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D&D 5E Just About Sick Of Darkvision.


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SkidAce

Legend
I would suspect the drow add just enough light to their underground cities to make the prevailing light "dim".

That way they can see fine, but its still a dark spooky eerie drow city to others. (The few humans that visit, lol)
 

I would suspect the drow add just enough light to their underground cities to make the prevailing light "dim".

That way they can see fine, but its still a dark spooky eerie drow city to others. (The few humans that visit, lol)

That does fit with the AD&D 2E descriptions thereof.
 

DaveDash

Explorer
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.

A non human Rogue will likely have a passive perception of 16 from levels 1-3. Then come level 4 they'd likely have 18 (Our Rogue4/Ftr1 has 19), or possible even 23 if they took the observant feat. Once they start getting up a bit in levels, they can spot anything except the most carefully hidden traps even in dim light.

They can also carry around a hooded lantern for checking things out in a 5ft radius around them. If you follow RAW (not that you probably would) creatures can't see them since you can't see beyond range "through" darkness!
Even so ignoring the silliness of RAW, a clever/careful Rogue player could probably carefully check the area with a hooded lantern creep forward, preventing the light from traveling too far forward.

However, it's also perfectly acceptable to have a DC +5 to spot a trap using passive perception, so they get -5 (dim) and +5 to the DC, because it's carefully hidden. A few official modules use this rule from time to time I've noticed. If it's a pressure plate or pit under a rug, the DC for passives is generally +5, but the DC to investigation is normal. I use this a lot in my higher level game since their passives are 20+.
 
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Melba Toast

First Post
I nixed darkvision from all races in my game except dwarves who I gave a weaker variation: low-light vision. My feeling is that torches make dungeons more exciting and eerie.

Elves were given something else I call ultra-light vision, which allows them to see magical auras eminated from magical objects and creatures. In my world magical auras radiate in the ultra-violet spectrum. Elves can't read by it or anything, its subtle even to their eyes.
 

I'm just about sick of Darkvision. Why is it that every single bloody race seems to have Darkvision now?

Tradition. Heck, in the 1e MM, /everything/ had "Infravision," just be virtue of being listed in it.

Not being able to see in the dark is prettymuch a disability suffered by humans and some halflings in D&D.

It was one of many things that made non-/demi- humans highly desireable at low levels, only to be balance by their level limits, giving the game to humans at high level.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Tradition. Heck, in the 1e MM, /everything/ had "Infravision," just be virtue of being listed in it.

Not being able to see in the dark is prettymuch a disability suffered by humans and some halflings in D&D.

It was one of many things that made non-/demi- humans highly desireable at low levels, only to be balance by their level limits, giving the game to humans at high level.
No, the level of darkvision was much better in 3E.

5E fumbled this - in their effort to simplify, they removed the very useful low-light vision.

The result is what is discussed here.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I go with a blend for my setting by creating Elfsight.

Elfsight is not Darkvision. But it's also not Low-Light Vision, exactly. Elfsight allows you to see twice as far as a human would in the same conditions. So it does provide low-light vision rather than darkvision, but it also means perception checks based on sight have double the range, as does their ability to see through a foggy or rainy environment.

Elves, Half Elves, and Drow all have Elfsight and Drow also get Darkvision 60ft.

Gravetouched get Darkvision 120ft
Pactborn and Dwarves get Darkvision 90ft.
Orcs/Half Orcs get Darkvision 60ft.
Gearharts get Darkvision 30ft.
Heiligschein produce Light in a 5ft radius.

6 races with Darkvision to differing degrees
3 races with Elfsight
4 races with Normal Vision

Though Gearharts and Gravetouched only really live in two small areas of the world, and Drow on the surface are very rare. And then Pactborn and Heiligschein are as rare as Aasimar and Tiefling.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm still stuck back on the six year old posts that makes it sound like owls should be able to see in a lighless cave (as opposed.to an overcast and moonless outside). I'm pretty sure that's not how it works...
 


Dbr

First Post
If you were to take a "realistic" approach to DND (yeah, I know...), in a world where darkvision is the norm, races without darkvision would be at a significant disadvantage from an evolutionary standpoint.

Heck, they'd probably have never survived at all.
I know this is a really old thread, but I feel the need to point out that everyone is ignoring the fact that almost every single animal in real life essentially has dark vision. Most animals can see in much less light than human can, so it's honestly not that surprising that so many races have darkvision. Also, as for orcs and goblins..... they live in the underdark, they kind of need dark vision.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I know this is a really old thread, but I feel the need to point out that everyone is ignoring the fact that almost every single animal in real life essentially has dark vision. Most animals can see in much less light than human can, so it's honestly not that surprising that so many races have darkvision. Also, as for orcs and goblins..... they live in the underdark, they kind of need dark vision.
There are lots of species IRL that can see better than people in dim light... which ones see in complete darkness? (5e Darkvision gives both, right?)
 

aco175

Legend
I think the problem will become worse with the new rules coming on cultural and heritage character creation. I can pick a race with darkvision, but have him grow up in a culture which I want the power or additional feat from, then I will be able to eat my cake too.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Old thread, but I agree with the OP. Very few races should have darkvision, if I had a vote we'd bring back low light vision. Even though I enforce the disadvantage on perception, it's just annoying that there are only a couple of races that do not have it. I mean, I get it, magic and all but it just feels like an item tax because I let people purchase goggles of night when they can afford it.

On the other hand, I have no problem with people paying base cost for continual flame if they've done something to gain the favor of a specific temple; I don't care to track minutiae like how long a torch lasts.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
There are lots of species IRL that can see better than people in dim light... which ones see in complete darkness? (5e Darkvision gives both, right?)
This is my only beef with Darkvision. Mechanically it’s fine if you actually apply disadvantage on perception checks to see (and therefore -5 on passive perception), but it bothers me from a verisimilitude perspective that it allows you to see anything in total darkness.

I think the real problem though is that 5e treats “outdoors at night” and “the confines of an unlit dungeon or subterranean vault” as the same level of darkness. An owl could see pretty well in the former, but not at all in the latter. On the other hand, I understand wanting “outdoors at night” to be darker than “the soft twilight at dawn,” which intuitively doesn’t seem like it should be bright light.

Maybe the solution is to treat total darkness as a third category of lighting, in which magical darkness and lightless caverns both belong. Darkvision works as-written as long as there’s some small source of light in the area, even if it’s not enough to bring the light level up to dim - stars in the sky, a soft flickering through the crack under the door, a little patch of bioluminescent fungus, etc. In total darkness, there’s no light at all, so even creatures with Darkvision are effectively blinded (unless they have Devil’s Sight). Then the effect of the Darkness spell is simply to create a patch of total darkness in the affected area.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
For my money... darkvision has never been an issue. Because I have never once had a game where every single PC had darkvision, which meant they were always using light sources anyway.

And even if I did have a party of all darkvision PCs... for my money the trope of "bunch of monsters hiding in the darkness attacking the characters that can't see them" is so overdone that I don't care that it'd be harder to pull off if the entire party had darkvision. I mean after all... if a bunch of creatures can hide in the bushes and trees outside during the day and ambush the party even though the PCs have completely normal vision in sunlight... running that same encounter underground with the PCs having darkvision is not that much different.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
And even if I did have a party of all darkvision PCs... for my money the trope of "bunch of monsters hiding in the darkness attacking the characters that can't see them" is so overdone that I don't care that it'd be harder to pull off if the entire party had darkvision. I mean after all... if a bunch of creatures can hide in the bushes and trees outside during the day and ambush the party even though the PCs have completely normal vision in sunlight... running that same encounter underground with the PCs having darkvision is not that much different.
This isn't particularly in response to your post, but your post added to some others in this and other threads and makes me want to write something about the old Shadow radio show (invisible by mental powers) and how invisibility (or hiding in the dark) work in D&D. I just can't get my brain to formulate it well at the moment.
 

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