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D&D 5E Alternative for Elves' "Keen Senses"

"Keen Senses: Whenever you roll a Wisdom (Perception) check, if you dislike the roll of any d20 rolled as part of that check, you may re-roll it, though you must keep the new roll even if it is lower. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and regain all uses of it after completing a long rest."

In effect, it's Elven Accuracy but for Perception, and with a limited number of uses per day, rather than usable with every perception check. Not necessarily powerful, but it gives you essentially opt-in pseudo-Advantage that stacks with actual Advantage. It's still quite possible for an elf to miss a detail, but it either requires the difficulty to be extremely high (e.g. you only have a ten percent chance to succeed on any given die) or the elf to have really fumbled.
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
There was one. You could track across stone surfaces due to the slightly different temperature of the footprints. At least, that’s the way we played.

I'm not saying it's totally impossible, my company manufactures binoculars with superconductor optronics that allow you to see a hand print on a wall for minutes after it's applied (tried them on a number of times, it's absolutely amazing), but footprints are another matter if you are wearing footwear (the binoculars above don't work that well if you are wearing almost any type of glove), and the binoculars have a sensitivity that is incredibly superior to anything found in nature. Magic can be factored in, of course, but still we never went that far with infravision.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
I'm not saying it's totally impossible, my company manufactures binoculars with superconductor optronics that allow you to see a hand print on a wall for minutes after it's applied (tried them on a number of times, it's absolutely amazing), but footprints are another matter if you are wearing footwear (the binoculars above don't work that well if you are wearing almost any type of glove), and the binoculars have a sensitivity that is incredibly superior to anything found in nature. Magic can be factored in, of course, but still we never went that far with infravision.
What can I say? We were munchkins, looking for any edge we could get.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
What can I say? We were munchkins, looking for any edge we could get.
You know what, it's incredibly refreshing to have someone admit it that frankly, thanks for that. ;)

That being said, I was not even remotely critical about the choice, you know, because as mentioned magic is magic and any sufficiently advanced magic cannot be distinguished from technology. :D

I was just mentioning that we never went this far specifically with Infravision, but in our munchkin phase we also had an official running speed (it's a shame but I can't remember the value, something like 100" maybe) that allowed us to run on water, way before Dash Parr, so...
 

ART!

Hero
Some of these ar things some tables already use, but maybe replace Keen Senses with:
Passive Persuasion
Passive Insight
Passive Stealth
Passive Arcana
Passive Nature
Passive Animal Handling
Passive Insight
Passive Performance
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Hi all. One of the houserules I have been playing with is that I give all characters and creatures proficiency in the Perception skill. This was done partially because everyone was already taking it if it was on their class list anyway, but also because I'm treating Perception more as a save and I give proficiency on all saves (along with changing the save DC formula to 10 + prof + mod to balance out the +2 to all saves everyone gets).

One thing that hadn't yet come up was the Elves' "Keen Senses" ability. We hadn't had an Elf in the game since instituting the rule, so I hadn't yet had to address it. Now, in my new game, we do have an elf. So, I'm searching for ideas on how to represent the ability now (I actually like the idea of changing it to something other than just proficiency in perception, so that elves can actually have a keen sense and not just be as good as anyone else who is proficient).

Now, the various "keen" senses abilities monsters get gives them advantage on certain kinds of perception checks. Advantage on Perception would be a big deal; +5 to passive perception and a big boost to active perception checks. But, there are ways of getting this already, and ways of countering it. Eyes of the Eagle are only an uncommon item. Cloak of Elvenkind and Boots of Elvenkind grant advantage on stealth checks, which in effect negates advantage on perception. But, it feels like it would be a bit big for a whole ability.

Any thoughts?
Perception is the most powerful skill, so its loss is felt. In its place:

Choose instead:

  • Can cast all noncostly spells you know innately, without components, and one costly spell thusly per long rest.
  • Know one slot 1 spell from any class, and can cast it per long rest.
  • Know one cantrip from any class.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
Hi all. One of the houserules I have been playing with is that I give all characters and creatures proficiency in the Perception skill. This was done partially because everyone was already taking it if it was on their class list anyway, but also because I'm treating Perception more as a save and I give proficiency on all saves (along with changing the save DC formula to 10 + prof + mod to balance out the +2 to all saves everyone gets).

One thing that hadn't yet come up was the Elves' "Keen Senses" ability. We hadn't had an Elf in the game since instituting the rule, so I hadn't yet had to address it. Now, in my new game, we do have an elf. So, I'm searching for ideas on how to represent the ability now (I actually like the idea of changing it to something other than just proficiency in perception, so that elves can actually have a keen sense and not just be as good as anyone else who is proficient).

Now, the various "keen" senses abilities monsters get gives them advantage on certain kinds of perception checks. Advantage on Perception would be a big deal; +5 to passive perception and a big boost to active perception checks. But, there are ways of getting this already, and ways of countering it. Eyes of the Eagle are only an uncommon item. Cloak of Elvenkind and Boots of Elvenkind grant advantage on stealth checks, which in effect negates advantage on perception. But, it feels like it would be a bit big for a whole ability.

Any thoughts?

You could double the elf’s maximum outdoor visibility ranges.

8E211314-801E-4705-A634-15654910E780.jpeg
 


Rune

Once A Fool
Woah, where are those? That's neat, I forgot about those.

I liked the random encounter distances from the 3E DMG for simulating hills/trees and other obstacles to vision.
Chapter 8 of the DMG, under the section on Exploration. There’s also a chart with that info on the Wilderness DM screen. Not sure about other DM screens.
 

I had a family of 'light elves' who had an ability called celestial sight. They had to activate it and it counted as a concentration spell, but while active, inanimate objects appeared to be made of translucent crystal, and living creatures glowed with an aura, so it was possible to see creatures through walls by detecting their glow, even if you couldn't make out what they were.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
The simplest way to define "nightvision" in 5e is, darkvision with unlimited range, as long as there is at least some light available, such as the stars of night, or a single candle in the distance.
 

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