Wait a minute… Is that Lord Cragchin? I thought he was still chained up in Succubus‘s basement! And you mean to say say he’s been married to Evil Noblewoman this whole time? And shock upon surprise upon stunning revelation, Laurel tells me that the character’s name is actually “Lady Duplicity.” I suppose she’s been in enough comics at this point to earn a proper moniker. “Evil Nobelwoman” must have been her maiden name.

Any dang way, the larger point of today’s comic is that magic is never…ever…almost never…subtle. Whether it’s a matter of speaking in a strong voice for those verbal components or presenting your focus like a coked-up televangelist, folks are going to notice when you’re up to magical shenanigans. And as Bard is finding out in today’s comic, being noticed ain’t so nice when you’re pulling a Polonius impersonation.

This particular issue is on my mind at the moment because I’m looking at guest-playing as a mesmerist in an upcoming game. If you’re not familiar, the mesmerist is a bit like the beguiler over in 3.5, which is to say it’s all about deploying the tactical mind-whammies. As I read through the class guides and trawl through the years-old forum posts on the subject, the limitations of the strategy are becoming more and more worrying. You see, when you’re trying to be a spell-sneak, the little details matter a lot. In social situations, can you cast without tipping off your target? Are your opponents undead, vegetables, or otherwise immune to mind-affecting effects? How does your GM run illusions? Do they believe that the Charmed condition is a pseudo-dominate or pseudo-useless? These are important things to know before you set out dazzle the senses and beguile the mind.

And so, in preparation for a heretofore unexplored party role, what do you say we talk about subtle magic in today’s comments? When your bag of tricks is mostly filled with enchantments and mind-whammies, how do you deploy them intelligently? Is it all about buffing your save DCs into the stratosphere? Do you want a backup strategy when your mind-affecting schtick proves ineffective? And if you do want to cast mind-control on His Royal Majesty, how can you possible pull it off without getting caught? Give me all your best sneaky magic strats and clever hypnosis techniques down in the comments!


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