Enchanted Realms Rulebook
Skills Applied: Combat
Mechanics of Combat
Fighting At Distance
Gods of the New Moons
Feat of Strength
Poison and Disease
Stat Difficulty Check
Many magical effects can deceive one’s perceptions. These illusions fall into three categories: glamours, shrouds and phantasms. The first two are created by yellow sorcery, while phantasms are green. All axioms producing these effects are explicated stated in this verbiage to avoid confusion.
Glamour illusions create actual images, sounds and smells. Think of this magical stimulus as holograms where all observers respond to the perception. However, senses to perceive the illusion is required. Thus, non-ocular feratu, such as skeletons, would not be affected by a visual glamour; however, a vampire, which does have normal vision, would be able to see, and potentially fooled, by this type of illusion. For a nearly mindless creatures, those under 5 Mind, it would see the illusion and react according to its nature. It would not be smart enough to realize what it perceives is anything different than any other stimulus. A stone wall created as a silent image, even cast right in front of them, would block an army of giant ants. They would see a stone wall and would choose a different direction.
Shrouds are illusions that alters, conceals or modifies the perceivable messages of an object. This is similar to a glamour illusion in that the image or sound is real, observable to anyone able to sense it. However, it transforms the light, sounds, smells and tactile information. In some cases, such as veil and silence, it conceals the information. In other cases, shrouds alter the imagery, such as a ghost light spell. Those of lesser intellect would react to shrouds the same way as a glamour, even in the face of things that would defy logic to a thinking being. Where a person bumping into an invisible object would deduce something is there, the mindless strix would not realize there was anything beyond its sensory perception.
A phantasm is an image in the psyche of the victim. It is a mental trick of perception, but to the victim can be very real. Yet it is important to note that only affected minds can “see” or “hear” the phantasm. Others may wonder why their ally is wrestling “nothing” on the ground. Further, mindless feratu, plant-monsters, primeval beasts and other creatures who are not affected by mind-altering magic are immune from this effect.
The method of handling an illusion is often detailed in the spell effect and description. However, the general rules of illusions should be used whenever it is not clear, or no explanation is given. When anyone observes an illusion, he or she is given an immediate chance to know that it is trickery via a secret Perception check made by the GM. Shroud effects sometimes are an exception to this rule, if there is no good reason to observe what is missing. Unless stated otherwise, the Perception difficulty is 70. Further, persons with a keenness skill or other bonuses have those applied to the roll. However, if failing the check and thereby still believing the illusion, the observer acts as if it is real until something occurs to create a lapse of logic. The lapse in logic may or may not automatically reveal the illusion, determined by the GM. For glamour illusions, light is emitted even in non-magical darkness. If a sorcerer created a glamour of an ogre in an unlit cave, that ogre would glow in the dark. However, the GM could tell the observer who failed the initial Perception check the ogre had a glow about him and wait for ideas to come up in discussion before automatically revealing the illusion. Perhaps the observers might conclude the ogre had a sunstone.
When an illusion is known to be fake, the deception is known, the glamour “hologram” or background noise would persist. On the contrary, phantasms do cease to exist. Further, illusions never inflict real damage; however, more sophisticated ones can have tactile components, where damage will feel real. In some cases, the damage may be believed to be real, and thus the character will act accordingly until either the illusion is destroyed, or the character reaches zero body points, where he or she passes out for 1d4 combat rounds. That said; when the vanquished character awakens, he or she will immediately realize there is no damage.
Another type of deception is what is called an allure. This is the influence upon psyche, emotion and mental prowess of other beings through charm and compulsion. Beguile is an example.
In cases where Mind damage occurs in addition to an allure, if that damage inflicted causes the victim to reach zero or lower, then the target falls unconscious, as the enchantment was simply too powerful for its brain to manage. This technique can be used offensively if the circumstances merit.
The mesmerizing effect lasts for the duration given in the description of the spell. During that time, the victim is subject to suggestions and proposals from the charmer. While the bewitched will not commit an action of deliberate self-harm, he or she would take any action that would be normal as a loyal and trusted friend. Moreover, the victim would not directly betray other known friends, but might be convinced those friends are confused, misinformed or are a danger to themselves.
Most importantly for allures is what happens once the enthralling force expires. Unless the spell states otherwise, the victim does not have any direct awareness that he or she has been charmed. It is entirely possible that the dupe will conclude there was an allure because of the logic of the circumstances, but there is no awareness of this by default. In fact, he or she may suffer from a bit of cognitive dissonance until strong evidence is understood. A GM should roll dice against a PC prior to role-playing the encounter, then if successfully charmed, simply give the perception of what the charmed character understood.
Lastly, once a victim becomes subject to a mind-changing or mood-altering allure, if there the duration exceeds the recovery of Mind damage inflicted, note that the renewal of those lost points alone will not remove the effect. In some cases, to remove an allure, it may require magic or alchemy designed for removing influences.
With that in mind, the next few sections will go into detail of how senses and perception work from a game and character perspective.Perception
Perception is not a skill, but a measure of each person’s ability to notice things that don’t belong. It does add extra dice rolls, and it might only be used on occasion rather than with every encounter. Examples would be finding a secret door or happening to notice a strange interaction in a crowd.
Perception is effectively a Difficulty feat, but typically initiated by the GM rather than the player, although it could be in some circumstances. The way to determine whether something is noticed or not is rolled on a d100 while adding the character’s Mind stat score. That total score is compared to the Difficulty of the situation. The base score for generally noticeable events is 70. If the modified roll is equal or greater, then the character is alerted to it. Rolls are made individually, so some characters may miss what is going on while others are keenly aware. Often the GM should make the rolls in secret.
This should not be used in every situation or for every combat. However, it can be used to determine how quickly a character caught off guard can react. For example, if a gryf bandit is hiding in a rocky crag and attempts to make a surprise attack for extra damage on a character, then the victim could make a perception roll to avoid being taken off guard. The score required would be at least 70, but the GM might rule a higher number is required, based on the terrain, camouflage, and skills employed by the attacker.
Another example might be when player characters are awakened by an attack at night. Unless special circumstances occur like magical silence, the sounds of an attack should wake any sleeping adventurer. However, upon waking, the character would need to roll perception to see if he or she could process what was happening quickly enough to react that first round. Otherwise, the waking character might have to wait for the next combat round to declare an action. Even if acting first round, the GM might penalize a few seconds to grab one’s sword in such a situation.Normal Vision
Normal vision is exactly what is sounds like; it is what you are using now, viewing the normal visual spectrum. What this means is in darkness, normal or magical, it is more difficult to operate and fight. Anyone using normal vision suffers a penalty from -5 to -15 on attack rolls in the night, depending on the moon phases. However, there would be -30 penalty for attack rolls in total darkness. Also, movement is half of normal.Darkvision
Darkvision is unique eyesight adapted by subterranean and nocturnal creatures. It allows them to operate in darkness as if it were normal. Therefore, no penalties for fighting in the dark. Unless stated otherwise, this sensory vision extends 30 feet.
Because most creatures with darkvision operate in the normal spectrum as well, there are no penalties for regular lighting. However, in the open during midday when there is no cloud coverage or shade, creatures with darkvision suffer -10 on attack rolls. Summer offers about three hours where it is difficult. Other seasons may offer a few problematic days as well. Additionally, if creatures with darkvision are hit with a spotlight or magical light very near to them, then they suffer -30 on attacks as they are blinded like a normal vision person is in total darkness.Spirit Sight
Lastly, spirit sight is a special sensation for creatures that do not rely on vision. Most of the walking dead and “unliving" creatures, known as feratu, find their prey like this because many feratu do not have functioning eyes. Spirit sight is the detection of a living creature’s aura, biofield or life song. For those without it, it can be best thought of as the radar sense used by the comic-book hero Daredevil. Of course, this means those with spirit sight are not affected by light conditions; however, if one can mask himself from life-detection, then the spirit sight could not know he was there. Of course, this will not work for all feratu, for example vampires, as they make use of normal vision as well (or possibly darkvision for a dwarven vampire).
If skeletons have no eyes and rely on spirit sight, how do they know where walls are? Why don't they trip over uneven terrain? Fall off cliffs?
Maybe that does happen in this world. It would make for interesting story-telling and limit the power of anyone trying to hoard the feratu for long periods of time and multiple uses.
But perhaps we give another explanation along with that. Perhaps that being pure-feratu allows these creatures to have a higher degree of spirit sensitivity than what a magical spell will transfer. In the short term, especially at the early stages of the unlife, the bugs, beetles, molds and all sorts of trace elements of life which dust the surfaces around us allow the zombie and skeleton to sense those surfaces and therefore navigate them without issue. However, as the skeleton “ages,” its ability to sense things to such a fine degree begins to fade, and after a week or a year (depending on the GM's preference and whatever variables might come into play), the feratu becomes subject to falling off the cliff, stumbling down the hill, etc. and those trying to create a hoard of the walking dead over a long period of time have to deal with “shrinkage” from accidents.Hearing
Being able to detect sounds is also important for knowing whether or not a perception roll should be allowed. For normal, non-supernatural hearing, the table below demonstrates what sounds can be normally detected at what distances.
|Dog Barking:||half mile|
Scents are also methods of detection of people or things precense. While the concentration of an aroma will make a difference for how detectable something is, there has to be a standard for game mechanics, especially when using comparisons to supernatural or racially-enhanced senses. Consider the table below as the normal range for a typical amount of that item, but also understand that the mass of the source is not necessarily a linear scale for odor concentration.
|Caramel:||25 feet||Dish of candies|
|Decay:||50 feet||Rotting squirrel|
|Citrus:||100 feet||Bowl of lemons|
|Pine:||250 feet||Small tree|