21st Century D&D


Light Sources

For practical purposes, light sources are considered according to a standardized system.





Light (spell)

Dim Lighting

For each light source there is a “dim radius” listed. Each light source casts light out to an additional number of hexes as indicated there; beyond the dim radius, natural lighting prevails. Attacks from the lit area into the dim radius take a -1 penalty, -2 if the attacker is between the light source and the target (due to the attacker’s shadow interfering with their vision).

If the attack is made through the dim area into the area with only natural light, then the aforementioned attack penalty is cumulative with the penalty for the light conditions in the naturally-lit area. Thus a bowman in an area lit by a comrade’s torch on a moonlit night, firing from his position at a figure outside the torch’s dim radius, suffers a -2 penalty, or -3 if he’s between the torch and his target.

Attacks from the unlit area or the dim area into the lit area gain a +1 bonus.

Natural Light Levels

There are several levels of natural illumination.


In daylight creatures see perfectly normally; this is the normal baseline to which lesser levels of light are compared. Entities can be targeted as far as line of sight and weapon/spell range permit.


This describes conditions outdoors, during which the moon is at least half full, and is not covered by clouds, blocked by trees, or otherwise obscured.

In moonlight, attacks take a -1 penalty.


This describes conditions outdoors, during which the moon is less than half full or is obscured, but during which the stars are still visible.

In starlight, attacks take a -2 penalty.


This describes conditions during which both moon and stars are obscured, such as in a forest or on a hazy night. There is still residual light from the natural sources, but it is very faint.

In darkness, attacks take a -4 penalty. Long-range attacks are impossible.

Pitch Black

This describes conditions encountered underground, inside a Blackness spell, or in other scenarios in which the environment is totally devoid of light. This also applies when the actual illumination level is darkness but a character’s eyes have not yet adjusted.

In pitch blackness, targeting cannot occur, and spells and attacks must be aimed blindly. All attack rolls are at a -8 penalty, and medium- and long-range attacks are impossible. A creature without night vision which moves more than half its movement rate must succeed at a Dexterity check or tumble, falling prone and taking 1d4 damage.

In pitch blackness there may be penalties for accomplishing by touch alone those actions which normally require sight, such as searching through a backpack.

Weather Effects

Fog or clouds of dust will lower the normal level of illumination by one; thus a foggy starlit night would be treated as darkness.


Based on rules originally written by Alexis Smolensk on his wiki.