions are cheaper, since you pay ST 2 once, and it will last 12 turns (averaging 0.083 ST per turn) whereas you're looking at an expensive 1 ST/turn for maintaining a summon.

Summons do have the small benefit of "get a final hit in" if you get knocked out but that doesn't seem incredibly useful.

I think it's actually offset by the vulnerability to Control Animal spell - an illusion hit by Control Animal will just vanish (you're deprived of ally but enemy doesn't gain anything) whereas Control Animal hitting a Summon Wolf will per pg 15's Summoned Creatures rule give them control of it.

One advantage to a real wolf I guess is I think vanishing when hit w/ Control Animal is automatic for illusions (guaranteed deprivation of ally) whereas losing control of your Summoned Wolf only happens if it fails the Saving Roll.

Control Animal (T) is not a guarantee though since it involves a DX roll to use successfully, and you lose the ST cost if you critfail (pg 11 mentions "the wizard loses the full ST cost of the spell" not sure if that applies with normal DX fails)

Disbelief is obviously the biggest problem with Illusion since EVERYONE with IQ 7+ knows it (not sure if it counts against the IQ limit of spells or is free beyond that) where the illusion-controller has to roll above the Disbeliever's IQ to maintain the illusion.

Disbelief doesn't have a ST cost listed so I assume it is 0 (Krait isn't shown losing any ST when he does it), so that's like a free dismissal, except of course for it using up your turn like a normal spell ("use mental energy to dispel" .. it's not exactly a savings throw since you're dispelling it from affecting other allies too) though assigning a cost like 1 might be reasonable to make illusions more competetive with summons.

This begs an interesting question about the combat - how do you roleplay when an illusion is "suspected"?

We are told "Krait tries to disbelieve Yzor's wolf" and conveniently Yzor's wolf IS an illusion ... but why did Yzor not attempt to disbelieve in Krait's (real, summoned) wolf?

Unless he knew ahead of time "Krait is too low-IQ to learn illusion so that wolf MUST be real, can't disbelieve it" it seems like (given the low cost of illusions to create for long durations) you should pre-emptively attempt to disbelieve in any wolf you see in case it's an illusion, since that's a free net gain of 2 ST in the contest with your opponent.

This 'faking out' in Fantasy Trip Wizards happens a 2nd time in this fight, we see "Krait fakes a protective spell on himself." in turn 2 (he does nothing else)

This seems to work because instead of Yzor sending his Illusion Wolf to attack Krait, he instead sends the Illusion Wolf to attack the Summoned Wolf. It makes sense since wolves only subtract 1 hit from incoming damage, whereas something like Stone Flesh subtracts 4 hits.

Stone Flesh is an IQ 13 spell though... for Krait's ruse to fool Yzor, Yzor has to belief Krait's IQ is at least 13 .. which means Yzor should believe that Krait is capable of casting Illusion, which brings into question again why Yzor did not try Disbelieve.

I guess he opted for Dazzle since as an AE it hits both Krait and his wolf (real or otherwise) and maybe he figured he could have his Illusion Wolf kill/hinder Krait's wolf more rapidly than a possibly-pointless-disbelieve would?

Krait OTOH perhaps had the luxury of attempting a Disbelieve since Yzor was already on the ropes Disengaging from the attack of Krait's wolf, and knew Yzor would be baited into having his 2nd wolf attack Krait's 1st wolf instead of Krait himself, especially w/ the feigned armor spell?
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fantasy trip wizards, illusion, krait, summon wolf, yzor

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