Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Image from: http://big-chef.com/tsir/2010/04/07/cooking-with-f1-mee-jawa/

There have been lots of posts and forums about infravision: Here is just one that links to others.

Unlike usually, I'll try to be erudite... What a crock. It makes no internal logic. Is a dwarf a glowing JAWA, except their eyes glow infra-red. What fantasy literature is infravision meant to derive from? Where in literature are elves good at seeing underground? Why don't hobbits, I mean halflings have any (OD&D, Holmes, B/X, Mentzer) infravision- they live in holes? Why don't halflings in these editions get to speak their own halfling language - it is a random language choice? 

Ok, the latter has nothing to do with infravision but the question stands.

This is what I am doing:

Dwarves in a minimal light source (glow worms, glowing crystals, dim cave light) have Lowlight vision 60’ (I don't own and I haven't read 3E+, they just happened, or so some internet searches revealed, to have got this bit right)
Additionally they can stand at the edge of a torch or lantern (moderate light source) and see an extra 60' into the darkness. If they stand in the middle of the light source their eyes can't adjust. Makes them superb dungeon front men - as they should be with all their underground detecting skills.

Elves are Eagle eyed: visionx3. They see three times as far as a human. In fantasy we always here about elves and their great eyesight and elven marksmanship, not how good they are crawling around in dark caves. As a game mechanic, in good sunlight, elves suffer no penalty for medium range missile fire, and long range is at medium penalty. See Delta for some powerful implications for archery at range. His suggestion only makes a force of elven archers, even better.

Halflings are Keen eyed: vision x2. They see twice as far asa  human. In the Hobbit we often learn that Bilbo has good eyesight. Good eyesight combined with good dexterity gives halflings the +1 missile combat bonus they enjoy.

Infravision exists for creatures permanently underground. And I mean permanent, like a fish or lizard in a deep cave - if I had dark elves in my campaign they would just have 90' low light vision. Infravision does still exist for player charcters, as a spell because that is what it is - pretty special.

1 comment:

  1. I like this picture and congrats on winning the Newbie Award. It really is a fun one. Love the knight on the ground. So funny.