How does the Darkvision ability (or spell) work beyond range? A lot of creatures have Darkvision: range 60 feet. Does darkvision simply stop working past there? Do you get penalties to sight-based checks (or aiming ranged weapons) past 60 feet?

Let's take a hypothetical straight, infinite tunnel that's pitch-black. A kobold with darkvision: 60 ft is standing in the corridor. Does it:

A) See perfectly for 60 feet, then there's a wall of blackness that it cannot perceive past. A creature standing exactly 61 feet away is perfectly concealed.

B) See perfectly for 60 feet, then starts taking range penalties every 60 feet after that. so a creature standing exactly 61 feet away has a -2 to be seen, a creature at 121 feet has a -4 to be seen, etc.

C) Some other option I hadn't foreseen.


1 Answer 1


Darkvision simply stops working there.

It's important to note that Darkvision isn't just really good eyesight in low levels of light - that would be low-light vision.

Instead, darkness functions similar to infrared vision. You cannot see colors, and your vision only goes a certain distance, after which it is blackness.


Darkvision is the extraordinary ability to see with no light source at all, out to a range specified for the creature.

As a result, after that range, they cannot see as there is no light source.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hrm. Addendum: In a place with inadequate lighting, would those with darkvision have low-light beyond the range of darkvision? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 19:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WolfmanJoe - Only if they had both abilities, and the distances don't stack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bobson The PFSRD link I posted says: "Darkvision is black-and-white only (colors cannot be discerned)." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Though I did update it moments after posting it, so it's possible you got the old link. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 19:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Creatures that "see" using darkvision don't use light for it, so there isn't any logical reason why many of them would have any kind of light based vision at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Quentin
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 20:17

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