“How do you disbelieve an illusion when it can reach out and touch you?”
A telepath creates illusions by implanting them in the subject’s mind. A kineticist can manipulate light, sound, and other energies to create physical manifestations that appear similar to illusions. Then there are those who combine these two abilities, creating the physical manifestation while implanting the thought into the subject, creating illusions that most would be hard-pressed to discern from reality.
BECOMING AN ILLUSION CRAFTER
Discerning the techniques to create truly real illusions is a matter of learning to merge the psychosomatic and the psychokinetic. By combining the power of thought with the power of energy, manifesters can learn to become illusion crafters. Kineticists and telepaths are more likely to become illusion crafters by taking the Expanded Knowledge feat, but other varieties of manifesters can also begin down this path if they have the desire.
To qualify to become an illusion crafter, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Skills: Bluff 4 ranks, Diplomacy 4 ranks, Knowledge (psionics) 8 ranks
Manifesting: Able to manifest control air and suggestion, psionic
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Hit Die: d4
The illusion crafter’s class skills are Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Profession (any), and Psicraft. Skill Points per level: 2 + Int modifier
As illusion crafters gain experience in their lives, they gain abilities that grant them increased talent in manipulating light, sound, and thought, creating high quality illusions. All of the following are class features of the illusion crafter.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Illusion crafters gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.
Manifesting: At every level indicated, the character gains additional power points per day and access to new powers as if she had also gained a level in whatever manifesting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, metapsionic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of illusion crafter to the level of whatever manifesting class the character has, and then determines power points per day, powers known, and manifester level accordingly. If a character had more than one manifesting class before she became an illusion crafter, she must decide to which class she adds the new level of illusion crafter for the purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
Realistic Illusion (Su): The illusion crafter is able to combine her talents with telepathy and psychokinesis to create illusions that not only appear real to the user’s mind, but that also seem real physically. By spending an additional 2 power points on any power she manifests that is mind-affecting or any psychokinetic power that alters perception, such as control sound, an illusion crafter can make the effect a realistic illusion. The power gains a +1 bonus to any applicable save DC.
Detect Illusions (Ex): The time an illusion crafter spends studying phantasms and illusions gives her an uncanny sense when dealing with other illusions. Beginning at 2nd level and every even level thereafter, she gains a +1 bonus on saving throws against powers on the illusionary powers list and any effect with the illusion descriptor.
Reactive Illusion (Su): By impressing a rudimentary bit of intelligence into a realistic illusion, an illusion crafter of 3rd level or higher is able to create a hologram that can react to the world around it. By spending an additional 4 power points on any power on the illusionary powers list, the power is able to react to any stimulus as if it had an intelligence score of 3 + the illusion crafter’s primary manifesting modifier. This grants the illusion an additional +1 to any applicable save DC and also allows it to perform any duties as directed by the manifester, such as give directions, distract opponents, or the like.
Psychokinetic Illusion (Su): Upon attaining 5th level, an illusion crafter creates images that not only seem real to the target’s senses, but that are also able to interact with the creature in more elaborate ways. Creatures normally immune to mind-affecting effects are not immune to mindaffecting powers manifested by the illusion crafter from the illusionary powers list. Instead, these creatures gain a +4 bonus to any applicable save.
Psychokinetic Clone (Su): As the knowledge of an illusion crafter grows, she learns to create a simulacrum of herself out of force and mental manipulation. At 7th level, an illusion crafter can create a psychokinetic clone. Creating a psychokinetic clone is a process that takes one hour and a number of power points equal to the illusion crafter’s class level. The clone appears within 5 feet of the illusion crafter and copies the movements of the illusion crafter confusing those nearby. The illusion crafter is treated as having concealment when a psychokinetic clone is active. If an attack misses the illusion crafter due to this concealment, make an attack roll against the simulacrum. This duplicate has 5 hit points per class level and an Armor Class equal to the illusion crafter’s touch Armor Class. A psychokinetic clone lasts for one hour per class level but may be dismissed at any time.
Steal Illusion (Su): An illusion crafter of advanced training understands the nuances and mechanics of illusions, even those she does not create. Beginning at 9th level, an illusion crafter can try to take over illusionary effects from other sources. Make an opposed manifester level check against the original manifester of the illusion. If the illusion crafter succeeds, she assumes control over the illusion.
Permanent Illusion (Su): The true mark of a master of illusion is an illusion that persists despite any outside influence. When an illusion crafter attains 10th level, illusions of any type he crafts reactive, and psychokinetic illusions. Creating a permanent illusion requires spending an additional 8 power points to manifest and an xp cost equal to 5 times the total power point cost to manifest the power.
Illusionary Powers: The following powers count as illusionary powers for the purposes of class features of the illusion crafter:
- 1st – create sound, distract,
- 2nd – cloud mind, control sound, id insinuation, suggestion, psionic
- 3rd – false sensory input,
- 4th – death urge,
- 6th – cloud mind, mass,
- 8th – recall death
PLAYING AN ILLUSION CRAFTER
Showman. Trickster. Magician. Common folk tend to view you as any of these titles, as your abilities to trick the senses are uncanny in their variety and their realism. The path to becoming an illusion crafter is typically one that is almost seamless from your previous class, reflecting your natural predisposition to make your mind and sense-altering effects more
Although you are able to give some of your illusions physical form, your abilities as an illusion crafter are typically not heavily combat focused, instead working to mislead, misdirect, and confuse opponents. You are more likely to make an opponent attack their own ally than to actually defeat them directly.
As a more recently developed field of psionics, it is very common for trained illusion crafters to actively seek out and recruit new potential novices to train in the art of manipulating energy and thoughts to create realistic illusions. It is also not uncommon for new illusion crafters to develop independently by studying the arts of psychokinesis and telepathy autonomously.
There is both a bond and a competition amongst illusion crafters. The bond is that of studying the same methods and effects in the workings of psionics, while the competition is to create the most realistic, most believable illusions around. Trading information between illusion crafters is quite common, while there have also been frequent instances of one illusion crafter selling their knowledge to another to further the art.
ILLUSION CRAFTERS IN THE WORLD
A single illusion crafter is very much like any other adventurer; she has above average abilities beyond what most can call upon, and she is seeking to make her way in the world using the talents at her disposal. The more talented illusion crafters can expect to be approached by the Phantasms at some stage in their career, if the illusionists do not seek out
The largest organization of illusion crafters is the Phantasms, an organization devoted to discovering new ways to create illusions from psychokinetic and telepathic abilities. Individual illusion crafters do not necessarily need to belong to this organization and may instead work for a different organization, using their talents to further the cause of that group and in return may receive assistance.
Distrustful of illusion crafters, most individuals nevertheless delight in the shows that these manipulators of illusion can create. In areas where magic and psionics are little understood, illusion crafters can be persecuted for their abilities, while in the more enlightened areas, most of the population is still leery of the abilities these manifesters have to alter the perceptions.
ILLUSION CRAFTER LORE
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) can attempt to research illusion crafters to find out more about them. When a character makes a Knowledge (psionics) check, use the phrases or variations of them from below, including any information from lower DC checks, should there be any.
- DC 10: If you think illusions are all smoke and mirrors, I’d recommend not testing an illusion crafter.
- DC 15: I’ve heard of some illusion masters who create phantasms so real, they can actually cut you.
- DC 20: The pinnacle of the creation of illusions, illusion crafters combine psychokinetic force, the power of suggestion, and bend even the rays of light to create true masterpieces of fantasy.
ILLUSION CRAFTERS IN THE GAME
With the introduction of the Phantasms, it should be easy to introduce any illusion crafter into the game. Players who enjoy misdirection and social manipulation might find that the illusion crafter prestige class is a good fit for their style of play.
Because illusion crafters are not directly focused in combat, games that are heavy in armed conflict may limit the viability of an illusion crafter. Introducing sufficient situations where subtlety and misdirection are utilized can give your player of an illusion crafter the time to shine, thereby getting use out of the features granted by the class.