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The more notable Illusionists in Greyhawk ...

 
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Crai
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Joined: Jul 07, 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:56 am    Post subject: The more notable Illusionists in Greyhawk ... Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

This is my first post at Canonfire (I'm long overdue!). After doing some research on the wizard, Nolzur .... I decided I wanted to write-up a project where I could compile aggregated lore on Greyhawk's most famous or infamous illusionists.

Now, this could be spellcasters who were *true* illusionists (or illusion-themed specialty spellcasters as have been noted in the various editions of D&D) ... or spellcasters who weren't illusionists but were noted for crafting a bunch of notable illusion spells.

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. And happy gaming to you all!
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Vulcan
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Joined: Mar 12, 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Illusionists who become famous as illusionists generally don't last long; you're basically proclaiming yourself to be soft, squishy, and with little offensive or defensive magics. Especially at low levels.

Illusions are very strong magics so long as no one suspects they are illusions. Once a target suspects an illusion, the illusion loses a lot of it's effectiveness. So SMART illusionists pretend to be something else - Invokers, Fire Mages, Beast Charmers, that sort of thing. After all, if Istvan the Illusionist casts a fireball disbelief is almost automatic. But if the known fire wizard Istvan the Incendary casts a fireball, who's going to disbelieve that?
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rasgon
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Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that illusionists generally don't advertise, but here are some notable ones:

Jumper, 18th-level illusionist, a member of Iuz's Boneheart.

Jawan Sumbar, thief 15/illusionist 17, guildmaster of Greyhawk's Guild of Cartographers.

Count Imiric von Suss-Varren, a noble from Ulek and former henchman of Otiluke.

Gleed, an illusionist/thief, one of Iuz's Boneshadow.

Garlan Baranmare, fighter/illusionist, clan leader of the gnomes of Sourlode.

The unnamed derro king of the Honeycombed Halls of the Diirinken, "an illusionist-savant of unrivaled power."

Endoble Mistikmore, leader of the gnomes of Woodsdeep in the Valley of the Mage.

Shadwell, the butler of Ferranan, prince of the House of Cranden.
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DMPrata
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Joined: May 12, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grand Duke Owen I of Geoff (F 13 / I 15)
Ilkhan Cligir of the Chakyik (I 3 / F 11)
Tarkhan Bargru of the Wegwiur (I 5 / F 12)

Isn't there an illusionist lich in Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk?
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Crai
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the excellent illusionist finds!

I'll check my 3E EttRoG book tonight for that lich ...
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nystul seems worth mentioning as the creator of Nystul's Magic Aura and other illusion spells.
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Vulcan
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I notice lots of multiclassed illusionists. Clear evidence illusionists generally need something to fall back on if the illusions are disbelieved...
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Cebrion
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Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah. They fall back on other spells they can use, like alterations to turn you into something unnatural, enchantments to make you their friend, or conjurations to call forth effects or summon friends to help them. Also, not all illusions can be disbelieved, and then there is shadow magic.

Most of the notables have been named. Could be some illusionists in Rogues' Gallery, the D&D card sets, in various modules, or among pre-gens in modules (not that all of those will be famous/infamous).

Okay, I recall two:

Lamonsten the Lazy: Slave Lord; human illusionist from Dyvers.

Wimpel Frump: agent of the Slave Lords; human illusionist.
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vulcan wrote:
Illusionists who become famous as illusionists generally don't last long; you're basically proclaiming yourself to be soft, squishy, and with little offensive or defensive magics. Especially at low levels...


-First, illusionists probably wouldn't advertise, and even if they did, how would you know that one of the guys you're facing happens to be "That Guy"?

Cebrion wrote:
... They fall back on other spells they can use, like alterations to turn you into something unnatural, enchantments to make you their friend, or conjurations to call forth effects or summon friends to help them. Also, not all illusions can be disbelieved, and then there is shadow magic...


...well, that too.

Vulcan wrote:
...Illusions are very strong magics so long as no one suspects they are illusions. Once a target suspects an illusion, the illusion loses a lot of it's effectiveness. So SMART illusionists pretend to be something else - Invokers, Fire Mages, Beast Charmers, that sort of thing. After all, if Istvan the Illusionist casts a fireball disbelief is almost automatic. But if the known fire wizard Istvan the Incendary casts a fireball, who's going to disbelieve that?


-Even when you start figuring out you're up against an illusionist (after being repeatedly duped), illusionists aren't likely to be working alone. Part of the problem is deciding when to disbelieve, and when not. If you assume (as I do), that disbelieving an illusion requires ignoring it to some extent, than any attack made by someone or something who was misidentified as an illusion would get a +2 bonus on the attack, while saving throws would be made at -2. Trying to disbelieve a supposedly bogus threat that turns out to be real can be more dangerous than falling for an illusion.

Example: Gygax's account of the Battle of the Loftwood (Dragon #57, p. 14) makes it clear that illusions were a key part of the victory. The Vile Rune wasted plenty of time deploying against (or even retreating from) non-existent threats. Eventually, even the dopey orcs and ogres remembered that gnomes have plenty of illusionsts (goblins always keep that in mind). This happened throughout the battle. Then comes an apparent cavalry charge at the Vile Rune's wavering rearguard. When the orcs disbelieved the "illusion", did they avoid yet another fake out, or did they regret it? What do you think? Evil Grin

EDIT: Doh! Forgot the mian point of the post! I don't have it with me, but what about the pair of illusionists in Lake Farmin/Garrotten? "Notable" enough? I think they advertised. Literally. Wink Laughing
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This short article about Sir Xaris briefly mentions his adventuring companions. Included is the illusionist, Brian, Who is Called Brian. Last time Sir Xaris adventured with him, he was a 19th level Illusionist (AD&D).

Of course, he is a friend's PC from our campaign back in the '80s, but he's the only illusionist of note I can think of that hasn't already been mentioned above. Happy

http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=999

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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Illusions drive me NUTS. There is no hard and fast rule, only guidelines, how to adjudicate their execution and use, not only in the PHB, but a few articles along the way in various Dragon Magazine issues and The Complete Book of Wizards as well.

The thing to keep in mind (pun intended) is that if it was so easy to disregard and disbelieve illusions, even if you suspected what you were observing WAS false and a figment of your imagination, then the entire School of Illusions would be useless. Consider it "magical selection." Nobody would bother casting illusions, and there would be no specialists focusing on this school of magic.

It's not merely a casual point of, "Hey, I think this is an illusion, so I disbelieve." Even if you think/know you are facing an illusionist, there have to be discrepancies in the credibility of the illusion in the first place. Your mind and senses are FOOLED into 'believing' what you perceive regardless of what your rational thought is trying to tell you. Cognitive dissonance at its finest. Consider all the times in a situation when you have tried to reconcile what your mind is trying to 'tell' you through reason and logic and what your senses are telling you, and the two are in conflict.

I am sure all/most of us can agree it's just not that simple.

Just my two coppers,

-Lanthorn
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