D&D 5E Ruling Consideration on Darkness (both magical and non-magical)

Dausuul

Legend
Agreed on darkness. The cleanest way to make it work is to treat it as a zone where light is simply negated--whether that light is being generated inside the zone, or entering from outside, doesn't matter. So, from the outside, it looks like a sphere of absolute black*, and from the inside, you can't see at all. Darkvision is blocked because... well, tell me how you think darkvision works normally and I'll come up with a reason why it doesn't work here. :)

Anything else gets into a hairy tangle of figuring out what you can and can't see under what circumstances.

In a more general sense, it would be interesting to distinguish between "ambient light too dim for you to make out anything" (a dark night, a cave beyond the radius of your torch) and "no light at all" (a cave when your torch has gone out). It would be essentially a fourth category of illumination, in between dim light and darkness. But I'm not sure it's worth the cognitive overhead. The current system seems to get the job done pretty well... at least now that they've errataed the original rule that said creatures in darkness were blinded.

*You get mad props as a player if you can figure out a way to bluff enemies into thinking your darkness spell is a giant sphere of annihilation.
 
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Dausuul

Legend
Heh, I dunno why they would. It's not like the non-darkvisioned races are now overpowered compared to the darkvisioned ones when you take away the one darkvision perk. :)
Depends on whether variant humans are allowed.

Darkvision is not a huge deal, but V-humans are already well ahead of other races, so I'd look a bit askance at anything that nerfed nonhumans further and did nothing to compensate.
 

Iry

Hero
Another vote for Darkness = Ink. I treat it exactly like a solid object when calculating the effects of light.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I'm very glad that it's stated somewhere within the rules that sources of light can be seen much further away than they shed light. This is basic common sense, but from personal experience, some people out there have no idea how light functions.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I'm very glad that it's stated somewhere within the rules that sources of light can be seen much further away than they shed light. This is basic common sense, but from personal experience, some people out there have no idea how light functions.
Does it actually say that? I mean, it should, but I can't find it on a quick search. Of course, that may just mean it's stuffed away in some odd corner of the PHB or DMG that I didn't think to look in.
 

Oofta

Legend
Agreed on darkness. The cleanest way to make it work is to treat it as a zone where light is simply negated--whether that light is being generated inside the zone, or entering from outside, doesn't matter. So, from the outside, it looks like a sphere of absolute black*, and from the inside, you can't see at all. Darkvision is blocked because... well, tell me how you think darkvision works normally and I'll come up with a reason why it doesn't work here. :)

Anything else gets into a hairy tangle of figuring out what you can and can't see under what circumstances.

In a more general sense, it would be interesting to distinguish between "ambient light too dim for you to make out anything" (a dark night, a cave beyond the radius of your torch) and "no light at all" (a cave when your torch has gone out). It would be essentially a fourth category of illumination, in between dim light and darkness. But I'm not sure it's worth the cognitive overhead. The current system seems to get the job done pretty well... at least now that they've errataed the original rule that said creatures in darkness were blinded.

*You get mad props as a player if you can figure out a way to bluff enemies into thinking your darkness spell is a giant sphere of annihilation.
I kind of liked the old "low light vision" used to have. Gave a bit more granularity on features and made more sense for elves and similar.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Does it actually say that? I mean, it should, but I can't find it on a quick search. Of course, that may just mean it's stuffed away in some odd corner of the PHB or DMG that I didn't think to look in.
See page 104-105 in the DMG :) (I had to search for it!)
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Depends on whether variant humans are allowed.

Darkvision is not a huge deal, but V-humans are already well ahead of other races, so I'd look a bit askance at anything that nerfed nonhumans further and did nothing to compensate.
Eh... I'd say that other than the standard six-ish(?) feats that most people say are overpowered (your GWM, SS, Lucky etc.)... all the rest are pretty much on par with the racial stuff the deminhumans get. So I'd say that even most V-Humans aren't going to be out ahead should Darkvision get removed from the demi-humans and not get replaced. But that's just me and what I see at my table, YMMV.
 

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