What are "significant sources of heat"?

Rules Questions

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Wide-Spectrum Ocular Implant

Wide Spectrum Ocular Implant wrote:
This doesn’t grant you darkvision, but in darkness you can see significant sources of heat due to your infrared vision.

So what are significant sources of heat? Presumably it includes hot engines and fires, but are living creatures significant sources of heat? What about unliving creatures? What about weapons that have recently been fired? Is there any guidance one what types of things this allows you to see?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think this is one of those things that's left as a judgement call instead of a spelled out rule. So if you're running the game, anything that makes sense to you as a significant heat source is a significant heat source. If you aren't, ask your GM what they think.

I could give how I would rule it (yes on most living creatures, no on undead, yes on some types of constructs but nit necessarily all, depending on how they work, etc.) Others might do the same, and if we disagreed none of us would actually have the right answer, only our answers.

But that sort of thing is mire of a General Discussion answer than a Rules Questions answer.

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Check out this heatmap photo of people in a break room.

Thermal Image of People In A Break Room

It will give you some idea of heat levels of a lamp, people's exposed skin (faces), clothed but warm human body, and room-temperature furniture.

There is no answer within the rules.

Personally I'd say living yes, undead no, weapons recently fired probably (depends on type).

I'd rule it as "sources significantly hotter than their environment". Anything near room temperature won't stand out, like in the thermal map CrystalSeas posted. I think that would cover most situations.

Sovereign Court

Some undead are unnaturally cold. Others are room temperature, but if they just came in from another room with a very different temperature, that's going to be noticeable.

Recently fired weapons, particularly kinetic ones using gunpowder, flame weapons using petrol, weapons dealing cold damage and maybe also laser weapons could all be visible.

Armor would probably shield the heat signature of living occupants, but someone coming in from a hot room would probably have warmer armor that glows for a while until it cools to the local room temperature.

Armor with a thermal capacitor upgrade is perhaps hard to see with thermographic vision.

A hot stove [hazard] is much easier to spot with thermographic vision. You're at little risk of accidentally burning yourself on surprisingly hot things.

Creatures with [fire] or [cold] subtypes would obviously be noticeable.

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