Illusionists: Thieves who can cast Summon

So, I’ve decided to play my illusionist as a conjurer or summoner. Any interesting individual that J’Rhazha comes across is committed to memory and effectively added as a “summon”, currently via Phantasmal Force (though eventually through some more powerful illusions). As of yet, he’s not particularly useful, but in a pinch, he can do some pretty awesome stuff.

I’ve gone ahead, in a bid to make him slightly less useless in combat, and given him more than one dagger. And all of them got eaten by a rust monster, but better daggers than people, right?

Our party (which was inconveniently down one paladin and one magic user) found a kobold village on the far south end of level 1. I’m not sure how things didn’t end in a TPK, but not only did we get into the village, we managed a pretty daring prison break that shouldn’t have worked.

The goblins on the watch-towers outside the kobold village heckled us and tried to warn us off with sling bullets. While the half-orc druid tried to convince them to open the gate, the thief-priest scaled the wall of one of the towers.

Now, earlier, we’d been at a weapon shop ran by an orc whose noble grandfather was a great warrior; luckily for J’Rhazha, this orc had a very nice portrait of his grandfather armed to the teeth and ready for a fight. So imagine the goblins’ surprise when a giant orc warlord appears behind them and starts swinging an ax around and their buddies are being backstabbed by a thief. While the rest of the party scrambled up the rope ladder the thief tossed down, honorable orc-father leaps 50 feet from one tower to the next, axes swinging, causing the other guard to die of fright.

From one of the towers, we could see the whole village, teeming with kobolds. The tower we were in overlooked a prison area with staggered patrols. Luckily, we’d been quick and quiet in taking the towers, as we weren’t instantly overrun. While the rest of the party pulled some Metal Gear Solid on the kobold patrols, J’Rhazha kept an eye out from the tower to make sure no one was headed for that corner of the village. Unfortunately, by the time trouble showed up, the others were fighting a giant weasel inside the prison and couldn’t hear my signal whistle, so I had to buy time when a kobold caravan arrived.

“We are closed, go away!”
“We’ve brought trade goods.”
“We don’t need any right now!”
“Do we need to tell(big bad greenskin lord or maybe dragon whose name I forget) about this?”
“Yes, you should probably go tell him!”

Luckily, there was a teleporter shrine in the prison’s court yard, and luckily two of the other three players had used them before so could take the rest of us to one of the other shrines in Level 1, getting out just before the villagers figured out what was going on.

So far, I’ve found that Illusionists make for great thieves, just minus the boring thief skills table. With his high Dex, J’Rhazha has a fondness for playing dice with rubes, slow-playing, swapping in his loaded dice, hypnotizing his mark into going all in, then giving back part of the winnings to show that there are no hard feelings. I have the feeling that I’ll soon draw the ire of the thieves guild master on me. To make matters worse, he worships the Rat God (as a Rakasta, J’Rhazha cannot bring himself to pay tribute to a rat, so will never be welcome in the guild). Still, it’s been the only way J’Rhazha has been able to afford a roof over his head, since we haven’t found any treasure since I’ve started.

J’Rhazha’s managed to cower his way through two fairly combat heavy sessions without taking a single hit (though he did hurt his paw trying to punch the rust monster) and he’s managed to be useful enough and quick talking enough in non-combat situations that the party doesn’t mind keeping him around.

One more session and he’s level 3. Sweet sweet level 2 spells will soon be mine.

4 responses to “Illusionists: Thieves who can cast Summon

  1. Sounds like a good time. Gotta love illusionists. I would be tempted to run a semi-historical campaign where the only player spell-casters are illusionists.

    • At one point, I was considering coming up with a “Charlatan” class for B/X that would’ve been an cross between an alchemist and an illusionist for use in low-to-no magic settings. The alchemist concept ended up in my Abbey Monk class, but I never came up with a revised spell-list for an illusionist. Maybe that can be my next project after I finish this tower defense scenario.

    • When I was younger and only had 2e, I thought Illusionists were stupid and wondered why anyone would want to play them when regular wizards had better spells. I’ve learned that no, they don’t, and because Illusionists are AWESOME.

      Me a couple years ago: Lamentations of the Flame Princess seems kinda broken to have Summon as a level 1 spell.

      Me now playing an illusionist: I LOVE having Summon as a level 1 spell!

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