Is it wrong to enjoy tricking my players?
So last night's game involved the party facing off against two opponents.. a 12th level Mage Priest (Simulacrum of Chakolece) and 11th level Undead Mageblade. But rather than a straight up fight, it began with the two of the invisible (heightened) and the Simulacrum making an Illusion of the two of them plus an undead minion.
The PCs had tactics down well. Targeted Dispel on the spell caster (they learned that one!) Move the fighters into melee with them both quickly.
I had the illusionary magepriest cast an Eldritch Wall splitting the party.
I was pretty good about giving the PCs will saves every time they physically interacted with an illusion. The Illusions never did any damage to the PCs. They missed, they themselves were missed most of the time. They seemed to miraculously evade attacks and damage from the PCs (at one point even getting hit but taking no damage). Then that stopped (the Magepriest was busy with other things) and no one seemed to notice. Granted, in the heat of battle those sorts of things can be attributed to DM overload, and every now and the one of the PCs kept saying "I disbelieve" but since he hadn't really done anything to interact with the Illusions that was sort of a moot point (not to mention he says that every session).
The net results were (a) the PC magister got left vulnerable to the real enemies and killed (although he was able to spend a hero point to recover), (b) the party blew alot of spells dealing with the illusions... I can't help but feel a little pride.
It was a challenging encounter... incidentally as soon as the illusion dropped and the invisibility was purged, the fight turned quickly against the badguys, which I think was good. It made the illusion the real challenge. And that worked out well.
We shall see if I can wrap up this adventure before I leave for X-mas. That is my goal, we shall see. I am notoriously bad at that.