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Old 05-03-2018, 03:49 PM   #1
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Default Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

Darkness is cast over a group of PCs.

It only covers their hexes (or perhaps one additional)


The opponent is not in Darkness and has no other vision penalties.


What is the penalty for the opponent to hit in with a melee weapon?


-4 once they identify the hex of one of the PCs? Even if it is the wrong PC?

-6 Because the PCs are effectively invisible?

Or -10 for total darkness?


What is the penalty for the PCs to hit out?

0?



If there is a high vision penalty outside the darkness is the to hit penalty the higher of this or the normal penalty? Eg vision penalty -9 trumps a -4 or -6?

Are the melee to hit rolls capped at 9?
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:36 PM   #2
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

Also in close combat where you are both in total darkness is it just -4 to hit? because you very much know where your target it?


And would this apply to "incidental" slams and the like as you discover people in the hexes that you charge through?
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:48 PM   #3
lachimba
 
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Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

Any words of wisdom on this?
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:19 AM   #4
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

I'll take a stab at this, though I have no particular rules expertise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
Darkness is cast over a group of PCs. It only covers their hexes (or perhaps one additional) The opponent is not in Darkness and has no other vision penalties. What is the penalty for the opponent to hit in with a melee weapon?
Based on the rules on Exploits, p. 36, I would go with -6 on the first attack and then -4 once they have identified a hex with a PC in it. If the PC leaves the hex, the reduced penalty is moot (automatic miss) and the penalty returns to -6 until they correctly identify an occupied hex.

The -10 penalty would be reserved for situations where the attacker cannot see anything at all.

Quote:
What is the penalty for the PCs to hit out?
No penalty for attacking out of the darkness because they can see out just fine. (And no defense penalty for the target, according to Exploits, p. 47, because they can see the weapon coming.)

Quote:
If there is a high vision penalty outside the darkness is the to hit penalty the higher of this or the normal penalty? Eg vision penalty -9 trumps a -4 or -6?
I would generally rule it as the special penalty or the vision penalty, whichever is worse. So, yeah, -9 trumps -4 or -6. I might make an exception under an unusual circumstance, like the party is in -9 darkness and attacking a stationary statue or something like that. I might drop that back to -4.

Quote:
Are the melee to hit rolls capped at 9?
I don't think so.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:19 AM   #5
ArchonShiva
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

Regarding the statue, you could use the +4 from backstabbing for a perfectly lined-up shot against a defenseless opponent.

Actually, attacks at +4 with +2 to defenses (mirroring Deceptive Attack) should work just fine for everyone, although maybe don't improve the odds of critical hits for those.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:05 AM   #6
Carrot
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

Attacking out of the darkness...

I always interpreted darkness (spell) as being dark for those inside... no light penetrates. Full darkness penalty

Great for use by opponents with other senses to rely on. Otherwise, same penalty attacking in.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:17 PM   #7
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrot View Post
I always interpreted darkness (spell) as being dark for those inside... no light penetrates. Full darkness penalty
This had always been my assumption as well. The second line of the spell, however, states, "Those inside the area can see out normally but can see nothing else within the area" (Spells, p. 46). One of my players discovered this recently and used it effectively in combat, casting it on the swashbuckler's hex. The golem was at -4 to hit, so the PC, who had been pummelled due to some freakishly poor defense rolls, was able to stay engaged long enough to clinch a victory.
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:24 AM   #8
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

I'm resurrecting this thread on the theory that additional related questions should be kept together in an existing thread to aid future searchers.

If you cast an area of darkness in the middle of a well-lit corridor, can people on one side of the darkness see things on the other side of the darkness? An illustration, where A, B, and C are characters and the X's mark the edge of the area of darkness:

Code:
| A |
|   |
|XXX|
| B |
|XXX|
|   |
| C |
Here's what I think I know:
  • B can see everyone just fine since A and C are outside the area of the darkness.
  • B would be unable to see any other hypothetical characters within the darkness.
  • Without Dark Vision, neither A nor C can see B.
Can A see C and vice versa? If A cast Light Jet, could they illuminate C? I think I'm going to rule yes. It seems simplest that way. Everything within the area is dark. Figures within are effectively invisible, having no silhouettes and casting no shadows. Outside the area, light behaves as normal. If light could pass through the area, it comes out the other side unchanged.

The Blackout spell, by contrast, would block light entirely. No light can shine into, out of, or through the area.

How do others rule on this?
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:20 AM   #9
evileeyore
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Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
If you cast an area of darkness in the middle of a well-lit corridor, can people on one side of the darkness see things on the other side of the darkness?
Darkness doesn't stop light from moving through the area, merely from actually illuminating (interacting with) anything in it's area.

Your rulings are identical to mine.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:17 AM   #10
Dalin
 
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Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Darkness, visibility and to hit penalties

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Darkness doesn't stop light from moving through the area, merely from actually illuminating (interacting with) anything in it's area.
Like most magic, this can create some interesting edge cases. If you cast darkness around a large pillar, suddenly the light will pass through it and its shadow would vanish. Or, could you cast darkness on a hex of wall and then be able to see through to the room beyond? Maybe we say that inanimate objects don’t count? Or objects need to wholly contained to become effectively invisible? So a pedestal would vanish but a pillar (attached to floor and ceiling) would not.
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