Only consider the sincerity of the Illusionist player character. Such a character is fascinating from this point of view, since she or he is able to create deceptive illusions that appear real to those easily influenced by such things—and if the spell is powerful enough, that includes a host of beings. These spells are graded in seven levels of intensity, all the way up to “Alter Reality,” which does pretty much what you would expect. The spells descend through “Permanent Illusion,” which generates illusions that seem real to the sense of touch, smell, sight and sound; to lesser spells that create walls of fog, or hypnotic hallucinations. These are illusions that have causal effects on others, not simply eye candy (or any other kind of candy) for sheer aesthetic amusement. Indeed, the Player's Handbook suggests that Illusionists may in many circumstances be “more potent” than regular magicians (Magic Users). The Illusionist character is a recursive feature of Dungeons and Dragons, which wholly depends upon the play of illusion and the willing suspension of disbelief, and at the same time an uncanny recognition that this is indeed a game.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I Was a Teenage Illusionist
From my D&D essay for Jon Cogburn: