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D&D 5E Just About Sick Of Darkvision.

dd.stevenson

Super KY
Yeah on Roll20 its probably fun to have all the different visions/light sources.

It's a hell of a lot of fun. And if you aren't picky about polish, the gm can knock a dynamic lighting map together as quick as drawing on a whiteboard.

Not really my preferred playstyle these days, but still: had a lot of fun with it
 

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Rune

Once A Fool
steeldragons said:
Yup. Half-elves too. I don't quite understand what that comment was about. It had a shorter range than, say, full elves or dwarves, but half-elves did have infravision too. Was it taken out in 3e?

Infravision got split into darkvision and low-light vision for 3e and 4e. And was no longer heat-based.
 
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steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Infravision got split into darkvision and low-light vision for 3e and 4e. And was no longer heat-based.

Oh right. I know that. [EDITED OUT SINCE I RECEIVED ANSWER]

PS: And I just checked, I was mistaken, half-elf's range was just as far as elves and dwarves in 1e and 2e, 60's for errvrybody all around. I was thinking of their lessened resistance to charms as compared to full-blooded elves. ...It was 30% and I was thinking their 'vision was 30'. But no. Full on 'vision for half-elves too.
 
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Infravision got split into darkvision and low-light vision for 3e and 4e. And was no longer heat-based.

AD&D 1st Ed had infravision and ultravision. One was IR, the other UV. Neither blindsight nor low light vision were specified.

Dividing out the various "darkvision" types into the three possible versions: low-light, UV, IR would have been better, I think.

Ultravision, however, isn't really all that useful in the real world (where it DOES exist in insects), as it's pretty much only present in artificial lights and in daytime.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Why not change it?

Of, course, if only, say, dwarves get to keep darkvision, you'd have many players choosing a dwarf only party.

Any adventure revolving around a human village, say, will be easy pickings for any darkvision equipped party.
 

Agamon

Adventurer
It's a hell of a lot of fun. And if you aren't picky about polish, the gm can knock a dynamic lighting map together as quick as drawing on a whiteboard.

Really? I used Roll20 for about 2 years, but recently, my dispersed group game back together again, so we're tabletop once more. But I didn't want to touch any of the dynamic lighting stuff with a 10' pole. I used Fantasy Grounds back in the day, and all the bells and whistles in that software belled and whistled me to death. All that extra "cool" stuff seemed like a very low return on time investment.

But if it was that easy, I kinda wished I gave it a try.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
Really? I used Roll20 for about 2 years, but recently, my dispersed group game back together again, so we're tabletop once more. But I didn't want to touch any of the dynamic lighting stuff with a 10' pole. I used Fantasy Grounds back in the day, and all the bells and whistles in that software belled and whistled me to death. All that extra "cool" stuff seemed like a very low return on time investment.

But if it was that easy, I kinda wished I gave it a try.

Can't speak to FG's DM interface (but I loathe the program as a player.)

However, setup is dead simple for this feature on r20. It does still require a subscription, I believe--and doors are a bit of a pain because barring scripts you have to switch to the dynamic lighting layer to delete the lines blocking the doors when players open them. And too there are emergent issues that come from everyone seeing a different version of the map.

But in terms of bang vs. buck, it's pretty sweet. Maybe google up a demo on youtube if you want to see it in action.
 

So, I am not an optician but, as Darkvision isn't a switch you can depress any time you feel like, it must be a reflection of how sensitive your eyes are, which means it is permanently "on", making these people extremely susceptible to lighting state changes.

So, you could nerf the entire Darkvision thing by saying that, due to their super sensitive eyesight, any creature with Darkvision suffers a penalty in bright light a la Drow.

This both explains how humans became so all-powerful - being able to function and build cities etc all day long (and may point to a desert/equatorial origin for the species as a whole, but that's a different story), and creates a whole industry of sunglasses manufacture for the DV races to be able to go about their business in bright sunlight/negotiate treaties in the humans' candle-filled halls (think Hogwarts).

"Bloody shifty elves, hiding behind their crystal lenses. And them dwarves, with their Steampunk goggles. Ridiculous attention-seekers! Can't trust 'em if you can't see their eyes...Give me a decent, honest Halfling anyday, you know where you stand with them fellers".

You might want to give your players the option of being "traditional" or "modern" varieties of their race - either remote, unchanged, DV types (hillbilly elves, cloistered in the darkest woods; at-the-coalface "worker" dwarves; etc), or adapted to the "modern"/human/outside world over time.

So, Mr player, would you like your dwarf to be from the mining classes (where they retain DV) and suffer disadvantage in social encounters played out anywhere brighter than an overcast day, or would you prefer they came from the citadel/library/main dwelling place, where their DV has died out due to the prevalence of lighting sources to see/assay/read by?

Just a thought.
 

ProphetSword

Explorer
I haven't had time to read this entire thread, so forgive me if this has already been covered. Darkvision isn't as great as it's cut out to be. Besides the lack of ability to discern colors, anyone attempting to do a perception check in Darkness is at Disadvantage. That's important to keep in mind.
 

I haven't read this whole thread, but I did want to respond to the posts about all but 42 monsters having Darkvision or better, thus negating the ability to play tactically at low levels with orcs/etc. See, I don't agree thta it negates tactics.

The thing is, monsters that rely on Darkvision are a humongous opportunity for PCs to play tactically. Hide in the darkness 150' away or 600' away and guess what? As soon as somebody lights up an orc with Dancing Lights, you can shoot him with advantage. All you really need are:

1.) A stealthy guy with Darkvision (either natively or from the 2nd level spell) who seeks out enemies, and
2.) An archer platoon somewhere within weapon range of guy #1 but outside darkvision range.

As soon as #1 sees a threat, he lights a torch/casts Dancing Lights to "paint" the target for all the #2 guys. Then #1 can spend all of his actions Dodging and following the targets to keep them painted.

In one party meet (first level adventure where the PCs meet for the first time), one PC heard the sounds of screaming from inside a cabin in the wilderness and suspected that orcs had taken over the farm. He saw a dead body lying near the distress beacon (light the beacon = "my farm is under attack" so rangers can respond) and so knew nobody else was coming to help. He had seen two rangers nearby earlier (other PCs; fourth PC was inside the cabin as a captive) and fetched them. Their strategy was to strew caltrops outside the cabin door, then hide in the dark and light the beacon. Orcs see the light, charge out to investigate (getting lamed by caltrops in the process), and then get shot full of arrows. As it turned out, all three of the orcs made their DX saves against caltrops so that part of the plan didn't work, but everything else went mostly as planned, and the PCs won their first Deadly encounter and forged a lasting bond.

Orcish darkvision doesn't prevent first-level players from playing tactically.
 

vandaexpress

First Post
I haven't read this whole thread, but I did want to respond to the posts about all but 42 monsters having Darkvision or better, thus negating the ability to play tactically at low levels with orcs/etc. See, I don't agree thta it negates tactics.

The thing is, monsters that rely on Darkvision are a humongous opportunity for PCs to play tactically. Hide in the darkness 150' away or 600' away and guess what? As soon as somebody lights up an orc with Dancing Lights, you can shoot him with advantage. All you really need are:

1.) A stealthy guy with Darkvision (either natively or from the 2nd level spell) who seeks out enemies, and
2.) An archer platoon somewhere within weapon range of guy #1 but outside darkvision range.

As soon as #1 sees a threat, he lights a torch/casts Dancing Lights to "paint" the target for all the #2 guys. Then #1 can spend all of his actions Dodging and following the targets to keep them painted.

In one party meet (first level adventure where the PCs meet for the first time), one PC heard the sounds of screaming from inside a cabin in the wilderness and suspected that orcs had taken over the farm. He saw a dead body lying near the distress beacon (light the beacon = "my farm is under attack" so rangers can respond) and so knew nobody else was coming to help. He had seen two rangers nearby earlier (other PCs; fourth PC was inside the cabin as a captive) and fetched them. Their strategy was to strew caltrops outside the cabin door, then hide in the dark and light the beacon. Orcs see the light, charge out to investigate (getting lamed by caltrops in the process), and then get shot full of arrows. As it turned out, all three of the orcs made their DX saves against caltrops so that part of the plan didn't work, but everything else went mostly as planned, and the PCs won their first Deadly encounter and forged a lasting bond.

Orcish darkvision doesn't prevent first-level players from playing tactically.

Wow.... I... I literally never realized you could use dancing lights that way. Suddenly this spell seems so much more useful. I never understood the point of it before.

That said, I want to support what was said here: something similar happened in my campaign a couple weeks ago, inadvertantly -- the party was fighting a vampire in the courtyard of a heavily fortified castle at night. Someone cast daylight on the weapon of the party's melee attacker (in this particular case, I ruled that the daylight spell was sufficient to trigger the vampire's weakness due to the party's low level). This was good for fighting the vampire, but also painted a huge target on the party. The guard towers were manned by ogres with ballistae and suddenly they were able to target these creatures that were previously unknown to them since they were so far away.

I use Roll20 to manage lighting, it's highly immersive. I don't have any terribly strong opinions about the prevalence of darkvision thus far in my campaign, especially since so many of my PCs are playing as optimized variant humans. Giving most other creatures darkvision, but not them, has proven to be a great way for me to balance their powerful racial traits.

Honestly, I'm still getting used to/learning the interactions between lighting, obscurement, vision, perception checks, blinded/invisible conditions and stealth. Until I get more comfortable with how I use these rules IMC, I'm holding off on messing with any race's vision, but I can see myself possibly making some adjustments down the road.
 

Wow.... I... I literally never realized you could use dancing lights that way. Suddenly this spell seems so much more useful. I never understood the point of it before.

I only recently realized it myself when I started playing with stealth and darkness. My primary test party (used for pre-testing encounters before PCs arrive) is darkvision-heavy, and yet there have been multiple occasions where I curse myself (as the scout) for not knowing Dancing Lights, of all spells.

If you ever played BattleTech, you'll know what I mean when I say, "Dancing Lights = NARC beacon."

This was good for fighting the vampire, but also painted a huge target on the party. The guard towers were manned by ogres with ballistae and suddenly they were able to target these creatures that were previously unknown to them since they were so far away.

Haha, sounds like time to grapple the vampire and drag him under cover with you. Bet the PC never imagined he'd be doing that when he woke up that morning. :) Out of curiosity, did the ogres shoot at the vampire too or just the PC intruders? (I.e. was the vampire friendly to them and could the ogres tell he was a friendly?)
 
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vandaexpress

First Post
I only recently realized it myself when I started playing with stealth and darkness. My primary test party (used for pre-testing encounters before PCs arrive) is darkvision-heavy, and yet there have been multiple occasions where I curse myself (as the scout) for not knowing Dancing Lights, of all spells.

If you ever played BattleTech, you'll know what I mean when I say, "Dancing Lights = NARC beacon."



Haha, sounds like time to grapple the vampire and drag him under cover with you. Bet the PC never imagined he'd be doing that when he woke up that morning. :) Out of curiosity, did the ogres shoot at the vampire too or just the PC intruders? (I.e. was the vampire friendly to them and could the ogres tell he was a friendly?)

Funny you should ask. That Vampire ended up having a fairly interesting demise and yes, it did involve grappling her.

The ogres wound up targeting the PCs only - they recognized the Vampire as a friendly. The Vamp ended up hustling out of there with legendary actions. The party tried to pursue her but were getting absolutely chewed up by the ballistae, so they killed daylight, ran behind cover, ranger cast pass without trace and they hid on the fog-obscured roof of the stable before escaping the deathtrap. The vampire returned to harass the party again later when they were hiding on a balcony on the exterior of the castle (the vampire patrolled the exterior as a bat, searching for them). The vampire managed to get a surprise round, fought hard, daylight went off, vampire turned into a bat to fly away. My goal was to use her to repeatedly harry the party throughout the dungeon since they had several charges of daylight remaining in their item.

The party dragon sorcerer, whom I permitted a very limited polymorph spell that allows him to turn himself into a blue dragon wyrmling (and nothing else, since this is a deviation from both what the spell normally permits as well as the spells normally permitted for a sorcerer), shifted into wyrmling form and chased down the vampire-as-a-bat and grappled her mid-air as the rest of the party shot off ranged attacks from the balcony while the wyrmling locked down her movement. It was a highly memorable aerial encounter, she had disadvantage on her checks to escape the grapple due to the lighting, the sorcerer used the help action to assist the rest of the party in hitting the vampire with arrows, etc, essentially moving her around to get hit. She was finished off with daylight and incinerated in the claws of the sorcerer-turned-wyrmling. I didn't play the vampire to its fullest since the party was low on resources and only level 7, but it was quite fun nevertheless.

Grappling - One of the best things about 5e combat, IMHO. Simple, but it opens up so many options.
 

Sounds awesome!

I agree about Grappling. It's not much of a primary strategy but it's a great counter-strategy. Prevents enemies from Dodging or retreating; can sometimes be used by fanatics to drag enemies off cliffs with you.
 

redrick

First Post
As a DM, if you have a darkvision party that insists on doing all their dungeoneering without light sources, just throw some standard traps and trip-wires in the corridor. A tripwire requiring a DC 13 perception check to spot won't be noticed in dim light (ie what you get form darkvision in total darkness) until you have a passive perception of 18.

PCs should be making a choice — actually see what we're doing and not get killed by traps, hazards and other things that could care less how stealthy we are, or sneak around in the dark and not get noticed by the creatures that are looking for us.

Likewise, most intelligent creatures are going to employ some degree of lighting in their common areas. I'll walk from my bedroom to the bathroom just by the dim light coming in through the windows, but if I want to do anything, I'm turning on some lights. Most under-dwellers in the safety of their homes will be the same way. The lights might not be as bright, but they'll be there.

That being said, I totally support nerfing the darkvision of the various surface beasties (elves, half-elves included), or separating true darkvision from low-light vision as a house rule. I understand why they combined them in 5e — it makes it much easier to keep track of which creatures can see what without having to worry about a bunch of different classes and categories — but if you can base it off of a common sense that makes sense to you, it shouldn't be hard to keep track of in your own game.
 

n00b f00

First Post
Yeah Dark Vision creatures, especially smarter ones like Drow and the like, still use lights. Dark vision moves you up from darkness to dim, and dim to bright. You still can't see as great in what's now for you dim light, you're not going to read a book or have a fancy party like that. The benefit is that they aren't blind where a human would be, not that they should never consider using lights. That's part of why drows get dancing lights as a cantrip. Light is still important, and there's still good reason for even an all darkvision party to rock around with light sources.

Though I will agree that sometimes what does and does not get darkvision seems to be somewhat arbitrary. Like, Dragonborn don't get it, but Half-elves and half orcs do? Maybe it's a balance thing, they think the breath attack is super awesome, it is, but still. I'm a dragon thingie bro!
 

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