New Illusionist Spells for LL AEC and AD&D First Edition

Derek Holland

When many people not familiar with the 1st edition of AD&D hear of the illusionist class, they think it must be like the 2e and 3e versions, where the character uses only illusions. But that isn't the case at all. Their spell list relates to trickery and can include all the schools of magic, from abjuration to necromancy (they can summon undead shadows) as well as a great selection of illusions. Looking at the spell lists in the AEC and 1e Unearthed Arcana, the division between illusionist and magic-user was great, almost no overlap in abilities. 2e destroyed that with the specialist (and making gnomes less worthwhile to play). When I was reading the illusionist spells in Theories and Thaumaturgy (the same file with the vivimancer), I got some ideas for spells that are more of the alteration school than pure illusions, ones that fit within the illusionist theme. I also came up with three new forms of illusion- one not meant to be believed, one meant to allow illusionists to modify another's senses and the other taps into the victim's mind to activate psionic powers. There is also an updated version of Grand Creation.

Black Cloud

Level: 7th

Duration: 1 hour per caster level

Range: 3 miles

The caster selects a cloud or fog bank and causes it to turn black, covering the land beneath it in darkness. As long as the spell or cloud lasts, the vision of any sort is impossible within the inky darkness. The exact limits of the spell in terms of cloud size are determined by the Labyrinth Lord. Dispel Magic doesn't have the range to affect a cloud but it can affect a fog bank. Otherwise the best way to end this spell is with Control Weather and destroying the cloud entirely.

Distort Sight

Level: 6th

Duration: 3 +1 rounds per caster level

Range: caster

Distort Sight bends light around the illusionist. To observers, the caster appears to be much closer or much farther away (player's choice and it can change during the spell), resulting in a +4 to their armor class and an automatic miss on the first attempt to hit them. The miss applies to everyone who attacks the illusionist. If they lose sight of the caster, even for a moment, their next attack is an automatic miss as well. Distort Sight has no effect on area of effect spells that happen to include the actual location of the illusionist.

Gaze to Scream

Level: 7th

Duration: 1 round

Range: caster or touch

Any creature with a gaze attack can benefit from this spell. It turns the gaze into a sonic attack with a 30' diameter area. All those within the area are affected as if they were subjected to the gaze (i.e. they have to make their save).

Horrific Image

Level: 2nd

Duration: 1 +1 round per caster level

Range: 30'

This illusion is not meant to be realistic. Instead it draws upon the darkest fears and thoughts of the illusionist to create an image that horrifies those who see it. They must