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Some races, for instance a kobold, have a disadvantage of Sunlight Sensitivity:

Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the kobold has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

The Totem Barbarian gains a feature called "Aspect of the Beast" at level 6. The player can choose as animal as a totem and gain some aspect of them.

The aspect of "Eagle" states:

You gain the eyesight of an eagle. You can see up to 1 mile away with no difficulty, able to discern even fine details as though looking at something no more than 100 feet away from you. Additionally, dim light doesn’t impose disadvantage on your Wisdom (Perception) checks.

So how would this play out?

By nature, the kobold has disadvantage in sunlight (both being and seeing things within). But the Barbarian feature clearly states they can see "...up to 1 mile away with no difficulty".

Would the "no difficulty" cancel out the issue with seeing something in the sunlight? Specifically, would they be able to perceive (up to a mile) without a disadvantage?

Note: I'm ignoring the factor of the kobold BEING in the sunlight as they can be in a building, under an umbrella, whatever. I'm specifically curious about how well they can see.


To give a practical example: A Barbarian kobold is on an island; under the canopy of trees just past the shoreline. A ship is anchored a half-mile off shore and from which, a small boat has been launched. The kobold peers across the white, sandy beach and the clear waters to see who is on the small boat that is approaching.

The kobold is not in sunlight, but what he wants to see is. It is less than a mile, is a clear shot, and is something that would call for a Perception check.

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These features do not interact at all

Aspect of the Eagle removes sight limitations based on distance. It doesn’t say anything about anything else that might impose limitations on sight. It doesn’t give you the ability to ignore Sunlight Sensitivity anymore than it gives you the ability to see in perfect darkness or through walls. To quote the relevant sentence again here:

You can see up to 1 mile away with no difficulty, able to discern even fine details as though looking at something no more than 100 feet away from you.

This is all about making it easier to see things at a distance. You can’t just take take a sub part of one sentence and interpret it however you want while ignoring the context that explains what it means.

For that matter, if you need any more evidence for that just take the next sentence:

Additionally, dim light doesn’t impose disadvantage on your Wisdom (Perception) checks.

If this was meant to give you Superman-vision that can completely ignore anything and everything that could conceivably be considered an obstacle to seeing things then this would be completely redundant with the first sentence, but this is clearly stated to be an additional feature, meaning the author of the second sentence clearly didn’t think the first sentence implied it.

So how does this scenario play out?

Your kobold can see well up to a mile into the distance with no trouble making out details. If they (or what they are looking at? I don’t remember if this applies to Kobold’s sunlight sensitivity as well) is in sunlight, Sunlight Sensitivity kicks in and imposes disadvantage anyway (if the DM decides that the situation calls for a perception roll, which is not necessarily the case! If for example you were making out facial features of a statue a mile away you should be able to see it as well as if it was 100 feet away; Sunlight or not, I personally would not ask for a perception roll to be able to see obvious non-hidden things at such short distances). The two features are completely orthogonal that way.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For the record, Sunlight Sensitivity is "all of the above" -- it takes effect when "you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight." \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Sep 21 at 20:51

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