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The Wonders of Project Image, and the General Nature of Illusion Magic vs. Reality



  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    Light has frequencies. This is, subject to some of the above ambiguity on the nature of reality, objective. The thing we know as color is not a frequency of light. One could define color as a frequency of light, but such a definition would have remarkably little to do with human color perception, and therefore would necessitate a new term for what we perceive as color. Since light frequency already has its own term, I see precious little reason to deprive the percept of its name. Since both colloquial and academic use also uses "color" to refer to the percept, rather than the wavelength, I tend to use the same rule. It's important to understand that this distinction is not trivial. Color (the percept) has a much more complicated relationship with wavelength than most people imagine.

  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,577
    edited December 2014
    Time is limited, but I want to say a little something about color. When we want to know the color of an object, we are generally interested in surface reflectance. Humans make a judgement about reflectance by the experienced sensation upon observing a given object.

    And reflectance has nothing to do with light. Not really. An object has reflectance even in the complete absence of light; it's just not detectable. And anyway, these sensations are not wholly dependent either surface reflectance or the specific properties of the light reflected by a specific object at any given moment.

    The 'system' makes 'adjustments' based on surrounding features of the environment which can lead to fascinating illusions (see color constancy. See opponency for another interesting way that sensation can be muddled). Also, we can contrast 'color of an object' with 'color of the sky'. The latter has more to do with atmospheric filtration than reflectance.

    And sometimes we are just talking about the sensation itself as when we might say some object is 'the color of the sky'. It couldn't be the case that the object has the same reflectance as the objective correlate in the last case is atmospheric filtration. We can't be talking about light properties, because we aren't talking about light at all; the only "objective"things about each phenomenon are not shared. Again, on the one hand we have atmospheric filtration and, and on the other we have reflectance. What is shared is only the sensation. Nothing is more interesting than color perception! (though many things are equally interesting!)

    J I will respond soon. Limited time


    Edit: we can also talk about light in terms of the specific frequencies/whatever that give rise to color experiences. This is different than birth reflectance and atmospheric filtration

  • WebShamanWebShaman Member Posts: 487
    I know that light is a spectrum - but the light spectrum is made up of frequencies (and this determines the color of the light in the form of waves - thus, short wave frequency is blue, and long wave frequency is red, etc). You know, Ultra-violet and infra-red...that sort of thing.

    This is of course an absolute - regardless of perspective or observation, the values are constant. And it is not just how light reflects off an object that determines it's color, of course. It is also dependent on what is absorbed.

    As this conversation is not really about the scientific properties and attributes of light as it pertains to color, however, I think we can safely proceed with other definitions, etc from here.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @WebShaman Yes, but blue isn't a single frequency, but also a spectrum of blues. My main point was that you won't ever see a single frequency radiation, even from a controlled source like a laser. Never.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    in PnP Project Image is a Illusion/Alteration spell. the illusion component is the image itself (nothing but a distraction that is incapable of interacting or being interacted with), while the alteration component changes the origination point of further spell casts to be where the image is.

    Project Image in BG's version is too powerful to even quality as a 10th level spell. It'd be a pre-fall Netheril class 11th or 12th level spell.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,797
    I'm not really sure how an illusion could actually deal damage. It could certainly do other things, for example if an illusion spell is making somebody think that someone else is hacking away at them with a sword, the attacked person might feel pain whenever he/she gets slashed, and maybe this pain could cause penalties, but it wouldn't do damage. Pain doesn't cause damage; it is generally a result of damage.

    If an illusion actually has physical effects on a person's body besides what the person's brain is doing to the body, it's not an illusion. Claiming "Because magic, of course!" doesn't change that.

  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,251
    Pain can definitely cause injury. Ask any heroin addict.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited January 2015
    Actually it does.

    Phantasms, the sub-school of illusion that can cause direct harm draw on the viewers belief to give them power. They're all higher level spells, but are all or nothing. If the user disbelieves them, they have no power at all. These spells almost all result in overloading the nervous system causing heart-attacks or similar effects that can cause indirect damage or outright death by over-straining the body internally. There are a few that will cause damage directly, but it's usually dealt as non-lethal damage instead of lethal, and is usually a result of muscles spasming due to the spells influence to the point of straining/tearing, leaving the target sore and sometimes bruised, but not truly harmed but may be rendered unconscious due to the pain. Spells that directly attack the heart, like Phantasmal Killer always deal lethal damage though, if believed but the target survives, since they've taken real internal damage due to their light heart attack.

    Glamors (images and such) are simple visual tricks (though some of the higher levels ones can also produce sounds/smells/heat) and cannot interact or be interacted with, but some of the more complex ones can be programmed to react to damage to themselves to fool those around them to thinking they're having an effect on them, unless they successfully grapple with it and realize it's not real.

    Shadow magic on the other hand is semi-real. It's built on matter pulled physically from the plane of shadows and then imbued with certain effects, based on the spell it's replicating (such as fire for a replicated fireball). Also like a Phantasm, it uses the belief of the viewer being attacked to strengthen itself, bringing it even further into reality and causing closer to real damage, though only the strongest of shadow magic spells can fully replicate a spell when believed. Lesser versions can only reach at most around 40-70% of the full effect even if the target believes it's real since the shadow-stuff (the actual proper term) is less stable and trying to slip back into the plane of shadows due to the weaker magic used to pull it into the material plane.

    Post edited by ZanathKariashi on
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