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How does Illusion work?


Started by Idriar
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The magic school of illusion is one of the most mysterios along with Alteration, Necromancy and Mysticism. As we don´t exactly know the physical laws of Mundus we assume them to be like ours. Also I assume that all spells of Illusion only affect the look of something or peoples mind. Cause everything further would be Alteration.

This shall be somekind of catalogue of the different kinds of illusions that appear in the Elder scrolls.


1. Affect an object

These are the high level spells of muffle, chameleon or invisibility. They only affect one single object, in this case the caster, and make him for example invisible. The caster won´t be seen by any person, even if there haven´t been around when the spell was casted. So these spells doesn´t affect the beholder, but a single object which properties seem to have change. In fact they have not. Otherwise it would be a spell of Alteration. Still the spell changes the "signals" which are sent off of an object, like sound or light. So maybe these spells were found with backing of Alteration.

There´s a door in the temple of Vaermina that is mantled as a statue. But the statue isn´t real, but still you can´t walk through without the other guy disabling the illusion. So the stone illusion didn´t only affect the look of the object but made the beholder believe to stand in front of a statue, making it unable for him to walk through. Of course it was the numen of Daedra, but still we must think of where the border between Alteration and Illusion lies, if a mighty illusion is able to alter the beholders perception of reality in such a way as if the world was altered.

2. Affect a person´s emotion

These spells, like fear, charm/calm and rally, affect the very emotions of a person. They seem either to create dreadful/friendly/heroic feelings in the aim's mind OR

2.1. Make someone perceive the world in another way

they make the person see the world as if it was full of dangers/peace/things worth fighting for. But I think they rather affect a person´s emotions than projecting highly complexe images into their perception of the world. For example to fear someone away a mage tries to show the aim a world full of snakes. Maybe this is the terriblest the mage can think of. But the aim was an Argonian who is afraid of spiders. As far as I know there are no ways to read one´s mind to find out about his fears... except traveling into his mind with Sheogorath.

3. Make someone else do something

In Oblivion there were the illusion spells of command humanoid and command creature. These spells did as the names are and turned a (hostile) aim into someone fighting for you. Of course this could be a variation of the charm spell. Instead of only creating friendly feelings the spells create friendly feelings exclusively for the caster. And the will to fight for the person. So we could turn these spells to emotion spells aswell. Cause you still can´t give them orders like you can do with followers.

The other spells in this rubric are silence and paralyze. These spells disable the ability to either cast spells or to move. These might happen by somehow seperating the nerve signals of the brain temporarily from the muscles. Or the aim is forced to stay immobile. It´s not like the person want´s to be silent or moveless. But the spell makes them do so.

3.1. Affect a person´s senses

These spells, like Blind or Sound, change the way a person perceive the world. Blind will make the aim... blind while sound will make them hear a loud distracting voice that will prevent them from concentrating on e.g. a spell. These spells I put under "make someone else do something" because I think the spell doesn´t really affect the ear or the eye of the aim. Again, the affection of something that is material would be Alteration. The eyes and ears perfectly work, but the aim is forced to believe to see either nothing or hear the sound. Forced again.



Undead and Dwemer machines

As we know a illusion spell doesn´t usually affect the Undead or Dwemer machines. That´s only logical as machines or skelettons don´t have a mind of their own. But still they have "senses". Skelettons will spot you without having eyes, machines hear without having ears. They were given magical and mechanical senses. And if they have senses they have something to evaluate the information of the senses. With undead it might be an echo of their former soul or a mind created by a necromancer. With the machines it´s somekind of artificial brain. Still Dwemer machines are based on magic, too. If there is something like a mind the common spells of illusion are casted upon it. Of course these "minds" are else then living minds and harder to cast on. So you need more skill in illusion to do so.



These are some thoughts upon the school of Illusion. I hope I can start a nice little debate like I did with "How does Necromancy work?" to creat and offer a deeper insight of the magic of Tamriel.

Still open questions:

Wispmother´s Doppelgänger
The Vampires Seduction


Who controls the Septim crown?
Who keeps the Allesian Heresy down?
We do, we do

Who knocked Yokuda off the maps?
Who keeps the Dwemer under wraps?
We do, we do

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Post #47570
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Nice explanation


‎I must not fear. Fear is the mid-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total annihilation. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
:D gokgs.com
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Post #47661
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Agree... Lets say Invisibility in Skyrim (my favourite spell). It doesn`t make you literally invisible, it just affects the minds of foes so that they can`t see you. Proff of that could be the fact that high leveled foes can still "see" you despite the fact that you have cast Invisibility, because your skill in Illision isn`t high enough/don`t have any perks. So, Illusion isn`t strong enough to affect thier minds and they can see you. I don`t know if that`s the case with potions of Invisibility... And Muffle. Muffle make you "move more silently", same as the effect of Ebony mail (though I think Ebony mail has a greater effect; I once managed to kill that mage on that Island, on the quest for the East Empire company I believe, without any skill in Sneak or Illusion what-so-ever and in full heavy armor; it was my first stealth kill with the kill-cam.. I was so proud of myself). Not really... It just makes you more silent in the minds of the enemies.



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Post #47678
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Yeah.
Illusion spells don't directly affect the world, they just affect the person.
Muffle doesn't make your steps silent, they make everything THINK they are, and tricks them into believeing that.
Invisibility doesn't make you invisible, it just makes everyone THINK you are.
I love Illusion magic, there are few things funner then being invisible and letting the enemies kill each other XD


Lurks-In-Shadows - The Thief.
Jo'Rakha - The Cleric.
Xefrenos - The Werecrocodile.

Vlos Hithern!
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Well Illusion could be seen as interacting and affecting reality because reality is intern what is perceived in the mind so therefore if you are believed to be silent or invisible to yourself or others then you are. Sorry just had to throw in the philosophical side of it. Anyways about the dwemer and undead are a complicated one. With undead it may be just because they react to souls and heat and things no in game spell is associated with though I feel they could be tricked. As for dwemer which are magical constructs with no will of their own in that case I think if you use magic of any sort it would single you out. I think they may be able to trace such things as well as being given somewhat normal senses. Just on those two it is all speculation, but those are possibilities.


The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination-Voltaire
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(March 6th 2013, 07:11 AM)Epicface Wrote: I love Illusion magic, there are few things funner then being invisible and letting the enemies kill each other XD

Yeah, I love Illusion magic too, funniest shit ever. I play on Master and sometimes when I get into a bad position or am overwhelmed I calm them all down and kill them one by one with their friends watching. XD
I remember once, when I was playing with my bosmer, I ran through the fort or a dungeon, can`t remember what it was, just to gather all the bandits on one place. Then I cast Invisibility and Mayhem, again became invisible and just stood there watching them kill each other.
This post was last modified: March 6th 2013, 09:10 AM by Apocalypso



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Post #47706
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I really should use illusion more. haha


The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination-Voltaire
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@MaxxRocker Believe me, you`ll enjoy it. :D And Invisibility in one hand and high dmg dagger in the other with high sneak and backstab perk = definition of awesomnes. Maybe even over-powered sometimes, since you can kill literally anything without drawing anyones attention. The only downside is that it takes forever to lvl illusion. It took me like like 2 RL days to get it to lvl 75 or 50 for invisibility, just by playing with mudcrabs. Frenzy them, Calm them, Rally them, Fear them, Calm them and so on. XD



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Post #47713
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Yea honestly the time it takes to level is the reason I never focused on it. Honestly I am planning on playing a high elf for my next character in skyrim so I will probably do it with him lol.


The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination-Voltaire
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Illusion is my go-to magic skill on my first character in every TES game.


I'm a Werecroc in The Buoyant Armigers rawr!
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(March 6th 2013, 06:01 AM)Apocalypso Wrote: Agree... Lets say Invisibility in Skyrim (my favourite spell). It doesn`t make you literally invisible, it just affects the minds of foes so that they can`t see you. Proff of that could be the fact that high leveled foes can still "see" you despite the fact that you have cast Invisibility, because your skill in Illision isn`t high enough/don`t have any perks. So, Illusion isn`t strong enough to affect thier minds and they can see you. I don`t know if that`s the case with potions of Invisibility... And Muffle. Muffle make you "move more silently", same as the effect of Ebony mail (though I think Ebony mail has a greater effect; I once managed to kill that mage on that Island, on the quest for the East Empire company I believe, without any skill in Sneak or Illusion what-so-ever and in full heavy armor; it was my first stealth kill with the kill-cam.. I was so proud of myself). Not really... It just makes you more silent in the minds of the enemies.

(March 6th 2013, 07:11 AM)Epicface Wrote: Yeah.
Illusion spells don't directly affect the world, they just affect the person.
Muffle doesn't make your steps silent, they make everything THINK they are, and tricks them into believeing that.
Invisibility doesn't make you invisible, it just makes everyone THINK you are.
I love Illusion magic, there are few things funner then being invisible and letting the enemies kill each other XD


Yeah, I get your point. But Muffle and Invisibility aren´t like the scroll spells od Mayhem or Hysteria: Once you cast them everyone in range gets affected for a certain duration. The RANGE and the TIME is limited.

When you cast Invisibility upon you no one can see/ hardly see you. But this is true even if the guys you sneak past weren´t around when you casted the spell, e.g. in another room or couples of meters away. The RANGE is not limited, only the TIME.

The only thing I could think of is that the spell creates a sphere around you and the sphere will follow you and make everybody think you´re invisible. Whenever a new aim enters the sphere it get´s affected by the spell. So you could think of that from lets say 100 meters a mage who casted invisibility is still visible. Only once the aim moves close enough, e.g. 30 meters it gets affected.

Of course we all know that it doesn´t work that way. You are perfectly invisible for everyone once you casted the spell. Still there has to be some kind of limitation for the range of a spell. A mage cannot affect every being upon Nirn with a single spell.

That´s why I stick to my Alteration backing theory. The "signals" like sounds and light that are send off from the caster are changed in that way that the beholders think him invisible or soundless.



However, what do you think of the wispmother´s Doppelgänger? Illusions? And how about that every vampire has the ability to turn invisible? Illusions?


Who controls the Septim crown?
Who keeps the Allesian Heresy down?
We do, we do

Who knocked Yokuda off the maps?
Who keeps the Dwemer under wraps?
We do, we do

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(March 7th 2013, 03:10 AM)Idriar Wrote:
(March 6th 2013, 06:01 AM)Apocalypso Wrote: Agree... Lets say Invisibility in Skyrim (my favourite spell). It doesn`t make you literally invisible, it just affects the minds of foes so that they can`t see you. Proff of that could be the fact that high leveled foes can still "see" you despite the fact that you have cast Invisibility, because your skill in Illision isn`t high enough/don`t have any perks. So, Illusion isn`t strong enough to affect thier minds and they can see you. I don`t know if that`s the case with potions of Invisibility... And Muffle. Muffle make you "move more silently", same as the effect of Ebony mail (though I think Ebony mail has a greater effect; I once managed to kill that mage on that Island, on the quest for the East Empire company I believe, without any skill in Sneak or Illusion what-so-ever and in full heavy armor; it was my first stealth kill with the kill-cam.. I was so proud of myself). Not really... It just makes you more silent in the minds of the enemies.

(March 6th 2013, 07:11 AM)Epicface Wrote: Yeah.
Illusion spells don't directly affect the world, they just affect the person.
Muffle doesn't make your steps silent, they make everything THINK they are, and tricks them into believeing that.
Invisibility doesn't make you invisible, it just makes everyone THINK you are.
I love Illusion magic, there are few things funner then being invisible and letting the enemies kill each other XD


Yeah, I get your point. But Muffle and Invisibility aren´t like the scroll spells od Mayhem or Hysteria: Once you cast them everyone in range gets affected for a certain duration. The RANGE and the TIME is limited.

When you cast Invisibility upon you no one can see/ hardly see you. But this is true even if the guys you sneak past weren´t around when you casted the spell, e.g. in another room or couples of meters away. The RANGE is not limited, only the TIME.

The only thing I could think of is that the spell creates a sphere around you and the sphere will follow you and make everybody think you´re invisible. Whenever a new aim enters the sphere it get´s affected by the spell. So you could think of that from lets say 100 meters a mage who casted invisibility is still visible. Only once the aim moves close enough, e.g. 30 meters it gets affected.

Of course we all know that it doesn´t work that way. You are perfectly invisible for everyone once you casted the spell. Still there has to be some kind of limitation for the range of a spell. A mage cannot affect every being upon Nirn with a single spell.

That´s why I stick to my Alteration backing theory. The "signals" like sounds and light that are send off from the caster are changed in that way that the beholders think him invisible or soundless.



However, what do you think of the wispmother´s Doppelgänger? Illusions? And how about that every vampire has the ability to turn invisible? Illusions?

Isn`t that exatcly what I said ? Just one thing: I don`t understand why you mentioned range and time. They are limited and cannot be changed (if not dual-casted). I never said that only the foes who were arround you when you cast Invis or Muffle got affected.

Casting Invis or Muffle makes an aura around you which follows you as you walk and affects everybody who CAN could usually see you. Imagine Invis like Calm for instance, which you have to aim. Now imagine Invis like you`re constantly aiming at anyone whoose range of sight you walk in.

Scrolls of Mayhem/Hysteria/Harmony only affect the minds of people who are below the level for which the scrolls are intended. I believe the lowest lvl on which those scrolls work is 20 (?), so if you cast it near a dragon priest or bandit chief they won`t be affected. Strength of scrolls also depend on your skill with a particular magic school. So, if you`re high lvl in Illusion, they will be stronger. Basically, scrolls only serve as a help when you run out of magicka.



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