[Proposal] Clarify Blindborn Ability

Knight Otu

Visitor
Discussed in the General Discussion thread. Currently, the blindborn template states the following:
Permanent Blindness: The creature is unable to see, it cannot see any distance in any type of lighting. It cannot distinguish color or visual contrast. It cannot read. It is immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight. A blind-born creature is accustomed to its state and does not suffer other drawbacks of being blind. Effects with an instantaneous or permanent effect that would remove the blindness, short of wish or miracle, fail to do so, but still have their other effects.
The Blinded condition states the following:
Blinded: The character cannot see. He takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), moves at half speed, and takes a –4 penalty on Search checks and on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Spot checks) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) to the blinded character. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.
The Permanent Blindness ability isn't completely clear on what penalties still apply and which don't. As such, I would like to amend it to the following wording:

Permanent Blindness: The creature is unable to see, it cannot see any distance in any type of lighting. It cannot distinguish color or visual contrast. It cannot read. It is immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight. As such, all of its vision-based checks and activities automatically fail, and its opponents are considered to have total concealment to the blindborn creature. A blind-born creature is accustomed to its state and does not suffer other drawbacks of being blind. Effects with an instantaneous or permanent effect that would remove the blindness, short of wish or miracle, fail to do so, but still have their other effects.

Should other penalties for the blindborn template also continue to apply?
 

Rae ArdGaoth

Visitor
We approved the Brother of the Wyrwood Order prestige class, which has as a pre-req the blind-born template (or some form of permanent blindness) and included these abilities:

Enhanced Perception (Ex): Using nonvisual senses, such as acute smell and hearing, the brother gains blindsense out to 30’. No Spot or Listen checks are required to pinpoint the location of a creature within range of his blindsense ability, provided that he has line of effect to that creature. Any opponent the brother cannot see still has total concealment against the brother, and he still has the normal miss chance when attacking foes that have concealment. Visibility still affects his movements. He is still denied his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class against attacks from creatures he cannot see.
Special: Blind-born brothers' blindsense range increases by 30'.

Sighted (Ex): By further improving his nonvisual senses, the brother's blindsight range increases by 25' and his insight bonus to AC increases to +2. Also, by sensing vibrations in the ground made by his feet, the brother can now move and even run at his full move speed without penalty. Finally, he can use his improved Deflect Arrows ability an infinite number of times per round.

The fact that the class with these abilities was approved implies the following:

* Blind-born creatures' enemies have concealment.
* Blind-born creatures are denied their Dex bonus to AC against all foes.
* Blind-born creatures move at half speed.

And possibly the following as well:

* Blind-born creatures automatically fail checks that rely on vision (such as reading and Spot checks).
* Blind-born creatures have overcome the -2 penalty to AC.
* Blind-born creatures have overcome the -4 penalty to Search checks and to Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks.
 

Knight Otu

Visitor
As you said, of course, the brothers allow other forms of permanent blindness. Since blindborn brothers get an extra benefit (increase of their blindsense), I think it wouldn't be out of line if natively don't suffer from some other penalties (thus the abilities of the brothers would do less for them), but it's not necessary.
The concealment and fail checks bits are rather definite, I'd say (the latter is already strongly implied in the original wording). Losing their Dex bonus should probably be as well, now that I've thought more about it. I agree with the assessment that they overcome the -2 AC penalty and the -4 skill penalties. That leaves the half movement bit. I feel with the abilities a blindborn gets, it would be feasible to allow the brother to have less of a movement penalty than other blind creatures.
 

Heckler

Visitor
What was the original intention of the Blindborn Templet? Because when I think of blind creatures, I think of Grimlocks. I'm assuming the point was to allow for humans et al., to have a way to mirror the grimlocks' condition. I'll need to look up some stuff and compare, but I don't think that the template should allow for a "better" blindness than what grimlocks already have. If it's equal, or not quite as good, that seems fine to me.
 

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