Thursday, June 16, 2011

Weird Arcana - Heart's Desire (New Spell)

I'm a great fan if illusions, specially in older editions where believing in a mirage make it real for the victim. It was a nice touch in my opinion, reminding me of the classic glamour powers of the Fey. D&D 3rd Edition, unfortunately, removed part of the magic behind this in favor of a system with exact effects (I admit that illusions were then a constant source of DM's rulings). Together with Necromancy, the Illusion school was one of the causalities of the D&D 3rd (and, consequently, of Pathfinder). This new dweomer below pushes a little the concept of Illusion, intruding upon the schools of Enchantment and, maybe, Divination. It deals, even if only in flavor, with concepts like 'trickery' and 'desire' - themes that, I believe, fit well in the Illusion school.

Heart’s Desire
Illusion [Figment, Mind-Effect]
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 3, Witch 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

This tricky dweomer works in reverse of most illusions. Instead of trying to make the target believe that the figment created is real, this spells deliberately implant in the target’s mind the suggestion that what he’ll see is an illusion. In other words, the target automatically knows that the figment before him is an illusion and, thus, lower his mental defense against it. However, the mirage takes the shape of the object or person most desired by the target at that moment. This usually surprises the victim of heart’s desire, leaving him with reaction, and at the same time likely revealing an important information.
In game terms, if the target successfully saves against heart’s desire, his is momentarily surprised by the figment, becoming flat-footed, but reacts quickly enough to close his thoughts before the image is completed. The flat-footed condition disappears 1 round later.
If the target’s fails the Will saving throw, he’s stunned by figment, which assumes appearance of the thing most coveted or desired by the target. Both the stunned condition and the figment remain in effect for 1 round.
Because heart’s desire tricks the target, the first time his spell is cast, the target must roll his Will saving throw twice and take the worst result. Targets with ranks in Spellcraft can attempt a check (DC 20) to recognize the trick and ignore the penalty. If you’re unsure if a particular target was or not affect in the past by heart’s desire, give him 20% of being the victim of this dweomer (30% if he deals constantly with arcane casters). Once a target fails a Will saving throw against heart’s desire, he becomes immune to further uses of this spell for the next 24 hours.