(If you're feeling TL;DR: Tim gets why I made The Basic Illusionist and that makes me happy.)
"That is a cool ass cover. I am not sure what made Nathan Irving choose this piece ("Beauty and the Beast" by Edmund Dulac) but I love it."
Well, I loved it too. ;) I thought it had a nice sense of the fantastic and wonder without being really overt about MAGIC and ILLUSION and stuff, and leaving some questions. What is the illusion? Is she the illusionist or the illusion? It was illusion as ambiance, not attack, which is something that's not often portrayed in rpg literature.
The title works in seemlessly, like they were meant for each other."
The title font is called EddaCaps. I was introduced to it by an artist that did an amazing cover for a book I haven't yet written. It's got a nice art nouveau feel that works well with Dulac. Also (and here's a little trick) the color inside the title is sampled from the picture itself, so you've got the color palette working for you.
"The book starts off with a helpful FAQ. Personally I think Nathan should also put that FAQ on his blog as a page so every knows why they should get this."
"There is even an Illusionist variant class called the Mountebank. Which is more of a con-artist. Not sure how it compares to other classes of the same name."
Not really similar, I think. The "original" mountebank is more of a thief with illusion abilities; this mountebank is much more magical than the original.
"One of the best features of the book is a guideline on illusionist magic and how to play with illusions. Great even if you never play the class."
"What follows next is over 150 Illusionist spells. Many we have seen before and come from the SRD. That is not a bad thing. Having all these spells in one place and edited to work with the class is a major undertaking."
My goal here was a complete resource of illusions; no flipping between books. Spells were selected with the aim of including more or less every illusion spell from the core 1e, 2e, and 3e rulebooks. I streamlined and edited all of them, rewrote several entirely to make them better/more interesting, and added new spells to fill in gaps as necessary.
"I think Nathan has has actually fixed the classic Illusionist and brought it more in line with the Wizard."
That was the goal. :)
"Another great free product. Theorems & Thaumaturgy comes to us from +Gavin Norman and introduced his Vivmancer class. Vivimancers and Illusionists are about as different as one can get really. But Theorems & Thaumaturgy does have some things that the Basic Illusionist can use. For starters there some more Illusionist spells in T&T that the Basic Illusionist could use."
Ayup. For sanity's sake the goal for The Basic Illusionist was the spells that were in the core rules of earlier editions. I've got at least as many new illusions from various sources, including Theorems & Thaumaturgy. Someday!
"Witches and Illusionists share the ability to cast various figments and charms/mind affecting spells. I would say that in any game that has both classes that Illusionists should be limited to charm spells up to 5th level and witches any type of figments up to 5th level. Illusionists then get all (or most) of the Illusion spells and witches get all the curses."
When (not if) I finish The Complete Illusionist, it'll include guidelines for illusion-use by different classes, including witches. The FAQ in Basic Illusionist already covers magic-users.
"I would love a print version of this. It would really be awesome. At 34 pages it is a bit smallish for print, but that is easily fixed. Add a few more spells (plenty of OGC), some illusion based magic items, a couple more monsters (not a lot) an appendix for using this class in different retro-clones (LL, OSRIC, ACKS) and maybe even stats on adding gnomes as player characters. Call it "The Complete Illusionist" sell it for a couple of bucks on DriveThru and get a print copy made. "
That's pretty much the plan...if by "a few more spells" you mean 100-200 more. ;) Gnomes are in, as are a few other illusion-oriented races. Definitely an appendix for different rulesets. Magic items and monsters, absolutely. And some additional variant illusionists. Good 'nuff?
"Bottom Line: This is a great book. I loved the awesome art and the fact that it is free. Though I would have gladly paid for it."