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I just finished running a session that acted as a game of cat-and-mouse between my players' party of level 4 characters and an ancient white dragon. It was basically a game of their cunning versus the dragon, and they had managed to escape without any casualties (aside from the Aasimar fighter's leg). However, that Aasimar decided to try and blind the dragon by casting light on a torch and tossing that torch in the dragon's face. I had ran it as the dragon flinching back, blinded. I'm not sure if that was the correct ruling and thought I would ask y'all.

Does the light from a torch under the effects of a light cantrip blind a creature?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey A good thing the edition was clarified, since in AD&D one could use the light spell to try and blind an opponent (who got a save). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 15 '19 at 0:19
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Not according to the rules

The rules say this about torches:

Torch. A torch burns for 1 hour, providing bright light in a 20-­‐‑foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. If you make a melee attack with a burning torch and hit, it deals 1 fire damage.

The light spells has this description:

You touch one object that is no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. Until the spell ends, the object sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light can be colored as you like. Completely covering the object with something opaque blocks the light. The spell ends if you cast it again or dismiss it as an action.

If you target an object held or worn by a hostile creature, that creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to avoid the spell.

The rules only cover these different light levels: sunlight, bright light, dim light, darkness and magical darkness. There are no rules stating that you can create extra bright light by stacking light sources together and blinding a creature with it.

That being said, as a DM it is up to you to allow or disallow things the players attempt. If the dragon had been in the darkness for some time it would be reasonable for a sudden bright light to be painful to it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ And even if one is used to light already, having a torch thrown into your face tends to be unpleasant all the same. \$\endgroup\$ – Bagahnoodles Jul 15 '19 at 12:10

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