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Darkvision through a telescope

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Mistwell said:
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).
Let's say the human rolls his 20, and sees the large creature in plain sight 200 feet away, starting the encounter. He shoots an arrow from his composite longbow with a -2 penalty (since the opponent is in the second range increment).

The opponent moves 10 feet back - he is now a large creature in plain sight 210 feet away.

The encounter has started. Can the human see the large creature?

-Hyp.
 

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Branduil

First Post
Mistwell said:
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).
Magnification does what it does in real life. It makes things appear larger.

If there is anything we know for certain about this issue, it's that it isn't quite simple.
We don't know that. Sure, you can make anything complicated if you try to redefine what common sense definitions mean, but there's no need to do that.

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.
Who said anything about encounters? There is no maximum range to vision. My character can see stars billions of light years away. Vision encompasses all aspects of seeing, not just encounters.

If you cannot see something for distance, then your statement of "You can effectively see up to an infinite distance" is false.
But I can, unless you tell me I can't see the stars.

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).
Quite honestly, I would walk out of a game where the DM told me I could no longer see an opponent just because he moved 10 feet back, without hiding behind cover. Surely you can see the ludicrousness of following such an interpretation of the rules to the letter? I think the spot rules are deliberately vague on what kind of bonuses can be applied to spot because the designers realized following the rules to the letter would result in inane situations like this one.

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?
Because this is exactly the kind of rules lawyering I can't stand. It's the same kind of logic that leads to things like the bag of rats trick- ignoring logic in favor of mechanical benefits. You can argue that it's technically correct according to the rules, but only a poor DM would allow such nonsense.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Hypersmurf said:
Let's say the human rolls his 20, and sees the large creature in plain sight 200 feet away, starting the encounter. He shoots an arrow from his composite longbow with a -2 penalty (since the opponent is in the second range increment).

The opponent moves 10 feet back - he is now a large creature in plain sight 210 feet away.

The encounter has started. Can the human see the large creature?

-Hyp.
Yes. The encounter started and he made his spot check. :)
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Mistwell said:
Yes. The encounter started and he made his spot check. :)
But if the creature was 60 feet away in the dark, starting the encounter when he came in range of the human's darkvision (Belt of Dwarvenkind, say), and he moves 10 feet back, can the human still see him?

If 200 feet is the maximum range of the human's vision, but he can still see the creature at 210 feet, then 200 feet is not the maximum range of the human's vision.

How far back could the large creature move on this flat open plain after the start of the encounter before the human loses sight of him? Another hundred feet? Another thousand feet?

-Hyp.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Branduil said:
Magnification does what it does in real life. It makes things appear larger.
Thanks for that. :\ Now, what does it mean in game rules terms.

We don't know that. Sure, you can make anything complicated if you try to redefine what common sense definitions mean, but there's no need to do that.
We know for sure that my opinion is a minority one that has some support, and that your position is a minority one that has some support, and that neither you nor I hold the majority position in this thread. So if it's so friggen simple, how come you disagree with most people on it? Face it, this is a complicated question, and reasonable minds differ on it.

Who said anything about encounters?
When you notice something to begin an encounter is what is being discussed. That's been made clear, to you, twice already. Even if you disagree, you pretending nobody said anything about encounters is disingenuous.

There is no maximum range to vision. My character can see stars billions of light years away. Vision encompasses all aspects of seeing, not just encounters.
See earlier response on stars and planets. And that's it for our discussion. I'm not trying to be rude, and I have nothing against you and will be happy to discuss things in other threads with you. But, the whole stars and planets argument was rehashed so many times that I just cannot see anything useful coming out of our conversation anymore. You've just been repeating the thread for a while now, and that was the ultimate thread repeat.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Hypersmurf said:
But if the creature was 60 feet away in the dark, starting the encounter when he came in range of the human's darkvision (Belt of Dwarvenkind, say), and he moves 10 feet back, can the human still see him?
Nope. The spyglass can only extend darkvision to start an encounter.

If 200 feet is the maximum range of the human's vision, but he can still see the creature at 210 feet, then 200 feet is not the maximum range of the human's vision.
200 feet is the maximum range to notice something for that event to start the encounter. The example given of a guy on a ship trying to spot the enemy with a spy glass so he can start the encounter is what I was addressing.

How far back could the large creature move on this flat open plain after the start of the encounter before the human loses sight of him? Another hundred feet? Another thousand feet?
No idea. What do you think?
 

Branduil

First Post
Mistwell said:
Thanks for that. :\ Now, what does it mean in game rules terms.
If there is no rules-specific definition for a term, assume the real-world definition applies. Simple.

We know for sure that my opinion is a minority one that has some support, and that your position is a minority one that has some support, and that neither you nor I hold the majority position in this thread. So if it's so friggen simple, how come you disagree with most people on it? Face it, this is a complicated question, and reasonable minds differ on it.
What is the majority position? I don't remember a poll being taken.

When you notice something to begin an encounter is what is being discussed. That's been made clear, to you, twice already. Even if you disagree, you pretending nobody said anything about encounters is disingenuous.

See earlier response on stars and planets. And that's it for our discussion. I'm not trying to be rude, and I have nothing against you and will be happy to discuss things in other threads with you. But, the whole stars and planets argument was rehashed so many times that I just cannot see anything useful coming out of our conversation anymore. You've just been repeating the thread for a while now, and that was the ultimate thread repeat.
You've never addressed it in the first place. The Darkvision range limit applies always, not just in encounters. If there is an equatable range limit for normal vision it should also apply at all times, not just in encounters. Please explain how this not relevant before you dismiss it out of hand once again.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Mistwell said:
Nope. The spyglass can only extend darkvision to start an encounter.
So by using the spyglass, the dwarf can start an encounter in the dark at 120 feet, but once the encounter starts, he can't actually see what it was that the encounter has started with, even with the spyglass, until it gets within 60 feet?

Are you even suggesting that he actually sees whatever-it-is at 120 feet at all, or he merely starts an encounter with something he can't see, by virtue of making a Spot check at double his darkvision range?

-Hyp.
 

Mistwell said:
Well sure, but if you take that to the logical conclusion, it means you can see twice as far. Because the point of your vision where it ordinarily became too difficult to see the necessary details are now twice as big, making it easier to see. Which means you should be able to see roughly twice as far as you could without it (which is generally how 2x Magnification works). At least, that is the rule of thumb I would use based on the item description and vision rules.
Really? So if you're in the Underdark and your only light source is a torch that illuminates out to 40 feet, you'd allow someone to use a telescope to see out to 80 feet?
 

ElectricDragon

Explorer
In an earlier edition there was a table that listed the maximum distances things could be spotted according to their size, contrast, and distance. Some things far away could be seen but few details could be made out. For example: (note that these numbers are made up and are not from this half-remembered table from a [I think] 2e book)

A Medium humanoid moving at 1000 feet is visible, but is it a human, gnoll, orc, bugbear, dwarf, elf, etc? You can't tell.

A Medium creature moving at 1500 feet, you can't tell its classification (humanoid, ooze, dragon, etc.) but you can tell some creature is there (just a moving dot on the horizon, but visible). You might could attack this creature with arrows or spells, but not knowing what it was, would you?

A castle, a keep, and a city can be seen for far longer distances.

The sun, the moon, the stars are special cases because they are extremely large and they provide their own light. A black hole is enormous but who has seen one with the naked eye? Even one closer and larger than some stars.

Alas, contrast was dropped for 3.xe to simplify things and for Spot, size is just hinted at with no size mods given for this case (which should we use: Hide, Grapple, or AC/Attack size mods).

Nevertheless, a maximum distance for Spotting something is given in the rules for each type of terrain. For example, plains is:
SRD said:
In plains terrain, the maximum distance at which a Spot check for detecting the nearby presence of others can succeed is 6d6×40 feet, although the specifics of your map may restrict line of sight.
So, 1,440 feet in plains terrain (less is more likely). This upper limit depends less on individual stats and skills than on the terrain, it seems.

Also, with darkvision, it can also be modified by a turn in the corridor ahead, thus limiting your 60 ft. darkvision to only 10 feet. Thus a monster 15 feet away is not visible to you despite your 60 ft. unwavering range. Thus with spells, PrCs, magic items, and specific conditions Darkvision range is variable, too without using the telescope.

Ciao
Dave
 

Elethiomel

First Post
ElectricDragon said:
Also, with darkvision, it can also be modified by a turn in the corridor ahead, thus limiting your 60 ft. darkvision to only 10 feet. Thus a monster 15 feet away is not visible to you despite your 60 ft. unwavering range. Thus with spells, PrCs, magic items, and specific conditions Darkvision range is variable, too without using the telescope.
That's not what's being discussed. This will hold true for any sort of vision (except things like blindsight through tremorsense), and is what I already pointed out - circumstance modifiers to vision range doesn't affect maximum Darkvision range. You can spot something in the dark at the shorter of the two ranges, but maximum Darkvision range remains the same, even if you can't see that far due to other circumstances.
 

ElectricDragon

Explorer
Really?

Then
Beginning of the End said:
So if you're in the Underdark and your only light source is a torch that illuminates out to 40 feet, you'd allow someone to use a telescope to see out to 80 feet?
This also is not being discussed.

But the maximum distance for normal vision is being discussed. And I found it in the SRD.

Ciao
Dave
 

Matthias_Gloom

First Post
Going back to the OP, I'm curious which boat had the lantern? If the lantern was on the same boat as the character, would his darkvision be active at all? If the lantern was on the boat he was looking at with his spyglass, why would he need darkvision to see it?
 

Elethiomel

First Post
ElectricDragon said:
But the maximum distance for normal vision is being discussed.
Yes, it is. Which means that things like an obstruction 10' away are pretty irrelevant to the discussion. That obstruction will be there no matter if it's dark, sunlight, or if the character uses a spyglass. The situation has no bearing on maximum ranges of vision (other than blindsight through tremorsense), it only has bearing on whether you can see through solid, opaque matter.
 

Slaved

First Post
Elethiomel said:
This will hold true for any sort of vision (except things like blindsight through tremorsense), and is what I already pointed out - circumstance modifiers to vision range doesn't affect maximum Darkvision range. You can spot something in the dark at the shorter of the two ranges, but maximum Darkvision range remains the same, even if you can't see that far due to other circumstances.
Exactly.
 

ElectricDragon

Explorer
Ignore the quote from the SRD if you want. It still applies as an example of what the maximum distance is for Spot checks to notice the nearby presence of others, by terrain type. Listed in the SRD.

Ciao
Dave
 

Jhulae

First Post
I tend to think the crux of the issue at this point is that Mistwell refuses to acknowledge (via specious arguements involving the Spot skill) that even if 'normal vision' does have a variable limit on its range, Darkvision has an absolute limit via creature type that posesses it.

Even the example given about a human and a Drow spotting things at 100' spurriously avoids the issue.

Even this example is meh, but: Can a human spot something with a spot check of 20 at 100' in broad daylight? Yes. Can a dwarf spot something with a 1000 spot check at 100' in complete darkness? No.

I actually made that point waaaaaaaay back in post 54, but, of course, it was ignored by arguements and counterpoints that have nothing to do with Darkvision having an absolute limit.

The point is, even if Mistwell's interpretation is correct about spot and 'normal vision' (which I don't believe it is, but again, not the point here), Mistwell has not given any real reply on Darkvision (which should really be the whole point of the thread), instead obscuring the issue with an unrelated Spot skill discussion.
 
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Interesting thread..

Back at the start of this I read the 'darvision works like normal vision' as a reason for the spyglass working with darkvision.

Since then, I have been swayed to the side of 'darkvisin has an absolute limit', so while a spyglass *can* be used with darkvision, but that use does not extend that absolute limit.

I think this thread points to a mechanic that should be redone to better take into account the interaction of light and distance on the types of vision.

I use an alternate spot rule thought up by Kerrick that changes the RAW spot concepts for normal vision and can easily give a mechanic to the spyglass {it would treat the target as 2 sizes larger, which provides a couple mechanical benefits}

But these rules don't address darkvision :(
 

Mistwell

Legend
Jhulae said:
I tend to think the crux of the issue at this point is that Mistwell refuses to acknowledge (via specious arguements involving the Spot skill) that even if 'normal vision' does have a variable limit on its range, Darkvision has an absolute limit via creature type that posesses it.
It's not that I don't acknowledge it, it's that it's not relevant to my position. Who cares if one is variable and one is absolute? Why does it have any impact on the debate? x2 magnification shouldn't be dependent on whether or not you reached the maximum through a variable or fixed calculation. It modifies the result, and not how you got to that result. So if the modification you choose for your game is to double the range (regardless of whether that range was arrived at through a variable or fixed equation) then it should double the range for other versions of sight as well.


The point is, even if Mistwell's interpretation is correct about spot and 'normal vision' (which I don't believe it is, but again, not the point here), Mistwell has not given any real reply on Darkvision (which should really be the whole point of the thread), instead obscuring the issue with an unrelated Spot skill discussion.
It's not obscuring the issue, you simply disagree with my position and are pretending I have not responded to it.

Here, I will break it down for you in easy bites:

1) Darkvision and Normal Vision are treated the same as far as vision, except for color;

2) Both darkvision and normal vision have a maximum range. The method of computing that maximum range differs such that darkvision more often has a fixed maximum range while normal vision more often has a variable maximum range.

2a) Sometimes, darkvision has a variable maximum range if the spot check required results in a shorter distance than the fixed range of that darkvision. For example, a Drow in the dark has a fixed range of 120' for darkvision, but if they roll a modified 10 on their spot check they can still only spot something 100' a way for an encounter.

2b) Sometimes normal vision has a fixed range for the terrain type. For example, a human in sunlight with a +20 spot modifier usually has a variable range from 200 to 400 feet normal vision, but if they are in dense forest they still have a fixed maximum range (20 to 190 feet, depending on the 2d6×10 die roll the DM made before you made your spot check).

Regardless, for any given situation both have a maximum range.

3) If in your game you interpret the x2 magnification effect of a spy glass to extend the maximum range you can see things by x2 (instead of increasing the size category of the thing seen by one category for spot checks, which is the other competing proposed method), then because darkvision and normal vision are treated the same except for color, you should also double the maximum range of darkvision when using a spy glass.

That's the contention. You might not agree with it, but I definitely am offering the reason why darkvision would be extended by a spy glass, and why it's related to normal vision maximum ranges through the "treated the same" rule for normal and darkvision.

I sure wish people would get off the "if you don't agree with me you must be wrong or avoiding the question" as opposed to "if you don't agree with me perhaps this is just a case of two reasonable minds differing on the interpretation of the rules". It's really not productive to continue to bash people for disagreeing with your interpretation.

And as I predicted much earlier in this thread, the longer it goes on the more redundancy in the thread, and the more aggression there seems to be in the responses. That's a real drag, and makes most people (including me) want to avoid this thread.

To try and get things back on track I would ask those of you who have not expressed an opinion on the effects of a spy glass to detail what effect a spy glass would have in your game for normal vision. If it's not "increases the size category by 1 for spot checks", nor "increases the maximum range for that check by x2", then what does it do in your game?
 
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Mistwell,
I think the what Jhulae is saying is that darkvision has an absolute maximum limit that can not be modified. Sure, the spot rules may preclude spotting someone at a shorter distance, but the absolute maximum, as listed in the race/feat/item is not exceeded. Therefore no doubling the range through the use of a normal spyglass.

You apparently see the darkvision absolute maximum range as something that can be modified, and you point to the normal vision rules under the Spot skill as evidence.

However, normal vision does not have an absolute maximum limit listed in the race/feat/item that provides it. Darkvision does.

Yes, I agree this is silly game design. All visions should work on the same concept and use visual ranges {or some similar mechanic} instead of dropping a wall at 60 feet...


and yes, longer threads tend to lead to the same disagreement.. specfically when the disagreement rises from a definition difference that neither party thinks to clarify. :)
 

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