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Darkvision through a telescope

Jhulae

First Post
Again, you avoid part of the issue by noting that a Drow (in your example) might not notice something more than 100' away with a poor spot, yet don't provide your answer on the dwarf with the theoretic 1000 spot check...

Mistwell said:
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?
It doesn't matter at all what it would do for normal vision, because normal vision isn't limited to a specific range like darkvision is.

However, I'll still play your game.

As a DM, a spyglass would reduce the spot check by half. Therefore, even with your 'normal vision has a maximum range based on spot checks', the DC to see things is reduced by half, theoretically giving a human in the daytime 'double range' on his vision.

A spyglass in the hands of a creature with darkvision will also reduce the DC of their spot checks by half. Out to the limit, as provided in the rules, for their darkvision. 60' for most creatures, 120' for races such as Drow, even longer for things like dragons should they use it. But, again, only to the inviolable limit of Darkvision for that race.
 

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Mistwell

Legend
Primitive Screwhead said:
Mistwell,
I think the what Jhulae is saying is that darkvision has an absolute maximum limit that can not be modified.
It can however, with spells and abilities out there.

That said, I understand what he is saying, and I don't see why it is relevant to my contention, and said as much. Again, more redundancy. Here:

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.

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.
What effect would it have on normal vision once you reach your normal vision maximum in our game?

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.
There are things that modify it. Regardless, the question is how you treat normal vision, which has its own distance. Can it be modified by a spy glass in your game?

However, normal vision does not have an absolute maximum limit listed in the race/feat/item that provides it. Darkvision does.
It has a maximum. It's listed in various rules, discussed in this thread to a great extent.

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. :)
I clarified. And frankly, most people who disagree with me clarified. What troubles me is folks not reading the whole thread and then just jumping in with the same claims others have made before. Like you just did with that "normal vision does not have an absolute maximum limit", given that question was addressed no less than four times already in this thread. It has a maximum that is derived from various rules, we all discussed those rules, we do not all agree on the interpretation of those rules but this is not a case of me not understanding or addressing that issue.
 
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Mistwell

Legend
Jhulae said:
Again, you avoid part of the issue by noting that a Drow (in your example) might not notice something more than 100' away with a poor spot, yet don't provide your answer on the dwarf with the theoretic 1000 spot check...
I didn't avoid anything. I just have not seen the dwarf question. Mind repeating it?

It doesn't matter at all what it would do for normal vision, because normal vision isn't limited to a specific range like darkvision is.
I posed this in my last post and you ignore it, so I will try again. Why does it matter if something has a specific range as opposed to a variable range that is specific for that particular encounter? What role does variable vs. fixed play in determining the effect of a spy glass? And how do you respond to the fixed limit on normal vision placed on it by things such as terrain type?

However, I'll still play your game.

As a DM, a spyglass would reduce the spot check by half. Therefore, even with your 'normal vision has a maximum range based on spot checks', the DC to see things is reduced by half, theoretically giving a human in the daytime 'double range' on his vision.
That's odd. Reducing the spot check by half is a different answer than anyone else has given. So, in your game, spy glasses physically work differently depending on the size of the object you are trying to view, rather than changing the size category?

A spyglass in the hands of a creature with darkvision will also reduce the DC of their spot checks by half. Out to the limit, as provided in the rules, for their darkvision. 60' for most creatures, 120' for races such as Drow, even longer for things like dragons should they use it. But, again, only to the inviolable limit of Darkvision for that race.
That's consistent, though I don't understand how the "reduce by one half" part works in practice. Could you give me two examples, one with a fine sized object, and another with a colossal sized one?
 
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Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Mistwell said:
2) Both darkvision and normal vision have a maximum range.
I still disagree that "Maximum distance at which a Spot check to begin an encounter can succeed" is the same as "Maximum range for normal vision".

Because we've still got the situation where, once the encounter has started, you can see that opponent from further away than that maximum distance at which the encounter could begin. The encounter distance isn't the maximum range of normal vision.

The Spot check becomes, in effect, noticing a detail within a certain distance, despite the fact that I can see much further than that. I can see the trees and the mountains in the distance; the Spot check lets me notice that somewhere between me and the mountains, there's a bugbear.

With Darkvision, I can't see the trees or the mountains beyond 60 feet. There's nothing at all 'in the distance'.

-Hyp.
 

Jhulae

First Post
Mistwell said:
That said, I understand what he is saying,
It's 'she', not 'he'. ;)

Mistwell said:
I didn't avoid anything. I just have not seen the dwarf question. Mind repeating it?

That's consistent, though I don't understand how the "reduce by one half" part works in practice. Could you give me two examples, one with a fine sized object, and another with a colossal sized one?
Well, okay, this is more of an 'it was late' thing. In my mind, I could see what I wanted to write, it didn't come out as well.

This is how I'd DM it: Spot checks rules provide a -1 for every 10', with a telescope it's -1 for 20'. So, a DC spot check at 200' would be 20 for a medium sized critter normally, with a telescope, that's DC 10, halving the spot check. The same spot check for the same medium critter would therefore be DC 20 at 400', giving 'double range'.

That's how I 'halve the DC'.

Now, for my questions to you.

There's no encounter, which is *exactly* where you keep getting hung up on things.

There's no interposing terrain for my following questions. It's flat, level, and the cities are bustling (with no light sources underground, since everybody there has Darkvision). The dwarf is in a huge cavern.

How far away can a human with a spot modifier of +10 see a city in the daytime?

How far away can a dwarf with a spot modifier of +1000 see a city in complete darkness?

Now, if both are going to 'encounter' a guard, how far away can the human see the guard (with her +10) and how far away can the dwarf see the guard (with her +1000)?
 

Mistwell

Legend
Jhulae said:
It's 'she', not 'he'. ;)
Sorry bout that.

Well, okay, this is more of an 'it was late' thing. In my mind, I could see what I wanted to write, it didn't come out as well.

This is how I'd DM it: Spot checks rules provide a -1 for every 10', with a telescope it's -1 for 20'. So, a DC spot check at 200' would be 20 for a medium sized critter normally, with a telescope, that's DC 10, halving the spot check. The same spot check for the same medium critter would therefore be DC 20 at 400', giving 'double range'.
I am still having trouble understanding how your system works.

Spot DC to see large object/creature in plain site = 0, modified by distance. Here are the distance modifiers:

Colossal –4
Gargantuan –2
Huge –1
Large 0
Medium +1
Small +2
Tiny +4
Diminutive +8
Fine +16

So if there is a fine size creature at 100 feet, the DC to notice it is 16 (for size), and you have a -10 on the check (for distance), so effectively the DC is 26. Which seems OK, though a bit tough.

Side Note - Personally I think the DC for a Colossal creature on the other side of the scale isn't a good one. It should be easier than an effective DC of 6 to see a Colossal creature at 100 feet - and shifting the chart to center on Medium would make it an effective DC of 2, which makes more sense to me. Equivalently the effective DC to see a fine creature at 100 feet would then also be lower at 18, which also seems fine. Therefore I would probably shift things so a medium creature is a 0 dc, not a large one, but that is just me.

Back to the spy glass. Using your system, and the current rules without the houserule I just mentioned, the DC to see a fine sized creature at 100 feet is 16, and the spot check is modified by -10 for distance. Would your system instead make the modifier -5 using a spy glass, or would it make the DC 8 using the spy glass, or would it make the "effective" DC 13 (since a DC 16 with a -10 on the check is essentially the same as a DC 26)?

Now, for my questions to you.

There's no encounter, which is *exactly* where you keep getting hung up on things.
If there is no encounter, then why does it matter? It's just role playing color, and totally in DM realm at that point. Sort of like players saying "We travel from City X to City Y". Unless you are stopped for an encounter of some sort, the DM generally just says "OK, you get there unharmed" rather than worrying about what the rules. The rules generally deal with encounters.

There's no interposing terrain for my following questions. It's flat, level,
There is SOME terrain. I think even in Limbo there is SOME terrain. It might be a DM call, but it's probably equivalent to plains if it is flat. Unless you think it is easier to see things within a city than it is in the middle of an empty flat area of plains.

and the cities are bustling (with no light sources underground, since everybody there has Darkvision). The dwarf is in a huge cavern.
OK, so the terrain is "underground", which is essentially the Canyon entry under mountain. Depending on how rocky it is, the maximum distance you can see will vary.

How far away can a human with a spot modifier of +10 see a city in the daytime?
What is he looking at? If it is a large object in plain sight, the DC is 0, modified by distance. The furthest he could spot something would be rolling a natural 20, for a total of 30, which would allow that person to see a large object at 300 feet, unless the DM rolled horribly on the Terrain check (6d6x40 - which could in theory result in a maximum of 240-290 feet max, but realistically it's almost always going to be better than that in a city).

How far away can a dwarf with a spot modifier of +1000 see a city in complete darkness?
Assuming he has no other ability or magic modifying his vision, 60 feet.

Now, if both are going to 'encounter' a guard, how far away can the human see the guard (with her +10) and how far away can the dwarf see the guard (with her +1000)?
Human: DC to spot a medium sized creature is 1, modified by distance. Rolling a natural 20, result is 30, which means the human could at maximum see the guard at 290 feet.

Dwarf: Again, assuming nothing is modifying their darkvision distance, and it's totally dark (I assume you meant that), then 60 feet.

As for how I would modify those with a spy glass, if I were using the "double range" interpretation instead of the "alter size" interpretation, I would put the Human at max 580', and the Dwarf at max 120 feet, because you are supposed to treat normal vision and darkvision the same other than color.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Mistwell said:
Back to the spy glass. Using your system, and the current rules without the houserule I just mentioned, the DC to see a fine sized creature at 100 feet is 16, and the spot check is modified by -10 for distance. Would your system instead make the modifier -5 using a spy glass, or would it make the DC 8 using the spy glass, or would it make the "effective" DC 13 (since a DC 16 with a -10 on the check is essentially the same as a DC 26)?
She already answered that - she considers the spyglass to halve the distance penalty. So it would be a DC 21 - DC 16, plus half the -10 penalty for distance.

What is he looking at? If it is a large object in plain sight, the DC is 0, modified by distance. The furthest he could spot something would be rolling a natural 20, for a total of 30, which would allow that person to see a large object at 300 feet...
The furthest the encounter with the large object could begin is 300 feet. Once his attention has been drawn to it, he can see it from further away.

The human commoner all by himself might only notice the ogre 200 feet away. But if he's with the elf scout, and the elf scout notices the ogre 350 feet away and says "Look, an ogre!", the commoner can look where he's pointing and say "Hey, I think you're right. You've got good eyes - I never would have noticed that!"

He can see things further away than the Spot check for him to begin the encounter can succeed.

-Hyp.
 

Jhulae

First Post
Mistwell said:
Back to the spy glass. Using your system, and the current rules without the houserule I just mentioned, the DC to see a fine sized creature at 100 feet is 16, and the spot check is modified by -10 for distance. Would your system instead make the modifier -5 using a spy glass, or would it make the DC 8 using the spy glass, or would it make the "effective" DC 13 (since a DC 16 with a -10 on the check is essentially the same as a DC 26)?
For that specific example, DC 16 with a -5 to the roll for distance instead of -10. (In essence, DC 21 instead of DC 26.) As I said, it was a 'meh' explanation, especially given the fact the thread dealt with medium sized stuff (no size modifier) up to that point. Of course, now looking over the tables, having the creature 'doubled in size' would be spot DC 18 (including all penalties). It's just much easier, to me, to use -1 for every 20' instead of 10'.


Mistwell said:
If there is no encounter, then why does it matter? It's just role playing color, and totally in DM realm at that point. Sort of like players saying "We travel from City X to City Y". Unless you are stopped for an encounter of some sort, the DM generally just says "OK, you get there unharmed" rather than worrying about what the rules. The rules generally deal with encounters.
Under your system, if the PCs were traveling from one city to another, and were, for instance, coming down a mountain trail, they wouldn't be able to see an enemy encampment bracing up for a battle a mile to the West (no matter how big it was) on their way to the city on the East. So, it certainly does matter. And, even saying that the DM describes it on their way to the city still doesn't change the fact that later on, when they go back to assault said camp, they are unable to see it again until they approach within 200' or so (since now they're 'encountering' the camp) is absolutely ludicrous in my mind.

Mistwell said:
As for how I would modify those with a spy glass, if I were using the "double range" interpretation instead of the "alter size" interpretation, I would put the Human at max 580', and the Dwarf at max 120 feet, because you are supposed to treat normal vision and darkvision the same other than color.
Okay. Now this is where the crux of the difference lies. Even taking your interpretation for maximum vision distance and spot skill into account, the rules specifically state that Darkvision has an inviolate range per species, while it does *not* say that about any kind of 'normal' vision. To me (and others), when the rules say Darkvision Range X', that X isn't changed by anything (except maybe magic, but a spyglass definitely isn't magic).
 

Mistwell said:
What effect would it [Spyglass] have on normal vision once you reach your normal vision maximum in our game?
In my game, using RAW, a spyglass increases the range at which the user can spot things per the Spot skill. I also use an HR system much like what Jhulae uses.


Mistwell said:
I clarified. And frankly, most people who disagree with me clarified. What troubles me is folks not reading the whole thread and then just jumping in with the same claims others have made before. Like you just did with that "normal vision does not have an absolute maximum limit", given that question was addressed no less than four times already in this thread. It has a maximum that is derived from various rules, we all discussed those rules, we do not all agree on the interpretation of those rules but this is not a case of me not understanding or addressing that issue.
I did read the whole thread and I saw the same clarification with lack of communication. Your point and Jhulae's point can be clarified all you want... but in essence you are talking two seperate languages. I 'jumped in' with an attempt, apparently a poor one, to point out that the baseline definition of 'maximum range' is being assumed on both sides to mean different things.

You are reading the 'maximum limit' in the Spot rules {for normal vision} to be equivilent to the 'maximum limit' for Darkvision.

I read the 'maximum limit' in the Spot rules differently from the 'maximum limit' for Darkvision.

Until this baseline definition is agreed upon, the discussion cannot be resolved.
As you said, all the details have been repeated multiple times, so I wont waste space here.

Either you are willing to step back and re-evaluate the assumptions underlying the discussion or you are not.
 

Hasn't been updated since 2007?! What? I got you.
I will be using actual physics to solve this problem.

1) How did you get darkvision?
A: Magic. This means a spell mostly.
B: Granted by a racial feature. This means the effect doesn't have to be magical. It can be a physical trait in your eyes. An evolutionary effect. Such as cats & alligators.

2) How does darkvision work?
A: Emits magical light up to 60' from your eyes that only you can see. The light emitted isn't strong enough to go passed 60'. The light reflects off of objects & comes back to your eyes.
B: Recives a form of physical light into your retina & magic helps convert that light (no matter what wavelength or brightness) into a visible image. The reason you can't see past 60' or true darkness is because of clarity. Light received into your retna from 60' away can't be processed by the magical effect there for you dont see it. No light passes through true darkness.
C: If you got Darkvision from a physical & non-magical effect (cats eyes) then it would work the same way the effect works from whatever you got it from. IE cats eyes.

-Conclusion-----
A: If your eyes work the first way by emitting light the a telescope WONT HELP YOU!!! In order for a telescopic effect to work you would need binoculars. However these binoculars are special. One side of the binocular enhances the light emitted from your eye & causes it to focus like a laser lens. After the light is focused it will emit out to a specific range based on the power/ precision/ size of the lens. The other side of the binocular is to receive light aka the light emitted by your other eye. Bam you have a working optic for night vision.
B: If your eyes work the second way by receiving & processing different wavelengths of light into visible light then. Drum Roll..... A TELESCOPE WILL HELP YOU OUT! Yay!!! Night Vision goggles work this way in real life. The telescope condenses & expands the image by bending light thus causing the image to appear closer. Your eyes receive the light from the telescope & process it.
C: If your eyes work in the 3rd manner then it depends on what animal you got it from as different animals have different kinds of eye sight.
 


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