Darkvision


Rules Questions


I'm sure this has been answered in regards to Pathfinder, and maybe even Starfinder, but I haven't been able to find a thread that gives a straight answer. How does Darkvision interact with dim light?

Say you have Darkvision, 60 feet. In areas of dim light, do you see normally, simply without color, or not at all? And is the range still 60 feet (I assume so)?


Starfinder Superscriber

According to the CRB, on page 263, the "presence of light does not affect darkvision."

By RAW, I'm interpreting that to mean you see with darkvision out to the darkvision range, regardless of the lighting conditions. If there's enough light for 'normal' vision (or low-light), you see in color, but if not, you see in black and white as per darkvision.

Grand Lodge

If there is something colourful to see in the dimly lit area, it might require a Perception check with any penalties the GM decides to impose, otherwise the onlooker only notices the object's shape in greyscale.


Starglim wrote:
only notices the object's shape in greyscale

"grayscale" is not "silhouette". Grayscale is what you get with a black and white portrait.

If you can see something in grayscale, you see the details.

Grand Lodge

CrystalSeas wrote:
Starglim wrote:
only notices the object's shape in greyscale

"grayscale" is not "silhouette". Grayscale is what you get with a black and white portrait.

If you can see something in grayscale, you see the details.

Yes, that's what I meant. But not details distinguished only by colour.


Starglim wrote:
But not details distinguished only by colour.

Actually, different colors show up as different grayscale values.

Reds are usually a very dark gray, greens, a medium gray, and yellows fairly close to white. If you take a picture of a discrete spectrum of colors, you can see where each color starts and ends.

Colors translate very nicely in grayscale. There are some colors that are similar shades of gray, but they are usually distinguishable when they are side by side.

Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to see skin tones so well in portraits. Faces would look like a flat, cartoonish single shade of gray.

Here are some good examples of black and white portraits so you can see how well the similarly colored details are distinguished.


I'm truly surprised with all the tech that SF has, Paizo didn't try to take darkvision back to its roots of being infravision.


Dark Midian wrote:
I'm truly surprised with all the tech that SF has, Paizo didn't try to take darkvision back to its roots of being infravision.

Well, you can get infravision fairly cheaply from night vision goggles. Darkvision makes a better racial feature because it doesn't have the limitations; it is like viewing the world as a black and white film, so you still pick out details just fine, even on an ice world or when viewing undead. It's actually more like the old "ultravision"; the "Darkvision Capacitors" augment description in Starfinder even spells out Darkvision as working via ultraviolet light.

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