Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Complete Illusionist update

Work has recommenced on The Complete Illusionist.  I'm plugging through spells right now: including ones published in The Basic Illusionist, I've got 45 finished 1st-level spells (and 5 unfinished) , 30 finished 2nd-level spells (17 unfinished) , and so on.  There's a lot of time in going through the spells, checking various spells against one another, tweaking descriptions (mostly shortening), cleaning up the language, and adding heightened and diminished effects. I've got one or two other sources to check as well, particularly for higher level spells.

One of the things I'm really trying to do is make sure related spells play well with each other. Spells in a "family", for instance, should have a similar appearance and effects (chromatic spells are sparkling and multi-hued).  Ideally they will also span a number of levels, either through separate spells or diminished/heightened effects. (chromatic dagger, a 2nd-level spell, includes a diminished and a heightened effect; chromatic blade, a 5th-level spell, also includes a diminished and a heightened effect, so the two together span 1st-6th level. There's clearly room for an 8th-level version if I want. Unfortunately, the two don't play well with chromatic orb, but that's really a prismatic spell anyway...)

Other things to include in The Complete Illusionist:

  • a description of how heightened and diminished spells work (this should've been in TBI. Whoops.)
  • Illusionist NPCs
  • A more comprehensive description of the Aethereal Plane.
  • Possibly a description of the Umbral Plane
  • luminists and shadowmancers
  • apprentices, etc, etc.
  • More illusion & shadow related creatures.
  • Magic items
  • A short section on using illusionists instead of magic-users in a campaign.
  • Spell lists broken down by effect, school, subschool, so on and so forth

Any other requests?


  1. Sounds good! Looking forward to seeing the finished product, Nathan.

  2. just found this , following now

  3. Can't wait to read more, Nathan!

    I'd love to see some more shadow spells and monsters---you can never have too many, as far as I'm concerned! There also aren't very many shadow-related magic items, in case you had ideas on that front?


  4. Nathan, due to my great "grognardism", I'm not able to read all the book but I would use the Illusionist class in my S&W campaign, above all for the Gnome race. If compared with other official S&W classes (no more than 2 pages each), I think there are too much rules about this class but this is my opinion and, at the same time, it's always useful to have more informations about the Shadow Planes and related creatures, as described in your sourcebook.
    I ask you only if it's possible to include in the upcoming Complete Illusionist few pages about a shorter, light version of the Illusionist to apply in simpler versions of S&W adventures as for the other welk known classes of the core rulebook.

    1. Short answer: YES. I will include a WB illusionist and a stripped down "Core/Complete Rules" Illusionist.

      The illusionist class itself only takes up a page, and you can ignore all of the abilities after first level if you like.

      Actually, the Illusionist is one page, the Montebank is one page, and the "extra stuff" is two pages, so that's only four pages in the Basic Illusionist. Most of the other pages are spells. The two pages of "stuff" is less about rules and more about understanding illusions: they are hands-down the most complex spells to play.

      None of the extra rules are required to play the illusionist; they are there for completeness, but they are totally optional. It's important to me that people not be forced into rules that they don't want.

      Thanks for the comment! :)