Phantasmal force is similar to the phantasmal killer, it is another powerful illusion spell. This force is supposed to be much more versatile than the rest.
Phantasmal Force Spell:
Type: 2nd-Level Illusion
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a bit of fleece)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Phantasmal Force crafts an illusion that takes place in the mind of a creature that you can see within your range. It must make an intelligent saving throw otherwise it perceives the illusion as real.
This type of illusion can cause 1d6 damage per turn, while the damage is dependent on the kind of illusion that you decide upon, which will be explained more in the section below.
It can also inflict certain conditions upon the creature depending on the illusion.
The creature, on its turn, can also make an investigation check versus your spell save DC, to try and figure out it is actually an illusion.
Who Gets Phantasmal Force?
The spell can be accessed by Bards, Sorcerers, and Wizards and they all gain this spell when they gain access to 2nd Level Spells.
This totally makes sense, as these are the classes that gain access to most of the illusion spells.
Phantasmal Force: Uses & Utility
The best thing about this illusion is its ability to impose pseudo status conditions, and it is excellent for crowd control of target.
However, the nature of this spell, and with most of the other illusion spells, the rules will vary significantly from one dungeon master to another.
For example, you can create a pit of lava around or near the creature. If the creature spent stays in lava, it would take 1d6 fire damage. You could stack it with a fear condition to force the creature through the lava to take damage.
Moreover, you can make a basket or blindfold around the creature’s eyes and until you realize that the illusion is not real (i.e., you are going to remove the basket, and your hands are going through it)
Also, you can do something similar with a swarm of bees or something. Other options include believing you are submerged in a bucket of water, in a forest fire, etc.
Like most of the other illusions, the DM has to decide how the creatures respond to it.
But this spell allows the creature to act as realistically.
If you try to ‘tie’ a creature with an illusory rope, it will try to escape and realize that the rope is an illusion when its arms pass through it.
This spell has its niche. And it can do quite well.
But it’s greatly a wild card due to its reliance on DM’s interpretation. There are some other spells that can definitely do more, and the little illusion is probably a better illusion spell when you consider the versatility, utility, and economy of spell slot.
College of Whispers Bard
Since the College of Whispers Bard is all about acquiring knowledge and then exploiting that knowledge, an illusion spell can really fit thematically and optimally.
Phantasmal Force can be used to try to extract information from a creature. It fits very well with the manipulation of this subclass.
For example, make the creature believe there is a lava pit next to it while you have it tied to a chair and threaten to throw it away if it doesn’t cooperate. The same can be done with a pool full of piranhas, sour … you get the idea.
Channel your intimate villain and let your imagination run wild.
Phantasmal Force is a good illusion spell, but others may be better suited to the target of this class.
Since magicians have subclasses based on each game mode, the illusion mage is better suited for illusion magic.
You don’t really get anything but malleable illusions, allowing you to manipulate the illusion during the spell.
Thematically it certainly fits best.
But optimally, there are better options. Phantasmal Force lends itself to creativity, but so do all illusion spells in their own way.
But since wizards can change spells from time to time, it doesn’t hurt to pick this up at lower levels. So if it doesn’t work, feel free to change it.