Illusionist Spells Part 1

Greetings!

I have started running a fortnightly game for my son and a couple of close friends. We are finishing up a Curse of Strahd 5e game and I managed to convince the group to let me run Earthdawn 4th edition for them. I am really excited to get back into running Earthdawn, it’s been probably 15 years since the last game ended. Earthdawn was the first and only game I play/ran for the first 4 years I role played, starting back in 1994.

While helping my son build his T’skrang Illusionist, I made several observations. The concept is cool, my son wants to play an Illusionist that uses his magic to assist and enhance his ability to do street and stage magic in downtime. There is the spell Illusion that would work great for this but that’s a 5th circle spell and for something that high, feels rather restrictive. I thought about making my own spell for him that’s basically a Figment spell he can use on a group of targets. They would know it’s an illusion but would help him conceal a coin or a string or something like that for an illusion. It would be for entertainment and communication purposes. A way for him to create an obvious illusion but be able to show someone simplified battlefield in Chessboard fashion. This would make Illusionist more valuable in martial situations outside of combat too. With the high Charisma, being their primary stat, it makes sense to me they would be lieutenant in a battle field.

Before creating my own spell I wanted to research if it had been done before in the original core rule book (FA6000). In general I think the improvements to 4th edition enhance the game. However, I noticed some differences in the spell list. I agree a lot of changes but thought I would take a crack at modernizing these spells. I tried to stick more to the spirit and less of the letter of the spell. Some spells I barely touched and some I made liberal changes as I felt needed.

I’m also working on adding my spells to the Unofficial content section in Steps.

Illusionist Spells Circle 1-3

Circle 1

Light
Thread: 0 Weaving: NA/7
Casting: TMD Range: Touch
Duration: Rank + 5 minutes Area of Effect: 30 foot
Effect: Create light
The illusionist briefly taps into the astral plane to release some energy for the light. The Light spell forms a glowing sphere on the object the size of an orange, illuminating everything within 30 feet. The illusionist can no longer move the light once he has placed it on an object.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+5 minutes)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+5 minutes), Increase Effect (+10 feet), Additional Target (+1)

Pauper’s Purse
Thread: 0 Weaving: NA/7
Casting: TMD Range: Touch
Duration: Rank minutes Area of Effect:
Effect: Hide coins in an extra dimensional pocket.
Illusion. This spell hides a target’s money. The magician touches the target purse, cash box or other container holding money. The coins appear to be gone and are effectively inaccessible until the spell expires or is dispelled.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 minutes)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Additional Target (+1)

Rope Guide
Thread: 0 Weaving: NA/7
Casting: TMD Range: 25 yards
Duration: Rank + 5 minutes Area of Effect: 25 yards
Effect: Magically move a rope
The spell allows a rope, up to 25 yards in length, to magically move. The illusionist may direct the rope to move at a rate of 10 yards per round.
The rope cannot carry any weight while the illusionist is directing it. He could use Rope Guide to tie the rope around an object, but the character would still have to do the climbing themselves.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 rounds), Increase Effect (+1 pound carry capacity)

Crafty Thought
Thread: 0 Weaving: NA/7
Casting: TMD Range: 2 yards
Duration: Rank + 5 minutes Area of Effect: 10 yard cube
Effect: Create a figments
Figment. This spell creates a figment that changes what the target perceives. The magician begins to wave their hands together the target’s attention while saying ‘watch this’ or ‘look here’ and makes a Spellcasting test against the highest Mystic Defense among the target group, +1 for each additional target. If successful, the magician may alter what the targets see using simple visuals. The image must remain in a 10 yard cube but may be used to display or obscure images. All images are obviously illusions to the target without requiring a sensing test, and figments may not interact with real objects. Crafty Thought will not provide any situational modifiers.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 rounds)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 minutes), Additional Target (+Rank extra targets)

Circle 2

Tailor
Thread: 1 Weaving: NA/7
Casting: TMD Range: Touch
Duration: Rank x 10 minutes Area of Effect: 30 foot
Effect: Alter clothing appearance to influence observers
Illusion. This spell alters the style, cut, and color of the target’s cloths. The magician clenches his teeth as if biting a thread, then touches his target. A successful test adds +2 to social interactions for the purpose of improving Attitude towards the adept by one degree (a Neutral character becomes Friendly; an Unfriendly character becomes Neutral; and so on) remainder of the spell. Learn more about NPC Attitude in Gamemaster Guide page 142.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+10 minutes)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+10 minutes), Increase Effect (+1 to effect)

Weather Cloak
Thread: 1 Weaving: 6/9
Casting: TMD Range: Self
Duration: Rank hours Area of Effect: 30 foot
Effect: +3 weather resist heat or cold weather
This spell creates a shimmering-weave cloak of blue and silver around the target. The adapt gets a +3 to any test to resist heat or cold from weather. The cloaked character may also use the bonus to resist supernatural weather effects, such as death rain (see Players Guide page 289)
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+2 hours)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+2 hours), Additional Target (+1)

Circle 3

Alarm
Thread: 0 Weaving: NA/7
Casting: TMD Range: 50 yards
Duration: Rank x 30 minutes Area of Effect: 10 foot
Effect: WIL+4/Set a proximity alarm
This spell creates a floating sphere that resembles the casters eye in color and appearance, except the sphere is the size 1 foot round. The sphere will alert the magician when a living or sentient being comes within 10 foot of the alarm. This alert is immediately obvious to even the most distracted or sleeping magician bringing their attention to the alarm. Compare the result of the Effect Test to the Mystic Defense of any living or sentient being that comes within 10 feet of the alarm. If the trespasser’s Spell Defense is the same or lower than the result of the Effect dice roll, the alarm goes off.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+30 minutes)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+30 minutes), Increase Effect (+1 to Effect step), Increase Target (Add an additional sphere)

Impossible Lock
Thread: 2 Weaving: 7/15
Casting: 7 Range: Touch
Duration: Rank hours Area of Effect: 30 foot
Effect: WIL+4/Magically enhance lock
Illusion. This spell magically enhances the efficiency of a lock. The magician places their hands on the lock causing it to glow magically. The magician’s Effect test determines the Locks Difficulty Number.
Success Levels: Increase Duration (+30 minutes)
Extra Threads: Increase Duration (+30 minutes), Increase Effect (+1 to effect step)

Additional notes:

There were a few spells from Circle 1-3 that I purposely chose to omit. In particular Dampen Karma and False Floor. Dampen Karma concerned me because the effect of the spell is to reduce Karma usage and potency. I feel like that’s one of the stronger changes to the game and didn’t want to disrupt that system. False Floor is an interesting spell that could have some uses but it’s so similar to Fun with Doors and so situational, I don’t see the value. If a player asked me to use Fun with Doors to do that with floor segment, I would probably let them. I took, perhaps, the worse spell in the game… they’ve been punished enough.

Conclusion

I’m working my way though several more Illusionist spells from the First Edition book. Stay tuned… Thank you! Cheers!

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