I am playing a tiefling who has the see-in-darkness racial ability which is Ex.

I will be playing a druid, and since see-in-darkness is superior to all forms of darkvision granted by the druid wildshaping ability, I would like to figure out same way of keeping it if possible. Is there a spell, feat, magic item, or other which would make this possible?

  • \$\begingroup\$ To be clear, the GM has ruled that the tiefling's see in darkness special ability is an extraordinary ability rather than, as usual, a supernatural ability? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 3 '17 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ It was ruled to be the same as low light vision and darkvision, which after some searching I finally tracked it down in monster abilities, they are listed as Ex \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jun 3 '17 at 14:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ (I meant that see in darkness is a usually a supernatural ability. Really. Follow the link. If the GM ruled otherwise, that should be in the question.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 3 '17 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is nothing on the Blood of Fiends that say your alternate heritage abilities are extraordinary or even supernatural, so you follow whatever the general type is if no type is given, for see in darkness that is a supernatural ability. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jun 3 '17 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ For instance, the very first entry on the table claims it's a spell-like: You can animate a 1 HD skeleton, as per animate dead, once per day as a spell-like ability. Then the entry #6 says it's a supernatural ability: You can levitate yourself plus 10 pounds at will, as per the spell levitate. This is a supernatural ability. Then, on entry #77 we have something like: You can speak to insects. <-- this last one is extraordinary, because no type was given and there is no ability with that name. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jun 3 '17 at 15:10

There is no way to keep your racial abilities

You lose all abilities related to your form while polymorphed:

While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form.

Since you are a druid, one thing to point out is that your magic items still function while wild shaped, as per Polymorph's description:

When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor and shield bonuses, which cease to function). Items that require activation cannot be used while you maintain that form.

Eye Shadow Piercing (Major) continuously provide see in darkness and should work while polymorphed, as any other magic item that has a similar effect.

Racial darkvision and abilities related to your eyes, such as low-light vision and see in darkness (a supernatural ability) are all removed while polymorphed. This is the text from Blood of Fiends about tiefling's variant racial heritage:

Your eyes glow fiendishly and you possess the see in darkness ability as if you were a devil.

Unless the ability is not related to your physical form

You do not lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities.

Those abilities that are unrelated to your form, such as ability score increases/decreases, languages known, your creature type, extra feats, extra bonus skills, skill bonuses, spell-like abilities and even mystical effects (like a Samsaran's Shards of the Past, even being Extraordinary) that are related to being who you are and not related to what form you have, will remain even while shapeshifted.

You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed.

However, as the text says, the GM decides when the rules do not specify the type of the ability.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the see in darkness ability a bonus? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 3 '17 at 13:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am aware of this item, but the question is about being able to keep my racial ability \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jun 3 '17 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan it grants an ability. The text does not say you lose all magical item effects, only those that require activation and bonuses from armor and shield. But i can remove this from the answer seeing as the OP already knew about it and its now irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jun 3 '17 at 15:16

You would have to homebrew it with your DM. Perhaps you choose to keep the eyes of a tiefling when you change (or you learn to do so at a higher level). This could have the advantages of keeping your "see in dark" but have the disadvantages of perceptive characters noting the eyes being different than they should. Snakes or racoon for example would look extremely odd with humanoid pupils and eye colors.


An easy way to make it clear that an ability doesn't depend upon your form is to use a non-polymorph transformative ability, especially one with which the ability makes thematic sense, and see if the ability still works in that case. For example, the Scorching Ash Form turns you into a cloud of ash and removes your supernatural, but not extraordinary, abilities. Any abilities that continue to function while in Scorching Ash Form are clearly not dependent upon the form of your body, since your body is reduced to fire and ash for the duration of the spell. Such abilities would continue to function under polymorph effects.

Now, See in Darkness is not normally an extraordinary ability; usually it is supernatural. Assuming your DM corrects the ruling, you would then need a different spell effect, like Magic Jar or Ride the Lightning, but the principle would remain the same.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, I made a mistake, it is SU like you said, just had not found the source and so the DM and I based it on low light and darkvision \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jun 3 '17 at 18:41

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