Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

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Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Jack Noodlemeister on Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:54 am

I never wanted this mage to be in the front lines of the fighting. I wanted him to be the clever one, sitting back, watching, looking creepy as hell.
However, I've recently learned that the most common illusion skill, the one wear you make yourself look like someone else, defeats the purpose of the guild, which is to wear masks and beat criminals up.
Learning this, I was disheartened with mage. He'd be near useless in combat in my opinion.

So, I've got a few questions to ask.

1. In your opinion, what use is an Illusion/Transmutation mage in combat, or combat utility?
2. If question 1 = Nil, then what other paths can I take? I'd like to refrain from being too powerful.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:06 am

1) In my imagination such mage could be capable of evasive, phantasms and even some offensive spells.

I don't know the capabilities of your mage nor the background and purpose of your mage's guild.

But for evil purposes he could conjure it's victim letting him see or dream his worst nightmares or lost loved ones.
For the purpose of good, the mage could create illusions of him or his comrades to escape battle.

An illision weaver is a powerful ally in combat from my point of view.
If you are short on possibilities, I suggest you take a look at "Naruto - Genjutsu" techniques.

Transmutation spells can be very powerfull. A mage could be able to sunder a foe's bronze armor into bronze and tin, making it vulnerable. Or making "fake" gold out of lead.

The anime "full metal alchemist" is again a good source of transmutation possibilities.

The points above are just for inspiration. How you rp them in wow is another thing.

2) For not making him too powerful you can add constrains. As example my character has some constrains. One, is that she can only wield her spells a number of times and her most powerful spells once a day. And again if there is moonwell water she is capable of more.

In the end there is always /roll... ^^

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:21 am

The anime "full metal alchemist" shows that the wielder has three contrains when performing transmutation.
1 - He has to create a matrix.
2 - He has to have physical contact with the material inorder to perform the transmutation.
3 - He needs to know the basic elements of the material.

You don't have to copy them but they could be inspiration for other types of contrains.


Last edited by Aslaya Oathkeeper on Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:24 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added third contrain)

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Jack Noodlemeister on Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:30 am

Well, if I want to weaken their armour, then I have to prepare the spell with gestures and incantations. Then I would need to touch the armour of the person. I doubt I'd be able to touch the armour and be safe tbh.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:46 am

Yes mages and close proximity combat, not always a good mix.

But if he wields his illusion spells for distraction.
I see a potent combination there.

If I would be such mage,

First I would analyse my enemy from a distance.

Second if it would be an orc, I throw illusion at him. Letting him swing his axe at those, exhausting him.
These illusion could be mirrors of myself or other things cast upon rocks or a dense mist with moving shadows.

Step three would be destroying his axe with transmutation when he is exhausted. This is the close proximity part of combat. Or transmute something I could throw at him from a distance.

Step four is again creating some distance through the use of illusions.

And then repeating the previous steps until the thing collapses.

Keeping distance from my foe is a key tactic, should I play such mage.
But again you are free to do your own thing. ^^

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:05 am

Aslaya Oathkeeper wrote:The anime "full metal alchemist" shows that the wielder has three contrains when performing transmutation.
1 - He has to create a matrix.
2 - He has to have physical contact with the material inorder to perform the transmutation.
3 - He needs to know the basic elements of the material.

But your mage could have other contrains than those.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by siegmund on Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:06 am

Some basics stuff but it's good to know basics:

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Both are hardly useless and very viable in combat.

A few things mentioned in there are:

Illusion:
-Invisibility
-Making something appear diffrently then it really is
-Mirror image

Transmutation:
-Polymorph
-Teleportation (Most basic spell is blink)
-Slow fall
-Slowing/increasing movement speed

The last two points fall into spells that manipulate time

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Skarain on Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:01 am

Since point 1 have already been answered by Aslaya and Siegmund, i chose to get into detail with point 2.

You pointed out that you do not want your characters to be to powerful. Well, i imagine that your mage might have been a researcher, generally a non-combatant as that is the theme of the guild.

A magi generally not used to combat is prone to make mistakes, fumble with their spell gestures when put under stress, trip in their fancy over-dramatic creepy robes and lack the knowledge of how to defend themselves in close quarters.

That way, you are reliant on your allies to keep you safe and your spellcasting will generally take longer. While your magic spells may be fit to make the thugs to chase illusions, punch stone walls or find their belt buckle to corrode and causing them to trip in their pants that fall into their ankles.... you may not be able to cast your spells quickly one after another and may panic when someone big and scary comes charging at you.

That way i imagine you would be able to keep your mage-character balanced.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Swan Emperor Arenfel on Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:21 am

Avoid drawing too much inspiration from anime. Full Metal Alchemist especially.

First. Erase this notion that there is one uniform scaling to judge how "powerful" your character is, this does not exist. Instead. Try to judge it on a play-by-play basis, and what could be potentially disrupt the current scene through a gratuitous and overbearing use of magic. (Examples being the opening of a locked door, that's the center-point of a plot, by transmuting a lump of metal to fit the keyhole. Sometimes being logical isn't the best solution! And it can be very frustrating for everyone else, take it from the douche who plays an Archmage.)

Second. Yes! Transmutation and Illusion are very versatile schools, and spells such as telekenesis, teleportation, portals etc fall under the former, and invisibility, mirror image (arguably), and so forth fall under Illusion.

If you want to build up a unique repertoire of spells for your character then I suggest you take a look at NPCs via WoWhead who can be identified as Illusionists/Transmuters, and study their spells to get a feel for how the magic works in a WoW setting.

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One suggestion could be that your character has been studying a variety of creatures as inspiration for his abilities? Pandaren sprites operate through trickery, deception, and misdirection after all.

These two links may also help!

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Drustai on Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:25 am

A lot of illusion requires emoting and consent of other players. Drustai was an Illusionist/Necromancer, and I tried to use illusions whenever possible. It isn't always possible due to the nature of the game, but if you are creative you can find opportunities.

For me, this typically included things like:

- Invisiblity
- Altering of appearance (on normal days Drustai just made herself look prettier, but she also frequently used it to appear as a different person when she was in disguise. Typically through using the barber shop to change horns/hairstyle and through changing description on TotalRP. Now that barbershops give you the ability to change your face, this becomes even more possible)
- Complete, temporary alterations through illusion spell/potions of illusion. One time Drustai managed to for a long time evade a group of people that were hunting her through this. At one example, I used Invisibility to sneak into and hide in a house in Elwynn. When guards knocked on the door, I used the illusion pot, which changed me into a human male (luckily), at which point I answered the door and told the guards to get off my lawn. I slammed the door in their face before the 2-minute timer wore off, leaving them none-the-wiser.
- Illusive doubles, portrayable through spells like Spectral Guise.

Other things you could do, taking inspiration from DnD spells:

- Creating fake sounds or images somewhere to try to distract or lure people.
- Cause your voice to appear from somewhere else (ventriloquism)
- Changes to appearance of script (letters that appear invisible or in another language)
- Magic influencing people's dreams.
- Appearing at a different place than you are for the purpose of avoiding attacks. While Blink is normally rapid movement from one location to another, it could also be emoted as the mage -actually- being in the other place, with the original place being an illusive double that disappears upon being hit by an attack.
- Attacks that do real damage... in the person's mind. Does it really matter if there is no actual burn when the character believes they are on fire and accepts defeat as a result? Ironically allows for more fatal attacks to be made in RP under the understanding that no -real- damage is actually done, the victim just -believes- it is. Like with most illusion magic, requires consent of the people you're playing with to work best. This would work great if, for example, you play a humanitarian, Batman-type character who refrains from inflicting 'real' harm.

As a whole, illusion spells are mainly defensive and utility rather than offensive. In direct combat they don't come into use too much, but can be useful for manipulating the battlefield. They're more likely to be useful in DM events rather than in emote fights against other players.

Keep in mind the five types of illusion by DnD/Pathfinder classifications: Figment, Glamer, Pattern, Phantasm, and Shadow (Shadow is an illusion that can interact physically. Mirror Image is an example as the spells fired by the illusions actually deal real damage. Notably, the shadow type is vastly different in DnD/Pathfinder in comparison to WoW. In WoW, illusions that deal real damage are typically straight up Arcane).

Consider torrenting Mongoose Publishing's Encyclopedia Arcane OGL book "Illusionism - Behind the Smoke and Mirrors" if you'd like inspiration for uses of illusion magic. It's not WarCraft, and so a lot of things don't fit (like the nature of shadow magic) but it's still very useful for getting ideas. You should also look at WoW NPC illusionists and take examples from them (consider Dominika the Illusionist or Jandice Barov)


Regarding transmutation, consider getting the Hook of the Master Angler and other items that change you into other things. Transmutation is about change, so these items become very useful for portraying a transmuter. They are less useful in combat, but again, both of these schools are very much about non-combat utility and this is nothing to scoff about (and frankly makes you more unique by being someone whose talents lie outside of combat instead of in it. There is nothing wrong with not being the most useful person in combat in favor of non-combat talents).


Last edited by Drustai on Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:20 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Izzifix on Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:56 am

Illusion:
Make an illusion that your rapier is 20 cm shorter than it actually is. Be a good fencer. Stab. Or make your arm and sword invisible, make an illusion of an arm and a weapon doing something, while the real arm stabs your foe.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Dolerien on Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:00 am

This guy:
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does alright with illusion magic.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Arabella Greene on Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:03 am

Rule of thumb, do not use anime as a basis because the rules only work within the lore of that world

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Jack Noodlemeister on Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:04 am

Is it true you can use telekinesis with Transmutation? Because I've heard it only now, and I don't wanna use it too much if the logic behind it is uneven.

Edit:

On another note, Drustai, you mentioned pain within the mind. I'm pretty sure from past experiences that that involves shadow magic. Is that true?

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by nope on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:16 am

Illusion yourself to look like the enemy, illusion an enemy to look like you. Bam, sorted.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Drustai on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:38 am

Jack Noodlemeister wrote:Is it true you can use telekinesis with Transmutation? Because I've heard it only now, and I don't wanna use it too much if the logic behind it is uneven.

Telekinesis tends to fall under Evocation, rather than Transmutation. Though lifting something by transmuting it to be lighter than air is a possibility.

On another note, Drustai, you mentioned pain within the mind. I'm pretty sure from past experiences that that involves shadow magic. Is that true?

Typically yes, that involves shadow magic. In WarCraft lore, shadow tends to influence the mind, and usually negatively as shadow is an element of consumption and destruction. So a great deal of illusion spells, and enchantment spells (speaking about charm/compulsion spells like Mind Control, rather than item enchanting), would be shadow. I suggested the priest talent Spectral Guise for a reason. That is a shadow illusion spell, and corresponds exactly with the DnD spell Mislead. Many illusion spells in-game tend to be shadow, and ergo if you want to play an illusionist you could roll either mage, shadowpriest, or even rogue as all offer options for an illusionist character.

The biggest masters of shadow magic in WoW are the Old Gods, and by extension the Sha. Their most common abilities are illusions, twisting the perceptions of those who come into contact with them by showing them things that are not real, creating whispers in the mind, etc. For example, the sha of doubt creates figments (illusions) of the player's own doubts. Consider as well Herald Volazj and his Insanity spell, which is a definitive Phantasm-type illusion: "Herald Volazj drives all players insane, causing them to hallucinate Twisted Visages of each of their allies. Players are trapped alone in their insanity until they kill all of their Twisted Visages."

This is backed up by the old WoW RPG books (namely Magic and Mayhem), which similarly correlated illusion and shadow.

You don't have to be a shadow user to be an illusionist, you can rely on benign arcane effects that just trick and confuzzle (or in some cases deal arcane damage IE Mirror Image), but being a shadow user does expand an illusionist's repertoire of hostile spells.


Last edited by Drustai on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Jack Noodlemeister on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:45 am

If I'm not mistaken, Shadow illusion allows you to alter your victims perception, which is harder to do, but has wider possibilities.
And if I'm not mistaken, Arcane illusion is easier, as it uses arcane to alter how something looks, and since it's altering the environment, it can fool anyone who sees it and doesn't study divination. Though it cannot make someone feel pain which isn't actually there.

That's what I thought.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Drustai on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:50 am

Yup, exactly. Smile Arcane illusion will probably tend towards Figments and Glamers (spells which create a fake image or sensation in the environment that anyone can perceive), while Shadow illusion will tend towards Patterns and Phantasms (mind-affecting spells that influence and manipulate a victim's thoughts).

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"...in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself... In all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions."

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Jack Noodlemeister on Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:00 pm

Drustai, may I ask, do you actually RP anymore? I haven't seen you around that much.

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Izzifix on Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:20 pm

Moar illusions:
Catch your enemy off-guard by stealing the appearance of one of them, before savagely beating them up with the "Anvilmar hammer" (look it up, seriously) that you until the moment of beating had illusioned to a rose bouquet.

As the enemy lies there in a pool of his own teeth and bodily fluids, begging you to tell him why you, his friend did this, you drop the illusion with a triumphant laugh: "Haha! Behold, your friend is not here. It is I: Scarlet Mask, vigilante hero of the people! Abandon your vile ways, criminal, or you shall recieve far worse than this. And you will not see me coming!" *pops invisibility and runs off*

Edit: p.s. why go with two schools of magic at all? Illusions rock.


Last edited by Dwyburn on Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Drustai on Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:18 pm

Jack Noodlemeister wrote:Drustai, may I ask, do you actually RP anymore? I haven't seen you around that much.

Afraid not. I've been turned off of WoW due to some drama last year and a conflict of interests.

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"...in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself... In all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions."

—The Iron Law of Bureaucracy

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by Thelos on Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:38 pm

Yeah, don't use anime as inspiration for your mage.

Because anime is monk territory!

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Re: Combat uses for Illusion/Transmutation mage?

Post by NicholasBullard (Taph) on Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:17 pm

If you don't refrain from using non-Blizzard sources as inspiration, might I recommend having a look at The Elder Scroll's skills?

"Illusion affects the perception and mind of living subjects."
The effects of Illusion spells alter the perceptions and thoughts of living beings. Illusion effects include blindness, illumination, paralysis, silence, calmness, enragement, charm, distract, camouflage, and invisibility.

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