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Darkvision through a telescope


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Jack Simth

First Post
Why would a form of vision that doesn't use light benefit from a device that bends light such as a telescope? No effect beyond the normal darkvision range.
 

Rhun

First Post
I'd say it was the DM's call on this one. But once you make a ruling, make sure you stick with what you decide.
 

darthkilmor

First Post
Jack Simth said:
Why would a form of vision that doesn't use light benefit from a device that bends light such as a telescope? No effect beyond the normal darkvision range.
But what DOES darkvision use? Infrared? X-ray? Superman-O-vision?

This is a fun argument when you start thinking about the physics of something thats pretty much make-believe.

I'd probably handle it as there's a special telescope that only works with darkvision, and increase the price 50%. but i could be considered a RBDM so...
 

frankthedm

First Post
Actually through a telescope you see 0' with darkvision.

The lense is either black or white. Take your pick, but either way, you don't see through it.
 

Darkvision doesn't say it is stopped by transparent objects. You'd think they'd mention that with darkvision you can't see through glass.

Or, y'know, water and air. I bet those aboleth love their darkvision.
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
Through a telescope things look bigger. Using it in the dark, with darkvision then things within the range (60' for example) look bigger.
 

frankthedm

First Post
RangerWickett said:
Darkvision doesn't say it is stopped by transparent objects. You'd think they'd mention that with darkvision you can't see through glass.

Or, y'know, water and air. I bet those aboleth love their darkvision.
Air and water do not seem to be consided objects in this rulset. If either were, rays and most other effects could not pass through them. Glass is an object, thus to darkvision it is either black or white.
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
I'd like to know what you are interpretting to get that darkvision is blocked by transparent objects.

SRD

Darkvision is the extraordinary ability to see with no light source at all, out to a range specified for the creature. Darkvision is black and white only (colors cannot be discerned). It does not allow characters to see anything that they could not see otherwise—invisible objects are still invisible, and illusions are still visible as what they seem to be. Likewise, darkvision subjects a creature to gaze attacks normally. The presence of light does not spoil darkvision.


from the Darkvision spell

Darkvision is black and white only but otherwise like normal sight.

Normal sight is not blocked by transparent objects.

You could even read a book with 3rd's version of Darkvision (paper is white, ink is black). So I'm failing to see how glass blocks it.
 

Pyrex

First Post
Whizbang Dustyboots said:
Looking at a pirate ship in the dark with only one lantern on deck, using a spyglass and darkvision.

Does the darkvision help?
[HouseRules]
I'd probably not allow it with a typical spyglass, but I'd allow for construction of (or an import from the Underdark) a spyglass with alchemically-treated crystal lenses to work just fine with Darkvision.
[/HouseRules]
 

Kahuna Burger

First Post
If the pirate ship is within the range of the darkvision (usually 60 feet, I think), it works, if not, it doesn't. Unlike lowlight vision which interacts with penalties from distance, darkvision has a clearly defined cutoff - to this point you see in spite of the dark, beyond this point you do not, the end. The spyglass is not magically moving your point of reference to another location like scrying would, it's just making the things you have line of sight to look bigger. I wouldn't prevent it from giving the normal benifits of darkvision in range, but I would not allow it to extend the range of darkvision either.
 


frankthedm

First Post
Bagpuss said:
I'd like to know what you are interpretting to get that darkvision is blocked by transparent objects.
Mainly because those objects are transparent to light which darkvision does not operate by. I feel interpreting in this way, while it IS a bit of a stretch, is not completely invalid and anything that takes darkvision down a notch is a good thing.
 

Matthias_Gloom

First Post
If we step back a couple of E's, we find that darkvision used to be infravision. I don't think infrared light has a 60' range cap. But then, infravision had a 60' range too.

I suppose it isn't supposed to make sense?

Edit: Due to the index of refraction of glass, infrared is almost completely reflected anyway.
 
Last edited:


Jack Simth

First Post
darthkilmor said:
But what DOES darkvision use? Infrared? X-ray? Superman-O-vision?

This is a fun argument when you start thinking about the physics of something thats pretty much make-believe.

I'd probably handle it as there's a special telescope that only works with darkvision, and increase the price 50%. but i could be considered a RBDM so...
Well, whatever it is, it's specifically not light (which, if you're using a scientific definition of light, includes infrared and x-ray, plus a lot of other stuff). It works great for a fixed distance and suddenly cuts off. Can't say "it's magic" though, as it's specifically an extraordinary ability. It might be a form of blindsense, except that it operates by different rules (it doesn't discern illusions, and doesn't location invisible things, for instance) and still relies on having sight.

It's imaginary - it doesn't really have physics attached. A telescope does (it's based on bending light) and darkvision specifically does not use light. Thus, a telescope is useless (in theory, at least).
 

Pagan priest

First Post
I rather like that idea about a darkvision telescope. Now the question is to decide just how far out it extends the darkvision, and does it effect regular vision at all.
 

Pyrex

First Post
[HouseRules]
I'd say no. You need different scopes for regular vision and Darkvision.

The cheapest Darkvision Spyglass would double vision ranges (just like a regular Spyglass) and would cost 2,000gp (Twice the cost of a standard spyglass).

A x5 range-multiplier would probably be the best I'd allow for portable equipment and would probably cost around 10,000gp.

Anything better than that would be fantastically expensive and would be fixed in place in an tower/observatory.
[/HouseRules]
 

Zurai

First Post
frankthedm said:
Glass is an object, thus to darkvision it is either black or white.
There is absolutely NO rules support for this in any way, shape, or form. Further, you seem to be completely misunderstanding the term "black and white" as it relates to vision. Darkvision is greyscale - they presumably didn't use "greyscale" because it's a technical term and everyone at least gets the gist of "black and white".
 

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