Man, I hate Vision in D&D. Other RPGs don’t talk about it as much, or maybe I just don’t play them as much, but I hate going to describe something as being dark, and then I remember “Oh, yeah, darkvision.” I hate how there aren’t rules for trying to sneak through caves with torches or light spells. The rules about lighting are one way, there’s some things about disadvantaging players with their perception checks, but there isn’t clarification on what constitutes being able to see, what not being able to see color means for noticing things, idk.
How far characters can see is another one. I’m running a campaign as dragons and knowing how far they can see is important. I did, as I was typing this, find a Stack Overflow that answered this question (40 miles) while trying to research another one. (At 10,000 feet, each hour travelled counts as 2)
But even those numbers don’t help. How far away can you see a dragon? How about a coin?
The real problem is that these things, these ideas of Vision are not version specific. Having a bright light as you creep around a cave should ruin your stealth in ANY game. The Verisimilitude of the world doesn’t change, just the gameplay and mechanics. But Story can stand on Verisimilitude’s shoulders, just as easily.
Maybe I should write a book, the definitive guide on how light works in RPGs. Talk about spells, talk about torches and lanterns and Darkvison. Build pseudo-rules for adapting your eyes to the darkness, things like that.
Buuuutttt…. That sounds like a lot of work that I don’t really want to do, for no reward. So I’d have to have people clamoring for such a document.
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