Phantasmal Killer


Level: 4   Schools: Illusion/Phantasm
Range: 5 yds./level   Components: V, S
Duration: 1 rd./level   Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: 1 creature   Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast, the wizard creates the illusion of the most fearsome thing imaginable to the victim, simply by forming the fears of the victim's subconscious mind into something that its conscious mind can visualize--the most horrible beast. Only the spell recipient can see the phantasmal killer (the caster sees only a shadowy shape), but if it succeeds in scoring a hit, the subject dies from fright. The beast attacks as a 4 Hit Dice monster. It is invulnerable to all attacks and can pass through any barriers, Once cast, it inexorably pursues the subject, for it exists only in the subject's mind.

The only defenses against a phantasmal killer are an attempt to disbelieve (which can be tried but once), slaying or rendering unconscious the wizard who cast the spell, or rendering unconscious the target of the spell for its duration. To disbelieve the killer, the subject must specifically state the attempt and then roll an Intelligence check. This roll has a -1 penalty for every four levels of the caster.

Special modifiers apply to this attack: Condition Modifier Surprise -2 Subject previously attacked by this spell +1 Subject is an illusionist +2 Subject is wearing a helm of telepathy +3

Magic resistance, bonuses against fear, and Wisdom adjustments also apply. The subject's magic resistance is checked first; if the spell overcomes the resistance, the subject's fear/Wisdom bonuses (if any) then apply as negative modifiers to his Intelligence check.

If the subject of a phantasmal killer attack succeeds in disbelieving, and he is wearing a helm of telepathy, the beast can be turned upon the wizard, who must then disbelieve it or be subject to its attack and possible effects.

If the subject ignores the killer to perform other actions, such as attacking the caster, the killer may, at the DM's option, gain bonuses to hit (for flank or rear attacks, etc.). Spells such as remove fear and cloak of bravery, cast after the killer has attacked, grant another check to disbelieve the effect.


Last modified: May 3rd, 2000