Dire bat blindsense?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

So while making a replacement animal companion I noticed dire bats only get blindsense, not sight. This seems an error since it would mean bats always suffer from miss chances and would be constantly flying into walls and objects.

Also blindsight specifically calls out echolocation which bats have.


The bats suffer from miss chances, but they would not fly into a wall. They can sense that there is a wall there.

Its most likely blind sense instead of blind sight to keep the druids from roflcoptering invisibility TOO badly when they turn into bats.

Liberty's Edge

They can roflcopter it by turning into dolphins and getting blindsight 120ft. Assuming their level of beast shape equivalent allows it (which is never btw, nor do they get constrict rend or roar because of how badly designed wild shape is)

Quote:
Using nonvisual senses, such as acute smell or hearing, a creature with blindsense notices things it cannot see. The creature usually does not need to make Perception checks to pinpoint the location of a creature within range of its blindsense ability, provided that it has line of effect to that creature. Any opponent the creature cannot see still has total concealment against the creature with blindsense, and the creature still has the normal miss chance when attacking foes that have concealment. Visibility still affects the movement of a creature with blindsense. A creature with blindsense is still denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class against attacks from creatures it cannot see.

Check the bolded for why they will run into walls


They can roflcopter it by turning into dolphins and getting blindsight 120ft. Assuming their level of beast shape equivalent allows it

None of the beast shape spells give blindsight, so the druid can't gain it when he turns into a dolphin.

If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: burrow 60 feet, climb 90 feet, fly 120 feet (good maneuverability), swim 120 feet, blindsense 60 feet, darkvision 90 feet, low-light vision, scent, tremorsense 60 feet, breath weapon, constrict, ferocity, grab, jet, poison, pounce, rake, rend, roar, spikes, trample, trip, and web

The bolded doesn't mean they run into walls, it just means that they would have to make acrobatics checks or fly at half speed (resulting in some pretty funny fly checks)

Liberty's Edge

I said they don't ever get it =p. Either way echolocation is supposed to be blindsight, therefore bats should have blindsight.


Coridan wrote:
I said they don't ever get it =p. Either way echolocation is supposed to be blindsight, therefore bats should have blindsight.

Game balance trumps realism. This happens all the time in Pathfinder.


DM trumps stupid core rules with a houserule, though sadly I wish I could replace DM with Game Designer.

Also, I doubt it's that game-breaking to let at least someone catch that annoying Invisible target nobody else can hit.


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Whale_Cancer wrote:
Coridan wrote:
I said they don't ever get it =p. Either way echolocation is supposed to be blindsight, therefore bats should have blindsight.
Game balance trumps realism. This happens all the time in Pathfinder.

Sadly.

Really great game design finds a bridge between the two.

It's not as though this one ability is some kind of keystone that holds the entire system balance in place.

Liberty's Edge

I really do not believe it is unbalancing for bat familiars or dire bat companions to have blindsight over blindsense. Especially considering both are rather weak choices when compared to others. My first two companions were a Roc and then a wolf. Both significantly superior to the dire bat, but its carrion crown and it seems a good choice for a horror themed game.

I know we will house rule it to be blindsight, but I am pointing it out because the RAW seems to me more a design error than intentional balance.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bats aren't blind and should have low light for being an animal, I'm not sure if omitting counts as removing it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am not seeing a lack of normal vision, in addition to blindsense.

I am noticing low-light vision for common bats, but not for dire bats.

Weird.

Liberty's Edge

Bats tend to live in total darkness (caves, dungeons). Normal and low-light not super helpful anyway. (Yes I know bats go outside to hunt, but adventurers will usually encounter them in caves and dungeons)


Yeah, I'm not seeing anything that says the Dire Bat is blind. To me, looks like it has normal vision and blindsense.

If you encounter it in a dark cave, and you get within its range of blindsense, it knows where you are. Yes, it has a miss chance like everyone else in darkness... unless everyone else has darkvision.

If players have a light source, it uses that light source.

So yeah, it's a creature with vision that's accustomed to dark places; better in the dark than other mammals with normal vision or low-light vision.

Note: The 3.5 version of various bats all had blindsense too. In some places, it said that the blindsense was a form of echolocation. It also noted that its opponents had total concealment unless it can actually see them.


Coridan wrote:
Bats tend to live in total darkness (caves, dungeons). Normal and low-light not super helpful anyway. (Yes I know bats go outside to hunt, but adventurers will usually encounter them in caves and dungeons)

Their night vision is actually pretty good without the echolocation. I'd say they get it by virtue of being an animal.


Here is something that completely contradicts this whole concept. According to the spell "Echolocation"

"The echo-producing noises are too high-pitched to be heard by most creatures, and can only be detected by dragons, other creatures with this ability (such as bats),"

Now, maybe they consider Blindsense to be Echolocation, but if so a Bat should detect an invisible creature. The bloody thing can time its flight properly to fly through a spinning fan, in pitch darkness and not get hit! Yet for some weird reason it cannot echolocate an invisible creature?

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