Darkness 15' r.

I'd originally thought that I'd be able to cast Darkness 15'r on a stone forcing others to attack me with disadvantage; then on my turn, free action close my hand, attack normally, open my hand and impose darkness penalty the rest of the round (unless they used a prepared action to attack on my turn).

After looking more closely at the rules, I think the darkness effectively imposes blindness on anyone in the darkness relative to anyone else in the darkness; meaning they'd have disadvantage to attack me, but I'd grant advantage to them, so they'd attack normally.  So therefore, I'd only receive utility from the spell by attacking targets in lit areas outside the area of effect, or playing hiding games within the area of darkness.  (Non-Combat stealth utility aside.)

Does the second interpretation sound correct?  Any other insights or suggestions for combat utility? 
In a situation where all combatants are suffering from the Blinded condition, I'd rule that everyone attacks at disadvantage.

It occurs to me that Blinded creatures grant advantage to attackers that are assumed to have vision. If they don't have control of their visual faculties, it seems consistent that they would lose advantage.

Cool use of the spell!

Danny

The original post points out a clear situation where the Advantage/Disadvantage system is problematic as it is. It may be better to have disadvantage trump advantage in general. Is there a situation where this will be another issue?
It occurs to me that Blinded creatures grant advantage to attackers that are assumed to have vision.

I agree it should. Perhaps some limitation similar to 4E's Combat Advantage could be implement. Something along the lines of;

''you musst see a target to have advantage against it''

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Huh. That's true. By RAW, a blind attacker attacking a blind target attacks at both advantage and disadvantage. Both conditions cancel and the attack is made normally. That part actually seems reasonable; the trick is the attacker has to choose the right square to attack. As soon as you opened your hand you would give away your position, though I suppose you would take your move after you closed your hand.

Speaking of which...

Congratulations, you have found an unavoidable flaw in turn-based mechanics. The next logical step is to close your hand during each of your allies' turns, creating a strobing darkness in which your allies can see perfectly but your enemies are blind.

Then create a video in which you only close your hand during initiative rolls 30-40 (i. e., too high for anyone to reach). Anyone watching this video will know exactly what happened, because everyone is aware of events when it is not their turn. However, if anyone spends their turn watching the video, they see six seconds of darkness, because that's how the initiative rolled. Essentially you will have created a movie that can only be seen when no one looks directly at it.

30 seconds into the recording, cast Symbol of Insanity.
The original post points out a clear situation where the Advantage/Disadvantage system is problematic as it is.


What is the problem you see here? This seems to work out more or less OK to me.

In practice, if someone tried a trick like this against me I would ready an action to attack him when he became visible.
The original post points out a clear situation where the Advantage/Disadvantage system is problematic as it is.


What is the problem you see here? This seems to work out more or less OK to me.

In practice, if someone tried a trick like this against me I would ready an action to attack him when he became visible.


I'd give them a stern look and tell them to stop abusing the loopholes, but your way has its advantages. Yes, after the initial moment of chaos, the commander yells "Hold your action! Wait for the thief to break cover!" and the hero knows the same trick won't work twice...

Anyway, I'm drawing a blank on easy combat uses. It would nullify spellcasters since most spells require line of sight, but then you have until the caster's turn to run up and grapple or else the caster will move and hide. A rogue could use the darkness to deliver sneak attacks without disadvantage, which again is only useful on the first turn of darkness before the opponents move. A high level barbarian or ranger or rogue could use Feral Senses/Blindsense and be a combat god in a darkness field, but that requires friends who play barbarians and rangers and rogues (or you could play the ranger and let a friend run the wizard). There's also True Seeing to let you cast spells while darkened. Any other ideas?

(Edit to add rogues.) 
The problem is having no penality at attacking each other blinded in darkness using the current system. People do not seem to agree how this should be handled.

The darkness trick is not an issue. DMs just have to decide how it is handle consistently in their own game.
Well, you have the pretty significant penalty of not knowing what square your opponent is in.

If you did know his square, do you think you should have a bonus or penalty for attacking him? It's not obvious to me.
Well, you have the pretty significant penalty of not knowing what square your opponent is in.

If you did know his square, do you think you should have a bonus or penalty for attacking him? It's not obvious to me.


The attacker can't aim, but the defender can't dodge. Is it easier to hit a dodging target with your eyes open, or a stationary target with your eyes closed? I think it's about the same.
Me too, so I don't think there is a problem here.
the trick is the attacker has to choose the right square to attack. As soon as you opened your hand you would give away your position, though I suppose you would take your move after you closed your hand.

 The next logical step is to close your hand during each of your allies' turns, creating a strobing darkness in which your allies can see perfectly but your enemies are blind.



Unless you spend your action 'Sneaking', they're going to know which square your in regardless of movement.  Right?

Can you do things when it's not your turn?  The free action isn't part of the rules, per se.


I'd give them a stern look and tell them to stop abusing the loopholes, but your way has its advantages. Yes, after the initial moment of chaos, the commander yells "Hold your action! Wait for the thief to break cover!" and the hero knows the same trick won't work twice...

Anyway, I'm drawing a blank on easy combat uses. It would nullify spellcasters since most spells require line of sight, but then you have until the caster's turn to run up and grapple or else the caster will move and hide. A rogue could use the darkness to deliver sneak attacks without disadvantage, which again is only useful on the first turn of darkness before the opponents move. A high level barbarian or ranger or rogue could use Feral Senses/Blindsense and be a combat god in a darkness field, but that requires friends who play barbarians and rangers and rogues (or you could play the ranger and let a friend run the wizard). There's also True Seeing to let you cast spells while darkened. Any other ideas?
(Edit to add rogues.) 



Loopholes:  Isn't the purpose of the playtest to expose the loopholes so that the Devs can decide whether or not to close them?  

The prepared attack:  is it unreasonable to strobe the dakness to activate the prepared attack then reimpose darkness before the blows can be landed?  I.E.:  I take a prepared action, then free action, close my hand, provoking prepared attacks, which then cause my prepared action to interrupt those attacks and I move and open my hand.

 Feral Senses/Blindsense:  These classes could get the Read Magic Cantrip via Eladrin Race or Arcane Dabbler Feat.  2nd Level Scrolls ought to be relatively cheap.

Rogue/Darkness/SneakAttacks w/o DisAd ?:  Because multiple cases of Adv/DisAdv don't stack?  Once you have at least one of each, your guranteed a normal attack?

The prepared attack:  is it unreasonable to strobe the dakness to activate the prepared attack then reimpose darkness before the blows can be landed?  I.E.:  I take a prepared action, then free action, close my hand, provoking prepared attacks, which then cause my prepared action to interrupt those attacks and I move and open my hand.


A readied action interrupts your turn, so I don't think it would be reasonable to say you could close your hand again before the readied attacks occur. Because as soon as you open your hand, it's not your turn anymore.

At any rate, the scheme is pretty explicitly trying to take advantage of the turn-based game system. There will probably always be some ways to do this, but eventually I think we all just have to agree not to. After all, if a player can do it, so can the DM.
Taking the prepared action is my turn.  The limiting factor is can I take a free action (close hand) when it's not my turn.   

You can talk when its not your turn.  Right?
So the net consensus is?

RAW:  two blind enemies attack each other at normal probablility.

RAI:  hard to say?

Blinded condition (as written) probably intended  vs a non-blinded target.  So it would be reasonable for the DM to impose disadvantage for a blind attacker vs a blind target.  (Thinking of 2 blindfolded people swing sticks at each other, there would be a lot of misses.  Although probably more for not knowing where the target is (wrong square, despite rules giving away your location w/o a successful stealt check) sounds like a japanese game showSmile)  Have you ever swung a stick at a pinata?  A lot of missing going on there.
And by the way,

This isn't a PC trick so much as a sneaky bastard DM trick I was thinking of having my Bisilisk Riding Anti-Paladin pull.  I just wanted to adjudicate it fairly.