Retreading seeing cities and planets again (fourth time now)? It's a strawman, and I don't see the value in that. The rules in question are for encounters only. Seeing a city, the moon, or a star is not an encounter. For situations involving initiative, and when it starts, and whether you can notice something that is part of an actual encounter itself, we use these rules. For situations involving role playing aspects and campaign color you don't need any rules at all.Branduil said:The example of noticing something large in plain sight obviously already takes into account distance modifiers... it's simply referring to something anyone would notice. Putting aside a strict reading of the rules, which I still don't agree you are right on, someone can obviously see large city a mile away from a hilltop, or the moon on a cloudless night. There is no such thing as a limit to how far you can see with normal vision. None. You could theoretically see something on the other side of the universe if it was large enough.
So for encounters, large is a defined term in this game. We know what a large creature or object is (it occupies a 10' square), and it's different from a small creature or object, or a gargantuan one. The DC to see a large object that is part of an encounter that is in plain view is 0, modified by circumstances, the spot rules for seeing things, sight distances, etc.. The DC to see a small sized creature or object would be higher, and lower for a gargantuan one.