Enchantment and Illusionism

“Enchantment: Fire in the Mind” and “Illusionism: Smoke and Mir­rors” by Mon­goose Pub­lish­ing. Two “Encyclopedia: Arcane” sup­ple­ments for the 3rd Edi­tion of Dun­geon & Drag­ons for their respec­tive schools of wizardry.

These books were writ­ten to aug­ment D&D with addi­tion­al spells, mag­ic items, feats and pres­tige class­es. This was pos­si­ble because of the Open Gam­ing and D20 Licens­es for 3rd edi­tion D&D by Wiz­ards of the Coast in the ear­ly 2000’s.

I found these at the local com­ic store for a buck each. Of course I got the “Enchantment” book for the Col­lec­tion, but I picked up the “Illusion” book on a whim. Or maybe not: some­times I have found some­thing unex­pect­ed for the Col­lec­tion, and this was one of those times.

“Enchantment” starts with the cov­er image, of an old wiz­ard relax­ing, using his enchant­ment spells on the peo­ple around him. The inte­ri­or art­work is mixed, with about half being a vari­ety of images of seduc­tive enchantress­es from sev­er­al artists. The con­tent is as expect­ed: new mind con­trol­ling spells, feats which mod­i­fy spells, pres­tige class­es, and mag­ic items. There is also a sec­tion for Game Mas­ters and one for cre­at­ing Thralls. The only thing miss­ing from sim­i­lar books is doc­u­men­ta­tion on mod­i­fy­ing exist­ing skills.

The pres­tige class­es (spe­cial­ty class­es based on the stan­dard class­es) were a bit of a sur­prise. Empath and Mind­mender diverged from the clas­sic mind con­troller. The Mind­mender is actu­al­ly mind heal­er, espe­cial­ly for peo­ple rav­aged by enchanters. The Empath is a mas­ter of emo­tions, espe­cial­ly their own, and can be a heal­er or con­troller. How­ev­er, the Pup­peteer and Dark Temptress pres­tige class­es were more clas­sic. All of the class descrip­tions delve into con­sid­er­able detail on the progress of their class advancement.

The flavour text is amus­ing: half is the com­mu­ni­ca­tion between an appren­tice seek­ing a mas­ter and an evil mas­ter enchanter, the rest is the thoughts of some­one under the con­trol of an enchantress, the mus­ings of the enchantress her­self, or the med­i­ta­tions of an Empath.

All in all, this is a very good game book on incor­po­rat­ing enchanters into a D&D game. The pro­duc­tion val­ues are excel­lent, although the inte­ri­or art­work is uneven and some­times quite gener­ic. I have seen much worse.

Now for “Illusionism”.

This book is very sim­i­lar to “Enchantment” above, with the same for­mat and goals. I won’t go into much detail about it, because much of the book revolves around var­i­ous schools of illu­sion mag­ic that don’t involve any kind of mind control.

How­ev­er, I found some­thing that left me won­der­ing why it was includ­ed here.

Skill: Profession – Hypnotist (Wis: Trained Only)

One page was devot­ed to describ­ing hyp­no­tism as a skill in a fan­ta­sy set­ting. There was also a Hyp­no­tist pres­tige class, with stereo­typ­i­cal flavour text.

The skill descrip­tion is work­able, if a lit­tle cum­ber­some, and one too many dice rolls involved. The pres­tige class par­tial­ly relieves or obvi­ates some of the cum­ber­some ele­ments, and would be inter­est­ing to play.

But why was this mate­r­i­al not in “Enchantment”?

My guess was that these “Encyclopedia: Arcane” books are a stan­dard 64 page size, and there wasn’t room for this mate­r­i­al in the “Enchantment” book, so it got moved over to the (rel­a­tive­ly) clos­est school of mag­ic. The sole jus­ti­fi­ca­tion is the illu­sion spell Hyp­not­ic Pattern.

I’m just glad they did. Into the Col­lec­tion they go.

Both books are avail­able for down­load from their web­site, https://www.mongoosepublishing.com/

They also pub­lished “Fey Mag­ic” in this series. I believe there’s a copy in one of my book­cas­es, somewhere …

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