Ridding Elves and Half-Elves of Darkvision - Page 20
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  1. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    Yes the devs failed to see how the abundance of Darkvision makes it too easy to create an all-Darkvision party.
    Or maybe they weren't concerned that players could create an all-Darkvision party. Because why would they beit the players want to do so, why not let them?
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  2. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
    Or maybe they weren't concerned that players could create an all-Darkvision party. Because why would they beit the players want to do so, why not let them?
    Because that severely shortchanges you, at least if you run light and darkness anywhere close to resembling reality.

    For instance, on a moonless night, you can spot a cigarette from quite a distance. And in a lightless cavern system, you can pick up the light from an approaching party of heroes from far away, even when that light isn't direct, but bounces off of several cliff walls.

    That is, carrying a torch gives you away, period.

    You have always been able to create an all-Darkvision party (four Dwarves, say). The annoying difference now is that you can go Half-Elf, Gnome, Dwarf, Elf and practically replicate the "standard" adventuring party (Human, Halfling, Dwarf, Elf) and STILL gain the not inconsiderable benefit of not having to carry any light.

    And just because I've been in this discussion - no, the disadvantage on Perception isn't really a problem: most monsters have very poor Stealth. If anything, getting -5 to your score fixes the big that almost everything is trivially easy to spot!

    Besides, in many cases the dungeon provides light for you, for most of your trap-finding needs.

    Still, the advantage of not being seen means far less ambushes, which is much more beneficial than percepting in the dark is a drawback. (Especially considering the enemies are in that dark too)

  3. #193
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    We split the nine races thus:

    Darkvision: Dragonborn, Half-Orcs, Tieflings
    Shadowsight (aka Low-Light): Dwarves, Elfs, Gnomes
    Normal: Half-elves, Halflings, Humans.

    Our current party has one dragonborn, a dwarf, three elves, one human, and a half-orc.

    Since most of the party has darkvision or shadowsight, we often are using dancing lights to make darkness into dim light. Then the human can see well enough, and everyone else can see normally. Sending the dancing lights out up to the maximum range is useful for exploring and avoiding ambushes. With several casters in the group, dancing lights and light gives us ample ability to see. With some of the party with very high passive perceptions, we don't get ambushed often as well.
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  4. #194
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    Vision is like spell components... If you think it's an important part of the game, anything the devs put in the book was not going to be as noodly or as in-depth as you were going to want the rules to be. And you were going to house rule your own system into place anyway. Which is why they didn't bother making any big rule system that was just going to be ignored by most people as a result.

    Thus we can see they learned at least one important lesson from 3E.
    Last edited by DEFCON 1; Sunday, 16th June, 2019 at 03:41 PM.
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  5. #195
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    I have many diferent types of vision in my games:

    1.) Infravision - if you're a surface dwelling hunter race, you're likely exchanging darkvision for infravision. It sees into the infrared range at any distance.

    2.) Low light vison - Not a hunter, but on the surface? You get low light vision. Double the range of all lightsources, treat environmental dim light as normal light (for example, dusk hours), and treat some dark like dim light.

    3.) Darkvision - as written (the 60'/120' range is a huge limitation compared to many other visions). This is generally found on otherworldly creatures and underdark creatures. It is explained as your eyes making a dim light (black/white/grey) that only you can see, usually.

    4.) Ultravision - a secret vision that a few spellcasting races possesses. It primarily alows you to see into a range of light that spellcasters use to leave secret messages.

    5.) Devil Sight - see in any darkness.

    6.) Arcane sight - the effect of detect magic.

    7.) Tuesight - As the spell.

    8.) Tremorsense - As the ability.

    9.) Sonar - Certain creatures have this rather than darkvision. It comes with certain sound vulnerabilities, but it is not treated as dim light vision.

    When a PC is built, I give them the option of darkvision per the PHB or to opt into their race's typical vision. This is explained in game by a common mutation - some call a curse - where many races have darkvision rather than their race's normal enhanced vision.

  6. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    Because that severely shortchanges you, at least if you run light and darkness anywhere close to resembling reality.

    For instance, on a moonless night, you can spot a cigarette from quite a distance. And in a lightless cavern system, you can pick up the light from an approaching party of heroes from far away, even when that light isn't direct, but bounces off of several cliff walls.

    That is, carrying a torch gives you away, period.

    You have always been able to create an all-Darkvision party (four Dwarves, say). The annoying difference now is that you can go Half-Elf, Gnome, Dwarf, Elf and practically replicate the "standard" adventuring party (Human, Halfling, Dwarf, Elf) and STILL gain the not inconsiderable benefit of not having to carry any light.

    And just because I've been in this discussion - no, the disadvantage on Perception isn't really a problem: most monsters have very poor Stealth. If anything, getting -5 to your score fixes the big that almost everything is trivially easy to spot!

    Besides, in many cases the dungeon provides light for you, for most of your trap-finding needs.

    Still, the advantage of not being seen means far less ambushes, which is much more beneficial than percepting in the dark is a drawback. (Especially considering the enemies are in that dark too)
    Like you said, you could run an all-Darkvision parties with dwarves (or drow, etc.). Now you can do so with a more interesting (not monolithic) party selection. It plays different than not having a party where darkvision is limited. But, then, a party of "weird" races plays diffently in non-cosmopolitan urban adventure than a "normal" party. That's not a bad thing, it's just different from what you're used to.

  7. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnd4vr View Post
    We split the nine races thus:

    Darkvision: Dragonborn, Half-Orcs, Tieflings
    Shadowsight (aka Low-Light): Dwarves, Elfs, Gnomes
    Normal: Half-elves, Halflings, Humans.
    I'm curious about rationale of this selection. One would think that dwarves, living underground, would have darkvision as opposed to half-orcs (given that half-orcs are more above-ground than dwarves).

  8. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
    I'm curious about rationale of this selection. One would think that dwarves, living underground, would have darkvision as opposed to half-orcs (given that half-orcs are more above-ground than dwarves).
    Well, dwarves do spend a lot of time underground, but in all the media (books, movies, etc.) they nearly always have light sources (fireplaces, torches, lanterns, candles, etc.). Our rationale was the dwarves are adapted to seeing better in dim light due to their common use of "limited" light sources. They are not known to typically operate in absolute darkness, however. I should mention, though, Duergar have Darkvision (as do Drow Elves and Deep Gnomes).

    For Half-Orcs, it depends a lot on your game world. In someplace like Faerun, half-orcs have villiages and even towns, often living above ground. In our game, half-orcs are not common at all and often shunned by "the good folk" due to their orc nature but also often treated brutally or even enslaved by the orcs for the "human weaknesses." Due to orcs often living below ground in dark or near dark conditions, half-orcs retain enough of their orc heritage to keep their darkvision.

    Similarly, Dragonborn and Tieflings retain darkvision because of their heritage to dragons and devils.

    It also created a nice balance between the races, with three races having darkvision, three having shadowsight, and three having normal vision.
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  9. #199
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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
    Its not a holdover, in the sense that it had been gone quite while, so more of a callback - which is true of a lot if 5e, really - and, really, so is your observation. Back in the early 80s there was a very earnest, carefully thought out Dragon magazine article that put forth arguments that elves and other above-ground races should have Ultravision instead of Infravision. (Yep, D&D was that freak'n anachronistic back then.)

    In latter eds it became Darkvision (nice and fantasy-sounding) and Low-light (not s'much).

    Has anyone out there tried home-brewing this type of change?
    Yes, back in the day, I renamed and redefined them to Darksight and Nightvision. The latter was fairly conventional, seeing well in very dim light. The former was more fantastic, based on a definition of light & darkness as opposed elements, darkness being opaque to normal sight - Darkvision was the opposite, seeing clearly in total darkness, but unable to penetrate light.
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  10. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
    Vision is like spell components... If you think it's an important part of the game, anything the devs put in the book was not going to be as noodly or as in-depth as you were going to want the rules to be. And you were going to house rule your own system into place anyway. Which is why they didn't bother making any big rule system that was just going to be ignored by most people as a result.

    Thus we can see they learned at least one important lesson from 3E.
    No, that makes it sound like low-light vision is only a specialist need, and too complicated to include in the base game.

    In reality, they removed lots of things in their panic to avoid 5E ending up like 4E. Removing low-light vision was one of the less good things: sounds like a trivial change, but with irritatingly large ramifications on how you adventure.

    The minor savings in rules overhead are not worth having to deal with that many more all-Darkvision parties.

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