Ridding Elves and Half-Elves of Darkvision - Page 19
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  1. #181
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    I am adding a post here because this topic came up recently in my group. We found it difficult to reconcile how creatures of the outdoors and light would have darkvision. Clearly we came to the same conclusion: it's just a hold-over going back to 1st edition. As I got to thinking about this more, I came to the idea that elves should have Blindsight (or perhaps Truesight) but not Darkvision.

    Has anyone out there tried home-brewing this type of change? Or perhaps changing it to something new, like a Farsight (basically can see farther than average humanoids). I am starting a new adventure campaign soon, I am thinking of making this a house rule.

    Thoughts? Comments?
    Thanks.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by collin View Post
    I am adding a post here because this topic came up recently in my group. We found it difficult to reconcile how creatures of the outdoors and light would have darkvision. Clearly we came to the same conclusion: it's just a hold-over going back to 1st edition. As I got to thinking about this more, I came to the idea that elves should have Blindsight (or perhaps Truesight) but not Darkvision.

    Has anyone out there tried home-brewing this type of change? Or perhaps changing it to something new, like a Farsight (basically can see farther than average humanoids). I am starting a new adventure campaign soon, I am thinking of making this a house rule.

    Thoughts? Comments?
    Thanks.
    Since you seem open to create something new I'll describe the mechanic from 4e I miss the most: low-light vision.

    Low-light vision: you are accustomed to moving around outdoors during star-lit nights. You treat dim light at any distance as bright light, but gain no benefit in darkness.

    Darkvision changes to: you treat all dim light as bright light, and darkness out to 60 feet as dim light. You only see in black and white in darkness.

    Those with superior darkvision keeps it, as do dwarves and maybe some gnomes. Tieflings and others with normal darkvision instead gain low-light vision (flavored to suit the story).

    Having a human or other party member becomes less likely to be the difference between "we can all sneak without a light source" and "we need light for this one party member". However, those with low-light vision will still see more clearly in the light of a torch or similar; or in dim ambient light.

    I would assume that darkness would be a bit darker with these rules than with the normal rules. RAW would probably describe a slightly moonlit or just starlit night as darkness (justifying elf darkvision), while I would describe it as dim light.

    I hope this might help you and your group to figure out what you dislike about the standard rules and how you could possibly solve it.
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  3. #183
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    Wood Elf, and maybe High Elf, deserve Darkvision, carrying a nocturnal vibe.

    However, Eladrin Sun Elf must not have Darkvision, having an aura of light, or a light cantrip, instead.

    Eladrin Moon Elf probably needs Darkvision with a nocturnal vibe.



    In sum.

    Wood Elf, needs Darkvision.
    High Elf or Moon Elf, might have Darkvision or luminous aura.
    Sun Elf, needs luminous aura.

  4. #184
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    Well, since this has been necro'd...

    I would have given elves a kind of "keen vision", that treats dim light as bright light so that they wouldn't have disadvantage on Perception checks relying on sight in dim light. (And maybe doubles range, but that comes up very, very rarely.) They're used to running around at night and in dark forests, or at least their ancestors were, but they don't live in pitch darkness.

    The nifty thing is that if they then get darkvision, through magic or subclassing or something, then darkness is equal to bright light for them.

  5. #185
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    Simplifying vision into only Darkvision was something WotC did anxious to avoid 5E being a failure.

    It was not necessary. It is a mistake. I can understand why they did it, but low-light vision needs to be readded to the game.

  6. #186
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    People have been choosing character races specifically for Darkvision since it was a thing. It was one of the main reasons human characters sucked for so long. If you want a level playing field take darkvision away from almost everyone. Let them by torches. Problem solved. Keep it for the legit subterranean races and no one else.
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  7. #187
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    Yes the devs failed to see how the abundance of Darkvision makes it too easy to create an all-Darkvision party.

    Forest races (Elves, Half-Elves and Gnomes) should have low-light vision, not Darkvision.

  8. #188
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    Your thoughts were also the thoughts of the creators of C&C. Here is what they did for elves: "TWILIGHT VISION : Even under starlight, moonlight or torchlight, elves have exceedingly good vision. They can distinguish color and detail under these conditions for up to one mile but only if they are outside."

    Absent a light source they are as blind humans.

  9. #189
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    Low light is a pain in the neck to keep track of. Even when I remember there is low light, I just handwaive it. Any amount of bright light is bright within close range, and dim for a virtually unlimited distance beyond the bright light.

    Maybe low light vision is useful for scanning a distance. But really I dont care.

    I am glad the only two meaningful options are either darkvision or a bright light source. Any thing else adds more complication for less benefit.

  10. #190
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    Low light is real easy to keep track of. As soon as you're outdoors, say on a moon-lit night, you just see as normal. And in dark dungeons, you see twice as far as the humans.

    Definitely low light vision is useful to force the heroes to have a light source. But really the devs dont seem to care.

    I am sad the only two meaningful options are either darkvision or a bright light source. Any thing else adds very little complication for a major benefit.
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