The  Illusionist

Illusionists form a sub-class of magic-users. To be an illusionist, a character must have a minimum INT of 15 and a minimum DEX of 16 (high manual dexterity is required in casting illusionist spells). Illusionists DO NOT gain an experience point bonus for having high ability scores in INT and DEX.


Magical items usable by illusionists are enumerated below:


  • all potions not restricted to fighters only

  • illusionist scrolls and magic-user scrolls which contain spells usable by illusionists

  • all rings

  • rod of cancellation, staff of striking, and wands of enemy detection, fear, illusion, magic detection, metal & mineral detection, secret door & trap detection, wonder

  • miscellaneous magic items usable by every class of characters, crystal balls (but not with any added powers), all robes (excluding robe of the arch-magi), and books and similar written works readable by magic-users

  • artifacts which are not proscribed items with respect to illusionists (such as armor, swords, axes, etc.)

  • magic daggers


Homebrew Class Modifications


  • Illusionists are capable of manufacturing magical items which create or sustain illusion. They may manufacture expendable/rechargeable items at 10th level (Illusionist) using Major Creation, in similar manner to magic-users.  Permanent magical items may be manufactured beginning at 14th level by virtue of Alter Reality.

  • The Detect Illusion Spell is removed.  Instead, when faced with illusions and their like, the illusionist is allowed to save vs Spells at a bonus of +1 plus an additional +1 per 3 levels the illusionist has attained.  (eg. +2 at 3rd level; +3 at 6th level and so on.  This stacks with any WIS bonus the character may have.  If the save is successful, the illusionist discerns the illusion for what it is.

  • Illusionists are able to end their illusions at any time, according to their whim.


Homebrew Disbelieving Rules

  • Saving throws vs Illusion are rolled secretly by the DM.

  • For each illusion encountered, a declaration of disbelief allows a SINGLE saving throw vs Spells.  Success = that particular illusion ceases to exist for THAT character.  A bonus of +4 is applied only if the character was informed of the illusion PRIOR to the roll.

  • Successfully attacking, touching or physically interacting with the illusion also triggers the SINGLE saving throw rule above.  (eg. Prodding an illusory pit triggers the save. Being hit by an illusory fireball triggers the save.  Climbing an illusory rope triggers the save, which must then fail in order for the climber to reach the top!)

  • Illusions that successfully deal damage are immediately thereafter dispelled unless stated; though intentionally trying to harm oneself on the illusion as a means of dispelling it will not do so.





Many of these are my own, but some belong to other authors (like the Phantasmal Familiar & Pyanpi spells). Dave Arneson was the author of the class and his "Color Bomb", "Dreams" and "Phantoms" spells are included though I have modified them slightly for balance. The Oneric Tome and Clinging Harem are also not mine but included here as a reference for my players.


Borta’s Mythic Tracer (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 1                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: Self                               Casting Time: 2 segments

Duration: Special                       Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: 1 Illusion/Phantasm Spell


Explanation/Description: This spell is cast simultaneously WITH any other Illusion/Phantasm spell. It increases the casting time of the spell so affected by 2 segments but causes Saving Throws (to disbelieve) the affected spell, to be penalized by 1 plus and addition 1 for every 3 levels of the caster.  (eg. -2 at 3rd level; -3 at 6th level; and so on)  Material component is a ruby worth 2,500 GP which is consumed at casting.



Solipsism (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 1                                    Components: V,S

Range: Self                               Casting Time: 1 segment

Duration: Special                       Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: 1 Illusion/Phantasm Spell


Explanation/Description: This spell is cast simultaneously WITH any other Illusion/Phantasm spell. It increases the casting time of the spell so affected by 1 segment but allows the caster to automatically accept his own illusion as real.  The caster is thereby able to interact with his/her own illusion without necessitating a Saving Throw.  E.g. An illusory bridge ala Phantasmal Force will certainly allow the caster to cross over a pit.  An illusory lover will seem physical and so on.  Duration is the same as the affected spell.  When the duration ends, the Illusionist must save vs Spells or permanently lose 1 point of WIS.



Borta’s Obvservation (Divination)

Level: 1                                    Components: V,S

Range: Touch                            Casting Time: 5 segments

Duration: 2 rounds/level             Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: Creature touched


Explanation/Description: For the duration of this spell, the recipient automatically gets a saving throw vs illusions without having to state/attempt disbelief.  In addition, the target so touched saves vs illusions at +1.  If notified of the illusion prior to seeing it, the save is at +5.



Olfactory Glamour (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 1                                     Components: V,S

Range: 6” + 1”/level                  Casting Time: 5 segments

Duration: 3 turns/level                 Saving Throw: Special

Area of Effect: Special


Explanation/Description: This olfactory Illusion is similar to Phantasmal Force but is so effective at concealing, disguising or imitating scents that it fools even bloodhounds.  It affects one creature or one 10'x10'x10' area per level of the caster.


When the odor (or lack thereof) is initially encountered, the lead creature is allowed a secret saving throw (rolled by the DM).  Failure means the creature and all its fellows believe the illusion.



Phantasmal Familiar (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 1                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: Personal                         Casting Time: 1 Night

Duration: See Below                   Saving Throw: See below

Area of Effect: NA


Explanation/Description: Illusionists may call upon the creatures of the dream-world as familiars.


To Summon a Phantasmal Familiar an Illusionist must fast for one day and clear her mind of all memorized spells. A potent draught of rare ingredients (80+10d6 GP in value) is then drunk. That night the illusionist will experience cogent dreams in which a creature will come forth. The creature has no set form but always manifests as a small animal or magical beast according to it or its master’s desires and is unable to become invisible. It may, however, appear or disappear anytime the Illusionist chooses by either emerging from or entering into its master’s hat, bag, pocket etc. (size is not a factor).


The Phantasmal familiar has its own distinctive identity, with an intelligence equal to half the caster's plus 1d6, it has 1d4 hp and AC6.  Until the caster attains 10th level (whereupon the familiar can assume forms commensurate w/ the spell, Shadow Monster) it attacks as a 4HD creature and can do a maximum of 4 dmg per round to those that believe it exists.


It is essentially a semi-permanent, autonomous illusion or dream with a limited ability to interact with the world which increases as the caster rises in level:


  • 1--3: Manifest as either Phantasmal Force [or] Audible Glamour for that day.

  • 4--7: Manifest as image with sound per Improved Phantasmal Force.

  • 8--9: Manifest as illusion with full sensory components per Spectral Force.

  • 10--12: Manifest as Shadow Monster (20% real) PHB p. 98

  • 13--15: Manifest as Demi-Shadow Monster (40% real) PHB p. 98

  • 16 +: As a Shade (60% real) PHB p. 99


Although the familiar is unable to travel beyond 100’ from its master it is also not impeded by (nor can it interact with) objects or creatures that do not perceive illusions. The master can see through the familiar’s eyes similar to Wizard Eye.


Additionally, the familiar is able to maintain concentration on and control any single illusion/phantasm spell created by the caster, freeing its master to perform other actions.


If the Phantasmal Familiar is successfully disbelieved, it will never again be able to attack that target (unless it has attained Shadow Monster status) and any illusions the familiar is controlling will likewise vanish for that particular target.


If the familiar is "killed" the caster must make a System Shock check or pass out for 1d6 turns. The familiar will, however, return within 1d7 nights provided the Illusionist can dream.



Pyanpi’s Cloak (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 1                                    Components: V,S

Range: Touch                            Casting Time: 5 segments

Duration: 1 turn/level                 Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: One creature


Explanation/Description: This spell bestows on the target all the benefits and effects of a Cloak of Elvenkind for the duration.  See DMG p141.



Pyanpi’s Slippers (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 1                                    Components: V,S

Range: Touch                            Casting Time: 5 segments

Duration: 1 turn/level                 Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: One creature


Explanation/Description: This spell bestows on the target all the benefits and effects of Boots of Elvenkind for the duration.  See DMG p139.



Borta’s Voice of Unreason (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 2                                    Components: V,S

Range: 2”                                 Casting Time: 2 segments

Duration: 6 seg./level                 Saving Throw: Neg.

Area of Effect: One creature


Explanation/Description: This spell persuades a hostile creature (if there is shared language) to stop attacking, calm down, and forget the caster.  The caster becomes undetectable to the target, who will adamantly refuse to believe the caster exists.  Hostile actions by the caster against the target will break the spell.



Behold (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 3                                    Components: V,S

Range: 6"                                 Casting Time: 3 segments

Duration: 1r/level                       Saving Throw: Neg.

Area of Effect: Special

Explanation/Description: This spell affects a 2"x2"x2" area and any number of creatures whose total HD up to twice the illusionist's level. All affected creatures that do not save have a magical eye opened.

This eye cannot be closed, sees clearly even in total darkness and cannot effectively be blinded by any means. Although the spell will not affect creatures immune to mind-affecting spells (such as undead) it can cause normally blind creatures to see and is in fact a direct channel to the illusionist's magic. For the duration, affected targets will certainly see any and all illusions the illusionist casts, even if they close their eyes, turn away, cast darkness, hide behind shields, or bury the eye in the sand.  All saving throws against illusions/phantasms during this time are penalized by -1.

Note that the spell is temporary and does not cure blindness. Sightless creatures will be sightless again when the spell expires.



Color Bomb (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 3                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: 24"                               Casting Time: 3 segments

Duration: 1 segment                   Saving Throw: Neg.

Area of Effect: 1” radius sphere


Explanation/Description:  An improved Color Spray, this spell spawns a blast of confusing colors.  Up to 3d6 targets in the radius can be affected.  Only creatures >/= the HD (or level) of the caster are allowed a saving throw. 

  • Those < caster’s HD fall unconscious for 2d4 rounds.

  • Those 1—2 HD greater are blinded 1d4 rounds.

  • Those 3 HD+ greater are Stunned 2d4 segments. 

Material components are three pinches of colored sand.



Dreams (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 3                                    Components: V,S

Range: 8"                                 Casting Time: 3 segments

Duration: Special                       Saving Throw: Neg.

Area of Effect: One Creature


Explanation/Description:  This spell can only be used on a study-for-it spell caster (magic-user, illusionist, etc.) It is a lesser form of Feeblemind, causing the target to go into daydreams, thereby becoming incapable of doing anything useful.  Only Dispel Magic, Dispel Illusion, Remove Curse, or higher level magics can nullify the condition.  Illusionists save vs this spell at -3.  Other study-for-it types save at -1.



Borta’s Transient Treasure (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 4                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: Same Plane                    Casting Time: 4 segments

Duration: See Below                   Saving Throw: Special

Area of Effect: One small object


Explanation/Description: This spell allows the caster to create an illusory replica of an object (the material component) which the caster possesses (within 30’) and attach it to another illusion.


Example: A staff, hat, grenade, shield or the like could be added to the illusionist’s projected image, or onto a Spectral Force, for example.


The illusory replica is special in that it requires no concentration to maintain, can be interacted with, detached from the main illusion and used exactly as the original.


Example: if a Wand of Fire is created, it can be used to cast a Fireball, however this will immediately trigger a saving throw for disbelief among ALL who witness it.


The replica persists only as long as the illusion it is originally attached to.


Most useful of all, the replica and the original are temporarily linked and may seamlessly swap places (instantly and according to the whim of the caster) via Teleport No Error.  This exchange happens as often as the caster desires and will go unnoticed even if the object is being handled and inspected.


The caster may cause the replica to wink out of existence at will, leaving the real item at its current location.



Hakim's Oneric Tome (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 4                                    Components: V,S

Range: Special                          Casting Time: 5 rounds

Duration: 4-8 hours                     Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: caster only


Explanation/Description: The Oneric Tome is a form of illusionist spellbook held safely within the caster's own pocket dimension of the Realm of Dreams.


Casting this spell before going to sleep enables the illusionist to consult the Tome and either scribe a spell within its pages or memorize spells held inside.


The spell must be cast before going to sleep and involves an incantation.  The actual dream of the Tome begins one hour after sleep commences.


The exact form of the book will vary from caster to caster, but the Tome is a fully functioning spellbook which cannot be destroyed (though should the caster become unable cast Hakim's Oneric Tome they will be unable to consult it).


Within a single night the caster may memorize any spells from its pages just as if studying from a physical spellbook.  In lieu of memorization, they may inscribe ONE memorized spell into the Tome per night.  



Phantoms (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 4                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: 6” radius                        Casting Time: 4 segments

Duration: 1d10r+1r/lvl                Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: Self


Explanation/Description:  This spell is similar to mirror image except that the number of images is 1d3+3 at 8th—10th level; 2d3+6 at 11th—13th level; and so on.  These images may be directed anywhere within 60’ of the caster cf. Unseen Servant and each is able to manipulate up to 20 lbs.  If an image is hit by physical dmg (not spell) it must save vs Spells as if it were the caster.  Failure means the image is destroyed and the caster takes 1d3+1 dmg.  Images are automatically dispelled when they touch or are touched by magic, though this does NOT cause dmg to the caster.  Each image may melee as the caster if non-magical weapons are available for them to hold.  Odds of mistaking an image for the caster are the same as for Mirror Image.  Material component is the caster’s blood (2 hp worth).



Mythrellan’s Redargued Ringer  (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 5                                    Components: V,S

Range: Personal                         Casting Time: 5 segments

Duration: 1 turn + 1r/lvl              Saving Throw: Special

Area of Effect: See Below


Explanation/Description: This illusion seeks to hide the illusionist in plain sight.  For the duration of the spell, the illusionist will appear to be non-corporeal and immune to all damaging effects.


Swords that hit the illusionist, for example, will seem to pass through without resistance.  Instead of displaying pain, the illusionist will chuckle.  Wounds will be masked. In fine, the illusionist will appear to be completely insubstantial and indestructible.


Foes witnessing this effect have a 90% chance thereafter of sensing a secondary presence some 30’ distant from the illusionist’s actual position.  This presence is of course completely false but will convey the impression of an invisible foe. 


If the invisible foe is attacked, its AC is the same as if the illusionist himself was invisible.  Furthermore, the force responds to pain with muted gasps or cries and offers the same resistance to blows expected when striking a body. Droplets of blood will fall from the Ringer. The smell of burnt flesh or hair will be detected if fire is used and so on.  Note that attacking either portion of the illusion does NOT trigger a disbelief saving throw and this illusion can only be dispelled by voiced disbelief or by magic.


Lastly, the spell offers actual protection.  Each die of dmg rolled against the illusionist is reduced by 2 with results of zero or less indicating the illusion successfully diverted the attack and the caster was missed entirely.



Occultation  (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 5                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: Personal                         Casting Time: 1 round

Duration: 1 turn + 1t/lvl              Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: Self


Explanation/Description: When this spell is cast the caster selects an Alignment and Class.  For the spell’s duration, the caster knows the Alignment Tongue selected and will detect as that Alignment under all detection and divination spells including Know Alignment.  Note, however, that the caster will radiate magic if detected for.  Lastly, the caster gains ALL abilities of the chosen class at 3rd level ability.  The material component is a small silver mirror of 100 GP value and a vial of the caster’s blood (2hp worth).



Selective Invisibility  (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 5                                    Components: V,S

Range: Touch                            Casting Time: 5 segments

Duration: 5r+1r/level                 Saving Throw: None

Area of Effect: Creature or Object Touched


Explanation/Description: This funchions exactly the same as Improved Invisibility (PHB p97) except that the caster can decide to reveal the creature/object to whomsoever he/she wishes (1seg). The caster can hide the creature/object again (also 1seg) at will throughout the duration of the spell.  Note that this spell is often employed by illusionists to cause confusion among adversaries as to wether a threat is illusory.



Mythrellan’s Spectral Storm  (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 6                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: Personal                         Casting Time: 1 turn

Duration: See Below                   Saving Throw: Special

Area of Effect: Special


Explanation/Description: The caster may memorize up to three illusion/phantasm spells of 5th level or lower and cast them in sequence after casting this spell.


The caster then decides upon a trigger which will unleash these spells instantaneously and simultaneously at a later time, cf. Contingency (UA p. 59)


As with Contingency, the illusions must target the caster.  Material components are 100 GP of quicksilver and whatever components the other illusions require.



Borta’s Envoy (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 7                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: 100 miles/lvl                  Casting Time: 7 segments

Duration: 1 hour/lvl                    Saving Throw: Special

Area of Effect: See Below


Explanation/Description: This potent spell functions much like Projected Image except that the appearance of the Envoy is malleable, can change any time the caster desires and can be whatever the caster chooses so long as it is man-sized or smaller.


The caster can sense through and control the Envoy at all times (via Clairaudience & Clairvoyance) but remains aware of his/her actual surroundings as well.


The Envoy must appear within range and has the same chances for success as Teleport.  I.e. if the dice indicate that the Envoy appears in solid ground, the spell fails.


The caster may conduct conversations both locally or via the Envoy and similarly cast spells either at the caster’s or the Envoy’s location.


Note that, unlike Projected Image, the Envoy has as much physical presence as an Unseen Servant, being able to open simple doors and carry/manipulate up to 20 lbs.


The material component is an 8,000 gp gem, which is consumed upon casting.



Borta’s Clinging Harem (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 7                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: 12”                               Casting Time: 3 segments

Duration: See Below                   Saving Throw: Special

Area of Effect: One target


Explanation/Description: This potent spell transports a single creature to a pocket within the Dreamlands, which is occupied by the phantasmal harem of a long-lost deity. 


While pleasurable, the harem was originally meant for gods and goddesses and is eventually deadly to mortals.


The target must make a saving throw at -4 or disappear from its current location and instantly appear in the confines of the harem. The target further loses any memorized spells and is confined for a minimum of seven nights.


Thereafter the victim may attempt another saving throw (again at -4).


Saves may be attempted once every seven nights.  For every seven nights spent within the harem the victim permanently loses one point of WIS and CON.  Should either be reduced the zero the victim dies of exhaustion.


It is possible to forcibly remove the victim from the harem through powerful magic, but in such cases the victim will be left with a permanent longing for the harem and will be transported back in their dreams if they fail a save vs Spells. Such a save must be made each night. If the victim saves for 40 consecutive nights, or if a Remove Curse or Wish is used, the longing will vanish. The material component is a silken mask and small silver chain.



Borta’s Occulted Copie (Illusion/Phantasm)

Level: 7                                    Components: V,S,M

Range: Personal                         Casting Time: Special

Duration: See Below                   Saving Throw: Special

Area of Effect: One Creation


Explanation/Description: This spell allows the illusionist to create illusory magic items.  Any item may be made so long as it is:

1. Not an Artifact

2. Not greater than 15,000 XP Value


Creating the illusory item requires 1 day and a powdered 5,000 GP gem per 1,000 XP value of the item to be created.  E.g. A Staff of the Magi would require 15 days and 75,000 GP worth of powdered gems.


The item so created cannot be used by the illusionist who created it, nor can the item ever affect its creator.  It will, however, perform in all ways as a fully charged version of the actual item for anyone who believes it is real.  The recipient of the item must fail a saving throw vs Spells upon receiving it, or the item is destroyed.


Each time the item is used, the target must save vs Spells.  Failure means the item is forever real to that target (unless the target is also the wielder).  Success means the target disbelieves and the item ceases to exist for them.


Each time a target disbelieves, the wielder must also save vs Spells.  Success indicates that the wielder also disbelieves, which causes the item to dissolve into dark mist and vanish forever.


Note that a Mace of Disruption created by this spell will certainly fail as the undead are immune to illusions!  Note also that magic items that produce other items (like an Alchemy Jug or a Ring of Djinni Summoning) automatically trigger saving throws for disbelief in the created or summoned item/being.  A successful save both cancels the creation/summoning AND forces another disbelief saving throw on the wielder to determine if the item is destroyed.


E.g. A Ring of Wishes is created. Upon the first wish, all targets affected by the wish must save vs Spells.  For those who succeed, the Wish is canceled, and the wielder must also save an equal number of times!  If the wielder targets only himself with the Wish, he must still fail a saving throw in order for the Wish to take effect!  If a Ring of Protection is fashioned, the wearer must fail a saving throw each time it protects him!


All illusory items created by this spell last until the wielder disbelieves or until the caster’s whim dispels it.

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