View Single Post
Old 11-25-2017, 12:31 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2011
Default Re: Night Vision offsets darkness penalties in combat but extra Perception don't

Originally Posted by Andreas View Post
Someone with Perception 11 can spot things equally well in darkness as someone with Perception 10 and Night Vision, yet Night Vision offsets darkness penalties for combat, but high Perception don't. Why is that?

Should high Perception also help against combat penalties (and if so, would that make Perception's current cost too low?) or should high Perception not help as much as it does for vision challanges in darkness?
Actually, someone with Perception 11 can spot things equally well in darkness as someone with Perception 10 and 1 level of Night Vision.

The reason Night Vision is called out as offsetting darkness penalties for combat, while a higher score in Perception isn't, is because Night Vision only offsets penalties for partial darkness. In a situation where the only penalty to vision is from partial darkness, having a higher Perception score helps reduce that penalty just as Night Vision does. There is no need to call Perception out as specifically doing so. In cases where other penalties to vision also apply, Night Vision only applies to offsetting those penalties directly attributable to partial darkness. For example, if the partial darkness penalty is -3 and you have Night Vision 4, you offset the partial darkness penalty entirely but you can't apply that remaining +1 from your Night Vision to offset -1 of a penalty from the Speed/Range table, while a remaining +1 from higher Perception could. It often presumed that a higher Perception score is used to offset non-partial darkness penalties first and then any leftover bonus goes towards the partial darkness penalty but that's not actually a requirement, you could equally well use it to offset the partial darkness penalty first and non-darkness penalties with any leftover bonus.

That said, Night Vision is supposed to be about your eyes rapidly adjusting to changes in available lighting, so it might be reasonable to require someone without Night Vision to spend time letting his eyes adjust. Eyes adjusting to darkness takes a long time in real life. Ten to twenty minutes was the rule of thumb used in the military and sudden light ruined that adjusted night vision.

Cinematically, you might restrict someone with higher Perception to only being able to offset -1/second partial darkness penalty after a change in lighting while someone with Night Vision gets to negate the penalty to the full extent of their Night Vision in the first second. This may be a needless complication, though.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 11-25-2017 at 12:34 PM. Reason: capitalization
Curmudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote