Darkvision / Blindness Conundrum


Rules Questions

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Tacticslion wrote:

The ultimate result of everything:

1) The English RAW is ambiguous (it can be taken either way).
2) The RAI has been made clear (that it doesn't work).

Agreed?

:)

Only point 2. The RAW isn't ambiguous either, if read objectively. Only a blatant mishandling of the English language can lead to that conclusion. I've pretty well demonstrated that so, at this point, I don't even know why you're trying to keep it up. Given that you admit to knowing it's not supposed to cure blindness, continuing to claim that the RAW is "ambiguous" when it really isn't can amount only to a deliberate attempt to sow confusion and spread disinformation, which is definitely against Rule 1 of the forums.

Were this a case of actual ambiguity, such as the issues around the various rules elements related to Racial Heritage, Half-Breeds, and related topics, I'd be right there with you as I was for those issues. But it isn't. Ambiguous; You keep using that word... I don't think it means what you think it means.

PS: Copy what you write to the clipboard before you release a post/edit. Then just ctrl-v it if you lose the post for whatever reason.


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Kazaan wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

The ultimate result of everything:

1) The English RAW is ambiguous (it can be taken either way).
2) The RAI has been made clear (that it doesn't work).

Agreed?

:)

Only point 2. The RAW isn't ambiguous either, if read objectively. Only a blatant mishandling of the English language can lead to that conclusion. I've pretty well demonstrated that so, at this point, I don't even know why you're trying to keep it up. Given that you admit to knowing it's not supposed to cure blindness, continuing to claim that the RAW is "ambiguous" when it really isn't can amount only to a deliberate attempt to sow confusion and spread disinformation, which is definitely against Rule 1 of the forums.

Were this a case of actual ambiguity, such as the issues around the various rules elements related to Racial Heritage, Half-Breeds, and related topics, I'd be right there with you as I was for those issues. But it isn't. Ambiguous; You keep using that word... I don't think it means what you think it means.

PS: Copy what you write to the clipboard before you release a post/edit. Then just ctrl-v it if you lose the post for whatever reason.

Ambiguous: Nope. Still means what I think it does. Nice Princess Bride reference, though!

I'm telling you: the RAW is ambiguous. We know the RAI because people have gone to sources outside of the RAW in order to confirm with the creators. This is not RAW. This is a discussion with the creators to discover RAI. Thus, the RAW remains ambiguous while the RAI does not. Please do not attempt to accuse me of deception. I've had quite enough that from these forums. That is a classic attempt at ad hominem (complete with link in case people don't know what that means) and a fallacy, and completely untrue besides. My intent is the same as yours: truth and accuracy for the betterment of all. I just believe you're wrong, much as you believe I am.

Also, while normally I copy/paste everything, in this case it was a matter of being distracted by a toddler. They make it difficult to remember even things you were thinking about a few minutes ago when jumping on your head. :)
(Also, it's one of the reasons for my double post earlier - I wasn't permitted to EDIT for strange reasons on the forums, so I was able to just paste my written work in a new post.)

As for your disagreement, if you choose to persist in logical error, that is your own decision to make, however it should be noted that by this point you have clearly rejected the actual discussion of language for your own interpretation.

Thanks for the civility, though!


Ok. The RAW may be ambiguous, but I at least am of the opinion that if you want to follow the RAW rabbit that hard, you need to follow it all the way down it's little hole. What does that mean?

For starters, you still take all the penalties associated from being blind. Your character still has the condition "Blinded", as the spell has not removed it. If we take a look at the condition blinded:

SRD wrote:
The creature cannot see. It takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), and takes a –4 penalty on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks and on opposed Perception skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Perception checks based on sight) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) against the blinded character. Blind creatures must make a DC 10 Acrobatics skill check to move faster than half speed. Creatures that fail this check fall prone. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.

First line is still in effect. You can't see. Now, this is a little weird to handle since you've just been "given" sight. So let's say you just counteracted this line for now. If we look though, none of the rest of the condition is in any way dependent on you not being able to see, by a strict RAW reading. Removing you being unable to see, and you're still left with all of the penalties by RAW.

I'd remind you that you still have the condition "Blinded" because Dark Vision the spell does not remove it. It's even been stated you go back to being unable to see at the end of the spell, implying the condition is still on you since you don't get a new save vs. the effect.

I would note a peculiar side effect of reading it strictly by RAW, is that you appear to get to see colors in total blackness. Not sure usefulness, but it's an interesting peculiarity.


Tacticslion wrote:
I'm telling you: the RAW is ambiguous. We know the RAI because people have gone to sources outside of the RAW in order to confirm with the creators. This is not RAW. This is a discussion with the creators to discover RAI. Thus, the RAW remains ambiguous while the RAI does not. Please do not attempt to accuse me of deception. I've had quite enough that from these forums. That is a classic attempt at ad hominem (complete with link in case people don't know what that means) and a fallacy, and completely untrue besides. My intent is the same as yours: truth and accuracy for the betterment of all. I just believe you're wrong, much as you believe I am.

Here, you're mistaken again. Ad Hominem is to attack the person for unrelated issues. "Your ideas on energy conservation must be bad because you're a Republican." That's an Ad Hominem attack; just because a lot of people with bad ideas about energy conservation identify as Republicans doesn't mean that otherwise valid ideas on energy conservation can be dismissed because the originator happens to be Republican. You claim to pursue truth and accuracy; but a person who pursues those couldn't possibly misconstrue the written words as poorly as you have inadvertently. It isn't a matter of your ideas being sound, but dismissed because of your character. It's a matter of your ideas being objectively disproved, you refusing to acknowledge or accept it, and, stemming from that, being identified as a person spreading disinformation. If someone is known to have squandered all their money on bad investments, it isn't Ad Hominem to deny the validity of their investment advice. Never trust a skinny chef.

Your actions here are detrimental and derogatory to the community, misleading to newcomers who aren't as familiar with the ins and outs of the system into thinking there's some kind of ambiguity where there isn't. Are there sources of ambiguity in the rules? Of course. I've seen them and campaigned against them to get them addressed. This isn't one of them. The only confusion to be had is from people who refuse to accept that they aren't really confusing.


TIL: Being blind doesn't mean I can't see.


Kazaan wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
I'm telling you: the RAW is ambiguous. We know the RAI because people have gone to sources outside of the RAW in order to confirm with the creators. This is not RAW. This is a discussion with the creators to discover RAI. Thus, the RAW remains ambiguous while the RAI does not. Please do not attempt to accuse me of deception. I've had quite enough that from these forums. That is a classic attempt at ad hominem (complete with link in case people don't know what that means) and a fallacy, and completely untrue besides. My intent is the same as yours: truth and accuracy for the betterment of all. I just believe you're wrong, much as you believe I am.

Here, you're mistaken again. Ad Hominem is to attack the person for unrelated issues. "Your ideas on energy conservation must be bad because you're a Republican." That's an Ad Hominem attack; just because a lot of people with bad ideas about energy conservation identify as Republicans doesn't mean that otherwise valid ideas on energy conservation can be dismissed because the originator happens to be Republican. You claim to pursue truth and accuracy; but a person who pursues those couldn't possibly misconstrue the written words as poorly as you have inadvertently. It isn't a matter of your ideas being sound, but dismissed because of your character. It's a matter of your ideas being objectively disproved, you refusing to acknowledge or accept it, and, stemming from that, being identified as a person spreading disinformation. If someone is known to have squandered all their money on bad investments, it isn't Ad Hominem to deny the validity of their investment advice. Never trust a skinny chef.

Your actions here are detrimental and derogatory to the community, misleading to newcomers who aren't as familiar with the ins and outs of the system into thinking there's some kind of ambiguity where there isn't. Are there sources of ambiguity in the rules? Of...

Kazaan... man.

"The most important rule: Don't be a jerk. We want our messageboards
to be a fun and friendly place. Questions? Check the FAQ."


Explaining what a phrase means to someone who uses it incorrectly is not being a jerk.

That word also doesn't mean what a lot of people around here think it means.

"He corrected me", "He disagreed with me", "I don't like his avatar", none of these are reasons to call someone a jerk. Doing so makes YOU look like a jerk.


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Normally I would agree with you Kazaan, and say the RAW here isn't ambiguous. Expect one small issue... we disagree about the RAW. If there is persistent disagreement about the RAW, the RAW is most certainly ambiguous.


Rynjin wrote:

Explaining what a phrase means to someone who uses it incorrectly is not being a jerk.

That word also doesn't mean what a lot of people around here think it means.

"He corrected me", "He disagreed with me", "I don't like his avatar", none of these are reasons to call someone a jerk. Doing so makes YOU look like a jerk.

I didn't call him a jerk. First of all. I simply reposted the little guideline that appears near the Submit Post button.

Secondly, he said

Kazaan wrote:


Your actions here are detrimental and derogatory to the community

So it seemed like a good time to remind him, and everyone, of the general guidelines for posting here on the boards.


Remy Balster wrote:
Normally I would agree with you Kazaan, and say the RAW here isn't ambiguous. Expect one small issue... we disagree about the RAW. If there is persistent disagreement about the RAW, the RAW is most certainly ambiguous.

How do you disagree about the RAW?

If you're blind, you can't see.

Darkvision does not remove the Blinded condition.

It really is that simple.


Kazaan wrote:

The RAW isn't ambiguous either, if read objectively. Only a blatant mishandling of the English language can lead to that conclusion. I've pretty well demonstrated that so, at this point, I don't even know why you're trying to keep it up. Given that you admit to knowing it's not supposed to cure blindness, continuing to claim that the RAW is "ambiguous" when it really isn't can amount only to a deliberate attempt to sow confusion and spread disinformation, which is definitely against Rule 1 of the forums.

Were this a case of actual ambiguity, such as the issues around the various rules elements related to Racial Heritage, Half-Breeds, and related topics, I'd be right there with you as I was for those issues. But it isn't. Ambiguous; You keep using that word... I don't think it means what you think it means.

The RAW is ambiguous if a debate continues to rage about what the RAW means.

Only blatant mishandling of English can lead to your interpretation of the RAW, yes I agree.

You do seem to believe you have demonstrated things well. Clearly you haven't, as the contention remains. Additionally, your posts have devolved beyond discussing rules into, well, whatever it is you're trying to prove, at this point.

You clearly do not understand why someone would continue the conversation, so don't claim to know why they continue to have the conversation. Claiming they are derogatory to the community because of a RAW rules discussion is beyond the scope of this message board. Those kinds of comments simply don't belong here. Please cease it immediately.

Ambiguity: statement with more than one meaning: an expression or statement that has more than one meaning.

If you read the situation one way, he reads it another way, and I read it a different way... it is ambiguous.


Rynjin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Normally I would agree with you Kazaan, and say the RAW here isn't ambiguous. Expect one small issue... we disagree about the RAW. If there is persistent disagreement about the RAW, the RAW is most certainly ambiguous.

How do you disagree about the RAW?

If you're blind, you can't see.

Darkvision does not remove the Blinded condition.

It really is that simple.

Darkvision grants the subject the ability to see.

Someone who is blind who is granted the ability to see, can see.

You're right, it isn't ambiguous.

Except that ambiguous means: statement with more than one meaning: an expression or statement that has more than one meaning.

Which is exactly what is happening here.

So...

It is ambiguous, clearly.


Except this doesn't have more than one meaning. There is a right way to read this, and a wrong way to read this.

The wrong way to read this is the way that says "Blind people are not blind".


Rynjin wrote:

Except this doesn't have more than one meaning. There is a right way to read this, and a wrong way to read this.

The wrong way to read this is the way that says "Blind people are not blind".

I can just as easily say your way of reading it is the wrong way. "People with the ability to see are blind" is what your stance seems to claim.

But, simply calling each other wrong over and over is not helpful or encouraged here.

If you feel something is wrong, explain it, show it, etc. Otherwise, remain civil.


Remy Balster wrote:


I can just as easily say your way of reading it is the wrong way.

You can, but it doesn't make you right.

Remy Balster wrote:

Simply calling each other wrong over and over is not helpful or encouraged here.

If you feel something is wrong, explain it, show it, etc. Otherwise, remain civil.

Explanation:

Blinded wrote:

The creature cannot see. It takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), and takes a –4 penalty on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks and on opposed Perception skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Perception checks based on sight) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) against the blinded character. Blind creatures must make a DC 10 Acrobatics skill check to move faster than half speed. Creatures that fail this check fall prone. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.

Cannot.

Not "Can under certain circumstances" not "Can if you cast Darkvision on them".

Cannot.

Can. Not.

Is unable to.

No seeing.

None.

Zero sight to be had here.

As long as you are Blinded, you CANNOT see.

Cannot.

Darkvision does not remove the Blinded condition.

So therefore you CANNOT see.

Can't do it.

Seeing, I mean.

Remy Balster wrote:
Addition; The wrong way to read it; "People with the ability to see are blind"

Agreed.

Thankfully people who are Blinded CANNOT see.

I can't (cannot, if you will) break it down any simpler than that.

Blind people are blind.


Rynjin wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:


I can just as easily say your way of reading it is the wrong way.

You can, but it doesn't make you right.

Remy Balster wrote:

Simply calling each other wrong over and over is not helpful or encouraged here.

If you feel something is wrong, explain it, show it, etc. Otherwise, remain civil.

Explanation:

Blinded wrote:

The creature cannot see. It takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), and takes a –4 penalty on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks and on opposed Perception skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Perception checks based on sight) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) against the blinded character. Blind creatures must make a DC 10 Acrobatics skill check to move faster than half speed. Creatures that fail this check fall prone. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.

Cannot.

Not "Can under certain circumstances" not "Can if you cast Darkvision on them".

Cannot.

Can. Not.

Is unable to.

No seeing.

None.

Zero sight to be had here.

As long as you are Blinded, you CANNOT see.

Cannot.

Darkvision does not remove the Blinded condition.

So therefore you CANNOT see.

Can't do it.

Seeing, I mean.

Remy Balster wrote:
Addition; The wrong way to read it; "People with the ability to see are blind"

Agreed.

Thankfully people who are Blinded CANNOT see.

I can't (cannot, if you will) break it down any simpler than that.

Blind people are blind.

Well... that is step 1, step 2:

"The subject gains the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness."

gains the ability to see.

Can see

has sight

sees

looks at stuff.

not; gains the ability to see only if it could already see.

not; gains the ability to see if it isn't blind

simply; gains the ability to see

so, can see

sees

People with the ability to see can see.


People under the effect of Darkvision spell have gained the ability to see.

I can't break it down any simpler than that.

People with the ability to see can see.


You read it one way, I read it another way.

Thus;

Ambiguous.

I cannot break that down any simpler either.


Rule 1: Don't be a jerk. That definitely includes deliberately presenting a misreading of an otherwise clear rule for the purpose of misleading readers.


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Kazaan wrote:
Rule 1: Don't be a jerk. That definitely includes deliberately presenting a misreading of an otherwise clear rule for the purpose of misleading readers.

All hail Kazaan, with his telepathic ability to see into the minds of others and know their guilt, even if they believe they might be right.

Tell me Lord, what shall we think now!

I know this post will be gone as soon as a mod returns, but seriously you are being a jerk! And I'm speaking as someone that can't see any reading that disagrees with you.


Curiously, if you are blind, you can't see.

Neat bit of tautology there.

Also, if you can't see, and you're given the ability to see, you can suddenly... see.

Thank you for the lesson on Ad Hominem: except you are still attacking me on unrelated reasons.

Example:

Kazaan wrote:
Rule 1: Don't be a jerk. That definitely includes deliberately presenting a misreading of an otherwise clear rule for the purpose of misleading readers.

So... are you claiming to be deliberately presenting a misreading somewhere for the purpose of misleading? Because it seems that you are doing so with my posts.

That is most certainly not my intent. You have claimed it such. Cease, please.

EDIT: to be clear - I know you were referring to myself. You said as much,

Quote:
You claim to pursue truth and accuracy; but a person who pursues those couldn't possibly misconstrue the written words as poorly as you have inadvertently. It isn't a matter of your ideas being sound, but dismissed because of your character. It's a matter of your ideas being objectively disproved, you refusing to acknowledge or accept it, and, stemming from that, being identified as a person spreading disinformation.

With this, it is clear: you seek to discredit me on grounds only tangentially related to the current argument. Your reasons I couldn't guess, but it seems that you genuinely believe yourself somehow morally superior. That's... sad, and also willfully obtuse.

Attempting to degrade and accuse someone because they disagree with you is a form of arrogance and the height of presumption.

You have been nothing but rude, arrogant, and petty in this thread. Your arguments for the RAI are sound. Everything else seems to be self-puffery and pride. You are, sir or madame, being a jerk. Please adopt the rule you attempted to cite at me.

If I have been a jerk, Rynjin, Jiggy, Earthpig, or anyone else that I disagree with that is not Kazaan (who will, it seems, only berate me for being a liar and deliberate misleader) please PM me to let me know how. For those actions I duly apologize.


Kalriostraz wrote:
Ok. The RAW may be ambiguous, but I at least am of the opinion that if you want to follow the RAW rabbit that hard, you need to follow it all the way down it's little hole.

If you want to, I'm all for it!

Kalriostraz wrote:

What does that mean?

For starters, you still take all the penalties associated from being blind. Your character still has the condition "Blinded", as the spell has not removed it. If we take a look at the condition blinded:

SRD wrote:
The creature cannot see. It takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), and takes a –4 penalty on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks and on opposed Perception skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Perception checks based on sight) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) against the blinded character. Blind creatures must make a DC 10 Acrobatics skill check to move faster than half speed. Creatures that fail this check fall prone. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.

First line is still in effect. You can't see. Now, this is a little weird to handle since you've just been "given" sight. So let's say you just counteracted this line for now. If we look though, none of the rest of the condition is in any way dependent on you not being able to see, by a strict RAW reading. Removing you being unable to see, and you're still left with all of the penalties by RAW.

I'd remind you that you still have the condition "Blinded" because Dark Vision the spell does not remove it. It's even been stated you go back to being unable to see at the end of the spell, implying the condition is still on you since you don't get a new save vs. the effect.

That is actually an excellent breakdown! Thank you. :)

And, frankly, I'm okay with that... if that's how someone wanted to run it. RAW is, as has been noted, a curious beast.

I'll reiterate: I've always noted that since the discussion with Monte, it's been made clear what the RAI is. We know that. The RAW does create very interesting interactions, though.

Kalriostraz wrote:
I would note a peculiar side effect of reading it strictly by RAW, is that you appear to get to see colors in total blackness. Not sure usefulness, but it's an interesting peculiarity.

That's actually a nifty thing I noted as well. In the Razmir example above, it's likely that the "healing ceremony" takes place in some small, dimly lit, carefully controlled (possibly even a bit smoky) environs to obscure colors. They'd also pick their "marks" carefully too - someone who's been in the community, who is genuinely blind, probably since birth, and so on. I could see very interesting things with this.

(And fluffing it while maintaining the penalties you note is interesting as well.)

One interesting effect from all this, is the "sight" received could be very interesting to imagine. In this case, it might even be something like the "sight" used in Pitch Black for the creatures. Hm. Thank you for the insightful post!


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Remy Balster wrote:


Well... that is step 1, step 2:

"The subject gains the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness."

gains the ability to see.

Can see

has sight

sees

looks at stuff.

not; gains the ability to see only if it could already see.

not; gains the ability to see if it isn't blind

simply; gains the ability to see

so, can see

sees

People with the ability to see can see.

He does not have the ability to see.

He has the Blinded condition.

Darkvision does not remove the Blinded condition.

So therefore he cannot see.

Stumps McGee, the amazingly unlucky armless/legless man cannot suddenly choose to walk just because you cast Water Walk on him either.

No, you also can't take actions while you're Dead, by the way.

The only way to reach the conclusion you are reaching is by throwing out all common sense and comprehension of basic English.

Other things that don't allow you to see: using a Polymorph spell that turns you into something with Darkvision, or something with multiple eyes.


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Rynjin wrote:

Stumps McGee, the amazingly unlucky armless/legless man cannot suddenly choose to walk just because you cast Water Walk on him either.

Good point.

If you are paralized and then a friendly wizard cast ape walk you can not just start climbing walls.


rynjin and nicos make the most compelling points so far imho.

observing the progression of this discussion, i can only say that i imagine the sort of game where casting darkvision on a blinded person allows them to see is also the kind of game where you have to tell the gm that your character breathes and blinks; the most literal and punctilious version of the game ever. the kind of game where you spend hours and hours discussing the rules rather than actually playing and not the sort of game i would have any interest in. to each his own. some people find debating rules fun and that is valid, just not for me.

Project Manager

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Keep it civil, folks.


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Thank you, Jessica!

Rynjin wrote:
The only way to reach the conclusion you are reaching is by throwing out all common sense and comprehension of basic English.

You know, I like you, but this is not true. I'll thank you for not saying something similar again.

Your other arguments are not automatically invalid, but this note is.

born_of_fire wrote:
rynjin and nicos make the most compelling points so far imho.

That's fine! :)

born_of_fire wrote:
observing the progression of this discussion, i can only say that i imagine the sort of game where casting darkvision on a blinded person allows them to see is also the kind of game where you have to tell the gm that your character breathes and blinks; the most literal and punctilious version of the game ever. the kind of game where you spend hours and hours discussing the rules rather than actually playing or doing anything fun and not the sort of game i would have any interest in. to each his own. some people find debating rules fun and that is valid, just not for me.

This is an interesting take on it, however this is not how I would envision such a thing coming about.

More likely,

1) the GM uses blindness on a character
2) the player of the blinded character studies their notes and realizes that the spell says "grants the ability to see"
3) utilizing that, they ask the GM if they can do so
4) the GM either accepts this or doesn't based off of their reading of RAW and their decision

This is actually a really cool thing within the rules. Even those things that are not originally intended can have very interesting and useful consequences - for both GM and player. (Alternatively they can have very frustrating and unpleasant consequences within the rules.)

The GM has every right to say, "No, that's not what I think it means." and that's fine. That's RAW, and it's RAI.

The GM also has every right to say, "Hey, that's clever, okay, it functions that way, as it's written in the rules." And that's fine, and that's RAW. As others have pointed out, if you push the RAW rabbit hole, as others have pointed out, you get very interesting things and unintended consequences. Very fascinating and really interesting potential world-building stuff as well as player stuff.

Then there are GMs that just alter the rules altogether in greater or lesser ways. Not a bad style of play, but not what we're discussing.

I'd likely allow it, depending on the circumstances, but it's possible that I wouldn't. I don't know, it hasn't come up. But I certainly like the creativity, the attempt to stay within the rules, and the interest in keeping the game running and everyone participating. All those are good things.

The arguments for and against it are interesting, and I like how much information and critical thought has been applied to this - the fact that the effects of the blinded condition are not, in fact, predicated on the fact that the affected creature can't see, for instance. Fascinating, and not something I'd examined in depth.


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Sorry.

I'll just point out the part I find frustrating about Remy's argument.

When I post the Blinded condition text, it says "You cannot see." that is the whole sentence. It has no qualifier, it has no next part of the sentence.

Remy is taking a PART of a sentence out of context and using it to try and prove his point, focusing only on the "gains the ability to see" part, without the context attached to it ("60 feet even in total darkness.").

Darkvision, as a spell, does not grant sight. It grants the ability to see in the dark, but it does not grant sight itself.

Sight is a bit of a prerequisite for seeing.

If it were worded differently, I would agree with him.

If Darkvision said "The target gains the ability to see. He can also see in total darkness for 60 feet." that would be one thing.

It would be AMBIGUOUS if it were worded "The target gains the ability to see, even in total darkness for 60 feet" (ambiguous in more ways than one, in that case).

But it doesn't say that. It is worded in such a way that it grants the ability to see in the dark. No comma, no period until the end of that sentence. It does not grant the ability to see where such an ability normally does not exist.


Rynjin wrote:

Sorry.

I'll just point out the part I find frustrating about Remy's argument.

When I post the Blinded condition text, it says "You cannot see." that is the whole sentence. It has no qualifier, it has no next part of the sentence.

Remy is taking a PART of a sentence out of context and using it to try and prove his point, focusing only on the "gains the ability to see" part, without the context attached to it ("60 feet even in total darkness.").

Darkvision, as a spell, does not grant sight. It grants the ability to see in the dark, but it does not grant sight itself.

Sight is a bit of a prerequisite for seeing.

If it were worded differently, I would agree with him.

If Darkvision said "The target gains the ability to see. He can also see in total darkness for 60 feet." that would be one thing.

It would be AMBIGUOUS if it were worded "The target gains the ability to see, even in total darkness for 60 feet" (ambiguous in more ways than one, in that case).

But it doesn't say that. It is worded in such a way that it grants the ability to see in the dark. No comma, no period until the end of that sentence. It does not grant the ability to see where such an ability normally does not exist.

And I understand what you're saying. I really do.

But the fact that they're not broken up into different sentences doesn't mean what you're taking it to mean (that the qualifier is the only method of interpretation).

That's something that a couple of English teachers (my wife included as I noted earlier) have mentioned - English is variable enough that it could be read that it "grants the target the ability to see up to 60 feet, and that target can see even in total darkness" - that's a different sentence, but it can have the same meaning.

That's what I'm pointing out as far as RAW goes. That's what I mean by ambiguous.

I get why people don't want to take it that way. And they (and you) are not wrong to reject the other interpretation.

Monte has commented (on another forum) that the RAI was not intended to grant sight, and I accept that. He also commented that, despite the RAI, he might allow it to go. That's also telling, I think: the original RAI is not the only right way to interpret things.

All that said, I agree. The original RAI is not to grant sight.

I also agree that anyone who rules, "Nope, not at my table." is both correct and also following RAW.

I also, also suggest that anyone who rules, "Huh, that is clever. Sure, yeah, okay, you can see for a few hours." is also both correct and also following RAW (though, due to Monte's clarification, we know not RAI.)

... and that's pretty much my entire point. The GM in the OP wasn't wrong. The player did have a good idea however.

Now, if the GM altered the text in some way, or completely ignored the rules, that's something else entirely - that's house rules, and that's fine, but not what we're discussing.

Because of its limited duration and range, its situational utility, its ability to inspire story stuff, and the similar power levels compared to other spells, I find the hardness of the resistance to it a little baffling. I get that people don't want it at their tables - and that's fine. If some sort of FAQ or Errata comes out about it, that's fine too. I won't mind. But currently it can be read to work, if a GM wants it to, and they're not wrong, from what I see.


The "hardness" of the resistance stems from the fact that I really don't see how it can be taken the way you (and others) are saying it can. RAW is, 90% of the time, what is discussed in the Rules Questions forums.

However, the other 10% are situations like this...where you kinda have to throw common sense out of the window to take the RAW interpretation.

These, and similar, questions I have seen repeatedly scoffed at by the devs. Not just rebutted, but looked upon with actual SCORN.

I think that says a bit more about questions in this vein than anything else, really.

RAW reading works most of the time. But if the RAW runs contrary to common sense (Blind people can see, people who have no legs/are paralyzed can walk, dead people can still take actions, and so on) in such a blatant manner in ONE reading of the RAW, and NOT the other possible reading...the first reading is flat out wrong.

Would I allow it at my table? MAYBE.

But this forum isn't supposed to be about table variations, it's about what the rules actually say, and what they actually MEAN. And what they mean in this case is exactly what they say, with the one reading that doesn't violate common sense.

Which is, again, what the devs have chimed in saying on multiple occasions with similar questions (usually preceded by the phrase "Are you serious right now?" or some variation).

I'd also like to point out that "Here's how it was intended to work, but I might houserule it" doesn't change RAI in the slightest. Monte stated the RAI, according to you. The fact that he followed it up with "But I might allow it" doesn't change that.


Tacticslion wrote:

I'll reiterate: I've always noted that since the discussion with Monte, it's been made clear what the RAI is. We know that. The RAW does create very interesting interactions, though.

This, I think, is the trouble. You say you know the intent but the RAW is ambiguous. Even if that were true, which I disagree with, wouldn't the correct way to read the rules be to follow the intent? By putting both versions forth as legally valid you could easily confuse people honestly trying to learn the rules. This is not to say you have to run it one way or the other but in the rules forum, the goal should be to find out the correct way within the rules. Then if someone wants to change it for their games, they have an accurate understanding of what they are changing.


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

I'll reiterate: I've always noted that since the discussion with Monte, it's been made clear what the RAI is. We know that. The RAW does create very interesting interactions, though.

This, I think, is the trouble. You say you know the intent but the RAW is ambiguous. Even if that were true, which I disagree with, wouldn't the correct way to read the rules be to follow the intent? By putting both versions forth as legally valid you could easily confuse people honestly trying to learn the rules. This is not to say you have to run it one way or the other but in the rules forum, the goal should be to find out the correct way within the rules. Then if someone wants to change it for their games, they have an accurate understanding of what they are changing.

Of course it is good to present the correct interpretation. This thread hs covered all interpretations, and in depth too.

The question you need to ask, is which is 'the right way' to present a rules interpretation? RAI or RAW? What if there are in fact multiple RAW interpretations?

Isn't 'the most accurate' method; to show 'both' the RAI and the RAW? Including all interpretations? And then note that one RAW interpretation agrees with the RAI and is encouraged to be followed?

That seems like the 'most accurate' way to convey the rules.


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Rynjin wrote:

The "hardness" of the resistance stems from the fact that I really don't see how it can be taken the way you (and others) are saying it can. RAW is, 90% of the time, what is discussed in the Rules Questions forums.

However, the other 10% are situations like this...where you kinda have to throw common sense out of the window to take the RAW interpretation.

Here's something I actually disagree with you about.

You seem to be saying, "Go with common sense and RAI, not RAW."

I'm saying, "There are multiple reasons to go with any of the interpretations of RAW". I get where you're coming from, but it doesn't invalidate common sense.

Rynjin wrote:
RAW reading works most of the time. But if the RAW runs contrary to common sense (Blind people can see, people who have no legs/are paralyzed can walk, dead people can still take actions, and so on) in such a blatant manner in ONE reading of the RAW, and NOT the other possible reading...the first reading is flat out wrong.

See, where we're getting into a problem is that you're getting hung up on the word "blind". I understand that. That's not innately wrong.

But where we're "hung up" is the follow up, "grants the ability to see".

Following that doesn't throw out "common sense".

Rynjin wrote:

Would I allow it at my table? MAYBE.

But this forum isn't supposed to be about table variations, it's about what the rules actually say, and what they actually MEAN. And what they mean in this case is exactly what they say, with the one reading that doesn't violate common sense.

Looking at the OP, the question was, "Any thoughts on this?"

That seems to be about as open to discussing table variation as possible.

I've made mine known. You have too.

I can respect yours, even while disagreeing with it.

Rynjin wrote:
Which is, again, what the devs have chimed in saying on multiple occasions with similar questions (usually preceded by the phrase "Are you serious right now?" or some variation).

I'd love to see these! The only one I know is the Monte one earlier.

Rynjin wrote:
I'd also like to point out that "Here's how it was intended to work, but I might houserule it" doesn't change RAI in the slightest. Monte stated the RAI, according to you. The fact that he followed it up with "But I might allow it" doesn't change that.

Intent does not always inform the actual rules.

If a rule doesn't function at all, is completely broken, or harms the game outright, the intent doesn't matter - it was communicated in an in clear manner and created nonsense. Unfortunately that happens, and it's not the sign of a bad designer, just the sign of a mistake.

If the intent doesn't aid the game in any way, but instead harms it (despite the "intent" being to help the game), the intent doesn't matter. This is the crux of "Good intentions pave the way..." saying. No one wants to make the game worse, but sometimes intent does.

Also, he didn't say how he'd Houserule it. He said he might let it fly. That's not the same thing. Houseruling is (to my way of thinking) is changing the rules. This doesn't. It's simply one valid interpretation of them.

But by this point I think that this post and the next has helped me understand somewhat...

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

I'll reiterate: I've always noted that since the discussion with Monte, it's been made clear what the RAI is. We know that. The RAW does create very interesting interactions, though.

This, I think, is the trouble. You say you know the intent but the RAW is ambiguous. Even if that were true, which I disagree with, wouldn't the correct way to read the rules be to follow the intent? By putting both versions forth as legally valid you could easily confuse people honestly trying to learn the rules. This is not to say you have to run it one way or the other but in the rules forum, the goal should be to find out the correct way within the rules. Then if someone wants to change it for their games, they have an accurate understanding of what they are changing.

I can see what you mean, but I don't agree.

For example, I, personally, am learning from this conversation.

Also, I suspect that what's happening is a difference in understanding of the term "Houserule".

1) Many are (and have been, I see now) saying that RAI is what determines if things are Houserules or not.
- I disagree. To me, Houserules are when you alter the rules. While communication has improved greatly now, there are still many tables who attempt to hew closely to the rules but can't or don't communicate with the creators. In this case, they are following the spirit of the rules in a good-faith effort, even though they have taken a road not originally intended. Sometimes entire communities have taken it this way. And sometimes this has worked out for the better. This not "Houserules" to me, because they didn't alter the rules, they accepted what they saw. "Houseruling" in this case might instead be saying that the Darkvision granted works off of heat instead of just the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness, as an example; or that it only functions in darkness (not low light).

2) Many are saying that the alternate interpretation comes with too many problems.
- Again, I disagree. It can come with many problems, if you allow it to do so. However, it's rather well balanced over-all with other things of similar power level, it is limited in its power and use, and it can create interesting and dynamic settings and environments.

3) Many believe it is confusing to present more than one interpretation.
- I disagree with this as well. To me, it is informative. I have learned a few things about the rules that I didn't before, something I appreciate. This increases my over-all rules-mastery. This is the opposite of confusing - this is educational, clarifying, and interesting.

Again, I'll reiterate the possible interpretations:

1) The RAW (and most notably the RAI) indicates that you gain the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness; this, however, gives way to the Blindness condition. This is a correct interpretation, and probably the most correct interpretation.

2) The RAW (but not the RAI) indicates that you gain the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness; because it is applied after the blindness, it takes precedence, because you gain the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness. If you push the RAW, you continue to take many penalties from the blinded condition.

Those are two different, conflicting interpretations, but both valid by English and common sense, and creativity. I am of the opinion you can be in the rules and I can be in the rules and we can be different. Obviously you don't. I used to feel that way, but the more I studied the more it became clear that the same thing can mean different things to different people.

This is true when discussing things on the forum, this is true when writing rules for a gaming system. One only has to look at the OP, the fact that there are multiple people who feel that interpretation 2 is valid (for various reasons) to see this, to my way of thinking.

I'm perfectly okay if you don't use it. I'm perfectly okay if you don't read into the rules that take. But others can and do, and this is not wrong. Having noted the RAI, it allows people to use the rules as they are intended - a set of rules to enable gameplay in a social environment. To me, number 2 facilitates that slightly better sometimes, but certainly not always.

I'm never going to call interpretation 1 "wrong" - because it's not.

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