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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.

AtomicPope

Adventurer
We need 3 types of vision:
1) Normal: same
2) Lowlight: dim counts as normal. Darkness unaffected.
3 Darkvision: same

Creatures that live underground, traditionally "dark" creatures, and certain magical races get Darkvision. The rest get either Normal or Lowlight. I would cut out even some Dwarves from Darkvision, such as Hill Dwarves. The sneaky Halfling should get Lowlight.
 

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Dragonsbane

Proud Grognard
Our elves have low light, dwarves and gnomes darkvision, and halfling and humans none. And we don't allow circus races, or furry tails.
 

Puddles

Explorer
I would happily get rid of it, or make it a class feature for classes that should have it (rogues).

The image of adventurers stepping into a dungeon, torches lighting the way is iconic.

In my campaign, the only character without darkvision is the human rogue, and it makes him feel the least stealthy at times because of it.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
I'd be up for scraping the whole thing and just giving some races low-light vision.

Subterranean types can also have low light vision and, more importantly, use light sources. The Underdark does not have to be in darkness. It can be full of magical light and phosphorescent fungi.

Subterranean monsters that do live in total darkness don't really need darkvision either. Give them alternative senses as a substitute for vision (just treat it as blindsight) or give them Keen Senses traits with smell and hearing.
 

the Jester

Legend
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.
I really strongly feel that 4e did this best, with both low-light and darkvision being available and distinct. Going back to darkvision for everyone was a huge regression. I totally agree that darkness can be a major thing if not everyone can see in it so easily. Taking the light cantrip should be a meaningful thing for most races.
 


IMO infravision, low light vision and dark vision has been a little more trouble than its worth. If it were up to me I'd get rid of it as a PC option. I'd keep it for some monsters/races but at a very reduced number. When some PCs have darkvision and others in the party don't those with it can just scout ahead nullifying the need for other to carry torches or at least keep track of them. Without looking it up I have trouble remembering the effects of darkness how far one can see in low light conditions, etc, so when I use the rules its planned, and most of the time we assume players that need it are using torches or lanterns.
 

6ENow!

I don't debate opinions.
I really strongly feel that 4e did this best, with both low-light and darkvision being available and distinct. Going back to darkvision for everyone was a huge regression. I totally agree that darkness can be a major thing if not everyone can see in it so easily. Taking the light cantrip should be a meaningful thing for most races.
Yep. The 5E Mod my group's is working on goes so far as to make Light, Dancing Lights, and Control Flames 1st-level spells again. I want most PCs to fear the dark... :devilish:

We have also removed darkvision from nearly all playable races with only a handful of exceptions. Long LIVE TORCHES AND LANTERNS!!! HAZZAH!
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Something like:

Brightvision (normal human):
• see in brightness in color
• see in dimness in black-and-white
• blind in darkness

Dimvision (nocturnal where the glare of daylight is partially blinding):
• see in brightness in black-and-white
• see in dimness (even as faint as the light of stars or a distant candle) in color
• blind in darkness

Darkvision (subterranean magical creatures, including drow elves who find magical dim lighting beneficial):
• blind in brightness
• see in dimness in color
• see in darkness in black-and-white

Fiendvision (magical creatures who personify darkness, including devil-touched or demon-touched tieflings):
• blind in brightness
• see in dimness in black-and-white
• see in darkness in color
 
Last edited:

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Didn't vote. There was no option for 'remove lighting and vision rules'.
Yeah.

I like the lighting rules (bright, dim, and dark). But I hate tracking the radius of a lightsource, so I dont. Typically, everything in a combat encounter is either bright, dim, or dark, universally. Only scanning long-distance might take into account a small area of lighting.
 

Underground and deep water races only.
Dwarves are barely an underground race these days, by the way, so I'd cut 'em out too.

I found it interesting that people suggested orcs and goblinoids "because they are mostly active at night", despite the fact they have zero daylight sensitivity. Tolkien vibes still vibing, I guess.

Maybe add aasimar and tiefling to reflect their celestial and fiendish heritage. But definitely no elves (except drow, if kept as an underground-only race), gnomes, and fey-like because "fey", and no animal-folk because "animals see good at night".

There you go. Torches are back in the menu for the dungeon tonight.
 

ScuroNotte

Explorer
If I was in charge I would cut the number of pc races with dark vision to a fourth. But I would allow it as a feat.
I agree. having it as a feat is perfect as it could be a part of the character's background of how and where they lived. Example a human who was kept as a prisoner in the Underdark learned to adapt to low lighting
 

Yeah.

I like the lighting rules (bright, dim, and dark). But I hate tracking the radius of a lightsource, so I dont. Typically, everything in a combat encounter is either bright, dim, or dark, universally. Only scanning long-distance might take into account a small area of lighting.
Not to mention counting torches and other onerous bookkeeping. I just assume there's a light source somewhere and then some monsters have special eyes/senses that let them do something interesting.
 

Although it goes against a lot of established lore, the best way to handle it form a "running the game" perspective is to get rid of darkvison entirely. (At least as a racial trait.) Having different pc's who can see different things adds a lot of confusion and complexity and rarely makes for more interesting encounters: in combat everything happens close by, and in exploration it's assumed people will explain stuff to the teammates who can't see as well.

I could see tweaking the darkvision spell to be a party-wide option, but other than that people should need light sources (or not, if you don't want to be bothered tracking torches.)
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
So... I like to use three vision types as well.

1) Normal vision.
2) Elfsight. Does not confer the ability to see in darkness, but doubles sight ranges in all conditions, including dim light, bright light and fog.
3) Darkvision. Only nocturnal or subterranean races get this. Works just like the book says. Darkness becomes dim light within the range. Black and white vision only.

Dark Elves would have both Elfsight and Darkvision.

An elf on the prow of the ship on a clear day can see 4 miles in every direction, rather than 2 like humans. In a fog that limits sight to 20ft, those with elfsight can see 40ft. In darkness and holding a torch, 20ft bright, 20ft dim for a human, they see 40ft of bright light and 40ft of dim light (80 total feet).

Makes for very Tolkienesque elves, where light is still important but their vision is second to none.
 


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