Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

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Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Vaemar » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:04 am

When I created my halfdrow daylight adaptation was considered a mandatory feat to train if one wanted to play on the surface (the only place where halfdrow can actually play to be honest) written in helpfile with threat of a strike if one played up top without the feat.

Now the helpfile does not seem to specify it anymore. Does it mean new halfdrow can skip this unfair feat tax?

Unfair because as per tabletop material halfdrow, like deep gnomes (still mistakenly listed in the daylight adaptation helpfile), do not need to train that feat at all! (In tabletop halfdrow get the chance to get 120 darkvision if they take the feat "drow eyes" on the other hand)

So, how does it work now?

Do halfdrow experience daylight penalties like orcs or drow on the surface, so it is up to them to train the feat or not?

If there is no enforcement anymore will old halfdrow be refunded of the feat tax?

Is there the project to refund the feat or convert it into drow eyes?

In any case, it would be better to clear up the point for new halfdrow characters, at least. :)

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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Talos » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:07 am

At present all halfdrow are required to take the feat, and the helpfile has been adjusted accordingly. However, I am open to hearing the debate over reforms to the system, so I am moving this to suggestions.
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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Vaemar » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:15 am

Oh, thanks!

As I said before on the matter I see two possibilities, to be more in line with tabletop:

a) Remove the need for the feat, refund the feat to those who took it. Then optionally add the drow eyes feat to let halfdrow see in the dark and in the Underdark like real drow and other Underdark denizens, which is what they are. It is very sad that a wizard who turns into orog/duergar/drow/whatever is a better Underdark guide than any halfdrow.

b) Leave the feat as it is, but give halfdrow the same vision and penalties of the drow. This makes basically all FK halfdrow as having the drow eyes feat, without need to implement it. It may not be the solution most in line with tabletop, but it is understandable considering the rule that was in force here. Personally I would prefer this solution.

The reason is essentially that it makes no sense for halfdrow to have to train the feat when in tabletop they do not, and when they are children of surface creatures, i.e. humans, so with no real eye vulnerability. On top of that the irony is that deep gnomes, real Underdark denizens, get 120 darkvision without need for daylight adaptation (and rightly so, since even in tabletop the do not need it).

Let's hear the opinion of the other halfdrow players.

P.S.
The helpfile still lists deep gnomes, despite they cannot train the feat even if they want to.

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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Svenrick » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:18 am

I am not the most familiar with the race in tabletop or FK, but I am curious as to the purpose of it existing as a penalty for the race in terms of game mechanics here in FK as well as lore-wise.

My interpretation, which is likely incorrect or skewed, is that their half-blood nature prevents them from having their Drow ancestor's inherent keen sight in the dark. It must be honed to be accomplished. In terms of game mechanics it seems that it is a feat tax for playing a race that does not serve to counterbalance any inherent special abilities aside from potential to receive Darkvision 120ft.

In terms of lore it does not quite make sense because if you don't inherently have the eyes that are adjusted to the dark then adapting to daylight would not be as hard since that genetic conditioning is not present.

My suggestion would be to make Drowsight one of the feats like Luck of Heroes, Spellcasting Prodigy, etc that must be taken at an early level to reflect the fact that it was honed earlier in the character's life and if it is taken then the character must also take Daylight Adaptation however that would cost two feats for one effect whereas Mountain Orcs & Drow must only pay one. ECL could be considered the balancing factor there, but the necessity of that mechanic is best discussed in its own thread.

As it is I don't believe that Daylight Adapatation should be forced upon all Half-Drow uniformly without some benefit that it is meant to counteract.
Last edited by Svenrick on Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Vaemar » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:21 am

Honestly it seems a little too convoluted. Also the drow eyes feat has never had level requirements, so what is the reason to make it early level limited?

http://www.realmshelps.net/charbuild/feat/Drow_Eyes

It is daylight adaptation which is limited to early level in tabletop, however, this is not really possible here, since drow cannot have the chance to train it before level 16.

Also orcs remain with 60 ft darkvision AND they need daylight adaptation, as per tabletop again.

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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Harroghty » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:25 am

Do halfdrow experience daylight penalties like orcs or drow on the surface, so it is up to them to train the feat or not?
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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Svenrick » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:33 am

I'm not dead set on that alteration it's just what makes the most sense to me, but it could be role-played differently as someone unlocking their latent abilities. If your eyes are adjusted to handle such darkness then that's where the sensitivity to daylight arises.

I think paying two feats for Darksight 120FT is a bit steep, but if we are trying to stick to the lore it is an understandable albeit nonpreferable concession. The Daylight Adaptation feat seems an unnecessary burden on the monstrous races which are already penalized by ECL to counter the advantages, such as they are, they receive from creation. Since Half-Drow's only distinction is their ability to purchase Drow Eyes and starting GM in Darkspeak it does not seem necessary to impose this burden on them unless it is meant to balance some other benefit.

With that in mind we would have to decide if Drow Eyes is truly worth two feats for in terms of gameplay and balance.
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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Vaemar » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:13 am

Svenrick wrote:I think paying two feats for Darksight 120FT is a bit steep, but if we are trying to stick to the lore it is an understandable albeit nonpreferable concession.
This is exactly what I find convoluted and hard to understand. Why proposing to have an ability that costs two feats when the lore, as presented in the source material for halfdrow, does clearly state that:

a) They do not incur in any penalty and they have therefore no reason to get the daylight adaptation feat. This because halfdrow have a human parent and many of them are born on the surface, like in Dambrath or Cormanthor, so there is no reason for them to be vulnerable to daylight as their drow parent is.

b) They can gain the 120 darkvision ability with the "drow eyes" feat that they can get at any level and that, in fact, just costs one feat.

I mean, I am sincerely curious as to how you could get to that reasoning when the source material is so clear in this regard.

Anyway just to sum things up, this is what I would do:

Orcs and drow: leave things as they are.

Halfdrow: when Mask has some time, with absolutely no hurry, give halfdrow 120 darkvision and fix also their parent race, so that they do not enter reverie anymore when they sleep and that they are finally considered as halfelves by the code (currently the code treats them as if they were full-blooded surface elves :/ ). Concerning daylight adaptation and penalties leave them as they are.

Deep Gnomes: scrap the rule for them and edit the helpfile accordingly. They are not required to take daylight adaptation in tabletop, but more importantly they cannot mechanically train the feat in FK! So deep gnome players are currently threatened with a strike for breaking a rule with which they cannot mechanically comply!

P.S.
Thanks for clearing the point Harroghty, since with the old rule it was impossible to know, because a halfdrow had to train the feat before reaching the surface.

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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Svenrick » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:12 pm

Vaemar wrote: This is exactly what I find convoluted and hard to understand. Why proposing to have an ability that costs two feats when the lore, as presented in the source material for halfdrow, does clearly state that:
As I said it's not preferable- I think that your ideas on it are better. Unless there is a strong argument for Darkvision 120 FT costing two feat points I concede that point to you.
Vaemar wrote:I mean, I am sincerely curious as to how you could get to that reasoning when the source material is so clear in this regard.
I can see the reasoning behind it in a roleplay setting. The mechanics of the tabletop are not perfect (E.g., ECL) so some adjustments are necessary for it to fit in this medium. I question whether it is necessary for balance still, but it just seems logical that if someone's eyes are hyper attuned to darkness that they have to adjust to daylight. There are some scenarios where this does not quite fit such as a half-drow that was born on the surface that trains their eyes and unlocks powers of their blood, but in general it is not outlandish.

While we are on the topic I might as well ask a few questions.
Daylight Adaptation wrote:If you visit the surface for more than the period of one in-game night without taking this feat, you are considered to be abusing code and subject to a strike.
One in-game night is approximately 1 hour according to the time file. Someone without the feat has roughly one hour to go to a destination on the surface, RP/grind, then return back to a known safe location like a cave or Orkskreem. It seems more interesting to me if they are allowed seek a more broad range of shelters in which they're likely to be stumbled upon, but it also means they are potentially spending an entire hour in downtime.

How much leeway is allowed in this ruling?

Are certain areas considered valid hiding places from the sun? Would a light sensitive character without the Daylight Adaptation feat be allowed to bunker down in the Drow Tower near ZK as sunrise approached without incurring a strike?
Is an abandoned house fine so long as their roleplay reflects their character's uncomfortable state?
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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Vaemar » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:53 pm

Svenrick wrote:I can see the reasoning behind it in a roleplay setting. The mechanics of the tabletop are not perfect (E.g., ECL) so some adjustments are necessary for it to fit in this medium. I question whether it is necessary for balance still, but it just seems logical that if someone's eyes are hyper attuned to darkness that they have to adjust to daylight. There are some scenarios where this does not quite fit such as a half-drow that was born on the surface that trains their eyes and unlocks powers of their blood, but in general it is not outlandish.
I think I understand, and please correct me if I am wrong, that you are accepting that halfdrow should have a penalty, the daylight blindness, for which there is no lore or rule basis whatsoever. While I don't think this is a big deal, this does not mean that I think it is right. As stated in my very first post, I believe that the daylight adaptation for halfdrow is, has been and will always be an unfair and unjustified penalty. :)

The solution that would probably have been best, in the beginning, was the first one I listed, i.e. make things 100% like tabletop, or at least, not have any penalty. Or, in other words, that halfdrow should have never had the penalty in daylight unless they took a feat that was never meant for them in the first place.

However this solution I fear would now be too complicated, since there are already many halfdrow in game and they would need to be refunded or penalized.

So I thought that a simpler solution would have been to cancel the penalty by giving at least in exchange an advantage that was considered for them in tabletop, i.e. 120 feet darkvision. This would first be simpler and affect all halfdrow, old and new, and keep the continuity with the older ruling, but at least would add something to make up for the unfair penalty. Additionally it would help fixing another bad issue that halfdrow in FK face, that is that they are not very well suited to the life in the Underdark, and one of these reasons is their reduced range darkvision. Halfdrow are at good right Underdark denizens and should not move down there less easily than a surface wizard.

So with my proposal above an FK halfdrow with daylight adaptation would be the same thing as a tabletop halfdrow with drow eyes.

Never be accepting of unfair penalties. Ever. :P
One in-game night is approximately 1 hour according to the time file.
Honestly, the strike threat seems to me even excessive. I have visited the surface with a character without daylight adaptation and to say it is dangerous would be an understatement. Every step you make a roll to see if you actually *see* mobs in the room you are in. I think the penalty is already bad enough not to need any additional threats.

Also, it must be noted that in tabletop, or in other games based on D&D 3.5 like NWN2, going around without daylight adaptation is not a big deal at all. You just get a -1 penalty on attack bonus, skills, and, if I recall correctly, save throws. On FK the penalty is way out of proportion in comparison to the srd. But... that is not *that* big deal, although, to be fair, a good case for the complete scrapping of the whole daylight adaptation feat tax system could be made. But I don't think it would be simple to do, simple to manage its consequences, i.e. refunds, or in continuity with the system had until now.

As it stands anyway daylight adaptation is not an option or a normal feat, but a feat tax, that a character of those races *absolutely* needs to pay, in order to simply play. This is particularly true for both orcs and halfdrow, but also drow really need it too. The only worrying case are deep gnomes who are currently in the position of risking a very heavy penalty, a strike, without any way to avoid it. The only thing they can do is not going to the surface for more than one hour, but this is simply incompatible with A LOT of things deep gnomes have to do on the surface that take much longer than one hour, as I have seen in first person with my deep gnome. And this is simply very unfair and stressing for the players of deep gnomes, because it punishes them both for a thing which is not their fault (a coded "mistake") and at the same time implies they should have a penalty that has exactly zero basis in the source material.

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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Grenwyn » Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:58 pm

Without getting too deeply into the arguments of everything:

It makes sense to me that halfdrow would have either 1) "normal" darkvision (like dwarves) and an option to gain a feat for drow darkvision, or 2) drow darkvision and required daylight adaptation.

Of the two, as a player, I'd prefer the first: it has the same net effect, but it's an enhancement, not a punishment.
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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Vaemar » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:10 pm

As stated above I prefer the second for the mere fact that it is simpler to do, and can be achieved by merely editing the halfdrow race file. A thing that needs to be done anyway, since halfdrow are currently bugged and are set as elves, with reverie and other undesired, and lorewise unjustified, features.

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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Harroghty » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:57 am

Half Drow and Drow have the same vision flags in their race files. It is a hard code issue.

Further though, I want to make it clear that while we base the game's mechanics on d20, we do make exceptions when necessary for the balance of this game. I don't bring that up necessarily in a specific sense (I don't really have a dog in this particular fight), but in the general sense; it is not enough to say that the d20 rules are thus because those rules are written for a different game which operates in different ways.
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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Vaemar » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:35 am

And that's precisely why I prefer the so-called "b" solution that makes halfdrow having exactly the same vision of the drow, even if this is not at all what is in tabletop or other D&d based games. This because I find that it is more compatible with the development of the MUD, that it addresses an issue not perceived in tabletop or other games (that is halfdrow having a rather compromised experience in the Underdark due to the short range of their darkvision), and, last but not least, should probably be simpler to do.

That said, however, I think, Harroghty, that you are mistaking the principle that everything should match srd with the reference to srd, and other suitable material, used for the purpose of discussing matters concerning the game. It seems to me quite natural that the first source one can use to judge and comment whether a mechanic is okay as it is, or if it can be improved, is in fact the material on which FK mechanics are based. What else should we consider? Then, as explained above, the conclusions may even be different and related to other issues characteristic of FK, but this does not mean that the tabletop material has not been very worthwhile for the thread.

In fact, as unbalanced and flawed as they may be, at least the tabletop material comes with some balance and consistency, which can, often but of course not always, be beneficial if applied here. A good example I like to make is that of why rangers suck. If all classes get the perks of srd and rangers do not, it is a no brainer that rangers have a problem in comparison to other classes. And in fact they do!

At the same time, also the simple lore aspect of the matter is worthy of being analyzed in order to judge a mechanic. In this case halfdrow descend from two creatures, one with eyes susceptible to daylight, the drow, and the other perfectly adapted to the surface, the human. So what is the basis and logic for them to receive such a penalty? I can't see any, in all honesty. And this especially considering that halforcs have the same exact situation, orcs being susceptible to daylight, but no feat taxes whatsoever.

Now concerning the topic at hand, it is something I had mentioned in the past, but not bothered for now to pursue again mostly because a) it is really a non-issue since a single feat tax does not compromise a character b) it primarily affects only the very few players who use a halfdrow as one of their main alts (i.e. me and perhaps a a pair of others).

It is not comparable to the Prime Evil (ECL) that damages the game immensely reducing player numbers and opportunities for different roleplay, as well as creating unbalance between races. And it is neither comparable to other annoying stuff that affects whole classes, like wizards lacking second attack, rogues and warriors without celestial/abyssal/infernal, rangers with disfunctional hide, paladins without grip, etc. Halfdrow with the feat tax and/or low-range darkvision, on the other hand, has very minimal effects in game and it is something that can be lived with. Paradoxically the reverie/elven-blood bug has more problematic effects on halfdrow. But even if something is minor this does not mean that it should not be criticized or discussed to improve things, as in this case.

I would have done it later, personally, focusing first on matters that I feel more important, but this was sparked by a player asking whether they had to train daylight adaptation on their halfdrow, when helpfiles did not mention it anymore, and so I opened the thread to ask how things were in order to avoid unpleasant surprises for this and future halfdrow players. And now you have it! :D

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Re: Halfdrow and daylight adaptation

Post by Talos » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:30 am

As Deep Gnomes do not have daylight adaptation on their feats list, removing them from helpfile.
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