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I am playing a Human Eldritch Knight in D&D 5E, and as I am not a demi-human blessed with dark-vision, while the rest of the party are, I have to be burdened with a light source.

Half of the time I find myself micro-managing my hooded lantern - to pull the hood down out of combat so that the bumbling Human fighter won't give the entire party's position away, and to pull the hood all the way in combat so I can see in battle. No to mention that I am entirely at the mercy of that lantern. If it goes out, I'll be screwed at my primary department of combat.

So is there any way for me to be able to see in the dark without expending too many spell slots or spending lots of gold (less than 500gp), or am I doomed to carry a hooded lantern for my entire adventuring career?

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First, Darkvision is the equivalent of dim light so they still have disadvantage to perception rolls in total darkness, so it's not something that you should necessarily rely on by default.

Second, if someone has the Continual Flame spell, you could turn any object into a permanent fuel-less torch for 50g. Not the best solution, but probably more convenient than your lantern. For example, use it on your sword-blade and just sheathe your sword whenever you want to hide it. As an added bonus, it also dispels Darkness spells if you cast it at 3rd level or higher. As another added bonus, your sword blade would look like it's on fire, which might scare some enemies.

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A wizard with a transmutation special can create an object that grants the wearer darkvision, but they can only create one object at a time. Since you don't have a wizard in your party that can do that, you might be able to pay someone in a town to loan you the use of theirs for a price. Maybe the price of a skilled laborer/day or something?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A 3rd-level party wouldn't have a Wizard with that ability. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Middleditch Mar 18 '15 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, I thought it was 3rd level that they got that. I've updated the text. \$\endgroup\$ – Kyle W Mar 18 '15 at 17:33
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You could always take two levels of Warlock and pick up the invocation which grants darkvision, but that certainly doesn't help right now.

Personally, I'd probably convince the party not to be stupid and wander around without a light source. Darkvision is pretty terrible in darkness, and, outside of an emergency, relying on it is just asking for trouble. Darkvision in darkness gives you dim light. You're absolutely limited to 60 feet of vision, you lose all color perception (is that a statue, or a creature? is that green slime, or just wet stone?), and everybody suffers disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks. That's a -5 to passive Perception.

As DM I'd love it if my players did this. They'd kill themselves on the first trap they came across.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually it looks like the issue is the DM is too generous with what darkvision can do. In our games, it's almost like night vision. I have to check the rulings with the DM again. \$\endgroup\$ – Extrakun May 16 '15 at 12:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Playing a warlock 2 with Devil's Sight gives you a range of 120' ft vision which is clear as day with no perception penalty. This can be a huge advantage for a human or any party member. I've certainly frustrated my DM with it. Additionally a couple levels of warlock can benefit a fighter in a number of ways with spells and evocations, and provides access to cantrips for additional ranged combat options. \$\endgroup\$ – Imaginary May 23 '16 at 20:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Darkvision is just like modern night vision - poor range, low resolution, and limited contrast. Its not like Hollywood night vision, though. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Mar 21 '17 at 19:35
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At level 8 as an Eldritch Knight you will be able to cast Darkvision. It has an eight hour duration.

If you have a shadow monk in your party, you could ask him to cast Darkvision on you. The main advantage is that Ki is replenished on a short rest whereas spell slots typically aren't.

There is also this magic item:

Goggles of Night
Wondrous item, uncommon
While wearing these dark lenses, you have darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision wearing the goggles increases its range by 60 feet.

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