Vision And Light
In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly. A creature can’t hide in an area of bright light unless it is invisible or has cover.
In an area of shadowy illumination, a character can see dimly. Creatures within this area have concealment relative to that character. A creature in an area of shadowy illumination can make a Hide check to conceal itself.
In areas of darkness, creatures without darkvision are effectively blinded. In addition to the obvious effects, a blinded creature has a 50% miss chance in combat (all opponents have total concealment), loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, takes a -2 penalty to AC, moves at half speed, and takes a -4 penalty on Search checks and most Strength and Dexterity-based skill checks.
Characters with low-light vision (elves, gnomes, and half-elves) can see objects twice as far away as the given radius. Double the effective radius of bright light and of shadowy illumination for such characters.
Characters with darkvision (dwarves and half-orcs) can see lit areas normally as well as dark areas within 60 feet. A creature can’t hide within 60 feet of a character with darkvision unless it is invisible or has cover.
That provides the rules for three circumstances: Bright light, Shadowy Illumination, and Darkness. We know the relative distances at which things provide illumination. Because of this, we can extrapolate the inverses. A creature at the center of bright light would be in bright light, even to a creature in complete darkness. A creature in shadowy illumination is in shadowy illumination, even to a creature in complete darkness. Both of these conditions are defined, both for lighting and for items that provide such lighting. Example: Character X places a torch on the wall, then walks forty feet away from it (into shadowy illumination). Character Y approaches the light source until he is 80 feet away. If Character Y has normal human vision, then he can see Character X in shadowy illumination (provided Character X does not attempt to Hide). If Character Y has low-light vision, then Character X is in bright light relative to his visual acuity.
If Character X has low-light vision, then Character Y is standing within his range of shadowy illumination.
The DCs for spot and listen are well founded. Listen checks go against a creature's Move Silently skill check. Spot checks go against a creature's Hide skill check. These are opposed rolls. Additionally, every 10 feet of distance between the characters adds a +1 to the DC. In example above, if Character X has low-light vision, but Character Y does not, then relative to each other, both are in shadowy illumination. Assuming that both attempt to hide and move silently, here would be the relative DCs:
Characters X and Y spotting and listening for each other:
Code: Select all
Hide check + 4 Move Silently check + 4
The +4s are because the characters are 40 feet apart from each other. Keep in mind that the DC to hear someone who is not moving increases. The creature's only noise will be his breathing. Because it is difficult to determine someone's location by breathing, I'll equate it to a similar example: the owl gliding in for the kill example in the Listen skill. The owl has a +17 to Move Silently. Assuming it takes 10 on the check, that's a DC 27. But, the SRD is claiming that it is a DC 30, so moving only air increases the DC by 3 it would seem. I'd say that is a decent circumstance modifier. Holding one's breath, of course, would increase the DC even higher. It would be as though the creature were invisible (invisible creatures gain a +20 to their hide checks, so it would make sense that a creature that is not moving and holding its breath would gain a +20 to its move silently check).