My DM is creating a new 1e campaign and wants to include starfinder elements such as items and classes to it. I'm planning on creating an spellcaster and am wondering if I should work towards the holographic eyes implants or whether to stick with traditional illusions. Is there any real advantages or disadvantages between the two? Can holograms trick robots and cameras? Are illusions more versatile? Should I just learn the holographic image spell if the dm allows it?


Holographic Eyes mimic the Starfinder spell Holographc Image, a powerful spell to which you may not otherwise have access; but by itself it is not as powerful as access to the full array of Pathfinder illusion spells.

A tiny rune is carved into your occipital lobe that is magically connected to microscopic holographic projectors implanted in your eyes. As a standard action, you can create an illusion that functions as holographic image with a spell level equal to the model number of your holographic eyes at any location you can see within range.

In this respect, the item basically is a traditional illusion because it uses magic along with technology and the illusion you create functions just like the Holographic Image spell, which your GM may not otherwise allow you to learn. Per the Holographic Image spell description:

You weave nearby photons into illusory holograms that can take almost any form you can imagine. These holograms are usually effective against cameras, robots, and living creatures.

So yes, it is usually effective against robots and cameras. The exceptions are not given, but presumably robots with Will saves and cameras monitored by people with Will saves can render it ineffective.

To translate this to Pathfinder 1E, you would need to determine which of the three types of illusion it is--it is clearly a figment. Glamers affect how people perceive things that actually exist and phantasms occur in the victim's mind... so Holographic Image creates a figment--an illusion that creates a wholly new sensory effect that anything with senses can perceive. So in this case, since Holographic Image allows a a Will save to disbelieve and the Holographic Eyes effect acts like that spell, that save would be allowed to any creature that spends a move action to interact with the hologram, as stated in the Pathfinder Rules from Ultimate Intrigue:

Figments and glamers, however, have the more difficult-to-adjudicate rule that creatures receive a saving throw to disbelieve only if they “interact” with the illusion. But what does it mean to interact with an illusion? It can’t just mean looking at the illusion, as otherwise there would be no need to make the distinction, but drawing the line can be a bit tricky. Fortunately, the rules can help to define that difference. A creature that spends a move action to carefully study an illusion receives a Will saving throw to disbelieve that illusion, so that is a good benchmark from which to work.

Illusions are more versatile than Holographic Eyes because access to illusion magic allows you to employ glamer and phantasm illusions as well as various kinds of figments. Holographic Eyes just allow you to simulate one figment illusion, albeit a powerful one that does not exist in normal Pathfinder 1E. If the GM allows the spell (and allows the spell to be cast at multiple levels, which is a feature of Starfinder), you may as well just learn it. If the GM doesn't allow your character to learn the spell, Holographic Eyes would be a nice new arrow in your illusion quiver.

Note that some technological holograms in Starfinder do not behave like illusions. For instance, a holoskin gives a bonus to Disguise rolls. It can be defeated by a good Perception roll, but it cannot be disbelieved the way an illusion can.


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