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Darkvision through a telescope

Mistwell

Legend
Branduil said:
Looking more closely at the rules, it says "a penalty applies on such checks." What does it mean by such checks? Spot checks to determine the beginning of an encounter.
Yes, which is one of the two reasons I keep saying "encounter" in our debate, and why I stress that a city or the moon is not generally an encounter.

In other words, only in this specific use of the spot skill does the penalty apply. It says nothing about a penalty for opposed Hide checks,
EXACTLY my point. It's NOT about hide checks. It's about starting an encounter, in general, regardless of hiding or out in the open. Same stuff as in the DMG.

or spotting things father in the distance.
Now that part makes no sense. The rule is a distance rule. Of course it is about spotting things at a distance. That's all the rule is about in fact.

And it seems this use of spot checks is entirely optional: "The Dungeon Master MAY call for spot checks."
No, sorry, may in that context is not an "this rule is optional". It's an alert to be prepared for such an happenstance, and how it is adjudicated. Optional rules are pretty well spelled out, and are usually in a sidebar. That's a skill check rule right there, so it is no more optional than any other rule. "May" is in fact used in a LOT of places in the rules, where the context is that it's not an option just a normal use of the word "May".

So really I don't see how this optional use of the spot skill relates to the telescope argument at all.
If your argument is that the spot rule about distance is optional, I think you will be all alone in that one. It's not a strong argument in my opinion (and I suspect in just about everyone else's as well).
 

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Branduil

First Post
Mistwell said:
Yes, which is one of the two reasons I keep saying "encounter" in our debate, and why I stress that a city or the moon is not generally an encounter.



EXACTLY my point. It's NOT about hide checks. It's about starting an encounter, in general, regardless of hiding or out in the open. Same stuff as in the DMG.



Now that part makes no sense. The rule is a distance rule. Of course it is about spotting things at a distance. That's all the rule is about in fact.



No, sorry, may in that context is not an "this rule is optional". It's an alert to be prepared for such an happenstance, and how it is adjudicated. Optional rules are pretty well spelled out, and are usually in a sidebar. That's a skill check rule right there, so it is no more optional than any other rule. "May" is in fact used in a LOT of places in the rules, where the context is that it's not an option just a normal use of the word "May".



If your argument is that the spot rule about distance is optional, I think you will be all alone in that one. It's not a strong argument in my opinion (and I suspect in just about everyone else's as well).
It's possible I'm wrong, however that's still irrelevant to the main argument, which is whether or not there is a maximum range to normal vision. Unless you can point to a rule which states the maximum range for normal vision it's simply incorrect to compare it to Darkvision.

I think this thread does show that the rules for spot are extremely poorly written. They really should be clear enough that debate like this isn't necessary.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Branduil said:
Looking more closely at the rules, it says "a penalty applies on such checks." What does it mean by such checks? Spot checks to determine the beginning of an encounter. In other words, only in this specific use of the spot skill does the penalty apply. It says nothing about a penalty for opposed Hide checks, or spotting things father in the distance.
Huh... I've never noticed that before.

The Listen DC modifiers look to be globally applicable, but the way the Spot description is written, the distance penalty and distraction penalty are specifically for determining encounter distance.

-Hyp.
 

Branduil

First Post
Hypersmurf said:
Huh... I've never noticed that before.

The Listen DC modifiers look to be globally applicable, but the way the Spot description is written, the distance penalty and distraction penalty are specifically for determining encounter distance.

-Hyp.
Well, I think they do mean for them to be universally applicable. It's just poorly written.

In any case I don't think the distance rules make much sense. The difference between 10 and 20 feet is many magnitudes larger than the difference between 200 and 210 feet. It really doesn't make sense to have a linear penalty, though I guess a more realistic system would require more computation. Hopefully 4e will make spot both logical and easy to use.
 

Elethiomel

First Post
Mistwell said:
Yes, it's variable from character to character, and object to object, and circumstance to circumstance (which I said earlier). However, for any given character, object/creature, and circumstances, there is a fixed maximum range you can notice something. Same goes for many uses of Darkvision as well. I gave the example of the drow vs. the human, and BOTH could only see 100' for their average roll, regardless of whether they used darkvision or normal vision.
Of course there's a fixed maximum for a given character, object/creature, and circumstance. That describes a situation. That doesn't make the "fixed distance" in any way comparable to the maximum range of Darkvision, which only depends on one variable - your Darkvision range. For a given object (I'm using the grammatical sense of object here, rather than the rules sense of it, because I find the "object/creature" grammatical construct to be inelegant.) in a given situation, the maximum distance at which you can spot that object may be less than your Darkvision range. As long as it is dark, however, the maximum distance that you can spot any object is never larger than your Darkvision range.
 

chriton227

First Post
Mistwell said:
If seeing the Dragon was the start of the encounter (it isn't by the way in most games - unless you actually go to the melee grid to move a mile until you arrive, all while in initiative). Unless your spot check was high enough, if it were the encounter, then absolutely correct.
Here is where this interpretation of the rules breaks down for me. Take the following situation:

Colossal Red Dragon is circling a keep blasting it with its fire breath every chance it gets. The keep is in a clear area. Standing 2000' away is a L20 wizard with Alertness, Skill Focus(Spot), max ranks in spot (11 due to cross-class), and a +3 wisdom. That would be a +19 spot, which is just about as good as you could reasonably expect from a pure class wizard. If I understand your interpretation of the rules, since we are not in an encounter, at that distance it should be easy for the wizard to see the dragon attacking the keep. That makes sense to me, it is a flame-spitting creature the size of a medium commercial jet airplane less than half a mile away.

The wizard player decides that he needs to distract the dragon and save the keep, and tries to cast his prepared Enlarged Ice Storm (range is 800' + 80'/caster level, or 2400'). Since we are now in an encounter, the wizard needs to make a spot check at a -200 penalty for distance. Even with his +19 spot, the DM would have to give him a +161 circumstance bonus to be able to see the dragon that he could already see on a natural 20 (by the spot rules there are no bonuses or penalties for size, those are only in the hide rules, and the dragon isn't hiding). Had he been using an Enlarged Acid Arrow, he would have had the same spell range, but would need to make an attack roll at no range penalty.

If I were the GM in this situation and told the player to make a spot check when they declared they wanted to cast the spell, then told them they suddenly couldn't see the dragon, I would expect to be on the receiving end of a lot of yelling and the proud GM of a game looking for a replacement player. I would also feel the need to call for spot checks all the time. Hasted fighter with a move of 60' wants to charge an orc shaman standing 120' away casting a summon monster spell? He would have to make a spot check (I hope he can make a DC12). 4th level sorcerer casting Acid Arrow? It doesn't matter that his range on the spell is 560', he would be lucky to have a +15 spot assuming he spent both feats, 12 skill points, and put an 18 in Wisdom, which would limit him to effectively 250' reliable range on the spell (taking 10 on spot, it would take 20 rounds to take 20). In fact, at 20th level the sorcerer still would have trouble seeing far enough to take advantage of the range of a 3rd caster level wand of Acid Arrow.

That interpretation of the spot rules may be debatably correct (I am not saying it is, but that it is debatable), but I would never enforce that interpretation on my players, nor would I play in a game where that interpretation was enforced. If that works well for your group, more power to you, that just means that your group's priorities and preferences are different than mine. For my group, requiring spot checks only for seeing creatures that are hiding or concealed, or for noticing fine details (I have seen plenty of "Spot DC 20 to notice this detail" in published material) is both more realistic and more fun.

I personally feel that your position is presenting a false dichotomy, either you have to make spot checks for everything, or everything is visible at any distance. My viewpoint is that there is a middle ground. It requires the DM to use good judgement, but it has worked so far for me. In the case of the red dragon attacking the keep, I might call for a spot check and based on the result, give a varying level of information. A DC 5 would easily see that there is a creature attacking the keep. A 15 would identify the creature as a red dragon (it's a distinctive creature, assuming the character would recognize one when he saw one). It might be a DC 35 or 40 to identify the dragon as Pyroflex, the dragon plaguing the area that the party has encountered before who has a distinctive patterning on his wings. A DC 60 might catch a glint off the amulet of natural armor that the dragon is wearing, although I'd only tell the player that the catch a glint from something around its neck. In this way there is value to the spot skill, but it also passes my internal "does this make sense" check.
 

werk

First Post
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.
I love this (distracting) argument because you can't see those things using darkvision, which is what the OP is about. If it is outside the range of darkvision you can't see it, no matter how easy it is to see using another mode of vision.

I work with xrays to see (and measure) bones. When using 'xray vision' I can see bones, but I can't see skin or hair...when using regular vision I can't see bones... This does not seem to be a contradiction to me, specialized modes for specialized purposes.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
Branduil said:
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.
What kind of 'theoretically' is that? Theoretically within the D&D rules or within the rules of real-world physics?

I'm definitely with Mistwell, btw. regarding spotting distances for encounters.

As you've been pointing out earlier, the situations where the far shot feat is actually useful are pretty limited. Unless you have access to a scrying spell/device or you have spotted a creature from a closer range and later retreated back to make use of your extended firing range (without losing sight to the creature), it'll be practically useless.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Branduil said:
It's possible I'm wrong, however that's still irrelevant to the main argument, which is whether or not there is a maximum range to normal vision. Unless you can point to a rule which states the maximum range for normal vision it's simply incorrect to compare it to Darkvision.
We are discussing that very rule.

If you are a human with a +0 bonus to spot, and there is a large creature in plain sight in good lighting that is a foe, the maximum range for normal vision to be able to notice that creature for purposes of an encounter is 200 feet (a natural 20 on your spot check). That is that character's maximum range for normal vision for that encounter. That is what the spot rules say, and what the DMG says about starting an encounter as well, and what the DC chart says.

If you do not agree, why not? How is that not a maximum range? Maximums can vary depending on the circumstances (they do with lots of skill checks). It doesn't make them any less a maximum however because of those potential modifiers.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Elethiomel said:
Of course there's a fixed maximum for a given character, object/creature, and circumstance. That describes a situation. That doesn't make the "fixed distance" in any way comparable to the maximum range of Darkvision, which only depends on one variable - your Darkvision range.
No it doesn't. Darkvision range is just another limit on the check along with many others. Darkvision has the same variable modifiers as normal vision for spotting things. I gave the example of the drow and the human, and both had an average range of 100' to start the encounter, and the maximum range of darkvision played no role despite darkvision being used by the drow.

For a given object (I'm using the grammatical sense of object here, rather than the rules sense of it, because I find the "object/creature" grammatical construct to be inelegant.) in a given situation, the maximum distance at which you can spot that object may be less than your Darkvision range. As long as it is dark, however, the maximum distance that you can spot any object is never larger than your Darkvision range.
Correct, unless you use a spy glass and the interpretation I have offered. In my view, the maximum range for darkvision is no different than the maximum range of normal vision, despite Normal Vision being variable based on the creature and object in question more often than Darkvision is variable based on the creature or object in question. Heck, the darkvision range itself is variable based on the character in question as well, since there are all sorts of things that can modify your darkvision range.
 

Mistwell

Legend
chriton227 said:
Here is where this interpretation of the rules breaks down for me. Take the following situation:

Colossal Red Dragon is circling a keep blasting it with its fire breath every chance it gets. The keep is in a clear area. Standing 2000' away is a L20 wizard with Alertness, Skill Focus(Spot), max ranks in spot (11 due to cross-class), and a +3 wisdom. That would be a +19 spot, which is just about as good as you could reasonably expect from a pure class wizard. If I understand your interpretation of the rules, since we are not in an encounter, at that distance it should be easy for the wizard to see the dragon attacking the keep. That makes sense to me, it is a flame-spitting creature the size of a medium commercial jet airplane less than half a mile away.

The wizard player decides that he needs to distract the dragon and save the keep, and tries to cast his prepared Enlarged Ice Storm (range is 800' + 80'/caster level, or 2400'). Since we are now in an encounter, the wizard needs to make a spot check at a -200 penalty for distance. Even with his +19 spot, the DM would have to give him a +161 circumstance bonus to be able to see the dragon that he could already see on a natural 20 (by the spot rules there are no bonuses or penalties for size, those are only in the hide rules, and the dragon isn't hiding). Had he been using an Enlarged Acid Arrow, he would have had the same spell range, but would need to make an attack roll at no range penalty.

If I were the GM in this situation and told the player to make a spot check when they declared they wanted to cast the spell, then told them they suddenly couldn't see the dragon, I would expect to be on the receiving end of a lot of yelling and the proud GM of a game looking for a replacement player. I would also feel the need to call for spot checks all the time. Hasted fighter with a move of 60' wants to charge an orc shaman standing 120' away casting a summon monster spell? He would have to make a spot check (I hope he can make a DC12). 4th level sorcerer casting Acid Arrow? It doesn't matter that his range on the spell is 560', he would be lucky to have a +15 spot assuming he spent both feats, 12 skill points, and put an 18 in Wisdom, which would limit him to effectively 250' reliable range on the spell (taking 10 on spot, it would take 20 rounds to take 20). In fact, at 20th level the sorcerer still would have trouble seeing far enough to take advantage of the range of a 3rd caster level wand of Acid Arrow.

That interpretation of the spot rules may be debatably correct (I am not saying it is, but that it is debatable), but I would never enforce that interpretation on my players, nor would I play in a game where that interpretation was enforced. If that works well for your group, more power to you, that just means that your group's priorities and preferences are different than mine. For my group, requiring spot checks only for seeing creatures that are hiding or concealed, or for noticing fine details (I have seen plenty of "Spot DC 20 to notice this detail" in published material) is both more realistic and more fun.

I personally feel that your position is presenting a false dichotomy, either you have to make spot checks for everything, or everything is visible at any distance. My viewpoint is that there is a middle ground. It requires the DM to use good judgement, but it has worked so far for me. In the case of the red dragon attacking the keep, I might call for a spot check and based on the result, give a varying level of information. A DC 5 would easily see that there is a creature attacking the keep. A 15 would identify the creature as a red dragon (it's a distinctive creature, assuming the character would recognize one when he saw one). It might be a DC 35 or 40 to identify the dragon as Pyroflex, the dragon plaguing the area that the party has encountered before who has a distinctive patterning on his wings. A DC 60 might catch a glint off the amulet of natural armor that the dragon is wearing, although I'd only tell the player that the catch a glint from something around its neck. In this way there is value to the spot skill, but it also passes my internal "does this make sense" check.
Well sure you should go with your instincts in any given situation. I was only discussing what it seems the rules say, to help out a guy that was looking for a rules interpretation that would allow darkvision to be extended a bit through a spy glass. If your instincts tell you a given situation shouldn't need a spot check then by all means don't call for one. This is one of those rules that is usually specific to DMs, since the DM is the one calling for the check to be able to start an encounter the DM is presenting.
 

Elethiomel

First Post
Mistwell said:
Elethiomel said:
Of course there's a fixed maximum for a given character, object/creature, and circumstance. That describes a situation. That doesn't make the "fixed distance" in any way comparable to the maximum range of Darkvision, which only depends on one variable - your Darkvision range.
No it doesn't. Darkvision range is just another limit on the check along with many others. Darkvision has the same variable modifiers as normal vision for spotting things. I gave the example of the drow and the human, and both had an average range of 100' to start the encounter, and the maximum range of darkvision played no role despite darkvision being used by the drow.
"No it doesn't"? That doesn't seem to have any bearing at all on what I'm saying here. Let me try to put it another way - I might have been unclear.

The distance at which you can spot something because of spot modifiers has no bearing on your maximum Darkvision range.
"Your maximum Darkvision range" is the range of your Darkvision given by race, feat, spell, item, or other source. It remains the same even if you can't spot a Medium creature with a +50 hide modifier at that range. You still won't be able to see that creature, but that doesn't mean that the range of your Darkvision has decreased.



Mistwell said:
Correct, unless you use a spy glass and the interpretation I have offered. In my view, the maximum range for darkvision is no different than the maximum range of normal vision, despite Normal Vision being variable based on the creature and object in question more often than Darkvision is variable based on the creature or object in question. Heck, the darkvision range itself is variable based on the character in question as well, since there are all sorts of things that can modify your darkvision range.
Yes, it's variable based on the character, but only on that. I'm trying to say here that the maximum range at which you can spot something and the maximum range of Darkvision are orthogonal, and from my interpretation I see the spyglass as only affecting the maximum range at which you can spot things, not the maximum range of Darkvision.
 

Mistwell

Legend
I was responding to "only depends on one variable - your Darkvision range." with "no it doesn't". As in "No, it does not depend on one variable, but instead depends on a lot of variables".

Elethiomel said:
The distance at which you can spot something because of spot modifiers has no bearing on your maximum Darkvision range.
It has bearing if in your game a spy glass would extend the maximum normal vision range of a creature, in my opinion. I believe that, if you would extend the maximum range of normal vision with a spy glass, then because darkvision is supposed to be treating exactly like normal vision except for color, you should give the same treatment to darkvision and extend it's maximum range. And it doesn't matter what the source of those maximum ranges might be, whether it is a fixed number or a variable number or based on a skill check or a racial ability or whatever.

Yes, it's variable based on the character, but only on that.
I disagree. It's variable based on the size of the object/creature you are trying to view, your spot check which is directly influenced by your race, the distance of that object/creature, the terrain, the lighting, and circumstantial modifiers such as fog or your prior knowledge of the location of the creature/object relative to you. There are a lot of variables.

I'm trying to say here that the maximum range at which you can spot something and the maximum range of Darkvision are orthogonal, and from my interpretation I see the spyglass as only affecting the maximum range at which you can spot things, not the maximum range of Darkvision.
Ooo orthogonal! I have not used that word since math classes in high school.

I understand your view of the rules is that it would extend the range of normal vision but not darkvision, and I disagree for the reasons I just gave. Darkvision should be treated just like normal vision, except for color. Yes, darkvision has a maximum range. But so what? Normal vision does as well (variable as that limit might be), and both are impacted by a variety of modifiers. So if your human character at day can normally notice something at 200 feet, but can notice things at 400 feet with a spy glass, then I think your drow character at night that can normally notice something at 120 feet with darkvision can instead see 240 feat with a spy glass. That would be a more consistent reading of the rules in my opinion.
 

Elethiomel

First Post
Mistwell said:
II understand your view of the rules is that it would extend the range of normal vision but not darkvision, and I disagree for the reasons I just gave. Darkvision should be treated just like normal vision, except for color. Yes, darkvision has a maximum range. But so what? Normal vision does as well (variable as that limit might be), and both are impacted by a variety of modifiers. So if your human character at day can normally notice something at 200 feet, but can notice things at 400 feet with a spy glass, then I think your drow character at night that can normally notice something at 120 feet with darkvision can instead see 240 feat with a spy glass. That would be a more consistent reading of the rules in my opinion.
Excepting colour, Darkvision and normal vision work the exact same way when it comes to spotting things... until you hit Darkvision's maximum range. That's how I see it. I see Darkvision's maximum range as fundamentally different from the maximum range at which a particular character can spot a particular object due to the character's spot skill. That's what I meant when I said orthogonal. Orthogonal isn't only used in maths, either. I suppose at this point we will just have to agree to disagree.
 

Branduil

First Post
Mistwell said:
We are discussing that very rule.

If you are a human with a +0 bonus to spot, and there is a large creature in plain sight in good lighting that is a foe, the maximum range for normal vision to be able to notice that creature for purposes of an encounter is 200 feet (a natural 20 on your spot check). That is that character's maximum range for normal vision for that encounter. That is what the spot rules say, and what the DMG says about starting an encounter as well, and what the DC chart says.

If you do not agree, why not? How is that not a maximum range? Maximums can vary depending on the circumstances (they do with lots of skill checks). It doesn't make them any less a maximum however because of those potential modifiers.
Actually, if they can be modified, they are no longer a maximum range. A character could receive a wide variety of bonuses or penalties to spot depending on circumstances. A DM could someone a +20 circumstance bonus to notice someone 200 feet away out in the open, waving a red flag. Or they could give them a -5 penalty if they're staring at a book in their hands. It does grave injury to the concept of "maximum range" to call something that can vary wildly depending on each circumstance a "maximum range."

To be more precise, Darkvision has a FIXED maximum range. It can not be more than it is based on circumstance. Even if an opponent was on fire, waving a red flag and dancing, if he was 61 feet away, a character with 60 ft Darkvision could not see him. That is the clear difference between Darkvision and normal vision. I really think you can only compare them if you twist language until it's meaningless. A maximum range is a maximum range. It is one number and it applies to everything concerning that type of vision. Regular vision does not have one maximum range that cannot be extended based on circumstances and that you cannot see anything beyond.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Elethiomel said:
Excepting colour, Darkvision and normal vision work the exact same way when it comes to spotting things... until you hit Darkvision's maximum range. That's how I see it. I see Darkvision's maximum range as fundamentally different from the maximum range at which a particular character can spot a particular object due to the character's spot skill. That's what I meant when I said orthogonal. Orthogonal isn't only used in maths, either.
Don't get me wrong...I like the word. I just had not used it since then. I liked your use of it though, and will pick it up probably hereafter.

I suppose at this point we will just have to agree to disagree.
Indeed.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Branduil said:
Actually, if they can be modified, they are no longer a maximum range.
For that event, it is a maximum range. I think you mean it's not an absolute range. But it certainly is a maximum range at that moment. At the point where the negative modifier exceed your best possible modified roll, you have gone beyond your maximum range.

By the way, there are things that extend darkvision's range as well. Does that mean it doesn't have a maximum range because things can modify it's range?

A character could receive a wide variety of bonuses or penalties to spot depending on circumstances. A DM could someone a +20 circumstance bonus to notice someone 200 feet away out in the open, waving a red flag. Or they could give them a -5 penalty if they're staring at a book in their hands. It does grave injury to the concept of "maximum range" to call something that can vary wildly depending on each circumstance a "maximum range."
I don't think anyone is decrying that grave injury. Maximum range for an event doesn't mean absolute range for all time. The maximum range my vehicle can travel on a half a tank of gas is 175 miles. Give me another gallon of gas however and my maximum range extends. Give my vehicle a hybrid engine and it extends even moree. You can have a maximum range that can be modified. It's not an absolute limit like the speed of light, just a maximum range given that event.

To be more precise, Darkvision has a FIXED maximum range. It can not be more than it is based on circumstance.
Unless you use a spy glass :)

Or unless you cast a spell, use a magic item, take a prestige class that has an ability to extend darkvision, or any of the other things that change darkvisions range.

And again, just because circumstance modifiers apply to spot and not to darkvision, it doesn't mean spot suddenly doesn't have a maximum range for any given event.

Even if an opponent was on fire, waving a red flag and dancing, if he was 61 feet away, a character with 60 ft Darkvision could not see him.
But he could. He's on fire. That's a light source, and normal vision kicks in. :)

That is the clear difference between Darkvision and normal vision. I really think you can only compare them if you twist language until it's meaningless. A maximum range is a maximum range.
Until it is changed by something. Maximum /= absolute. Neither normal vision nor darkvision have an absolute range. Both can be modified by various things in the game to extend their range. I feel a spy glass may be one of them, depending on your interpretation.

It is one number and it applies to everything concerning that type of vision. Regular vision does not have one maximum range that cannot be extended based on circumstances and that you cannot see anything beyond.
Who cares if it has more than one maximum range? If in any given event you have a maximum range, then they should be treated equally for that event, because they are supposed to be treated equally (except for color).
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Branduil said:
Even if an opponent was on fire, waving a red flag and dancing, if he was 61 feet away, a character with 60 ft Darkvision could not see him.
Of course, if he's on fire, you probably don't need Darkvision to see him :)

-Hyp.
 

Branduil

First Post
Mistwell said:
For that event, it is a maximum range. I think you mean it's not an absolute range. But it certainly is a maximum range at that moment. At the point where the negative modifier exceed your best possible modified roll, you have gone beyond your maximum range.


By the way, there are things that extend darkvision's range as well. Does that mean it doesn't have a maximum range because things can modify it's range?




I don't think anyone is decrying that grave injury. Maximum range for an event doesn't mean absolute range for all time. The maximum range my vehicle can travel on a half a tank of gas is 175 miles. Give me another gallon of gas however and my maximum range extends. Give my vehicle a hybrid engine and it extends even moree. You can have a maximum range that can be modified. It's not an absolute limit like the speed of light, just a maximum range given that event.
This is all a lot of concept-mangling. You're trying to make this more complicated than it is.

It's actually quite simple:

1) There is a maximum range for Darkvision. It applies in all circumstances. This can be modified by certain prestige classes, spells, and magic items, but it cannot be extended according to circumstance. You can see clearly up to the maximum and then your vision just cuts off.

2) There is no maximum range for normal vision. You can effectively see up to an infinite distance provided an object is large enough and in plain sight. You may not be able to see some things due to environmental effects, concealment, distance, and general awareness, but these are all circumstantial events and vary wildly from situation to situation. There is never a situation in normal vision where you can clearly see something, it moves a foot farther away, and it just disappears, assuming magic or concealment is not involved.

If you can't understand these clear and obvious differences I really don't know what to say.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Branduil said:
This is all a lot of concept-mangling. You're trying to make this more complicated than it is.
Not my fault they didn't define what x2 magnification does. Heck, even your opinion is contrary to the majority of people here (most seem to think it increases the size category of objects seen by one size, which decreases the DC and hence extends the maximum range for normal vision but would have no impact on darkvision).

It's actually quite simple:
If there is anything we know for certain about this issue, it's that it isn't quite simple.

1) There is a maximum range for Darkvision. It applies in all circumstances. This can be modified by certain prestige classes, spells, and magic items, but it cannot be extended according to circumstance. You can see clearly up to the maximum and then your vision just cuts off.

2) There is no maximum range for normal vision. You can effectively see up to an infinite distance provided an object is large enough and in plain sight.
False. There is a maximum range for normal vision. The maximum size modifier in the rules has a set DC modifier to it. Which means all creatures (ALL of them) have a maximum range for vision. There is no "infinite vision" for starting an encounter, unless you have an infinite spot check.

You may not be able to see some things due to environmental effects, concealment, distance,
If you cannot see something for distance, then your statement of "You can effectively see up to an infinite distance" is false.

and general awareness, but these are all circumstantial events and vary wildly from situation to situation. There is never a situation in normal vision where you can clearly see something, it moves a foot farther away, and it just disappears, assuming magic or concealment is not involved.
But there is. It's right there in the spot rules. What is not making sense with that? The human with a +0 bonus to spot looking at a large sized object in plain sight can see that object at 200 feet if they roll a 20. But, if that thing is at 210 feet next turn, the human cannot see it (unless the DM decides to grant some sort of spot modifier...but such modifiers can only do so much, and at some point even those won't help).

If you can't understand these clear and obvious differences I really don't know what to say.
I understand what you are saying, I simply disagree. There is a difference.
But really, we are going in circles. You are retreading ground others have already tread in this very thread several times. What is the point? We obviously simply disagree. Why not leave it at that?
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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