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Illusionist

Some hold truth to be the greatest virtue, but it can do more damage than fiction. Everyone lives in a constant state of deception. White lies, false smiles, and secret thoughts keep society running smoothly. Honesty is a virtue only up to a certain point. Illusionists understand these ideas better than anyone, and they use deception, misunderstanding, and secrets as skillfully as a soldier employs weapons of war.
Role: Illusionists are masters of deception and strategy. They control the battlefield through illusions and trickery. More often than naught, it becomes hard to tell from friend or foe when facing against an illusionist.
Alignment: Any chaotic alignment
Hit Die: d6
Starting Wealth: 2d6 × 10 gil (average 70 gil.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gil or less.
Class Skills
The illusionist’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Table: Illusionist

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialMPSpell Level
Type1/2BadBadGood
1st+0+0+0+2Veil Pool, Blinding Ray, Spell Proficiency, Cantrips, Limit Breaks11st
2nd+1+0+0+3Cloaked Casting (+1 DC), Surprise Casting21st
3rd+1+1+1+3Veil Power, Haze (-2), Chains of Disbelief42nd
4th+2+1+1+4Clear Vision, Social Cloaking72nd
5th+2+1+1+4Bonus Feat, Haze (-3), Minor Illusion Esoterica103rd
6th+3+2+2+5Veil Power, Surprise Casting (Move)153rd
7th+3+2+2+5Quick Veil (Move), Master of Disguise, Haze (-4)204th
8th+4+2+2+6Cloaked Casting (+2 to overcome SR)274th
9th+4+3+3+6Veil Power, Extended Illusions, Haze (-5)345th
10th+5+3+3+7Bonus Feat, Clear Mind, Moderate Illusion Esoterica435th
11th+5+3+3+7Beguiling Aura, Haze (-6)526th
12th+6/+1+4+4+8Illusionary Puppet, Veil Power636th
13th+6/+1+4+4+8Invisibility Field, Haze (-7)747th
14th+7/+2+4+4+9Quick Veil (Swift), Cloaked Casting (+2 DC)877th
15th+7/+2+5+5+9Bonus Feat, Veil Power, Haze (-8), Doublecast (1/day), Major Illusion Esoterica1008th
16th+8/+3+5+5+10Resilient Illusions1158th
17th+8/+3+5+5+10Haze (-9), Illusion Mastery1309th
18th+9/+4+6+6+11Veil Power, 1 MP Spell (3/day)1479th
19th+9/+4+6+6+11Haze (-10), Master of the Veil1639th
20th+10/+5+6+6+12Bonus Feat, Cloaked Casting (overcome SR), Bend Reality1809th

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the illusionist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Illusionists are proficient with the dagger, sling, power rod, power staff, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Heavier armor interferes with an illusionist’s movements, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Limit Breaks (Su)

At 1st level, the illusionist receives the Limit Breaks (Perfect Illusion and Terrifying Nightmare).

Perfect Illusion (Su): This Limit Break allows the illusionist to become an illusion and essentially gaining the incorporeal subtype for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four illusionist levels after 1st. This limit break requires only a swift action.

Terrifying Nightmare (Su): This Limit Break causes the illusionist’s enemies to be plagued with phantom assailants, causing them to run in fear.  Enemies within a 30-ft.-radius of the illusionist must make a Will save (DC 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier) or take 2d6 points of non-elemental damage per four illusionist levels after 1st and be afflicted with the Frightened status for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four illusionist levels after 1st. Those who make a successful Will save take half damage and are afflicted with the Shaken status for the duration of the limit break instead.

Spells

An illusionist can cast illusion spells which are drawn from the illusionist spell list. An illusionist begins play with 3 1st level illusion spells of his choice. The illusionist also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to his Charisma modifier to add to his list of spells. Each time a character attains a new illusionist level, he gains two spells of his choice to add to his list of spells. The two free spells must be of spell levels he can cast. Like most mages, an illusionist can find or purchase scrolls with spells to add to his repertoire.

To learn or cast a spell, the illusionist must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Cha 11 for 1st-level spells, Cha 12 for 2nd-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a illusionist’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the illusionist’s Charisma modifier. In addition, an illusionist gains additional MP for having a high attribute (Charisma—see Table: Bonus MP per Day (by Spell Level) on the MP System page).

Spell Proficiency (Ex)

Illusionists are considered to have the Precise Shot feat while casting spells or using any magical items that require ranged touch.

Cantrips

Illusionists learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume MP and may be used again. Illusionists begin with 4 0-level spells and gain an additional 0-level spell every three levels after 1st level.

Veil Pool (Su)

Starting at 1st level, an illusionist draws power from a reserve of magical energy to strengthen his illusions. This veil pool has a number of points equal to his class level + his Charisma modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the illusionist rests for 8 full hours. As a standard action, the illusionist can spend 1 point from his veil pool to alter his appearance as per the spell disguise self. This is an illusion effect that lasts a number of hours equal to the illusionist’s class level. The DC to disbelieve the effect is equal to 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier.

At 5th level, the illusionist can alter his perceived audible (sound) properties when he assumes his disguise.

At 9th level, the illusionist can also alter his perceived tactile (touch) properties, and can imitate any voice with which he is familiar.

At 13th level, the illusionist’s veil fools even extraordinary senses, such as scent, blindsight, or tremorsense.

Blinding Ray (Su)

At 1st level, as a standard action, the illusionist can fire a shimmering ray at any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. The ray causes creatures to be blinded for 1 round. Creatures with more Hit Dice than the illusionist’s level are dazzled for 1 round instead. The illusionist can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.

Cloaked Casting (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, an illusionist’s spells become more effective when cast against an unwary foe. The illusionist gains a +1 bonus to the spell’s save DC when he casts a spell that targets any foe who would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not).

At 8th level, the illusionist gains a +2 bonus on rolls made to overcome the spell resistance of any affected target.

At 14th level, the bonus to his spell’s save DC increases to +2.

At 20th level, he becomes able to automatically overcome the spell resistance of any affected target.

Surprise Casting (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, when the illusionist successfully uses the Bluff skill to feint in combat, his target is denied its Dexterity bonus (if it has one) to AC for the next melee attack the illusionist makes against it or the next spell he casts. The illusionist must remain in melee with the target, and the attack must be made or the spell cast on or before his next turn. The target is not considered flat-footed and therefore can make attacks of opportunity against the illusionist if he does not cast defensively.

At 6th level, the illusionist gains the ability to feint in combat as a move action instead of a standard action. If he has the Improved Feint feat, he can now feint in combat as a swift action.

Haze (Su)

It is much more difficult to notice or clearly focus one’s interest upon a 3rd-level illusionist, imposing a –2 penalty to Perception checks against the character. This penalty applies in all situations, including when trying to see through an illusion that allows for such a roll or even a disguise, even if the illusionist isn’t actively trying to avoid the perception or maintain a façade. This penalty increases by –1 for every 2 levels of illusionist attained after 3rd level.

Chains of Disbelief (Ex)

Also at 3rd level, even if a viewer disbelieves an illusion created by an illusionist and communicates the details of the illusion to other creatures, those other creatures do not receive the normal +4 bonus on their saving throws to disbelieve the illusion. Furthermore, even when presented with incontrovertible proof that the illusion isn’t real, creatures must still succeed on a Will saving throw to see objects or creatures that the illusion obscures, although they get a +10 bonus on the saving throw.

Veil Powers (Su)

In addition to being able to use disguise self using his veil points, the illusionist gains veil powers. Starting at 3rd level, an illusionist gains a veil power. He gains another veil power for every three levels of illusionist attained after 3rd level.

Disappearing Trick (Su): As an immediate action, an illusionist can spend 2 points from his veil pool when he takes damage, he can cast vanishVanish lasts until the beginning of the illusionist’s next turn.

Disguised Casting (Su): An illusionist can spend 1 point from his veil pool as a free action while casting an illusion spell to disguise his spellcasting. Creatures attempting to identify the spell as it is being cast must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier) or misidentify the spell as a spell of the illusionist’s choice. The illusory spell must be the same level as the true spell, and must be one the illusionist can cast.

Double Illusion (Su): As a free action while casting an illusion spell, an illusionist can spend 1 point from his veil pool to coil the illusion upon itself. Any creature that disbelieves the illusion sees a second illusion within the translucent outline of the first, as if the illusionist had cast the spell a second time. Effectively, after a creature disbelieves the first illusion, it sees a second illusion in its place, which it must attempt to disbelieve separately. The illusionist must determine the features of the second illusion as he casts the first. If the second illusion is especially similar to the first one, creatures that study or interact with it receive a +4 bonus on the save to disbelieve the effect.

Illusionary Penetration (Su): An illusionist can spend 1 point from his veil pool as an immediate action to reroll a caster level check made to bypass spell resistance. He must use this ability before the results of the first roll are revealed, and must accept the second roll, even if it’s worse.

Illusionary Reality (Su): As a free action while casting an illusion spell of 1st level or higher, an illusionist can spend 1 point from his veil pool, at any time on his turn during that spell’s duration, to choose one inanimate, non-magical object that is part of the illusion to become real. He must be able to take actions to do so, and the object remains real until the end of his next turn. The object he chooses can be of any size within the spell’s area of effect (so, he can create an illusion of a bridge over a chasm and then make it real long enough for his allies to cross). The object cannot deal damage or otherwise directly harm another creature in any way.

Illusory Self (Su): As an immediate action, an illusionist can spend 2 points from his veil pool to create an illusory duplicate of himself as an instant, almost instinctual reaction to danger (similar to mirror image). The image lasts until it is struck or until the start of the illusionist’s next turn.

Piercing the Veil (Su): An illusionist can spend 1 point from his veil pool as a free action to gain the benefits of the spell true seeing until the beginning of his next turn.

True Veil (Su): An illusionist can spend 1 point from his veil pool to imbue his disguise with a measure of reality. The illusionist’s disguise self spell-like ability is treated as a polymorph effect, though it retains the illusion school. Other creatures no longer get a Will save to recognize the effect as an illusion, though they can still make Perception checks to realize the illusionist is using a disguise. The effect lasts for a number of minutes equal to the illusionist’s level.

Unfettered Concentration (Su): An illusionist can spend 1 point from his veil pool to concentrate on an illusion as a swift action, rather than a standard action.

Social Cloaking (Su)

At 4th level, even when not actively trying to do so, an illusionist’s identity is obscured by the falsehoods within which the character lives. As such, others find it difficult to conduct proper social interactions with the illusionist; situations always seem uncomfortable and off-putting at best or elusive at worst. All Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidation, and Sense Motive skill checks made concerning the illusionist suffer a −1 penalty. This penalty increases by –1 every three levels after 4th level. This same penalty is applied to the illusionist’s leadership score if he has the Leadership feat.

Clear Vision (Ex)

A 4th-level illusionist is better able to see through illusions, granting a +2 bonus while making Disbelief saves. This bonus increases further by +2 at levels 8, 12, 16, and 20.

Bonus Feats

At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level, an illusionist gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, he can choose a metamagic feat or an item creation feat. The illusionist must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums. These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets every odd level.

Minor Illusion Esoterica (Ex)

At 5th level, the illusionist’s unflagging focus on illusions opens his mind to new possibilities and increases the save DCs of his illusion spells that have a saving throw entry of “Will disbelief” by 2.

Master of Disguise (Ex)

Such is a 7th-level illusionist’s skill with disguises that he may gain one re-roll per session for a Disguise check that has been seen through, be the disguise illusory or mundane in nature.

Quick Veil (Su)

At 7th level, an illusionist can assume or alter his disguise with his veil pool ability as a move action. At 14th level, the action is reduced to a swift action.

Extended Illusions (Su)

At 9th level, any illusion spell the illusionist casts with a duration of “concentration” lasts a number of additional rounds equal to half of the illusionist’s level after he stops maintaining concentration (minimum +1 round). At 20th level, the illusionist can make one illusion spell with a duration of “concentration” become permanent. The illusionist can have no more than one illusion made permanent in this way at one time. If he designates another illusion as permanent, the previous permanent illusion ends.

Moderate Illusion Esoterica (Ex)

At 10th level, the illusionist’s long study of illusions leads to a breakthrough. The illusionist gains concealment when he casts an illusion spell and lasts for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level.

Clear Mind (Ex)

At 10th level, an illusionist can regain his MP quicker. The illusionist must be relaxed and must be free from overt distractions, such as combat raging nearby or other loud noises. The illusionist regains MP equaling his Charisma modifier per hour.

Beguiling Aura (Su)

At 11th level, the illusionist can emit a 30-foot aura that beguiles his enemies with phantasmal assailants. Enemies within this aura must make a Will save (DC 10 + half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier) or have to move at half speed, are unable to take attacks of opportunity, and are considered to be flanked. This is a mind-affecting effect. The illusionist can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to his illusionist level + his Charisma modifier. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Illusionary Puppet (Su)

At 12th level, an illusionist can create a false image of himself that acts as though created by casting major image, although it will appear identical to the illusionist’s current appearance. This appearance cannot be altered in any way except by altering the illusionist himself. So, to disguise the projected image the illusionist would need to be wearing a disguise. Similarly, any damage the illusionist suffers will appear, as if from nowhere, on the projected image. The image will stand still for that duration, requiring a DC 10 Concentration check as a swift action to do something simple, like move. Complex actions, such as speech with appropriate mannerisms or dancing requires a DC 15 (or higher) Concentration check with each action. If being used while the illusionist is involved in combat or spellcasting, increase the Concentration DC to control the image by +4. Events that otherwise cause a spellcaster to make a Concentration check are also needed at that same DC while manipulating an illusionary puppet image. If the Concentration check fails, the projected image does not disappear, however, but becomes immobile in the middle of whatever it was doing until a new Concentration check is made to get it under way again. The projected image has an AC of 10 + size modifier + Dexterity modifier. Successfully attacking the projected image does not cause it to dissipate, but will reveal it isn’t solid and won’t show any false indications of suffering damage. Duration is equal to half of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier in rounds (minimum of 1 round) and can be dismissed at any time as a free action. The illusionist can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/2 of the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier.

Invisibility Field (Sp)

At 13th level, the illusionist can make himself vanish as a swift action for 1 round per illusionist level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive. This otherwise functions as greater vanish.

Major Illusion Esoterica (Ex)

At 15th level, the illusionist’s knowledge of illusions reaches its peak. He can cast any illusion spell as a stilled and silent spell (per the Still Spell and Silent Spell feats) without an increase in caster level or MP cost. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

Doublecast (Su)

Also at 15th level, an illusionist can cast two spells using one standard action. Both of the spells must have the same casting time. The illusionist can make any decisions concerning the spells independently of each other. Any target affected by both of the spells takes a –4 penalty on saves made against each spell. An illusionist receives a +4 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance with these two spells. The illusionist may use this ability once per day at 15th level and one additional time per day at 20th level.

Resilient Illusions (Su)

At 16th level, the illusionist’s illusions are so lifelike that they defy disbelief. Anytime a creature tries to disbelieve one of the illusionist’s illusion effects, make a caster level check. Treat the illusion’s save DC as its normal DC or the result of the caster level check, whichever is higher.

Illusion Mastery (Su)

At 17th level, when an illusionist casts an illusion spell, he can choose to render all enemies within 30 feet dazzled for 1 round (no save). Blind creatures are immune to this effect.

1 MP Spell (Su)

At 18th level, three times per day, as a free action, an illusionist can reduce the cost of his next spell to 1 MP. The use of this ability cannot be used with metamagic feats.

Master of the Veil (Sp)

At 19th level, the illusionist can create an illusion that hides the appearance of himself and any number of allies within 30 feet for 1 round per illusionist level. This ability otherwise functions like the spell veil. The rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Bend Reality (Su)

At 20th level, an illusionist may disbelieve a real object making it an illusion. The object effectively become ethereal, and may be invisible or translucent. Objects cannot be larger than a 10-by-10-foot square. Unattended objects do not get a saving throw, but objects wielded, worn, or carried get a Fortitude save, (DC 20 + the illusionist’s Charisma modifier) using the saves of the creature that the object is carried upon to be unaffected. The effect lasts for 1 minute. The illusionist can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have illusionist as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

  • Dwarf: Add +1 bonus on concentration checks when casting illusion spells.
  • Elvaan: Add +1/2 bonus on Bluff skill checks.
  • Galka: Add +1/4 to the penalty of the haze ability.
  • GuadoThe illusionist gains +1/6th of a veil power.
  • Hume: Add +1/4 point to the veil pool ability.
  • Mithra: Add +1/2 bonus on Disguise skill checks.
  • Moogle: Add +1/4 to the DC for the Cloaked Casting ability.
  • Nu Mou: Add +1/6 to the DC for all illusion spells.
  • Sylph: Add +1/4 point to the veil pool ability.
  • Tarutaru: Add +1/6 to the DC for all illusion spells.

Archetypes