Questions about illumination

A few things that the dnd rules have never, I think, handled well:

1) Cast light on a pebble in your hand. During your turn, open your hand so you can see, make your attack, then close your hand so no one can see you. People try to do this all the time, and it's bogus because it's taking advantage of the artificial turn mechanic. But I'd like to see a rule (or maybe just general guidelines) about how a DM should handle it.

2) An invisible character is carrying a torch. Can he see? If so, can other people see? If so, can they tell where the torch is? I'd like a rule for how invisible light sources work.

3) Cast minor illusion to create an image of a lit torch. Does this illuminate a dark room?
A few things that the dnd rules have never, I think, handled well:

1) Cast light on a pebble in your hand. During your turn, open your hand so you can see, make your attack, then close your hand so no one can see you. People try to do this all the time, and it's bogus because it's taking advantage of the artificial turn mechanic. But I'd like to see a rule (or maybe just general guidelines) about how a DM should handle it.

2) An invisible character is carrying a torch. Can he see? If so, can other people see? If so, can they tell where the torch is? I'd like a rule for how invisible light sources work.

3) Cast minor illusion to create an image of a lit torch. Does this illuminate a dark room?



1) This doesn't work because like you said, it's taking advantage of a mechanic. That bein said, there should be a rule saying you can't do it in the dungeon master guide.

2) No he can't see because the torch is invisible and therefore doesn't give off any light.

3) Yes because illusions are made of  light anyways.
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.

3) Yes because illusions are made of  light anyways.


So there's not much reason to take the light spell?

3) Yes because illusions are made of  light anyways.


So there's not much reason to take the light spell?



Upon rereading the rules, the image can only be a ten foot cube, so that would be the limit of your torch(three feet in every direction), also you couldn't carry it with you.
The Oberoni fallacy only applies to broken rules, not rules you don't like. If a rule you don't like can be easily ignored, it should exist in the game for those who will enjoy it.
Yes, it's obviously not nearly as functional as light for providing illumination. But you can move the illusion to carry it along with you. So it would work as a back up when you don't have any torches.

But are you saying that the light would only fill a 10 ft cube, you wouldn't be able to see past that? I don't know if I'd buy that. I could live with or without providing light, but if it provides light, it should work like ordinary light. I mean, if I made a image of my grandmother, you could see it from more than 10 ft away. If I make an image of my grandmother holding a torch, why wouldn't you be able to see that from more than 10 ft away. (Assuming you could see it at all in a dark room.)
1) This does work, except against creatures with Darkvision. That's why anything that needs to see should have their own light source. I could never see this trick actually working, as it relys on you having the only source of light. That would be very, very rare.

2) In previous editions you lost the benefit of invisibility because the light source was always visible. I suspect the final version will be the same. As of now, however, I don't think there is any penalty. As a DM, I would still have the light source be visible, but your DM may vary.

3) Illusions have no substance. If you create the illusion of a lit torch, it won't give off light (or heat, or sound, etc). You could give the illusion of a glow around something that was already illuminated (or at least it would become visible once illuminated).
1) This does work, except against creatures with Darkvision. That's why anything that needs to see should have their own light source. I could never see this trick actually working, as it relys on you having the only source of light. That would be very, very rare.


True, but the same trick works rather nicer if you cast darkness on the pebble and operate in reverse I still think it is cheesy and shouldn't be allowed.


2) In previous editions you lost the benefit of invisibility because the light source was always visible. I suspect the final version will be the same. As of now, however, I don't think there is any penalty. As a DM, I would still have the light source be visible, but your DM may vary.

3) Illusions have no substance. If you create the illusion of a lit torch, it won't give off light (or heat, or sound, etc). You could give the illusion of a glow around something that was already illuminated (or at least it would become visible once illuminated).



In general, I'd be happy with almost any answer to these questions, as long as the rules are clear and consistent.
A few things that the dnd rules have never, I think, handled well:

1) Cast light on a pebble in your hand. During your turn, open your hand so you can see, make your attack, then close your hand so no one can see you. People try to do this all the time, and it's bogus because it's taking advantage of the artificial turn mechanic. But I'd like to see a rule (or maybe just general guidelines) about how a DM should handle it.

2) An invisible character is carrying a torch. Can he see? If so, can other people see? If so, can they tell where the torch is? I'd like a rule for how invisible light sources work.

3) Cast minor illusion to create an image of a lit torch. Does this illuminate a dark room?



1) This doesn't work because like you said, it's taking advantage of a mechanic. That bein said, there should be a rule saying you can't do it in the dungeon master guide.

2) No he can't see because the torch is invisible and therefore doesn't give off any light.l

3) Yes because illusions are made of  light anyways.



I agree with the first

2) depends on if the torch is picked up or already in hand when the become invisible. If picked up I would say still visible (stealing becomes too easy if anything picked up immediately becomes invisible). If already held then the torch is invisible and thus not effective as it produces invisible light unless dropped.

3) this I disagree with entirely. Illusions have no rule associated with generating light. It must be ruled that they cannot produce light in turn. 
My own feeling about the illusion thing is that you should be able to create the illusion of a light source, but then you also need to create an illusion for whatever the light source is illuminating. So you could create a candle in a dark room, and a distant observer could see it. But anything the observer sees by the candle light would also be an illusion that you must create. So if you are standing in an unfamiliar dark room and create the illusion of a candle, it doesn't help you see anything in the room since you don't know what is there.

But this might be too complicated
1. This is a perfectly valid tactic, and does not rely on the "turn mechanic". People have done this in real life: click flashlight on, shoot target before he has a chance to pinpoint your location, turn flashlight off. It relies on your enemy's inability to react in time to a quick flash of light, since they don't know when you're going to flash the light. You do, however, which is why you can still attack.

And if you're annoyed at this tactic, you just need to start thinking tactically yourself. For one, as was mentioned earlier, anything that can't see in the dark should have its own light source anyway. Second... your little trickster won't think he's so clever when he opens his hand of light only to see every single monster in the room right next to him with a readied action to rip his throat out the second they can see him.

2. Yes, once the light leaves your vicinity, it can be seen, which means the enemies can pinpoint your location. They can't see you or the torch, though, just the light.

3. No, illusions do not provide light.