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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

RSA: Confusion

I won't say I've never seen or used confusion effects in my games, 'cuz I have! But it usually hasn't been the result of a spell casting. Typically it's been the "spell-like" effect of a monster or item. Looking at the BX spell descriptions, I can see why it's not a commonly chosen spell.

Foe one thing, it's 4th level MU, so it's competing for a slot against Wall of Fire, Wall of Ice, and Charm Monster (among others). Also, despite the fact it last for twelve rounds and 2HD or less targets get no save, it's a fiddly spell to run.

  • First, the number of targets is random (3d6), so you're uncertain of the result right out of the gate. 
  • Secondly, 2+1 HD and up targets have to roll their save each round. 
  • Thirdly, the confusion effect is re-rolled for each target each round with a failed save. That's a lot of rolling!
  • Finally, there is a better than 1:3 chance that the target(s) attack you anyway, and that's after they fail their save vs. spell!
Confusion is a fun effect, but it's understandable why PC/NPC wizards aren't desperate to memorize it for the day.


  1. Funny to see this; a week ago I had the players in my regular game cast 'confusion' on a group of giants (first time for that spell so far), and I had to work through the BX rules for that spell, which I'd never confronted before.

    Ultimately, it was good for the characters (several giants killed each other), but the giants that saved (per round) or still attacked the party (per round) still forced the player characters to flee with one dead among their number.

    Honestly, it was very work intensive for myself as the referee, and not clear how good the effect was for the players. Still fun, though.

    1. That's pretty much how I would envision it playing out.