Do Dwarves use Lights in the darklands?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


I am planing a short campaign in the Age of Darkness where the dwarves still have not seen the surface of golarion yet. I was just wondering if they use self made light (not worms hanging around anyway). Since they can only see 60 feet in darkness I would guess they have lights in there cities or gathering points.

Any ideas to this?


Good question. First off, I would say it is always dangerous not to see more than 60 feet away. To my thinking, going dark would be done only if you either need stealth, or if you can't see more than 60 feet anyway, and can count on that, such as in defensive labyrinths or the like. A large group of dwarves would certainly light up their areas.


I imagine they'll have some clerics who can cast Continual Flame - for 50gp of ruby dust you can have a torch that needs no fuel or oxygen.


I would say yes as well, at the vary least in any settlement of any size they're going to use light sources to see more than 60ft.


That makes sense. Thanks!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Besides, if you're just using darkvision, you don't get to see the pretty colors of the gems and gold you're making cool stuff with!

Scarab Sages

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Besides, if you're just using darkvision, you don't get to see the pretty colors of the gems and gold you're making cool stuff with!

On a more serious note, not seeing colors could also be a liability. Noticing rock types, fungal types, colors on a map. Having color active has a lot of upsides.


A lot might depend on the other creatures down there and how they respond to light. Does light scare subterannian animals away? handy.

Does it lure attackers? Dangerous... but also useful as bait


VampByDay wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Besides, if you're just using darkvision, you don't get to see the pretty colors of the gems and gold you're making cool stuff with!
On a more serious note, not seeing colors could also be a liability. Noticing rock types, fungal types, colors on a map. Having color active has a lot of upsides.

Also, can you read using just Darkvision, if the words are just written/printed (only changing the color of what they are written on) rather than engraved (change the shape of what they are written on)?

Liberty's Edge

This does bring up a different question . . . what about svirfneblin cities? They get to see 120 feet, which in a cave is a pretty significant distance. And they go to a lot of trouble to keep their cities hidden, so any light leakage would be dangerous.

Or what about creatures that worship deities of darkness, such as duergar and drow?

The Exchange

Bioluminescence is a thing. A large amount of subteranian lighting is probably just glowing mushrooms. Those are fairly prevalent in the darklands so not as likely to attract attention.

The other thing is heat patterns. In all honesty, darkvision is most likely thermal vision in truly dark places. Other forms of nightvisipn rely on ambient light levels. If there's no ambient light (just like the darklands) then night vision is useless.

If you get a chance, read the Drizzt novels and war of the spider queen novels from the old forgotten realms settings. They explore this whole concept really well.


If nothing else, dwarven forges would generate light as well as heat. Likewise for svirfneblins and duergar. Drow I'm less sure about.

In D&D dark/infravision couldn't read ink on paper, I don't know whether PF changed that.


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Ridge wrote:

A lot might depend on the other creatures down there and how they respond to light. Does light scare subterannian animals away? handy.

Does it lure attackers? Dangerous... but also useful as bait

There's likely a difference between "Do they light up their cities and other settlements?" and "Do they use lights while travelling or exploring dangerous areas?"

Shadow Lodge

Wrath wrote:

Bioluminescence is a thing. A large amount of subteranian lighting is probably just glowing mushrooms. Those are fairly prevalent in the darklands so not as likely to attract attention.

The other thing is heat patterns. In all honesty, darkvision is most likely thermal vision in truly dark places. Other forms of nightvisipn rely on ambient light levels. If there's no ambient light (just like the darklands) then night vision is useless.

If you get a chance, read the Drizzt novels and war of the spider queen novels from the old forgotten realms settings. They explore this whole concept really well.

Sadly heat vision was removed in 3rd edition. Darkvision is now just black and white with shades of gray. I always liked thermal vision better, plus it was cool how the drow could turn it on and off.

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