Friday, August 5, 2011

Weird Arcana - Illusory Axiom (New Spell)

Here’s an old spell from a yet older Forgotten Realms AD&D 2nd campaign. My brother at the time played with a gnome specialist priest/illusionist and I liked to use misleading and bizarre spells with him, which I thought fitted nicely with the idea behind illusions. The following dweomer actually penalizes very intelligent and smart targets. I admit that it’s a very weird spell (that can generated complicated scenes) and with limited applications… but I always loved those types of dweomers.

Illusory Axiom
Illusion [Shadow]
Level: Bard 4, Sorcerer/Wizard 5, Witch 5
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: Close
Effect: Create one object whose area is up to one 5-ft. square/level; see text
Duration: 1 minute/level
Saving Throw: Will negates; see text
Spell Resistance: See text

This is probably the most absurd illusionist spell in existence, and henceforth one of the harder to master. Illusory axiom allows you to create a non-masterwork, non-edible artificial object – anything from a key to a shield or even a bridge – made of simple materials (stone, iron and wood are fine; precious metals and exotic materials like adamantine are out). The object must be created within the dweomer’s range and it must come in existence over a solid surface capable of supporting its weight. If the created object is complex, a Craft check (or the necessary skill) must be made. If, for example, a wizard attempt to create a key to open a specific door, he must be successful at a Disable Device check, just a like any character attempting to open the lock.
The catch is that illusory axiom draws power from the Plane of Shadow, so if someone believes in it, the illusion is real for him and him alone. You could use this spell to create a bridge over a chasm and cross over it, all targets that attempt to follow you and successful “disbelieve” the illusion will fall.
The caster of illusory axiom can choose to believe or not on the illusion that he created. If he informs his allies previously, they can also choose to automatically fail the Will saving throw. Unaware targets must save normally when interacting with illusory axiom. The only way to suspect that sometimes is better to believe in the illusion is by identifying illusory axiom with a Spellcraft check.
Spell resistance usually don’t give any extra protection against illusory axiom but sometimes works. For example: if a creature with SR attempts to cross a door created with illusory axiom, the SR applies.

Illusory axiom can be used to create either fiendish or hilarious traps. A villain could use it to create a stone bridge for him and his (stupid) ogres allies to cross over a chasm. The player characters (all with excellent save bonus against illusions) found odd that the “false bridge” worked but followed, falling in the chasm. Even if the targets are too dumb to note the illusion, the caster himself can tell them that, thereby giving a +4 “bonus” to their Will saves.