[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Treantmonk's Guide to Wizard Spells: God's Tools - Part 6: Illusion[/FONT]
In this thread I will break down illusion spells spell by spell - which are underrated, which are overrated (All IMO - this isn't Gospel - only the Gospel according to Treantmonk)
This is the 2nd last thread for schools of magic (enchantment will come later today) - however, I intend 2 more guides for players wishing to play "god". One will rate PrC's from various sources - the other will rate alternate classes you may wish to consider for your "god" character. I intend to use a similar format to these spell guides, with my standard :evillaugh *
Though I may abbriviate it somewhat...
To the readers: If there's a spell you think I should look at - post it and I'll include it in my guide - though be pre-warned - I do not guarantee I will hold the same opinion as you.Sources
: I use PHB, PHB II, Complete Series, and SpC (these are both the books I own, as well as those allowed in the campaigns in which I play) - so all the spells listed are from those sources. (these guides are not completely unselfish - I reference them periodically with my own characters)
There are lots of gems in various other sources - but I've found there are lots of good spells to round out your spellbook in the sources used. By all means, if you would like to highlight a spell from another source - post it in a reply (along with the source and the specs) for the readers to reference. Kinds of Spells:
This is how I break down the types of spells...
Battlefield Control. This is the spells that involve impeding movement of your opponents - aiding movement of your allies, or in any other way treating the world as your own personal chessboard.Debuff:
Debuffing is anything you cast on an enemy to impede his ability mechanically. Lowering of attributes, Blinding, Sickening, or scaring the living crap out of. Debuffing - as the name would indicate - also includes removing any buffs your enemy might have.Buff:
Buffing is improving the abilities of your allies mechanically. Whether it be through giving them extra attacks, better AC, or merely providing them a flanker. The nice thing about buffs is they likely won't involve saving throws.Blast:
A Blast is a spell that does HP damage to your opponent. Blasts are a pretty basic part of any Wizard's toolbelt - but IMO make a poor central focus to any Wizard. My suggestion is to cast Blast spells when you have nothing really useful to do.Utility:
These are those spells that have uses that aren't necessarily related to combat. Often utility spells can be useful in combat - but more circumstantially.Save or Die:
These spells give you a saving throw - or you're dead (or effectively dead). Personally, I don't like these spells - since they tend to target Fort - and are higher level then spells which can give you the win without avoiding the fun. You are usually better with a debuff if you like this style of spell.Multiple Threat:
A spell that covers more than one of the above at a time is a multiple threat spell. For example - a spell that does damage as well as impede the enemies movement would be a double threat (BC + Blast), while a spell that does damage, impedes the movement of the enemy, gives them mechanical penalties, and gives your allies bonuses would be a Quadruple threat (BC + Blast + Debuff + Buff). By the way - if you know of a Quadruple threat spell - let me know!!![b]Rating the spells:
After breaking down the spells, I will self-righteously give them either the Treantmonk stamp of approval - or the stamp of the foot, oversimplifying the use of each.
: This spell's a Turkey. Not worth having in your spellbook at all.
:thumbsdow : Not all bad, but not good enough for me to recommend*
: Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special
: The spell is solid. I recommend it
: This spell is highly recommended
:evillaugh : YES!!!!![FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Part 6: Illusion[/FONT]
To the reader of past guides: You will notice that the illusion guide is small. Much smaller than past guides. Your eyes do not decieve you - there are various reasons for this:1)
I discovered through the abjuration/necromancy thread that just because a school has less spells doesn't mean you should include more of the "should ignore" spells into the guide. It gives the guide a negative feel without really adding any useful information. If I don't include a spell in the guide - it probably means I'm not a big fan of it.2)
Illusion is a difficult school to rate. Of all the schools - how do you rate a spell with the versatility of "Shadow conjuration" or even worse "major image"? The effectiveness of these spells is limited mainly by the imagination of the user - so please take that into account.3)
Illusion is an interesting school in that it has a few spells that are awsome standouts, and a lot of spells that are garbage compared to those few spells.
Note that the enchantment guide will be even smaller - much smaller - but for slightly different reasons.
Finally - illusion creates alot of debate. Can you use an illusion to create an illusionary pit in a floor? Can you use Shadow Conjuration to emulate an effect and choose to not make a saving throw to disbelieve? People have their minds set so completely on these areas that nothing is going to change it - but before you make up yours - I do like the take on illusions that Skip Williams has - check the links below for more information:All about illusions (part 1)All about illusions (part 2)All about illusions (part 3)
All about illusions (part 4)
So without further ado: Here's the illusion spells your wizard should take a second look at: