Wednesday, October 20, 2010

some call him... Tim

Beacon has an Illusionist class because the Microlite advanced rules have an Illusionist class (probably because AD&D had (has?) an Illusionist class).  It's also because I have a metal mini of an illusionist just like this one:
Ral Partha's Female Illusionist
It's certainly not because I ever played an Illusionist or had an Illusionist in any of the games I ran.  I believe it's because the name Illusionist sounds pretty wonky.  I mean who wants to be Latona the Illusionist?   No one will take your gold, everyone cracks wise about what you have to do to get a man, all the jokes about if they are real or not.  Also of all the spells in the Illusionist list there are a lot of mind altering spells but not a real majority of actual illusions.  Now I'm not saying that the Illusionist class isn't good - in fact I've spent more work on it than any of the other ones and I want it to work.  But maybe I should rename it.

I tried to make the class names more generic so that instead of the Ranger (retconned these days to mean 'ranged damage dealer' from the original 'elf hugger who likes to walk a lot') you have the Hunter.  A Hunter you can fit into more roles such as Barbarian wanderer, Bowman or City Rat-catcher as I mentioned a while back.  Also the class Rogue is more generic and covers more ground than simply Thief - including players who want to be an Assassin, or a Con-man, or a Horse Courier who likes to swindle people in real-estate.

Mages get a bonus to Knowledge - they are the scholarly types. Druids get a bonus to Survival/Knowledge - they are the natural philosopher types. Illusionists get a bonus to Communication/Subterfuge - they are the tricky mind messing type.  They deal in illusions yes, but that's only part of their repertoire.  They are just as happy to use charms and compulsions to get the job done, maybe even more happy.

If you hadn't already guessed, I had a sudden strong compulsion desire to re-brand the whole Illusionist class to Enchanter.


  1. theres a great issue of legion which shows exactly how tough illusionists can be
    jeckie was always a pretty fuckin weak character even when she morphed into a different character during the baxter issues - names are escaping me right now
    anyway - it was during the mark waid run a few years back before he quit - you should look it up and read it - seriously good stuff

  2. Ah my fragmented Legion. My favorite section is still the Giffen years. Legion of Superheros would make a fun RPG setting actually. I might be playing a HEROS based game soon so I'll have to suss out the system and see how it would work.