The art of creating false images. The first level is simply sensory creations, fashioned of sound and light and sensory impressions; they can be joined with Influence to cause mental impressions as well (such as going unnoticed or being extra frightening). The second level is a new level of deceit, pulling the wool over reality itself: such illusions are solid and can be quite dangerous. The third level encompasses unreality, an advanced technique that allows the illusionist to meddle with time, distance, and space itself.

Illusion backlash generally involves making something that is obviously fake, or having a subconscious self-injurious impulse take over the creation.

Illusion Special Effects

Mirage. (T3.) This is the basic effect of illusion, an image and a set of sounds designed to fool the senses, or simply to create an artistic effect.

All mirages effects have a difficulty based on the complexity of the image and sound created. It is more difficult to create larger, more complex or elaborate mirages. If you fail this roll, you realize in time that the intended mirage is beyond your ability. If you make it, the mirage is there and believable.
3 Simple palm sized object, soft, monotone sound, whisper.
6 Size of a small dog and no more complex. Simple, not too loud noise, falling rock. Candlelight.
9 Human sized object or something of very high complexity, such as a specific artist’s painting. Complex or very loud sound, voice, gunshot. Indirect sunlight.
12 Car, small hut, extremely complex objects such as blueprints or a newspaper. Very complex or extremely strong sound, specific voice speaking, airplane takeoff. Direct sunlight.
15 Building, square full of distinct people, a whole book. Total control of sound, opera performance. Blinding light.
+3 Multiplying any other effect by a factor of 10, so creating 10,000 feathers flying in the breeze is a 15.

The effects last for a number of Sequences equal to the Outcome of the Sorcery check. This can be increased to minutes if the mirage remains absolutely still for the whole duration or at a cost of one Magic point. Both factors increase the duration to hours.

All mirages work in a way similar to the Deceit skill, trying to trick targets into believing in them. Mirages thus use the normal interaction rules, either causing targets to hesitate or otherwise waste a number of shots equal to the Outcome, or otherwise causing impairments equal to half the Outcome for the rest of the Sequence. Calculate this Outcome versus the target’s Deceit, Sorcery or Perception.

The GM is advised to modify the effectiveness of mirages prodigiously based on the situation, especially if the sorcerer tries to get away with using an easy, “cheap” mirage.

Unlike mundane Deceit attempts, it is no more difficult to fool a mass of people than it is to fool a single person, as those who are fooled help convince the skeptics. Thus, a group of unnamed characters counts as a single target for an illusory trick.

Controlling a mirage as it goes through complex antics requires new actions spent directing the mirage.

Mask. (T3.) Much like Mirage, but allows you to change the appearance of existing people and objects.

Phantom damage. In conjunction with Influence, you can make someone feel pain appropriate to their wounds, and give them illusory wounds. As long as you concentrate on the effect (a continuous action), you can cause a person to believe they have been hit by your AV.

Highlighting. AV penalties for darkness can be negated for attacking a particular person by placing a glowing aura around them.

Blindness. An intangible sock over a person’s head will do a fine job of blinding them.

Invisibility. (T3.) You can sneak using your Sorcery AV. You can maintain continuous actions while doing this, but if you perform new actions, the effect ends. If you maintain a continuous action, you can make someone else invisible at your AV–3. Opponents take a –4 AV penalty to hit someone invisible, unless there are mitigating circumstances such as mist in the air, mud on the ground, etc. If the invisible person initiates a sudden action, roll Sorcery against the AV of their action to keep them invisible.

Displacement. (T3.) You can perform trickery involving invisibility and projected images to use your Illusion power to dodge.

Silence. (T3.) Masking sounds can be done, though it is as difficult as making sounds of equivalent volume.

Power of Belief. (T3.) At the cost of a single Magic point, you can transfer control of an illusion to the collective subconscious of those present. This means you no longer have to concentrate or perform continous actions to control the illusion, and it will behave as everybody present and beliving in it expects it to act. Thus, an illusion of a guard will continue his duties, but could be relieved or tricked by other guards. The illusion continues to use your skill, but its effective skill rating can never be higher than the number of people who are currently sensing and believing in it, and a decision-making ability that conforms to the collective expectations of the people rather than any actual talent. (Much like leaving it up to the control of a committee, but without the long waits for deliberation.) Thus, it is best if you have a couple of bystanders or a score of mooks to give power to your creations.

Illusion II: Phantom Reality

Illusions good enough to fool physics into thinking something is there. Covers shapeshifting, and manifest illusions (which are good enough to fool even physics, so they can lift things, and can be independent operators if you use Illusion and Mind together to give them a semblance of thought).

Illusion II Special Effects

Blast. Your illusions can do physical damage, base of your Magic. Anything under Mirage above works the same... but this time, it’s solid and effectively real. People striking your mirror images will really think they hit.

Phantom weapon. A nonexistent weapon does just as much damage as a real one in the hands of a warrior. An illusionist can help a party deal with being disarmed by manifesting weapons for them.

Phantom structure. A bridge over a chasm can easily be created. Better not wear the armor dedicated to ultimate Truth while walking over it...

Illusion III: Unreality

Illusions good enough to fool physics into thinking something isn’t there.

Illusion III Special Effects

Knock. The illusion of an open lock superposed on a real closed lock will open any door.

Passwall. Who needs doors? Someone caught in an illusory hole will be ejected when the spell lapses if they would normally be caught in the middle of something. The experience is jolting but will only damage fragile objects. A skilled illusionist can make the solidity an illusion while leaving the appearance intact, thus making it possible to walk through an apparently solid wall.

Animation. Objects can have their frames distorted through unreality, making statues walk.

Desolidification. You can make yourself effectively nonexistent. In this state, you cannot affect anyone else, but no one else can hurt you without recourse to the appropriate magicks. This can go with invisibility or not.

Distance distortion. You can make paths longer or shorter than they really are, up to and including teleportation; cause growth or shrinking...

Shapeshifting. (T3.) The sorcerer can shapeshift any living target into another form. The target gains whatever physical attributes are appropriate to this new form, but retains skills and does not gain any convenient instincts, like those that a Life user would. It normally lasts as long as you maintain a continuous action, or your Magic rating in sequences if you spend any Magic points at all; spending Magic points increases the duration to minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years, and it can be made permanent using Chi III. (So spending a single Magic point on a form that doesn’t cost any to use makes it last minutes.)

You can shift the target’s attributes around in the new form. Changes to Body are easier, as long as size is appropriately changed, and each point switched only gives half a point to put into other attributes and vice versa. Changing secondary attributes is done on a two-for one basis, increasing the highest secondary attribute means both the others go down by one each. If the sum of the primary attributes is increased, you must pay the difference in Magic points.

Shapeshifting Duel. (T3.) A staple of Celtic myth is a duel between two magicians, where they both constantly change shape to gain some advantage over one another.

Playing out such a duel in Feng Shui can be lots of fun. It can be started whenever a sorcerer with Polymorphism encounters another sorcerer who is shapeshifted. To change into a shape advantageous against the target sorcerer’s current form, a Sorcery roll with a difficulty equal to the target’s Perception is required. The now-threatened target can counter this with a shapechange of his own, likewise with a difficulty equal to the opponents Perception. For later shapeshifts, each form your enemy has assumed gives a –1 Action Value modifier.

Blast. Your illusions can do physical damage, base of your Magic + 2.