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making Invisible Stalker look better

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This should be a quick one.

I think Invisible Stalker kind of steps on the toes of Aerial Servant, which in turn kind of steps on the toes of Conjure Air Elemental. (An aside: in PnP Aerial Servants are specifically not supposed to fight for you, but the ship has long since sailed for fixing that.)

I would like to make Invisible Stalkers look more like... well, invisible stalkers. I figure, give them some kind of actual animation, and apply permanent "weak invisibility" (the kind of invisibility you have after you attack someone when you are Improved Invisible), and maybe a further transparency effect to make them even more "invisible." The question is, what kind of animation to represent this kind of "stalker?" (In this version, it is an illusion spell so it need not match an actual creature from the Monstrous Compendium.)

I'm thinking maybe some kind of thief-y thing? Maybe dual-wielding? How about starting from the BG2 assassin animation that you see in the Thieves' Guild, and the Rune Assassins that attack you when you follow Rejiek Hidesman? A blade-wielding assassin that is hard to see and cannot be targeted by spells?

Any other ideas?

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If you're set on redefining the entire concept of Invisible Stalkers to actually be humanoid-esques armed with bladed weapons, the shadow thief animation is not too bad of an idea...although won't that animation make ill-fitting sounds? I don't know too much about animations, but I was under the impression there are certain sounds tied to animations.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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Well, I was already moving it to the Illusion school (Conjurers have plenty at that level, and Illusionists need some love). Then, separately, I was tweaking Mislead to strip out the clones’ animation and use the Invisible Stalker’s - it looks like just a shadow on the ground. I call it Shadow Clone and the idea is you go invisible but your shadow stays around to distract enemies. 

But now there are two spells that both, effectively, summon something that looks like a shadow. They are quite distinct under the hood, but visually very similar. So I figure, why not give the illusionary Stalker a proper (but still “invisible” i.e. very translucent) visual animation?

Doesn’t have to be humanoid… I thought of maybe using a ‘mist’ animation, but that is quite similar to the Summon Shadow spell. I can’t think of another monster that would work well. But a humanoid assassin could be cool. Maybe apply a blur effect in addition to translucency, to get across that this really isn’t a proper summoned creature, but an illusion.

Heck, maybe re-brand it as Phantasmal Killer! It’s at the wrong level and not mechanically identical, but maybe worth the cool factor just to have such an iconic PnP spell in the game. (Though maybe a better option is to make Phantasmal Killer as a targetable, mid-level variant of Simulacrum and write up a simple “attack the guy I was cloned from” script…)

Edited by subtledoctor
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It'd be cool if you could import the Evard's Black Tentacles spell animation from NWN2 (?), give it a foot circle and 60% transparency, maybe attach some rising smoke to it, too. Spooky.

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I've read somewhere that when invisible stalkers are seen with magic, they are faceless, nondescript humanoids. You could give them the doppelganger animation with high transparency and Set character tint solid at the bottom. Or some combination of these.

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