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D&D 5E Too Many PC Races With Darkvision? (a Poll)

Yes, this race SHOULD have darkvision.

  • Aarakocra

  • Aasimar, Fallen

  • Aasimar, Protector

  • Aasimar, Scourge

  • Bugbear

  • Centaur

  • Changeling

  • Dragonborn

  • Dwarf, Duergar

  • Dwarf, Hill

  • Dwarf, Mountain

  • Elf, Drow

  • Elf, High

  • Elf, Wood

  • Firbolg

  • Genasi, Air

  • Genasi, Earth

  • Genasi, Fire

  • Genasi, Water

  • Gith

  • Gnome, Forest

  • Gnome, Rock

  • Gnome, Svirfneblin (Deep)

  • Goblin

  • Goliath

  • Grung

  • Half-Elf

  • Halfling, Lightfoot

  • Halfling, Stout

  • Half-Orc

  • Hobgoblin

  • Human

  • Kalashtar

  • Kenku

  • Kobold

  • Leonin

  • Lizardfolk

  • Locathah

  • Loxodon

  • Minotaur

  • Orc

  • Orc of Eberron

  • Orc of Exandria

  • Satyr

  • Shifter

  • Simic Hybrid

  • Tabaxi

  • Tiefling

  • Tiefling, Feral

  • Tortle

  • Triton

  • Vedalken

  • Verdan

  • Warforged

  • Young-Ti Pureblood

  • NONE OF THE ABOVE


Results are only viewable after voting.

6ENow!

I don't debate opinions.
According to my quick run of PC races I know of (I am sure I might have missed some...), more than half of all PC races get darkvision. IMO, this is a shame because darkness is one of the greatest elements for creating mystery and suspense, etc. For exploration, it is also a key component. And well more than half of the core PHB races have darkvision.

I know there are arguments for many races, some pretty strong, some weak. And there are races that IMO should have it, but don't (I'm looking at you, Dragonborn!).

So, I wanted to get your opinion. Below are dozens of playable races, vote for the race if you think they should have darkvision.
 

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Stalker0

Legend
Honestly I would just give Dwarves darkvision as a special aspect of their race.

Elves already have keen vision, yes they are effected by light, but ultimately still less so than humans because of their perception advantage. They don't need to see in dark just as well as the race that lives underground.
 

I agree that too many races get dark vision.

But, darkvision isn’t all that bad. There is still a trade off (disadvantage on perception and -5 to passive can make a difference between getting ambushed or triggering a trap).

Personally, I follow the OD&D approach. Monsters have perfect vision in darkness, PCs have the by-the-book version. If for whatever reason, a monster becomes allied with the PCs or becomes a PC race, they get by-the-book darkvision.

So orcs as monsters see perfectly in total darkness, but an orc PC gets the imperfect Darkvision trait.

If a party wants to rely on darkvision, just remember to enforce the rules
 




Reynard

Legend
I was just discussing this with a friend and I think the real issue is that we don't enforce the negatives of dim light (and to a lesser extent monochrome vision) enough. Especially when dungeon crawling, disadvantage on those attacks and perception checks, and enemies having concealment can be very bad.
 

Iry

Hero
I voted yes to races that live underground: dwarves, deep gnomes, drow, kobold.

I voted yes to races of darkness: bugbear, goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, half orcs.

I voted yes to races related to creatures with supernatural vision: dragonborn, tieflings.

Everyone else gets a no, including every elf that is not a drow.
 

GreenTengu

Adventurer
I think part of the issue is that there should be two very distinct kinds of "see in the dark" types.

There should be those who live on the surface but are likely primarily nocturnal and so can get around in low-light conditions and those who live underground or deep underwater where they just won't be any natural sun, moon or star light and yet manage to get around just fine.

But probably a big barrier to that is that one would have to rewrite a lot of what has been written about the Goblinoids, Orcs and so on and very clearly define what their natural habitat in the world actually is even if that makes old adventures make a bit less sense. Something that, I suppose, could be resolved if they simply had clearly distinct subterranean subraces.

Although I think subraces should just be done away with entirely and instead figure that these previous representations kind of represent the extremes of a race and the typical member of a race is probably somewhere on the spectrum between some of these subraces and not necessarily entirely defined by them.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I was just discussing this with a friend and I think the real issue is that we don't enforce the negatives of dim light (and to a lesser extent monochrome vision) enough. Especially when dungeon crawling, disadvantage on those attacks and perception checks, and enemies having concealment can be very bad.

I have a similar issue. And monochrome vision sucks out a lot of the fun of dungeon exploration. No fantastic mural that leaps out at you. No red blood to warn of trouble ahead. I remember some fountain the PCs encountered that was some interesting color, until I remembered they all had dark vision, so yeah it was just grey. :(
 

I would tie darkvision to daylight sensitivity. Therefore, the only races that have darkvision are those with daylight sensitivity. Like that's just part of the darkvision package now. Instead of disadvantage in total darkness, you get disadvantage in daylight. Then make the daylight spell trigger daylight sensitivity. Then update magic effects that grant darkvision to also eliminate daylight sensitivity.

I would probably limit darkvision to just the races that always dwell deeply underground: gray dwarves, drow, deep gnomes, kobolds, etc.
 

Reynard

Legend
I would tie darkvision to daylight sensitivity. Therefore, the only races that have darkvision are those with daylight sensitivity. Like that's just part of the darkvision package now. Instead of disadvantage in total darkness, you get disadvantage in daylight. Then make the daylight spell trigger daylight sensitivity. Then update magic effects that grant darkvision to also eliminate daylight sensitivity.

I would probably limit darkvision to just the races that always dwell deeply underground: gray dwarves, drow, deep gnomes, kobolds, etc.
This is probably the simplest and fairest solution.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Voted dwarves, drow, svirfneblin, kobolds. Wouldn’t mind some other races getting a “dim light as bright light” feature, though, to recognize them as more nocturnally oriented.

But very few races should be able to see in an unlit cave.
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Dealing with vision is a pain for many gamers. I think the proliferation of races with darkvision is to make it easier to hand-wave the issue away.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Darkvision is way too common. I think it should only go to a handful of races, and only those that dwell in the lightless realms such as Duergar, Drow and the other races that never see the light of day.

I'm not even sure I'd give it to the likes of goblins, orcs, trolls and the like. Let them still have a reason to use torches and light their dark caves.
 

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