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When I wrote my question a few weeks back about making blind PC's viable, I'd thought it was going to be a purely theoretical exercise.

Today I came across an encounter in an AP I'm running involving Shining Children. These creatures have both a permanent aura, and a spell, that can cause "permanent" blindness to PCs on a critically failed save. Even if this creature is somewhat rare, the sunburst spell itself is not.

One thing I've found the hard way (with spell insta-death saves) is if my entire table has to make multiple saves for something, its super likely one of them is eventually going to critically fail. So best to plan for it. And of course we've already ascertained that being blinded in combat permanently is quite debilitating, even if you plan a character around that from go.

So my question is, what ways are there in P2E to restore* sight to a character that has been permanently blinded?

One of my players recently got the Regenerate spell. It seems like logically that should do the job:

Each time the creature regains Hit Points from regeneration, it also regrows one damaged or ruined organ (if any). During the spell's duration, the creature can also reattach severed body parts by spending an Interact action to hold the body part to the area it was severed from.

However, it seems like RAW nothing about the blinding effects from Shining Child's ability or from Sunburst says the eyes were damaged or ruined. It doesn't say why the PC is now blind, just that it is. Permanently.

Am I misreading this? Is there some other good way to undo "permanent" blindness?


* - Without temporarily doing it by equipping an item to work around the condition, of course. I'm aware of the nicely affordable Magical Prosthetic Eye, but I'm thinking more along the lines of making the PC whole again.

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2 Answers 2

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Restore senses

The restore senses spell specifically restores permanent blindness caused by magic:

You attempt to counteract a single effect imposing the blinded or deafened conditions on the target, restoring its vision or hearing. This can counteract both temporary magic and permanent consequences of magic [...]

The remastered equivalent, sound body, doesn't include that line. However, the text on durations says this (Player Core, pg. 302):

Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t magical. For instance, a spell that creates a brief, loud sound might deafen someone for a time, even permanently. This deafness couldn’t be counteracted because it is not itself magical (though it might be cured by other magic, such as sound body).

That's probably a mistake due to find-and-replace, since the text in the CRB is identical except it lists restore senses.

Is the blindness a consequence of the magic or the light?

It initially seems logical to say that the big flash of light is the consequence of the magic, while the blindness is a consequence of the light. If true, this would prevent restore senses from working (in the same way that you can't use it to fix blindness due to staring at the literal sun).

I believe that this isn't the case, because Sunburst lacks the Visual trait. It can blind you even if you can't see the light it creates. A creature already blinded or standing in darkness (that sunburst fails to counteract) could still be permanently blinded. Therefore, the blinding effect is a consequence of the spell, not of the light it creates.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ restore senses explicitly says it does not work: but it doesn't cure someone who does not have the sense due to some natural state or effect, such as from birth or from a non-magical wound or toxin. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Feb 8 at 21:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trish - I'm also pretty sure RAW Restore Senses doesn't work because it only counteracts an effect, and there's no effect here causing the ongoing blindness to counter. Blinded (like Deafened) is a condition, not an effect. Would be nice if it did, because that's only a rank 2 spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 8 at 21:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trish That's so that you don't go around casting restore senses on someone who was born blind. Both the aura and spell are magical, so being blinded due to them isn't "due to some natural state or effect". \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Feb 8 at 22:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RedOrca - I like the way you're thinking, but for me this isn't a permanent consequence of magic, but a consequence of something that happened as a consequence of a spell. Or more lawyery, the first sentence ("counteract a single effect imposing the blinded or deafened conditions") is more specific than the second you are pointing to, which means if they seem to conflict, the first sentence wins. There's no effect to counter, so this doesn't help. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 8 at 22:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RedOrca - Yes! And that's why I think logically Regenerate (which is a similar spell rank to Sunburst) ought to fix the condition. However, it seems like RAW it does not. I think the rest of your comment is well-argued, but it still doesn't get around the fact that there's no effect here to counter. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 8 at 22:47
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Restore Senses

This spell counteracts an effect imposing the blinded condition, which would include the permanent ongoing effect of sunburst beyond the spell's instantaneous duration:

Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical. For instance, a spell that creates a loud sound and has no duration might deafen someone for a time, even permanently. This deafness couldn’t be counteracted because it is not itself magical (though it might be cured by other magic, such as restore senses).

The rule's example deafness or sunburst's blindness couldn't be counteracted as a spell effect using dispel magic or similar anti-magic options, but both are still effects and could be counteracted with restore senses.

Blindness from a shining child's aura would behave similarly, as a permanent effect that doesn't depend on the aura after being inflicted.

Counteracting the Condition

Greater Mercy as an 8th-level champion would be the earliest option to do so, though it could also be taken at 10th level by a Blessed One. Alchemists can take Greater Merciful Elixir at 14th level as an alternative.

The most generic option available would be at 15th level with legendary proficiency in Medicine, as a Legendary Medic with an hour to spare.

A temporary solution exists with the consumable emergency eye, though it needs to be affixed before exposure. Consumable panacea would also work to address permanent blindness from a spell like sunburst, though it wouldn't counteract blindness from the non-spell aura.

If you have access to rare Stasian technology then the 12th-level violet ray offers a non-consumable option. Otherwise with access to artifacts, The Marriage can protect an ally or The Teamster can counteract for yourself.

Regeneration

Assuming that blinded conditions generally stem from some level of 'ruined' eyes and would be removed by having the eye organs regrown seems the most reasonable. If some effect explicitly mentioned blinding the target through some other mechanism (such as by altering the mind like with synesthesia) then it would make sense to not allow this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. I'm not entirely convinced by the use of the English word "effects" there, but combine that with the rest of the text around that paragraph, and I'm less sure now. And really confused. I'll withdraw my objection (on both answers), since I'm not certain anymore, but it would be nice if Paizo somehow clarified this. Perhaps a study of the changes between OG 2e and the remaster might be enlightening? \$\endgroup\$
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 14 at 15:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.E.D. From my copy of the remaster Player Core, it seems that the text on durations is nearly identical outside of replacing restore senses with sound body and "loud sound and has no duration" with "brief, loud sound". \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    Feb 14 at 15:36

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