D&D 5E Swallowing may cause blindness

A kraken ate one of my player's character's today. We then had to deal with the oddity that being swallowed by monsters for some odd reason imposes the blinded condition. I just told him I want to go with the rule for tonight (it was a one-shot and I didn't really want to nerf the kraken as they were clearly (to me) winning anyway*), but I'd think about it later.

So. It's weird. I mean, I didn't have a problem fluffing being knocked prone in the water as being thrown off balance, but auto-blindness due to swallowing seems a bit of a stretch. The character was wearing a gem of brightness on her wrist and the only way I can think of blindness working is if you imagine her being squished between tissues with no room to move. Since she had a freedom of movement effect on her, she wasn't even restrained so she could just move around. But even if she couldn't...the kraken is ginormous. It seems much more interesting to imagine being in a fairly large area inside of the sea monster, than wedged into an intestine.

Mechanically though, blindness prevents you from having advantage on attacks, which is a pretty good thing for a swallowed character in my opinion.

I like how much "bite" the condition gives the attack, I just have a hard time justifying the nature of the condition.

Any thoughts?

* They won; all PCs survived.
 

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Rygar

Explorer
A kraken ate one of my player's character's today. We then had to deal with the oddity that being swallowed by monsters for some odd reason imposes the blinded condition. I just told him I want to go with the rule for tonight (it was a one-shot and I didn't really want to nerf the kraken as they were clearly (to me) winning anyway*), but I'd think about it later.

So. It's weird. I mean, I didn't have a problem fluffing being knocked prone in the water as being thrown off balance, but auto-blindness due to swallowing seems a bit of a stretch. The character was wearing a gem of brightness on her wrist and the only way I can think of blindness working is if you imagine her being squished between tissues with no room to move. Since she had a freedom of movement effect on her, she wasn't even restrained so she could just move around. But even if she couldn't...the kraken is ginormous. It seems much more interesting to imagine being in a fairly large area inside of the sea monster, than wedged into an intestine.

Mechanically though, blindness prevents you from having advantage on attacks, which is a pretty good thing for a swallowed character in my opinion.

I like how much "bite" the condition gives the attack, I just have a hard time justifying the nature of the condition.

Any thoughts?

* They won; all PCs survived.

Hydrochloric Acid is going to do some pretty terrible things to your eyes.
 

As I see it, it's shorthand. The rules could say, "The subject has no line of sight to anything outside the creature, and cannot gain advantage on attacks against the creature that swallowed it," and could mention elsewhere that it's dark inside--although, duh--but just saying "blind" accomplishes all of that much more briefly and succinctly, and will very rarely have any unanticipated side effects. For those few times it does, well, that's why you have a DM and not a computer. :)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Hydrochloric Acid is going to do some pretty terrible things to your eyes.
And-besides teeth- some critters use their tongues, esophagus and other pre-stomach organs to crush and/or grind their food, which, to me, implies extremely tight confines. Thus, poor visibility.
 



GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Shorthand, sure. But another confusing rule in a great game that seems plagued with confusing rules. It seems like something that would make perfect sense to a programmer, or a regular Twitter user. You know, just add #blinded. Problem solved.

Except it's not, because as Sword of Spirit said - a gem of brightness and freedom of movement make it pretty dang hard to be blinded. How about the DM uses common sense (is that the problem?), and realizes that it's probably dark inside a creature? Or we get over the living-inside-a-whale thing and just accept that once you're swallowed, you're dead?

By the way, She Jones has a theme song, with some lyrics that are eerily applicable to this thread:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-ArWjZJhPg
 

A kraken ate one of my player's character's today. We then had to deal with the oddity that being swallowed by monsters for some odd reason imposes the blinded condition. I just told him I want to go with the rule for tonight (it was a one-shot and I didn't really want to nerf the kraken as they were clearly (to me) winning anyway*), but I'd think about it later.

So. It's weird. I mean, I didn't have a problem fluffing being knocked prone in the water as being thrown off balance, but auto-blindness due to swallowing seems a bit of a stretch. The character was wearing a gem of brightness on her wrist and the only way I can think of blindness working is if you imagine her being squished between tissues with no room to move. Since she had a freedom of movement effect on her, she wasn't even restrained so she could just move around. But even if she couldn't...the kraken is ginormous. It seems much more interesting to imagine being in a fairly large area inside of the sea monster, than wedged into an intestine.

Mechanically though, blindness prevents you from having advantage on attacks, which is a pretty good thing for a swallowed character in my opinion.

I like how much "bite" the condition gives the attack, I just have a hard time justifying the nature of the condition.

Any thoughts?

* They won; all PCs survived.

Indeed, she would be squished between tissues with no room to move. There isn't a whole lot of just empty space inside of a body no matter where you are, there's almost always something filling that space, whether its tissue, fluid, muscle, fat, etc. Blindness totally makes sense to me, in the way that Mouseferatu explains it: The only thing you're going to be able to see anyway is the tissue of the monster, so blindness is an appropriate condition for all intents and purposes.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
Indeed, she would be squished between tissues with no room to move. There isn't a whole lot of just empty space inside of a body no matter where you are, there's almost always something filling that space, whether its tissue, fluid, muscle, fat, etc. Blindness totally makes sense to me, in the way that Mouseferatu explains it: The only thing you're going to be able to see anyway is the tissue of the monster, so blindness is an appropriate condition for all intents and purposes.

No way man, if my experience with video games and D&D has taught me anything...its that you can have entire adventures inside the monster that swallowed you. /grin
 

Syntallah

First Post
"Shorthand, sure. But another confusing rule in a great game that seems plagued with confusing rules."


No, not a confusing rule if looked at within the Rulings not Rules concept of this Edition. Normally, when you get swallowed, you are blinded (by those reasons stated in this thread). However, when the player reminds the DM that her PC has a Gem of Brightness on, and Freedom of Movement going, he takes a millisecond and says: "you're right, no blindness, it's your turn, what do you do?"

Common Sense is back in the DM's Toolbox, gang... relish in that..!
 
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Syntallah

First Post
I agree wholeheartedly; been using it for years. My post was directed at those individuals who seem to be disappointed with 5E and its lack of 'clear-and-concise-rulings-for-all-occasions"
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
And-besides teeth- some critters use their tongues, esophagus and other pre-stomach organs to crush and/or grind their food, which, to me, implies extremely tight confines. Thus, poor visibility.

Speaking with my veterinarian-wife, a fairly good source on animal anatomy, and probably the only one here who has ever had to surgically remove anything from a stomach...

Being swallowed whole is not like the typical image of Jonah and the Whale, where there's some great cavernous, air filled space. It is more like being stuffed into a Crown Royal bag, and having the drawstring pulled tight. The walls of the stomach and intestines are soft, and tend to enfold what is within. So, freedom of movement means you can move. And having a light source means that there's a flashlight on - but there's still stomach wall *in your face*.

In effect, it is like having a wet, floppy, acidic, mucus-coated bag over your head. Having a light source in the bag with you doesn't really help. Being able to move around within the bag also doesn't help. It isn't a place where you can really say, "Aha! I have a superior position to you!"
 


GameOgre

Adventurer
I don't get eaten by a kraken every day, but when I do, I wear Two-Titans Darkvision goggles. The only goggles guaranteed to let you see exactly what part of the stomach you end up inhabiting.

Now in both Sexy Drow Purple and Ingenious Gnome Blue while supplies last.
 






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