Scene: During a roleplaying scene, the players face the potential for combat against some enemies while large crowds are nearby observing. Because of the fey/psychic nature of their enemies, a strange effect begins to occur - the minds of the PCs begin projecting the images of previously defeated foes and the characters catch sight of people who should be dead moving through the crowds during the fight, unnerving them. Imagine the slow-mo scenes in a movie when the hated enemy that died in Act I is back, moving through the crowd, locking eyes with the protagonist.
Snap Out of It (DC 24): Your friend suffers from a similar effect and needs help to see the truth. Make a Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Religion check as a minor action. The shades do not affect an ally of your choice until the end of your next turn.
That seems like it would be interesting to play out. I don't see anything I'd change about it.
This is an excellent idea !
However, this feels more like a trap - a "zone" within which the characters are beset by the effect.
I'd have the trap attack Will and have the checks you created grant defense bonuses or even dispel the effect (minor action for bonus, move to remove the effect).
In the same vein as the original idea, enough successes during the encounter could lead to a bonus or clue form one of the shades. Perhaps that one shade was a lost loved one that lets drop a cloth stained with blood and with the bbeg's initials. Or that old master has one last piece of advice that makes a missed blow strike true or a repositioning of the legs that allows for a proper dodge. Etc.
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