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How does the Darkness spell work?

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Anonymous
August 20, 2004 5:38:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

This question can apply to any edition, but I'm using 3E for my examples.

Do you rule that Darkness (the spell) creates "anti-light"? For example, sppse
it is totally dark in a cave and the mage casts Darkness. The spell description
says it "radiates shadowy illumination". Would you now see because you created
shadowy light?

Also, would an archer in Magic Darkness have the 20% concealment penalty when
attacking someone outside the darkness with his bow?

Per SRD:
Darkness
Evocation [Darkness]
Level: Brd 2, Clr 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Object touched
Duration: 10 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

This spell causes an object to radiate shadowy illumination out to a 20-foot
radius. All creatures in the area gain concealment (20% miss chance). Even
creatures that can normally see in such conditions (such as with darkvision
or low-light vision) have the miss chance in an area shrouded in magical
darkness.

Normal lights (torches, candles, lanterns, and so forth) are incapable of
brightening the area, as are light spells of lower level. Higher level light
spells are not affected by darkness.

If darkness is cast on a small object that is then placed inside or under a
lightproof covering, the spell's effect is blocked until the covering is
removed.

Darkness counters or dispels any light spell of equal or lower spell level.

More about : darkness spell work

Anonymous
August 20, 2004 6:13:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

weberm@polaris.net (Ubiquitous) wrote in
news:cg4usr$r6i$1@news.utelfla.com:

> This question can apply to any edition, but I'm using 3E for my
> examples.
>
> Do you rule that Darkness (the spell) creates "anti-light"? For example,
> sppse it is totally dark in a cave and the mage casts Darkness. The
> spell description says it "radiates shadowy illumination". Would you now
> see because you created shadowy light?

Do not be silly.


> Also, would an archer in Magic Darkness have the 20% concealment penalty
> when attacking someone outside the darkness with his bow?

Yes, if the archer is located in or on the oppossite side of the darkness
spell.
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 7:48:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

Ubiquitous wrote:
> Do you rule that Darkness (the spell) creates "anti-light"? For example, sppse
> it is totally dark in a cave and the mage casts Darkness. The spell description
> says it "radiates shadowy illumination". Would you now see because you created
> shadowy light?

Yes, I wold say that darness spel creates an area of "anti light", which
prevents none magical light from shining up the area and magical light of
lesser power (spell caster level) are treated as none magical light.


> Also, would an archer in Magic Darkness have the 20% concealment penalty when
> attacking someone outside the darkness with his bow?

If the archer don't have "blind fighting", then he suffers from the total
penalty as if he was blinded (he don't see anything, not inside the area nor
outside the area as the light from the outside can't work inside the area).


//Aho
Related resources
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 9:37:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

"Ubiquitous" <weberm@polaris.net> wrote in message
news:cg4usr$r6i$1@news.utelfla.com...
> This question can apply to any edition, but I'm using 3E for my examples.

Except, of course, that 3E changes the way Darkness works profoundly
from previous editions.

> Do you rule that Darkness (the spell) creates "anti-light"? For example,
sppse
> it is totally dark in a cave and the mage casts Darkness. The spell
description
> says it "radiates shadowy illumination". Would you now see because you
created
> shadowy light?

Don't be a jackass. If you are already in total darkness, casting
Darkness is not going to make it *brighter*. Darkness spells radiate {foo}
that obstructs light, reducing the maximum ambient lighting to "shadowy".
Notice the rules for how, when cancelled by the appropriate [Light] spells,
prevailing conditions would then apply?

> Also, would an archer in Magic Darkness have the 20% concealment penalty
when
> attacking someone outside the darkness with his bow?

Concealment works both ways. Surely you have read these rules?

-Michael
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 11:47:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

In article <2omdl7Fc8t71U1@uni-berlin.de>, user@example.net wrote:
>Ubiquitous wrote:

>> Also, would an archer in Magic Darkness have the 20% concealment penalty
>> when attacking someone outside the darkness with his bow?
>
>If the archer don't have "blind fighting", then he suffers from the total
>penalty as if he was blinded (he don't see anything, not inside the area nor
>outside the area as the light from the outside can't work inside the area).

OK, if a character is blinded he cannot attack an enemy, but he can attack
a square he thinks the enemy is in with a 50% miss chance, assuming he
guesses correctly and target is in the correct square.

How would you handle this?

It's kind of hard to tell a player:

"I know you can look at the mini's on the battle map and know what square the
bad guy is in, but you still have to guess which square to attack."

What mechanic do you use to "guess" where an enemy is?

--
======================================================================
ISLAM: Winning the hearts and minds of the world, one bomb at a time.
Anonymous
August 20, 2004 11:47:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

"Ubiquitous" <weberm@polaris.net> wrote in message
news:MqydnZCIgowDBrvcRVn-vw@comcast.com...
> OK, if a character is blinded he cannot attack an enemy, but he can
attack
> a square he thinks the enemy is in with a 50% miss chance, assuming he
> guesses correctly and target is in the correct square.
>
> How would you handle this?

By using the rules for making Listen checks to locate foes.

> It's kind of hard to tell a player:
> "I know you can look at the mini's on the battle map and know what square
the
> bad guy is in, but you still have to guess which square to attack."
> What mechanic do you use to "guess" where an enemy is?

Imagine this.

Reach over the battle map ... ... and pick up the piece.
You could even ... have the player turn his back to the map. Pick up
the piece(s) when he turns around.

If that's not practical, then use a d20 to reflect the "noise" in the
blind character's self-awareness compared to the battle map. There are 8
squares surrounding any given square on the board, right? So a character
has a 1/9 chance of having actually fired at the "intended" square if
they're coached (or are remembering) towards a relevant direction. On top
of that, they have a 1/2 chance of being 'on target' enough to warrant an
attack roll - so they have a 1/18 chance of needing to roll an attack. So
toss a d20 (rerolling 1s,2s), and if it comes up a "20", then make an
attack.

-Michael
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 1:31:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

My DM put up a screen up so that the players can not see what is where.
Whether the spell is Blindness or Invisibility.

Kani
"Ubiquitous" <weberm@polaris.net> wrote in message
news:MqydnZCIgowDBrvcRVn-vw@comcast.com...
> In article <2omdl7Fc8t71U1@uni-berlin.de>, user@example.net wrote:
> >Ubiquitous wrote:
>
> >> Also, would an archer in Magic Darkness have the 20% concealment
penalty
> >> when attacking someone outside the darkness with his bow?
> >
> >If the archer don't have "blind fighting", then he suffers from the total
> >penalty as if he was blinded (he don't see anything, not inside the area
nor
> >outside the area as the light from the outside can't work inside the
area).
>
> OK, if a character is blinded he cannot attack an enemy, but he can attack
> a square he thinks the enemy is in with a 50% miss chance, assuming he
> guesses correctly and target is in the correct square.
>
> How would you handle this?
>
> It's kind of hard to tell a player:
>
> "I know you can look at the mini's on the battle map and know what square
the
> bad guy is in, but you still have to guess which square to attack."
>
> What mechanic do you use to "guess" where an enemy is?
>
> --
> ======================================================================
> ISLAM: Winning the hearts and minds of the world, one bomb at a time.
>
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 5:37:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 19:47:26 -0500, Ubiquitous wrote:

{Foomph...}

> It's kind of hard to tell a player:
>
> "I know you can look at the mini's on the battle map and know what square the
> bad guy is in, but you still have to guess which square to attack."
>
> What mechanic do you use to "guess" where an enemy is?

Well, I use a mix of two things:

If the target is hidden, then there is no figure on the map. If OTOH,
the character is unable to see, I swipe a rule from Car Wars: The player
has to play with his back to the map, (after I define a 'front' for his
character for reference purposes).

--
Phoenix
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 12:15:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

Ubiquitous wrote:

> OK, if a character is blinded he cannot attack an enemy, but he can attack
> a square he thinks the enemy is in with a 50% miss chance, assuming he
> guesses correctly and target is in the correct square.
>
> How would you handle this?
>
> It's kind of hard to tell a player:
>
> "I know you can look at the mini's on the battle map and know what square the
> bad guy is in, but you still have to guess which square to attack."
>
> What mechanic do you use to "guess" where an enemy is?
>

I don't play with minis, so I have the easy of using a d100 for guessing.
I would suggest you remove all the minis that the players (characters) don't
know where they are and just use the dice to see if they guess right.


//Aho
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 1:49:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

"Michael Scott Brown" <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote in message news:<1FqVc.4300$2L3.594@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net>...
> "Ubiquitous" <weberm@polaris.net> wrote in message
> news:cg4usr$r6i$1@news.utelfla.com...
> > This question can apply to any edition, but I'm using 3E for my examples.
>
> Except, of course, that 3E changes the way Darkness works profoundly
> from previous editions.
>
> > Do you rule that Darkness (the spell) creates "anti-light"? For example,
> sppse
> > it is totally dark in a cave and the mage casts Darkness. The spell
> description
> > says it "radiates shadowy illumination". Would you now see because you
> created
> > shadowy light?
>
> Don't be a jackass. If you are already in total darkness, casting
> Darkness is not going to make it *brighter*. Darkness spells radiate {foo}
> that obstructs light, reducing the maximum ambient lighting to "shadowy".
> Notice the rules for how, when cancelled by the appropriate [Light] spells,
> prevailing conditions would then apply?

I never had thought about this, but with 3.5e darkness being "shadowy
illumination" and with the fact that you can see in the plane of
shadows, now makes me think that the 3.5e darkness really would make a
pitch black cave clearer.

--
@ @ Nockermensch, now what we need is a new kind of darkness vision
who pierces this shadowy illumination.
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 2:28:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

Mere moments before death, Michael Scott Brown hastily scrawled:
>"Ubiquitous" <weberm@polaris.net> wrote in message
>news:MqydnZCIgowDBrvcRVn-vw@comcast.com...
>> OK, if a character is blinded he cannot attack an enemy, but he can
>attack
>> a square he thinks the enemy is in with a 50% miss chance, assuming he
>> guesses correctly and target is in the correct square.
>>
>> How would you handle this?
>
> By using the rules for making Listen checks to locate foes.
>
>> It's kind of hard to tell a player:
>> "I know you can look at the mini's on the battle map and know what square
>the
>> bad guy is in, but you still have to guess which square to attack."
>> What mechanic do you use to "guess" where an enemy is?
>
> Imagine this.
>
> Reach over the battle map ... ... and pick up the piece.
> You could even ... have the player turn his back to the map. Pick up
>the piece(s) when he turns around.

Ubi would forget where the piece was himself.

> If that's not practical, then use a d20 to reflect the "noise" in the
>blind character's self-awareness compared to the battle map. There are 8
>squares surrounding any given square on the board, right? So a character
>has a 1/9 chance of having actually fired at the "intended" square if
>they're coached (or are remembering) towards a relevant direction. On top
>of that, they have a 1/2 chance of being 'on target' enough to warrant an
>attack roll - so they have a 1/18 chance of needing to roll an attack. So
>toss a d20 (rerolling 1s,2s), and if it comes up a "20", then make an
>attack.

That's not a bad ad hoc rule that could prove useful. I'm nicking it,
just in case.



Ed Chauvin IV

--
DISCLAIMER : WARNING: RULE # 196 is X-rated in that to calculate L,
use X = [(C2/10)^2], and RULE # 193 which is NOT meant to be read by
kids, since RULE # 187 EXPLAINS homosexuality mathematically, using
modifier G @ 11.

"I always feel left out when someone *else* gets killfiled."
--Terry Austin
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 6:21:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

In article <4769522f.0408210849.23a4a9d0@posting.google.com>,
nockermensch@hotmail.com wrote:

>I never had thought about this, but with 3.5e darkness being "shadowy
>illumination" and with the fact that you can see in the plane of
>shadows, now makes me think that the 3.5e darkness really would make a
>pitch black cave clearer.

Yeah, the way they worded it is unfortunate, isn't it?

--
======================================================================
ISLAM: Winning the hearts and minds of the world, one bomb at a time.
Anonymous
August 21, 2004 9:08:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

"Nockermensch" <nockermensch@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:4769522f.0408210849.23a4a9d0@posting.google.com...
> "Michael Scott Brown" <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:<1FqVc.4300$2L3.594@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net>...
> > Don't be a jackass. If you are already in total darkness, casting
> > Darkness is not going to make it *brighter*. Darkness spells radiate
{foo}
> > that obstructs light, reducing the maximum ambient lighting to
"shadowy".
> > Notice the rules for how, when cancelled by the appropriate [Light]
spells,
> > prevailing conditions would then apply?
>
> I never had thought about this, but with 3.5e darkness being "shadowy
> illumination" and with the fact that you can see in the plane of
> shadows, now makes me think that the 3.5e darkness really would make a
> pitch black cave clearer.

That kind of stupidity makes me grouchy. Stop now. The plane of shadows
is not a giant Darkness spell.

-Michael
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 2:52:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

nockermensch@hotmail.com wrote:

> I never had thought about this, but with 3.5e darkness being "shadowy
> illumination" and with the fact that you can see in the plane of
> shadows, now makes me think that the 3.5e darkness really would make a
> pitch black cave clearer.

While this is just too weird for my tastes, what about if the cave's
already shadowy? Can you make it completely dark by casting darkness?
I'd be inclined to allow it, but a strict reading of the rules wouldn't
support it.


--
Jasin Zujovic
jzujovic@inet.hr
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 11:33:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

Jasin Zujovic wrote:
> nockermensch@hotmail.com wrote:
>
>> I never had thought about this, but with 3.5e darkness being "shadowy
>> illumination" and with the fact that you can see in the plane of
>> shadows, now makes me think that the 3.5e darkness really would make a
>> pitch black cave clearer.
>
> While this is just too weird for my tastes, what about if the cave's
> already shadowy? Can you make it completely dark by casting darkness?
> I'd be inclined to allow it, but a strict reading of the rules wouldn't
> support it.

Think of it this way: rather than "radiating shadowy illumination", the Darkness
spell lowers prevailing light levels by an amount which produces shadowy
illumination in a daylit area - so in a less-than-daylit area, you get even less
light.

--
Christopher Adams - Sydney, Australia
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you
understand?
http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/mhacdebhandia/prestigec...
Anonymous
August 22, 2004 4:19:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

Mere moments before death, Christopher Adams hastily scrawled:
>Jasin Zujovic wrote:
>> nockermensch@hotmail.com wrote:
>>
>>> I never had thought about this, but with 3.5e darkness being "shadowy
>>> illumination" and with the fact that you can see in the plane of
>>> shadows, now makes me think that the 3.5e darkness really would make a
>>> pitch black cave clearer.
>>
>> While this is just too weird for my tastes, what about if the cave's
>> already shadowy? Can you make it completely dark by casting darkness?
>> I'd be inclined to allow it, but a strict reading of the rules wouldn't
>> support it.
>
>Think of it this way: rather than "radiating shadowy illumination", the Darkness
>spell lowers prevailing light levels by an amount which produces shadowy
>illumination in a daylit area - so in a less-than-daylit area, you get even less
>light.

That's exactly what I tool "radiating shadowy illumination" to mean.



Ed Chauvin IV

--
DISCLAIMER : WARNING: RULE # 196 is X-rated in that to calculate L,
use X = [(C2/10)^2], and RULE # 193 which is NOT meant to be read by
kids, since RULE # 187 EXPLAINS homosexuality mathematically, using
modifier G @ 11.

"I always feel left out when someone *else* gets killfiled."
--Terry Austin
Anonymous
August 23, 2004 2:27:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 14:21:08 -0500, weberm@polaris.net (Ubiquitous)
wrote:

>In article <4769522f.0408210849.23a4a9d0@posting.google.com>,
>nockermensch@hotmail.com wrote:
>
>>I never had thought about this, but with 3.5e darkness being "shadowy
>>illumination" and with the fact that you can see in the plane of
>>shadows, now makes me think that the 3.5e darkness really would make a
>>pitch black cave clearer.
>
>Yeah, the way they worded it is unfortunate, isn't it?


Unfortunate for those without a flipping clue

Come on..casting a Darkness spell will NEVER improve illumination.

Casting a light spell that only provides minimal lighting won't make a
brightly lit area suddenly darker either.

Yeeesh.
incrdbil
Anonymous
August 23, 2004 8:08:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

I was reading through Dragon Magazine #322, when it suddenly hit me why Darkness
is phrased the way it is, albeit that it's still bloody clumsy:

It's so that it has the same effects on creatures with darkvision as creatures
without it.

In daylight, Darkness lowers the light level to equivalence with shadowy
illumination. In a lightless cave, Darkness would have no additional effect on
creatures without darkvision, but it still dims the vision of creatures which do
have darkvision.

This is all bloody obvious, of course, but there's your answer; the relevant
effect of the spell is the 20% miss chance, which applies in all conditions.

--
Christopher Adams - Sydney, Australia
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you
understand?
http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/mhacdebhandia/prestigec...
Anonymous
August 23, 2004 8:31:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

"Christopher Adams" <mhacdebhandia@yahoo.invalid> wrote in message
news:E4eWc.3574$D7.1305@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
> This is all bloody obvious, of course, but there's your answer; the
relevant
> effect of the spell is the 20% miss chance, which applies in all
conditions.

.. to those who might be able to see in those conditions otherwise.

-Michael
Anonymous
August 24, 2004 10:21:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

Michael Scott Brown wrote:
> Christopher Adams wrote:

>> This is all bloody obvious, of course, but there's your answer; the
>> relevant effect of the spell is the 20% miss chance, which applies in
>> all conditions.
>
> .. to those who might be able to see in those conditions otherwise.

Indeed. Obviously, a human character in a pitch-dark cave has more to worry
about than a little Darkness spell when it comes to fighting. ;) 

--
Christopher Adams - Sydney, Australia
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you
understand?
http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/mhacdebhandia/prestigec...
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 7:59:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd,alt.games.adnd (More info?)

In article <1FqVc.4300$2L3.594@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net>,
mistermichael@earthlink.net wrote:
>"Ubiquitous" <weberm@polaris.net> wrote:

>> This question can apply to any edition, but I'm using 3E for my examples.
>
> Except, of course, that 3E changes the way Darkness works profoundly
>from previous editions.

True, true.

>> Do you rule that Darkness (the spell) creates "anti-light"? For example,
>> sppse it is totally dark in a cave and the mage casts Darkness. The spell
>> description says it "radiates shadowy illumination". Would you now see
>> because you created shadowy light?
>
> Don't be a jackass. If you are already in total darkness, casting
>Darkness is not going to make it *brighter*. Darkness spells radiate {foo}
>that obstructs light, reducing the maximum ambient lighting to "shadowy".
>Notice the rules for how, when cancelled by the appropriate [Light] spells,
>prevailing conditions would then apply?

Yep.

>> Also, would an archer in Magic Darkness have the 20% concealment penalty
>> when attacking someone outside the darkness with his bow?
>
> Concealment works both ways. Surely you have read these rules?

But of course.

--
======================================================================
ISLAM: Winning the hearts and minds of the world, one bomb at a time.
!