• COMING SOON! -- Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition! Level up your 5E game! The standalone advanced 5E tabletop RPG adds depth and diversity to the game you love!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Drow "Sunlight Sensitivity" workarounds?


log in or register to remove this ad

Yaarel

Mind Mage
(Maybe this belongs in Homebrew? Not sure!)

One of the characters in my 5e campaign is a drow wild sorceror.
The party has been doing a lot of (daytime) wilderness adventuring.
The player and I are both getting a bit bored of him always rolling everything with disadvantage.

So: here are some workarounds I've come up with.

1) High-Quality Smoked Glass Goggles. Fragile and finicky, but ideal.
Cost: as magnifying glass.
These goggles completely eliminate the wearer's light sensitivity trait while worn. Their fragility lives in the plot, not the rules. They probably block darkvision, but the wearer can just take them off for night uses.

2) Low-quality Smoked Glass Goggles: The Village Bottleblower's Version.
Cost: as glass bottle.
These goggles eliminate the disadvantage on attacks -- but not perception -- against foes within 30'. Outside of that range, the sunlight sensitivity is replaced with interference from the warped glass.

Drow are, of course, a magical and poison-loving people. Isn't there a biochemical solution here?
Yes. Good thing we just got that DMG excerpt!

3) A drow suffering any penalty from sight rot loses their daylight sensitivity (limiting darkvision to 30').
4) A drow may inhale the smoke of an incense composed mostly of the drug Malice and lose daylight sensitivity (limiting darkvision to 30') for 1hr, Con save DC 10.
5) A fantasy opiate drug could constrict the pupils; grant some temprary hit points, inflict 1 level of fatigue, and vision-wise provide the same effect as the above (con save DC 10 negates). Names for this substance might be Villein, Poppy's Milk, or Dragonsbreath?

And finally, there could straight up be some magic solution, like:
6) Potion of Clearsight, a common philtre which negates vision-based penalties for 1 hr.

My question: what can the enterprising DM do to encourage players away from the stable, sure-bet that are the fantasy sunglasses represented by option (1)?

I could rule it's beyond the skill of the local craftsmen, but telescopes exist and the player isn't being unreasonable; they're traveling to a large city with alchemists and astronomers next, so I can't delay forever.

I could come up with some sort of drawback -- suggestions? It's not enough that they look goofy in smoked shades, since the character is drow; they've already accepted visual prejudice as a thing. And I can't balance them with a wisdom(perception) penalty, since sunmmlight sensitivity already gives them that!

I want this to cost ongoing resources, at least until the player can obtain the sort of magical resources it'd take a character of another race to get darkvision :)

Help!

Reallife Inuit snow goggles. Solid wood with a thin line cut thru it from one side to the other. It looks a bit like Cyclops from X-Men. Can be stylish.

If your table is starting to dislike the sensitive darkvision generally, just use normal darkvision at 60 feet. It is balanced. The extra distance of sensitive darkvision is situationally good, but requires all teammates to have it, and be sniping from a distance. The sunlight penalty is in my experience easy to avoid, by traveling at night and being indoors. But if the player isnt deriving benefit from the extra distance, then supply a "magic ritual" to gain normal darkvision instead.

Otherwise, the Inuit snow goggles look cool. In case of emergency, a Fog Cloud spell can sometimes help screen out the direct sunlight.
 

D1Tremere

Adventurer
Simple solution, Drow that live on the surface long enough become used to sunlight. Much like the new way of looking at race is designed to show, these generic tropes are not necessarily meant to hinder the fun of player characters. This is supposed to be something the average Drow deals with due to environment. A PC can vary.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Simple solution, Drow that live on the surface long enough become used to sunlight. Much like the new way of looking at race is designed to show, these generic tropes are not necessarily meant to hinder the fun of player characters. This is supposed to be something the average Drow deals with due to environment. A PC can vary.
I would consider it but they would lose the 120'range or they have to pick it up via a feat.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Two ways I have dealt with this at my table:

1. The description states you or the object or what you are trying to perceive "direct sunlight". Unless you are in the open desert or on an open filed that is often not the case.

Weather will make this irrelevant - if it is overcast problem solved, if it is scattered or broken you can roll a percentile to see if the sun is covered at a specific time something is tried (I would say a single roll at the start of a battle). The rest assume there is no cloud blocking the sun when something is happening:

For the PC - any broad brimmed hat will shade most of the character and take the PC himself out of "direct" sunlight any time it is on his head. That takes care of him. Note I do not think dark goggles actually accomplishes this.

For perception of something in sunlight - it is rare that someone is actually hiding in "direct" sunlight unless they are invisible (which imposes disadvantage anyway). So I think most of the time this is a non-issue, there may be some corner cases it comes into play.

As for what you are trying to attack - If there are ANY trees, buildings, hills etc, there a lot of the areas are brightly lit but not in "direct" sunlight. This adds some work because it requires the DM to figure/guess on the sun angle. But this also adds a lot of flavor to the game. You have multiple orcs spread around the battlefield on a cloudless, sunny day. Typically with multiple combatants on a brightly lit day, some are in "direct" sunlight, some are not because they are under a tree, or in the shadow of a building. So the PC asks which are in "direct" sunlight and then makes logical choices.


2. I also have a homebrew half-feat that enables Dwarves and Elves to cancel sunlight sensitivity and get a +1 in wisdom, constitution or charisma.
 
Last edited:

ECMO3

Adventurer
Simple solution, Drow that live on the surface long enough become used to sunlight. Much like the new way of looking at race is designed to show, these generic tropes are not necessarily meant to hinder the fun of player characters. This is supposed to be something the average Drow deals with due to environment. A PC can vary.
I don't like doing this straight up because of superior darkvision and magic that counterbalance this. This would make Drow/Dueregar substantially more powerful than most other Elves/Dwarves. I would nerf these things in trade - give them normal darkvision and eliminate the leveled spells as their connection to the underdark has vanished.
 
Last edited:


D1Tremere

Adventurer
I don't like doing this straight up because of superior darkvision and magic that counterbalance this. This would make Drow/Dueregar substantially more powerful than most other Elves/Dwarves. I would nerf these things in trade - give them normal darkvision and eliminate the leveled spells as their connection to the underdark has vanished.
That's entirely fine, but in my opinion not worth being concerned with. D&D is not competitive, it is cooperative. The idea of balance is not that important between races in my opinion, especially with regard to dark vision range.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top