A question on Drow Darkness

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This is going to come up more and more often as the season goes on, but what are people doing with Drow PCs (or other Darkvision blessed races) when their Drow antagonists use their darkness powers?

Do they see through the gloom automatically?  Do they have to make a perception test?  Does it obscure them completely, providing their Underdark foes complete concealment?

In the first session, I allowed the Drow PCs to see through the Drow-created glooms.  Has anybody been doing something different?
This is going to come up more and more often as the season goes on, but what are people doing with Drow PCs (or other Darkvision blessed races) when their Drow antagonists use their darkness powers?

Do they see through the gloom automatically?  Do they have to make a perception test?  Does it obscure them completely, providing their Underdark foes complete concealment?

In the first session, I allowed the Drow PCs to see through the Drow-created glooms.  Has anybody been doing something different?



Any creature (even another Drow) is blinded while in a Drow's Cloud of Darkness. It is not just normal darkness. So, all of the penalties for the blinded condition apply.
- Rico
This is going to come up more and more often as the season goes on, but what are people doing with Drow PCs (or other Darkvision blessed races) when their Drow antagonists use their darkness powers?

Do they see through the gloom automatically?  Do they have to make a perception test?  Does it obscure them completely, providing their Underdark foes complete concealment?

In the first session, I allowed the Drow PCs to see through the Drow-created glooms.  Has anybody been doing something different?



Any creature (even another Drow) is blinded while in a Drow's Cloud of Darkness. It is not just normal darkness. So, all of the penalties for the blinded condition apply.



OK, but I can see the rule lawyers at the table putting on their powdered wigs and arguing that their Drow PCs should see through Drow created darkness.  I'll point them in your direction. ;)
Just make sure the bad guy drow are also hindered by the cloud of darkness.
This is going to come up more and more often as the season goes on, but what are people doing with Drow PCs (or other Darkvision blessed races) when their Drow antagonists use their darkness powers?

Do they see through the gloom automatically?  Do they have to make a perception test?  Does it obscure them completely, providing their Underdark foes complete concealment?

In the first session, I allowed the Drow PCs to see through the Drow-created glooms.  Has anybody been doing something different?



Any creature (even another Drow) is blinded while in a Drow's Cloud of Darkness. It is not just normal darkness. So, all of the penalties for the blinded condition apply.



OK, but I can see the rule lawyers at the table putting on their powdered wigs and arguing that their Drow PCs should see through Drow created darkness.  I'll point them in your direction. ;)


If they do, read the power's description to them. Here is the description from the Compendium:

Cloud of Darkness

A shroud of blackness descends around you, hiding you from sight.


Encounter  
Minor Action      Close burst 1


Effect: The burst creates a cloud of darkness that remains in place until the end of your next turn. The cloud blocks line of sight, squares within it are totally obscured, and creatures entirely within it are blinded until they exit. You are immune to these effects.


Note that it doesn't say, "unless the creature has darkvision." Also, if you look at the power's description in the module for those Drow who are named, it specifically says anyone but that NPC is blinded.

Remember that the Drow are a backstabbing, treacherous race. Any individual Drow is as likely to be attacked by another Drow as by an adventurer. So they use their cloud of darkness racial ability to protect themselves from other drow as well.

- Rico
So... "blocking line of sight" means that ranged attacks beyond the cloud are through total concealment? Same for melee attacks against drow in cloud? Does drow take any penalty in attacks?
Ok... Just saw that initiating drow is unaffected
So... "blocking line of sight" means that ranged attacks beyond the cloud are through total concealment? Same for melee attacks against drow in cloud?

Yes.



Does drow take any penalty in attacks?

If you mean the Drow who threw up the Cloud of Darkness, the answer is no. He does not take any penalties to attacks. If you mean other Drow, the answer is yes.
- Rico
This is going to come up more and more often as the season goes on, but what are people doing with Drow PCs (or other Darkvision blessed races) when their Drow antagonists use their darkness powers?

Do they see through the gloom automatically?  Do they have to make a perception test?  Does it obscure them completely, providing their Underdark foes complete concealment?

In the first session, I allowed the Drow PCs to see through the Drow-created glooms.  Has anybody been doing something different?



Any creature (even another Drow) is blinded while in a Drow's Cloud of Darkness. It is not just normal darkness. So, all of the penalties for the blinded condition apply.



OK, but I can see the rule lawyers at the table putting on their powdered wigs and arguing that their Drow PCs should see through Drow created darkness.  I'll point them in your direction. ;)


If they do, read the power's description to them. Here is the description from the Compendium:

Cloud of Darkness

A shroud of blackness descends around you, hiding you from sight.


Encounter  
Minor Action      Close burst 1


Effect: The burst creates a cloud of darkness that remains in place until the end of your next turn. The cloud blocks line of sight, squares within it are totally obscured, and creatures entirely within it are blinded until they exit. You are immune to these effects.


Note that it doesn't say, "unless the creature has darkvision." Also, if you look at the power's description in the module for those Drow who are named, it specifically says anyone but that NPC is blinded.

Remember that the Drow are a backstabbing, treacherous race. Any individual Drow is as likely to be attacked by another Drow as by an adventurer. So they use their cloud of darkness racial ability to protect themselves from other drow as well.


Just came back to this thread after a while, and wanted to thank you for the very concise and well thought out response to my question.  Glad to see there are other DM's out there who want to make this the best game it can be.

Thanks!

The only other question/issue we’ve had at our table regarding the Cloud of Darkness is when the Drow who created a Cloud of Darkness is killed before the end of his next turn does the Cloud immediately disappear? I’ve been saying it stays for the duration of the effect regardless of the status of the Drow who created it. If I remember correctly this is how it worked in the R.A. Salvatore novels. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

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I've always treated the Cloud of Darkness as independent of the Drow when used. So when the Drow dies it stays for it's normal duration.

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It's a zone, not an aura, so it stays.
It's a zone, not an aura, so it stays.


Right, otherwise the Drow wouldn't be able to move out of it (to escape). It would move with him.
- Rico
we have played it as a seperate entity to the drow that initiated it as well, and we have also used the old rule that magical light can be used to dispel magical darkness (and vice versa)

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