Dungeons & Dragons Online

Lighting rules, stealth, and hearing

Content of the article: "Lighting rules, stealth, and hearing"

So I was looking at the lighting rules for 5e and I saw they go something like this:

Darkness: A character in darkness is effectively invisible, and a character attempting to look into an area containing darkness is effectively blinded with respect to what is inside. Dim light: A character attempting to look into an area containing dim light has disadvantage on any perception checks that rely on sight with regard to what's in said area. Bright light: A character that is looking into an area with bright light sees normally.

These rules set up an interesting tactical framework for stealth. Characters have to choose whether or not to bring a torch into a cave containing dim light, and thus choose between being stealthier without said torch or being able to both see clearly within the torch's radius and being able to be seen clearly by anything outside it.

Here's where a wrench is thrown into things. Hearing is mentioned in the description of invisibility, as being the only way to detect a creature that's under said condition. The rules decline to set up a specific framework for perception reliant on hearing though, leaving it to be assumed that hearing can be used in place of sight to locate a hidden creature. This essentially invalidates all the lighting rules Wizards carefully constructed, as they essentially don't matter from a gameplay perspective when you can just listen as effectively as you can see.

Read more:  Variant Multiclassing & Feats: A Homebrew

I tried to solve this issue by saying that since hearing is naturally more imprecise than sight, perception checks to locate a hidden creature have disadvantage. I feel like this is a bit of a cop out though, and if anyone can come up with a better solution, I would be happy to hear it.

Edit: I have been getting responses clarifying the distinction between hidden and invisible. What I'm attempting to say in this post is that if you hide while invisible or heavily obscured, the process is the same, and the thing that irks me is that there no actual mechanical benefit to stealthing while enemies can't even see you.

Source: reddit.com

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