How to Counter Magical Darkness

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I have been recently playing a campaign where magical darkness has been a spell our enemies constantly use. The DM is using magical darkness auras, which block light, grant concealment, and darkvision does not help with. I, a fighter, am looking for a way to counter the darkness aura or allow me to fight in it so I can actually do my fightery job and mark things.
Blindfighting feats?
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Magical lights.  Goggles of Night (14th level common head slot, you gain Darkvision).  Various other means of gaining Darkvision (most of which are level-dependent, and I'm not convinced there are that many in Heroic).
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
If not even Darkvision can see through his darkness auras then I think he's just out to screw you with "magical" darkness, which must be way cooler than regular darkness.

There is no level of darkness beyond "Darkness" in 4e and Darkvision can see in Darkness.

(someone correct me if I'm wrong and there's some game element that is darker than darkness)

lol, now I'm reminded of the Charlie Murphy/Rick James story.

The only other way around it I can think would be Blindsight or Tremorsense.

However, maybe you should avoid the arms race (which you can't win against the DM if that's what he wants) and instead ask your DM what he's trying to accomplish by having the enemies constantly in total concealment.  Is he just trying to make things more challenging?  If so, do you all find this kind of challenge fun?  If not, perhaps you could suggest a different way to make the encounters challenging that doesn't negate you as a defender on a regular basis.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

counter the darkness aura or allow me to fight in it so I can actually do my fightery job and mark things.

There's no reason that you, as a Fighter, shouldn't be able to mark the enemies you attack, even if they're in darkness and totally obscured.  If you can attack them, you can mark them, whether you hit or miss.  It will be harder to hit them, but unless they are Hidden, there's no reason why you can't target and attack them, and mark them with that.

If the DM is trying to tell you that you can't attack enemies in heavily obscured creatures because you don't know where the enemy is, he's wrong, RAW.  And even if the enemy becomes Hidden that places severe restrictions on what they can do and even then you could possibly guess which square they are in and target them successfully that way, attack them, and mark them.

Read the Rules of Hidden Club thread if you need more information on how things like concealment, obscurement, invisible and hidden work.  The primary thing to remember, though, is everyone always knows where everyone else is on the battlefield at all times unless someone is Hidden.

Having superior cover, total obsurement or invisibility does not make you immune to attack.  Not in the least.  And if a fighter can attack it, he can mark it.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Okay so I wasn't crazy. I was going to buy darkvision goggles to counter it, but he told me that it wouldn't work because it is magical darkness. So it must be a house rule to try and make the encounters more difficult. 

The only way I have been able to mark them was being in the darkness to try and hit them, which like people have mentioned grants concealment and I have to try and guess using skill checks where the mob is within the darkness.

I had forgotten about blindsight. Anyone know if there are some items that grant blindsight? 
There's a feat that gives blindsight 1 - blindfighting warrior.  Otherwise it's not gettable until epic.  But if your DM's making that houseruling anyway, then you're likely to be pretty screwed.  Talk to him, out of game.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Okay so I wasn't crazy. I was going to buy darkvision goggles to counter it, but he told me that it wouldn't work because it is magical darkness. So it must be a house rule to try and make the encounters more difficult.

Yeah, and it sounds like he's trying to screw you.  Talk to him out of game about this. 

The only way I have been able to mark them was being in the darkness to try and hit them, which like people have mentioned grants concealment and I have to try and guess using skill checks where the mob is within the darkness.

Concealment does not mean they are Hidden, so you don't have to guess where they are.  Hidden is a specific state granted by using Stealth checks or perhaps some other power or game element.  It's hard to maintain because when Hidden the enemies have to guess your location, and this makes you almost invulnerable.  But unless they are Hidden, you know right where they are and can attack them, even at range, though you'll have a -5 to hit.  But as a Fighter, it doesn't matter whether you hit them or not, melee, ranged, area or close, you still get to mark them if you attack them. 

Read up on the rules for concealment, obscurement, hidden state, invisiblity etc. in The Rules of Hidden Club thread and ask your DM if he understands them too.  Just because he's the DM it doesn't mean he gets to change the rules of the game unless you all buy in to it.  That makes for a poor referee and a DM you can't trust.

And/or talk to him about how you feel about what he's doing and if you don't like it, ask him to change it up to make it more fun.  It sounds to me like he's trying to make the game more challenging by making up rules, or he doesn't understand the rules.  The irony of it is, the game can be plenty challenging just by sticking to the rules, and difficult combats are not the only way to make the game challenging and making the game challenging is not the only way to have fun playing!

Also, regarding items to counteract the darkness, I have a feeling that if your DM relies heavily on darkness to make things challenging, he's just going to deny you a way to get these items.  I wouldn't even bother and instead address either the rules issue directly or discuss with your DM what he's trying to accomplish with these tactics, and why, and how you feel about it.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

There are a few sources in 4e that are "darkness" that blocks darkvision. The Drow racial ability Cloud of Darkness is what comes to mind, but I'm sure there are a few others. It gets around this by saying that creatures within the cloud have line of sight to no other squares and are blinded (the caster is immune).

That said, if enemies have this type of effect up constantly, then it is way too powerful, and it is clear you aren't enjoying it. Best to just talk to the DM.
looking for a way to counter the darkness aura

If it's something like Drow darkness (which blocks darkvision), your best bet is to use some sort of area attack, since they don't suffer darkness penalties. If you don't have any, then just attack at minus -5; you should still be able to mark them, and you'll probably even still hit.

Yeah I guess I should clarify, they are drow, so I guess the ability is cloud of darkness. I just didn't know what the spell was called. I apologize. He uses it as an aura though.
I would try pointing out to your DM that it isn't supposed to be an aura, and that making it so makes it significantly more annoying for the ranged and melee characters that don't have area of effect attacks. That is most likely your best action.
If it's drow darkness, then yes it will block darkvision as well.  However, three points your dm should be aware of:  One, blasts and bursts take no penalty to hit a character in drow darkness.  Two, an individual drow should be able to do this only once per encounter.  There are some feats that let a pc drow do this more than once, but npc drow shouldn't have them unless your dm is trying to be exceptionally challenging.  Three, the default duration for drow darkness is until the end of the drow's next turn.  A pc drow can take a feat to sustain it.  However, the feat is a paragon feat, and he has to use his standard action each round to sustain it.  So if your npc drow are casting darkness that lasts more than a round, then we're back to your dm using house rules to be exceptionally challenging.  
Point four for your dm to consider:  the only creature immune to the cloud of darkness power, whether cast by pc or npc, is the drow who casts it.  His buddies, even if they are other drow, are affected by the darkness as well.  

In order to circumvent drow darkness, things like darkvision, or items that grant it, are useless, because the relevant pieces of text are:  blocks line of sight, and creatures in the cloud are blinded.  To circumvent the cloud, look for any feat, item, power, etc, that allows you to ignore the effects of blindness.   
If the generated darkness is a "zone" you can have a wizard use the spell Dispel Magic.

If the darkness is an "aura", you can begin collecting AURA KILLER weapons to suppress the aura of the monster generating the aura.

Another option is to specialize your fighter with "Close Burst" attacks which ignore the penalty for concealment. So they work just fine in total darkness.
Another option is to specialize your fighter with "Close Burst" attacks which ignore the penalty for concealment. So they work just fine in total darkness.


Worth noting that an awful lot of Fighter burst powers specify enemies you can see in burst.  Which, if you're unable to see them, makes them a bit useless...
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Another option is to specialize your fighter with "Close Burst" attacks which ignore the penalty for concealment. So they work just fine in total darkness.


Worth noting that an awful lot of Fighter burst powers specify enemies you can see in burst.  Which, if you're unable to see them, makes them a bit useless...



You're right, that complicates things...

The Deep Delver theme gives blindsight 2 at 10th level.
Too bad the Unguent of Blinsight is a level 21 item. It gives Blindsight 10 during an entire encounter.

But in no way darkness should prevent the fighter's OP from marking.
No - but you wouldn't be able to do it with bursts which require you to see the enemy to target him.  If you;re not targetting them, they;re not marked.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
No - but you wouldn't be able to do it with bursts which require you to see the enemy to target him.  If you;re not targetting them, they;re not marked.



Of course, that point was already made clear I guess since you must be able to attack to mark.