Pom Pom the Illusionist – part 3: from fear to courage

I began my character series with the development of my Illusionist character in Skyrim, in my character articles Pom Pom the Illusionist – part 1: Inspiration, and Pom Pom the Illusionist – part 2: Practice.  In today’s article I expand upon the development of my character Pom Pom, and the process I went through in defining her playstyle.

Different types of Illusion magic: a philosophical choice

As I continued to refine my playstyle as Pom Pom, I reached a point where certain spells within the Illusion school of magic began to feel inconsistent with the focus of her character.   In using Fury spells to cause my enemies to attack each other,or Fear spells to cause them to flee in a panic, I began to notice that the world was reacting to Pom Pom’s presence in a negative manner.  That, in causing enemies to attack each other, Pom Pom was still causing death, perhaps in a more insidious manner than even attacking directly.

Thus I began to explore the more defensive focused parts of the Illusion school of magic, in enabling Pom Pom’s ally to have a greater Stamina and Health pool, the Courage spell paired well with Healing Hands from the Restoration school of magic.  With those two spells Pom Pom’s mechanics became focused on protecting and strengthening her ally but not causing harm directly.


(Healing Helga as she fights off a troll)

However, the pivotal point for Pom Pom came when she and her ally Helga found themselves in a cave surrounded by trolls. They did overwhelming amounts of damage, and Pom Pom could not heal her ally fast enough to win the fight.  This is when the Calm spell came to play a major role in Pom Pom’s playstyle.  By calming the extra trolls Pom Pom and her ally were able to engage one troll at a time and come out victorious.

The introduction of Calm spells adds to Pom Pom’s arsenal of indirect influence on an engagement, but more importantly opens up an avenue for pacifism and protection to be the hallmarks of her playstyle.

pp-pt-3-2(Calm is now a critical crowd control tool in Pom Pom’s playstyle, which focuses on pacifying enemies and avoiding conflict when possible)

Pom Pom the Restoration Illusionist 

After some more time tweaking Pom Pom’s playstyle, I have distilled her essence further.  Pom Pom’s primary focus is on pacifying enemies, enabling her allies with courage, and protecting her allies with healing. I am now focusing Pom Pom on the following skills:

  • Illusion: magic to pacify her enemies and strengthen the resolve of her allies, to sneak undetected, or hide in plain sight.
    • Spells used:
      • Calm – Creatures and people up to level 9 won’t fight for 30 seconds.
      • Courage – Target won’t flee for 60 seconds and gets some extra health and stamina.
  • Restoration: to heal herself and her companions, as well as banish the undead
    • Spells used:
      • Healing – Heals the caster 10 points per second.
      • Healing Hands – Heals the target 10 points per second, but not undead, atronachs, or machines.

Below is some gameplay footage of my favorite early moments using  Illusion and Restoration: Calm to pacify enemies, Courage to strengthen her companion’s combat prowess, and Healing Hands to infuse her ally with health.


This is the third installment in my character series titled Pom Pom the Illusionist, if you enjoyed it please feel free to read through the other articles within the series. I welcome discussion on this topic and if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please do so in the comments below, or write in to playprofessor@gmail.com.

Andrew Mantilla is a ludologist and video game journalist for Play Professor.  You can check out more of his content on FacebookInstagramand Youtube.

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