I'm developing an NPC whose area of expertise is night assault. Variant Human Rogue (Assassin) with Goggles of Night and the Skulker feat. My reasoning is thus:

  • Goggles of Night: Total darkness = dim light (within 60 feet).
  • (Variant Human) Skulker: dim light doesn't impose disadvantage on Wisdom (perception) checks.

Therefore, he can see fine at night within 60 feet. Therefore, he doesn't have disadvantage on attacks in dim light within 60 feet.

  • (Rogue 4) Mobility: disengage is not needed to avoid AoO against a target you attack

As such, by my reasoning, he'll be able to hide perfectly against characters without darkvision, and reasonably well against characters with darkvision that do not have skulker, so long as he is in total darkness (or anything else that lightly obscures). Therefore, sneak attacks for days until somebody turns the lights on.

Is this right, or is my logic on Skulker vastly overvaluing the feat?


Dim-light does not impose disadvantage on attacks, only on perception checks that require sight (PHB p. 183), so yes, he can sneak attack from dim light provided he has advantage from some other means.

Regarding lighting, only total darkness (or otherwise being unable to see your target) imposes disadvantage on attacks. So, you could effectively sneak attack from darkness using your goggles, however then you would no longer be hidden, and enemies could make attacks against you (at disadvantage if they can't see) until you hide again. If disadvantage were imposed upon you for some reason (magical darkness, blindness, etc), you would not be able to sneak attack because disadvantage and advantage cancel each other out.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow. Well played. I wonder when I started assuming that low light caused disadvantage? \$\endgroup\$ – Doug Feb 11 '16 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Haha, I knew I should've looked that up before I wrote my answer... \$\endgroup\$ – firedraco Feb 11 '16 at 21:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Moreover, Blind sense, True Sight, the warlock invocation Devil Sight, Devil Sight that some Devils have, and a few others would prevent sneak attack from total darkness. 5th level Tiefling Warlock can take Devil Sight (starting at level 3) from the Warlock class, and Tieflings can cast Darkness 1/day-- But I doubt you'd want to dip 5 levels of warlock on a Rouge character (Then again, for an NPC, you could do it without having to worry about backstory and add whatever flavor you want... As long as the NPC won't be with oragainst the party too long). \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Feb 12 '16 at 6:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich: Devil's Sight has no level prerequisite. A warlock can take it as soon as they get the Eldritch Invocations feature at level 2. The darkness spell does require being level 3 in a corresponding class, though tieflings can cast it using their racial trait only at level 5. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 15 '18 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I meant level 2. But it was in a comment, which I'm surprised lasted a year. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Jun 18 '18 at 1:40

You are interpreting the Skulker feat incorrectly. All it does is remove the disadvantage you normally have on Wisdom (Perception) checks in dim light. It says nothing about removing disadvantage for attack creatures in dim light.

Thus (at least by RAW), you would still have disadvantage and be unable to sneak attack, even with the advantage you have from attacking from total darkness.

  • \$\begingroup\$ re: whether being attacked in darkness grants, it does. two blind characters attacking each other net to a draw. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Feb 11 '16 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the input. Disappointing, to say the least, but given that the only penalty applied by dim light is that of disadvantage to Wis (Perception) checks, I'll continue operating as though it treats dim light as bright light. What about the part where darkvision interprets total darkness as dim light, or is skulker only useful for people without darkvision? \$\endgroup\$ – Doug Feb 11 '16 at 20:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, theoretically true, but since Skulker lets you hide in "plain" (if dim :) sight, you can still gain advantage quite easily at night or even in dark dungeons (even against regular darkvision). \$\endgroup\$ – CapnZapp Nov 19 '18 at 15:12

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