Do Goggles of Day (Magic Item Compendium page 107) counteract Light Blindness like that of a Drow?


Price (Item Level): 4,500 gp (9th)

Body Slot: Face

Caster Level: 3rd

Aura: Faint; (DC 16) transmutation

Activation: —

Weight: —

The lenses of these goggles are made of silveredcrystal, and the frames are hewn from smoky quartz.

When you place these goggles over your eyes, you can operate without penalty in preternaturally bright light, such as might result from a flare, sunbeam, or sunburst spell. These goggles also allow a vampire wearer to take a full-round action prior to dissolution when confronted with sunlight, as opposed to just a move or standard action.

Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, darkvision.

Cost to Create: 2,250 gp, 180 XP, 5 days.

It doesn't specifically say so, but it does say 'can operate without penalty in preternaturally bright light'. Preternaturally as defined by whom? It would be either the creator, or the wearer. If the latter, I think a drow would consider normal sunlight as preternaturally bright light. Even if it's the former, what if the creator is also drow? I'm aware that Sundark Goggles (Races of the Dragon page 123) exist and are considerably cheaper but I like the description of these. What say you?


1 Answer 1


No, they do not.

The spells it protects from are far brighter than normal light.

If it just said "preternaturally bright light" without any other qualifiers, you could make an argument that it was preternatural from the perspective of either the crafter or bearer of the goggles, in which case it would protect a drow (or another creature with light blindness) from standard daylight. Unfortunately, it qualifies it:

preternaturally bright light, such as might result from a flare, sunbeam, or sunburst spell

This makes it clear that it's preternaturally bright light from a neutral standpoint. If we look at flare,

This cantrip creates a burst of light. If you cause the light to burst directly in front of a single creature, that creature is dazzled [...]


For the duration of this spell, you can use a standard action to evoke a dazzling beam of intense light each round. [...] Each creature in the beam is blinded [...]

and sunburst,

Sunburst causes a globe of searing radiance to explode silently from a point you select. All creatures in the globe are blinded [...]

it's clear that they are all an exceptional degree of brightness that can blind any creature, even those without light blindness. The way they're written, it sounds like they effectively make it so the maximum amount of incoming light you can receive is naturally bright light, equivalent to the sun, and there's a small provision for vampires that puts it slightly below that. As the bright light is qualified as the kind of light that would result from those spells, it would not protect a creature that is sensitive even to significantly dimmer forms of light.

...but I'd still allow it.

The above is a strict RAW ruling, but personally I'd allow it. The flavor makes sense (they're fancy crystalline sunglasses) and it's more expensive than a functionally equivalent alternative, so it's not really stretching the fluff and it's not exploiting anything. The caliber of spell it protects against is rare enough that it's not going to significantly impact balance if you're getting it as a ribbon on top of baseline light blindness protection. As it's written I don't think it would work for a drow, but I'd be perfectly amenable to ruling the opposite.


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