D&D General How strict are you with vision in your game?

Klaudius Rex

Explorer
Im running the Dungeon of the Mad Mage slog, and on Owlbear Rodeo (which is a fantastic VTT by the way!), i accidently uncovered more of a non-lit corridor well mainly because i honestly wasnt paying attention to vision. I did tell my players when they delved into the dungeon that it was unlit, and the rogue in the group who usually scouted ahead is an assassimar. Regardless of who went up front, or what race, i just want to know (especially for those of you who have un-lit dungeons in thier games), if your super strict about darkvision and uncover more than you should just to save time and hassle, or do you incramentally micro manage players vision in a dungeon (or wherever actually)?

Also let me knwo if your playing in person or online, and if that makes a difference in your vision policy?
 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
My issue with vision is less a matter of tabletop version (I play online but with a camera pointed to a battlemat) and applies to both my remote and my in-person games - which is basically that I forget it a lot of the time and so do the players. This is exacerbated by the party consists of three PCs with darkvision and one human.

As for revealing (or in my case drawing) what they can see, I am not that much of a stickler. Outside of rounds, I kind of describe and reveal what they see based on the directions they choose just keeping a vague sense of vision range and assume they are continually moving forward unless they say otherwise, but am more careful when revealing some feature has an immediate effect (like hidden ambushers or a hidden pit).

Long story short, I think revealing a little more of the map than you intended to is not a big deal and players should be able to separate their vision and knowledge from their characters, if something is accidentally revealed.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I’m generally pretty strict but I tend to use vision a lot. Enemies with darkvision go for torch carriers and the like. I try to avoid too many darkvision PCs because it removes fear of the dark play. I tend to do horror-themed games. But unless vision and line of sight really matter they don’t matter.
 


jgsugden

Legend
Some VTTs give you only your PC's current vision. I find this realistic, but annoying. It is also tedious on a DM when the PCs use dancing lights, light spells, or other ways to make remote lights often.
 

I am not strict about individual vision. Outside of combat I let everyone benefit from the best vision in the group.
I am strict about imposing the -5 penalty from Darkvision. It quickly encourages the players to use light sources unless they are trying to be especially sneaky. I also impose the +2 AC penalty for shooting at enemies fighting allies (if reasonable).
 

Oofta

Legend
I use dynamic lighting with my online game in Roll20. It's one of the few things I do like. I can always "ping" general directions but limiting sight can really change how the game plays and makes it feel more dynamic.

I use it in a few ways. Darkness, of course, set up line of sight, enforce fog or other limited vision. In a recent game the party got split up in a somewhat complex building in a way that they never would have on a normal table top, it added a fun level of complexity to the encounter.
 

HJFudge

Explorer
I generally am rather lax on the strict vision rules.

The only time I bring them up is when they will add to the encounter. For instance, if there are hidden assassins in the shadows and the party has no darkvision, the lighting will be relevant and so I will cue them into it during the encounter. That way it gives information that the party may want to use some sort of light spell or lighting ability.

Just in general exploration, if it isn't adding to the encounter or experience then I don't worry about it at all. I, personally, don't feel it adds to general exploration usually. Unless you plan for it to.
 

Egon Spengler

"We eat gods for breakfast!"
I’m generally pretty strict but I tend to use vision a lot. Enemies with darkvision go for torch carriers and the like. I try to avoid too many darkvision PCs because it removes fear of the dark play. I tend to do horror-themed games. But unless vision and line of sight really matter they don’t matter.

Similar for me. I'm not big on horror, but I do like the mysteriousness of dungeon-crawls and the resource-management aspect of having to worry about torches and lanterns. So there are no playable species with infravision in my games: even dwarves, gnomes, goblins, and orcs need light to see. And I don't make continual light spells easy to come by. It also means that wandering monsters randomly encountered in the dungeon usually have no chance of being surprised by the party, since their light will nearly always give them away—unless, e.g., they're coming right through a door at the same moment they encounter monsters.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
In my current game , I'm very lax. The parties have too many darkvision PCs.

In my next game which will be very "Points of Light", I will introduce new types of vision and make it more important. Lowlight, elfsight, nightvision, etc
 

aco175

Legend
I mostly handwave it. When I lay out the tiles and monsters on the grid, it is hard to have some not seen by players. If I say that the dungeon is dark, then they light something and it may be somewhat used, but mostly so monsters can find them easier. I just finished the elemental evil campaign and one of the PCs received the artifact that gave 60ft tremmorsence, so that made things interesting. I also tend to make dungeon rooms like in movies where light comes forth when the door opens or has continual light upon the ceiling or such to not have to worry as much.
 

Rabbitbait

Adventurer
I use dynamic lighting on Roll20 and it makes the dungeon crawling aspect of the game and anything that involves sightlines much more fun. In my current game, all but one of the party have darkvision and one person having to carry a torch makes it more difficult for the party to be sneaky unless they really think about where that person is at any time.

I have made tokens that can be dragged out by the players for spell templates or lighting effects and that makes a big difference to speed of play.
 


I'm strict, because almost all of my players think their characters have super-vision. :)

GM: There is a figure standing at the far end of the bridge (already established to be over a 300ft river, and there is a long queue this side of the bridge that the PCs are at the end of) talking to the guards.
Player: I read his lips, what is he saying?

GM: A figure appears at the battlements, several storeys up and across the river from you.
Player: Is he wearing a Harper pin?
 


Klaudius Rex

Explorer
I am not strict about individual vision. Outside of combat I let everyone benefit from the best vision in the group.
I am strict about imposing the -5 penalty from Darkvision. It quickly encourages the players to use light sources unless they are trying to be especially sneaky. I also impose the +2 AC penalty for shooting at enemies fighting allies (if reasonable).
Sorry, but im not too familiar with the -5 penalty from Darkvison and the +2 AC penalty for shooting at enemies fighting allies...in what book is this found?
 

Klaudius Rex

Explorer
Yes, I'm strict with vision in my games and have lots of light source assets the PCs can pull out and use. I also enforce the -5 PP on PCs relying on their darkvision.
im not familiar with the -5 penalty on darkvision...can you show me what book this is referenced in?
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
im not familiar with the -5 penalty on darkvision...can you show me what book this is referenced in?
Players Handbook.

Section on Light and Vision states: "Within a specified range, a creature with darkvision can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light[.]"

So if your dungeon is pitch black, it is dim light for those with darkvision.

Higher up in the light and vision section, it says the following about "dim light": "Dim light, also called shadows, creates a lightly obscured area."

In the same section, above this, it says the following about lightly obscured areas: "In a lightly obscured area, such as dim light, patchy fog, or moderate foliage, creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight." [emphasis mine]

In the section on "Passive Checks" in Chapter 7("Using Ability Scores") it states: "If the character has advantage on the check, add 5. For disadvantage, subtract 5. The game refers to a passive check total as a score."

So that is how you get -5 on passive checks when using darkvision in an area with no light.

As for my games, when using my VTT, light, vision, and line of sight rules are strictly enforced. In VTT with manual reveal (e.g. didn't have time to prep the VTT map by tracing walls, etc.) I reveal/describe based on the character with the best vision. In TOTM I generally get a bit fuzzy in how I handle it but I try to describe based on character sight.
 

I'm on the strict side, but I have exploration rules that keep this from being too much of an issue. The party (or scout) moves along the corridor/path until they run across something of note (door, passage, monster, trap, etc), and I'll simply reveal the entire section they pass at once. If a player wants to check something out, such as a possible secret door they might have missed, the area beyond it is "unexplored" until the party continues.
 

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