on Interacting with Illusions

Gordon said:

Ok Les–spent a bit of time looking around on this topic (I originally started this to figure out how to use the Hat of Disguise). Here is the best of the best: Pathfinder ruleset | Detect Magic versus Illusions | How do Illusion Spells work?

All about Illusions 1-4 by Skip Williams (this is from DnD 3.5 but still seems completely relevant) Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |Part 4

In a nutshell, I think you were missing (or re-interpreting) two things from the basic ruleset:

Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.

Studying carefully can be done without physically touching the illusion–it just takes the equivalent of a move action. You don’t necessarily have to say what you are studying carefully as part of the save–you just have to “spend” the move action to do it.

A character faced with proof that an illusion isn’t real needs no saving throw. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.

So if, for example, you do actually reach out to touch a figment there is no save needed as it is obvious it is not real when your hand goes through it. If someone specifically sees your hand go through an illusion, I would also count that as an automatic save personally. If someone says “this is an illusion” and you did not see his hand go through it then you get a +4 save. If you walk up and touch it to make sure (even after failing a save)–no save is needed as your hand going through the illusion “proves” it is an illusion.

These are simplified points–specific to how we’ve been playing Major Illusions in the game (which are Figments). And again–if you want to house rule anything that’s totally cool with me–just want to make sure you understand that is what you are doing and maybe get a clarification of what the house rule is if that is the case 🙂 –Gordon

My thoughts:

From Pathfinder SRD: 
Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief)

Creatures encountering an illusion usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion.

A successful saving throw against an illusion reveals it to be false, but a figment or phantasm remains as a translucent outline.

A failed saving throw indicates that a character fails to notice something is amiss. a character faced with proof that an illusion isn’t real needs no saving throw. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to others, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.

As pertains to silent image, what for you separates a glamer from a figment? Glamers are there, they’re just immaterial and massless veils that alter the appearance of something that is there. Figment are holograms that you can’t see thru.

From the SRD:

Figment: A figment spell creates a false sensation. Those who perceive the figment perceive the same thing, not their own slightly different versions of the figment. It is not a personalized mental impression. Figments cannot make something seem to be something else. A figment that includes audible effects cannot duplicate intelligible speech unless the spell description specifically says it can. If intelligible speech is possible, it must be in a language you can speak. If you try to duplicate a language you cannot speak, the figment produces gibberish. Likewise, you cannot make a visual copy of something unless you know what it looks like (or copy another sense exactly unless you have experienced it).

Because figments and glamers are unreal, they cannot produce real effects the way that other types of illusions can. Figments and glamers cannot cause damage to objects or creatures, support weight, provide nutrition, or provide protection from the elements. Consequently, these spells are useful for confounding foes, but useless for attacking them directly.
A figment’s AC is equal to 10 + its size modifier.

Glamer: A glamer spell changes a subject’s sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else, or even seem to disappear.

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