Can vampires now see in complete darkness, or only with Auspex added to them?

The fluff text for them never suffering the full penalties for being in complete darkness (vampiric senses) is:

Kindred do not suffer normal vision penalties for being in the dark, and can compensate with hearing.

Does that mean that in complete darkness they stumble over objects just like normal humans do? And if so, does Auspex or something else make that problem disappear?


2 Answers 2


Vampires see better in the darkness than average human (in dim light as well as human at noon) - they are after all night time predator. But with very low light (cave, dark cellar) it would be hampered as well. They have quite acute sense when it comes to noticing even tiny drops of blood, which is related to the blood potency: they could still see it in the total darkness (how far depends on their blood potency - on 1 they can see as far as arm's lenght, on 3 as far as room etc).

Here is interesting article about it: "Seeing in the dark" (Rose Bailey; September 26, 2012), from Onyx Path's "Open Development" article series.

  • \$\begingroup\$ this is one of those "not so realistic", in total darkness their is no light, light is required for sight. Bioluminescent vampires would have been interesting :P \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2015 at 14:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tnx that post especially the seeing in the dark part brought the "acute senses" merit back to my attention. Only with that one they can see fully in dark: "The vampire can see in pitch dark". Then it is so that even though they see far better than a human they normally don't see in the darkness BUT compensate this with their other senses (hearing, blood sense, smell,....)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:58

Okay, let's dive deep. The definition of "Blinded" in the God Machine Chronicle rules reads as follows:

The character’s eyes are damaged or removed, or the character is placed in a situation where eyesight is eliminated (a pitch-black room or a supernatural effect).

Effect: The character suffers a −3 penalty to any rolls that rely on vision — including attack rolls — and halves his Defense if one eye is blinded. That penalty increases to −5 and losing all Defense if both eyes are affected.

So, as described:

  • The penalty for being in absolute darkness is -5.
  • Vampires, as described in "Tricks of the Damned," function better in the darkness — their penalty is only -2.
  • Vampires with Acute Sense are even better than that — they have no penalty at all in pitch darkness. (Like the Strix.)
  • Auspex doesn't do anything specific in this case; in 2e, Heightened Senses is no longer an Auspex power.

You appear to be reading a "thus" between those sentences that isn't there. It is true that they compensate with other senses; it is true that their penalty drops from -5 to -2. There may be a causal relationship there, but there doesn't need to be. Likewise, there's no corresponding ability of vampires to see through fog, mist, or other kinds of concealment that might relate to "dim light." This is a bonus to operating in the dark.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure that without the "acute senses" merit they really see and not just offset the not seeing with their other senses? (the vampires) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasE. I am; this is detailed in the section titled "Tricks of the Damned," along with things like Blush of Health and Physical a Intensity. These are things any Vampire can do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Feb 14, 2015 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I read that (the above excerpt you have is an excerpt from there even). And the reason why I ask there. It states taht they do not suffer normal vision penalties as they can compensate with hearing thus they only have -2 in total darkness and none penalty in anything but that. Or am I misreading the phrases there? \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Feb 14, 2015 at 14:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ The reading the thus was why I asked as fluff and rules description was confusing there for me. especially with the acute senses merit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Feb 14, 2015 at 20:24

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