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We have just started a game and are at low levels (I am 2 currently). My character was blinded by a bad save and he is a magus. In low levels is there anyway to play a blinded character who is not useless in combat and out of combat?

In our game we use the crit card system where we draw cards when we crit. Most of the cards have special's along with extra damage. The card that hit me was called "Across the Eyes" Your character is permanently blinded.

I am not trying to find a way to cure the blindness as I am aware of how to do that. My question is how to mechanically make a blinded character usable. If low level solutions are not possible what is the minimum level this would be possible as I may decide to keep him like this for RP reasons.

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4  
you got crit and you got permanently blinded? That's seriously harsh. Talk to the DM. –  Mooing Duck Jun 1 at 5:03
    
@MooingDuck It was luck on the foes part. It might seem harsh but we play and enjoy the DM vs Player style game. Something like this isn't uncommon in our games but we are usually lucky enough for it to happen in higher levels where we can cure it. –  Aaron Jun 2 at 12:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's very difficult to play a character who can't see, especially at low levels. Not only will you not have the perception bonuses to pinpoint someone (DC 40 to find the exact square of something you can't see before applying modifiers up or down), and getting a way to "see" all the time is just as difficult.

Also, if you don't take the Blind-Fight feat, you'll also need to deal with the DC 10 acrobatics check to move around faster than half speed.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to get an ability to help you find your opponents. If you're an Orc or Half-Orc, you can grab the Keen Scent feat, letting you notice enemies within 30ft of you most of the time, and letting you pinpoint the square of adjacent enemies. It's not great, but it'll at least let you pick a square to roll your miss chances on instead of taking a 1/8th chance of even swinging in the right direction.

There aren't any feats that grand blindsight or blindsense, sadly. There's a dwarf-only one that gets you short-ranged tremorsense, but it's higher level than you can use.

This leaves spells and items, really. Echolocation grants 40ft blindsight, but is a higher-level spell, and so, it's probably out of reach. Same with the shapeshifting spells that grant blindsense.

Looking through the pathfinder SRD, there are a few items you could use, but they're probably all outside your price range. Still, I'll list them. Maybe your DM is nice and will give you one.

"Sense" abilities

  • Circlet of Mindsight (22k): Lets you see things with intelligence scores. Useful if you're not fighting lots of mindless things. Only 30ft, and only blind*sense*, so you still suffer the normal miss chance for blindness, but at least you'll be able to find your enemies.
  • Tremor Boots (10k): Tremorsense 20ft. Same issue as blindsense, but it's cheaper than mindsight, at least. You will have issues with fliers if you rely on tremorsense to fight.
  • Hand of Stone (27k): Tremorsense 30ft if you spend an action to get it. Don't use this.
  • Eyes of the Dragon (110k): Really expensive way to get 60ft blindsense. It'll pinpoint enemies for you, but is waaaay outside your price range probably.

Blindsight

... I hadn't realized how hard it is to get blindsight in Pathfinder. Honestly, I think if you're looking for an item, the best bet would be to ask if you can pull the Blindfold of True Darkness from 3.5's Magic Item Compendium. 30ft blindsight for 9,000gp instead of the exorbitantly priced stuff in official PF materials.

Other than that, I guess the best choice is to figure out something with your DM. Fighting blind in Pathfinder is hard, especially at low levels... I wish you luck, in any case.

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"I am not trying to find a way to cure the blindness as I am aware of how to do that." Please do read the question, as far as I can tell the asker isn't trying to bypass the issue with blindsense. –  Miles Rout May 31 at 12:31
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Curing blindness != bypassing the issue with blindsense. They're very different things, and the OP asked how, mechanically, to make a blind character useful. Alternate senses is how you do that. –  Forrestfire May 31 at 14:51
    
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned area of effect spells. Get some clues to the right location, fire, and forget. If your DM makes you roll miss chance on something like fireball, I'd call shenanigans. Of course an enterprising DM might roll for "bounce". –  Wesley Obenshain Jun 21 at 6:55

A blind character at low level is hard but the other players/characters have an importance : if you are in a group of LG/NG/CG and the players are 'good' too, your blindness will not be as harsh as in a group of Neutral with selfish character/players (and don't talk about Evil group where you should not survive 5 minutes)

In fight

During their turn, the other PC could tell you where are approximatively the enemies for a free action (in D&D 3.5 at least). If you try to attack, the enemy should have a total concealment but with a feat like Blind-Fight you should have 2 throw to pass the concealment (if the enemy is really in this square).

In dungeon / In city

You should just ask for help : a blind ally ask for your help, are you going to let him down ?

If you don't want to bother the member of your party, you can also ask your DM for a NPC who should help you (like a Doctor or a simple Warrior NPC) or multi-class your character to have a animal companion or a familiar.

Don't forget that if this blindness is mainly a pain, it could bring you a lot of RP too.

PS : Sorry for my English, I'm French.

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Your English is great. –  Miles Rout May 31 at 12:29

I'm currently playing a game where all of the spell-casters have a tendency to become... let's go with handicapped. Here are some things we ended up doing in combat. In general, I would suggest staying near another fighter who can provide guidance and support. All of the following are viable strategies for a level 2 magus (at least, mechanically).

Buffs

Nobody is ever dissappointed to get buffed. If your character stays near one or two characters at all times, then when combat starts, or is about to start, you can blow your spells to buff up another character. The only only level 1 other-character buff spell I see on the magus spell list is magic weapon, which is a perfectly fine low-level spell. If you stay blind at higher levels, you'll have more options like bull's strength.

Master Blaster

Two words: Enlarge. Person. Make a fighter HUUUUUGE (large), hop on their shoulders, and become Master Blaster. You can cast buffs on the fighter as they run around, or attack in any direction they indicate. Honestly, I'm not sure what rules apply to this scenario. I would ask your GM how they would want to handle this mechanically, but it's fun as hell.

Become Chaos

You can't see, eh? Why not level the playing field and cast obscuring mist? At worst, it's great comedic relief. At best, it can give a serious tactical advantage if well-placed. Casting obscuring mist around your own channeler lets them continue to channel happily without having to worry about being hit. Casting obscuring mist in a mostly-bad-guys area can severely limit their tactical options beyond "scatter" and "attack blindly" (although if they have a channeler...). This gives any allies outside of the mist time to get into position, or gang up on anyone outside the mist. It also functions as pretty decent protection for yourself if you're in trouble.

Missing? What's That?

The level 1 spell burning hands has no chance to miss, as it's just a cone of fire in front of you. Combine it with either of the previous two points, and it can be very effective. It also scales pretty well up to level 5 (1d4 points of fire damage per caster level, maximum 5d4). Fire breath, acid spray and cone of cold are logical successors to this spell at higher levels.

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protected by Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 20 at 22:38

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