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skeeter_dan
2008-09-04, 11:05 AM
I have a player who is pretty insistent on playing a blind character in the campaign I DM. She also has a terrible Dex score. So, if a blind character loses her Dex bonus to AC, does she also lose any Dex penalty? This seems like a dumb question, but I'm just not sure.

She's playing a Druid prestiging into Beastmaster, so she won't be entering combat much herself, but when it comes up, I'd like to know. I'm assuming she'd still take the Dex penalty to her AC, but I want to be sure.

Crowheart
2008-09-04, 11:17 AM
I'm surprised nobody jumped on this in 3 seconds.

No, she would not lose her dex penalty, she would only lose her dex bonus (if she ever had any).

Interestingly, I was wondering how you were intending to play off the blindness? Do you intend to give her some sort of edge for suffering such a big disadvantage, perhaps like a free Blindfight feat or even a free 10-ft blindsense?

Of course, if she and you don't care about that kind of stuff, than more power to you! :)

Chronos
2008-09-04, 11:20 AM
Note that, even though she doesn't have a bonus, she still counts as having lost it, for purposes of things like Sneak Attack.

Epinephrine
2008-09-04, 11:25 AM
Wow, risky stuff.

If the player doesn't compensate with blindsight, I'm not sure how she'll manage - you can't target anyone with spells (excepting a touch spell, but you'd have to first locate their hex, then manage a touch attack, with a 50% miss rate due to concealment). I suppose she can cast on her companions through the bond.

At early levels she could use Share Husk to see through a companion's eyes, for 1min/level, allowing her to function in combat.

Later she could use Chain of Eyes to get 1 hour/level of looking through a companion's eyes, and can pass it from one companion to another (so she could normally see from the Dire Wolf she's riding, but could pass it to her hawk companion if she needed to scout).

Interesting possibilities, if she wants to be able to see. Otherwise there's Listening Lorecall for 10 min/level to be able to target things, once it grants the 15' blindsight. Could be fun!

monty
2008-09-04, 11:26 AM
The wording is "you lose your Dex bonus (if any)." Emphasis mine.

Also, she might want to consider this flaw (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Blind_(DnD_Flaw)) to at least get some benefits out of it.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-04, 11:59 AM
3.5 blindness is pretty brutal. There's a bunch of feats that can compensate for it, but it takes a lot of feats, a lot of levels, and a lot of skill points, and you still end up worse than a character who isn't blind. Obviously the DM can houserule things up, since there's no actual rules for what you're supposed to get to "balance" being blind.

Mind you, being blind in D&D also makes absolutely no sense. The 3rd-level spell remove blindness/deafness is available to all 5th-level clerics, and it doesn't matter if the blindness is natural or magical. If your eyes were actually scooped out entirely (instead of just damaged, whether by injury or congenital defect), you'll need regenerate, which is a 7th-level spell (but one with no material or XP cost of any sort).

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-04, 12:54 PM
Blindfold of True Darkness(MIC) gives Blindsight 30, at the cost of not being able to use your real eyes. A cursed version that gave Blindsight 10, Blindsense 30 and couldn't be removed wouldn't be a problem, IMHO.

Person_Man
2008-09-04, 02:07 PM
You know, the cliche of "My character is blind, but really she can see better then everyone else" is pretty common. Usually the character can't see past 30 or 60 feet, but has blindsense, blindsight, detect thoughts, tremorsense, scent, etc. So as long as they're with at least one other person who can see (which is all the time unless the DM uses his god like control to specifically separate them) they're usually better off then other players.

Just once I'd like to see a player who wants to play a blind character actually play a blind character. Focus on social skills, healing, buffing your friends, divination, and similar activities. Have a companion or improved familiar or leadership so that you have a pet that protects you, and so that combat isn't boring. Or pick up the Vow of Non-Violence feats and enjoy a roleplaying heavy campaign (while remaining unaware of some of your friends more violent activities - you are blind after all). You might even be attacked far less, because as an obviously blind person standing in the back and not doing anything offensive, intelligent enemies are far less likely to target you.

Anywho, that's just my take on it. I love Toph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toph). But I just think its been done to death.

Epinephrine
2008-09-04, 02:25 PM
I think it'd be neat to play an actually blind character (as Person Man has said, no super senses), but I wonder how well it'd work. Even as a beastmaster with your companions to defend you and carry you (and perhaps your mystical Woodland Stride ensuring that branches don't knock you off your mount), you'd honestly be incredibly limited as you can't do anything at all in combat pretty much - you can cling to your mount and share buffs with it? Maybe it can protect you with some kind of inverse Ride check?

You can't target opponents (or allies in combat, save through your bond), casting AoE spells would be casting blindly, literally, and probably way too dangerous, other than PBAoE protection spells like Circles against evil, etc. You'd likely want at least one companion to be intelligent to be able to get around, which would require taking something like Arcane Hierophant (IIRC) to get a familiar-companion, or it'd be far too hard to do anything much.

ericgrau
2008-09-04, 02:33 PM
Just don't make the benefits outweigh the affliction; that would be extremely lame IMO. Blindfight would be fair enough, and it also keeps you from losing your dex bonus to AC.

Check out the listen skill to find the DC for noticing someone. Add 20 to this DC to find out which 5 foot square they are in. Plus the target gets a -20 penalty to move silently if he's engaging in vigorous activity like swinging a weapon. If he's not trying to be quiet, that means it's a DC 0 listen to figure out which square he's in whenever he hits someone, runs, charges, etc. DC 15 if he merely moves, DC 20 if he stands still or moves slowly. Much higher if the monster tries to be quiet, lower if he's clanging in armor, etc. Add 1 to the DC per 10 feet of distance.

Rerolling a 50% miss chance is the equivalent of a 25% miss chance, so you might want to just use 25% w/ a single roll to keep things simple. So in the end, with blindfight, a super high listen score and some noisy monsters, being blind is bad but do-able.

Tokiko Mima
2008-09-04, 02:54 PM
I have a player in a game I'm DMing play a good aligned Medusa. Because she doesn't want to turn people to stone with a glance, she wears a magic blindfold that blocks her petrification (In her case it's not her face or visage that's hideously petrifying, it's just a mystic and uncontrollable power of her eyes.) The blindfold gives her Darkvision and the ability to see through magical darkness, however it doesn't give her the ability to see in daylight or even in torchlight.

So by day she's a blind girl and has all the combat drawbacks any blind person has. In night or in unlit areas of the underground she moves around on her own just fine. And of course she could always remove her blindfold to regain normal vision, but then she has to be careful not to accidently look at her friends, lest the group become a statuary.

That's about as close as I've been to seeing real blindness played out in D&D. Real physical handicaps are generally not fun to play and as it has been pointed out, make little sense for an adventurer to have once clerical magic hits the regenerate level.

skeeter_dan
2008-09-04, 04:53 PM
Thanks for the answer, guys. It's much appreciated. I figured that was the case, but I wanted to make sure.



Just once I'd like to see a player who wants to play a blind character actually play a blind character. Focus on social skills, healing, buffing your friends, divination, and similar activities. Have a companion or improved familiar or leadership so that you have a pet that protects you, and so that combat isn't boring. Or pick up the Vow of Non-Violence feats and enjoy a roleplaying heavy campaign (while remaining unaware of some of your friends more violent activities - you are blind after all). You might even be attacked far less, because as an obviously blind person standing in the back and not doing anything offensive, intelligent enemies are far less likely to target you.

That's essentially what she's doing. We did it as a straight flaw, so she gets one feat in compensation, but nothing else. She has the Exalted Companion feat, so she has an intelligent animal companion and will gain more animal companions through the Beastmaster prestige class. She will likely be focusing on healing, buffing, and divination for her spells and such. She also has a level in bard so that she can inspire courage in her animal companions and allies.

I also like the Zatoichi-style trope (and I've played a blind character like this), but I'm very glad she's going for a more...pure route.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-04, 05:41 PM
You know, the cliche of "My character is blind, but really she can see better then everyone else" is pretty common. Usually the character can't see past 30 or 60 feet, but has blindsense, blindsight, detect thoughts, tremorsense, scent, etc. So as long as they're with at least one other person who can see (which is all the time unless the DM uses his god like control to specifically separate them) they're usually better off then other players.

This is pretty much the only situation where you wouldn't pay a cleric 150 g to get your sight back. (Go figure why you were blind long enough to develop those senses, though.)

Person_Man
2008-09-05, 09:11 AM
Thanks for the answer, guys. It's much appreciated. I figured that was the case, but I wanted to make sure.


That's essentially what she's doing. We did it as a straight flaw, so she gets one feat in compensation, but nothing else. She has the Exalted Companion feat, so she has an intelligent animal companion and will gain more animal companions through the Beastmaster prestige class. She will likely be focusing on healing, buffing, and divination for her spells and such. She also has a level in bard so that she can inspire courage in her animal companions and allies.

I also like the Zatoichi-style trope (and I've played a blind character like this), but I'm very glad she's going for a more...pure route.

Awesome.

But Beastmaster is a pretty bad PrC IMO. Animal Companions are very squishy at mid to high levels unless they're buffed via Share Spells. Beastmaster doesn't progress casting, and mutliclassing or using a PrC that doesn't progress your casting will screw your spells. If she wants to be a Bard, she should just be a strait Bard, and optimize her inspire courage (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=816095), and take Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar for her pet. Or she should just go strait Druid, get a solid animal companion, and get the most out of Share Spell and her ability to summon spontaneously. But Bard/Druid/Beastmaster or Bard/Ranger/Beastmaster just gives you weak inspire courage, a weak companion, and cruddy spells. Playing a blind woman and focusing on defense is a laudable decision. But there's no reason for her to be completely nerfed.

prufock
2008-09-05, 11:46 AM
I can't remember the source, but someone once said this about Daredevil:
"Being able to see when you are blind is NOT a superpower!"

I like the idea of a blind character, but only if he's actually blind. Sure, he can compensate in other ways, but not by seeing.

skeeter_dan
2008-09-05, 01:09 PM
Awesome.

But Beastmaster is a pretty bad PrC IMO. Animal Companions are very squishy at mid to high levels unless they're buffed via Share Spells. Beastmaster doesn't progress casting, and mutliclassing or using a PrC that doesn't progress your casting will screw your spells. If she wants to be a Bard, she should just be a strait Bard, and optimize her inspire courage (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=816095), and take Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar for her pet. Or she should just go strait Druid, get a solid animal companion, and get the most out of Share Spell and her ability to summon spontaneously. But Bard/Druid/Beastmaster or Bard/Ranger/Beastmaster just gives you weak inspire courage, a weak companion, and cruddy spells. Playing a blind woman and focusing on defense is a laudable decision. But there's no reason for her to be completely nerfed.

I'll mention this to her, but it seems to be working alright for the moment. I am a bit concerned about the lack of spellcasting, but she's very excited about having multiple animal companions. She also has Exalted Animal Companion from the Exalted Handbook, so her main Animal Companion is quite good. She's also taking an alternate class feature that loses Wild Shape and a couple other feature for improved animal companion features.

Of course, it helps that our group is rarely overly optimized.

Epinephrine
2008-09-05, 01:39 PM
You may still have to tweak her companions; I don't recall if you can enter BM at 6th or not, but assuming you can, by 15th level she could be Druid 5/BM10 - having:

1 level 18-equivalent exalted companion
1 level 7 equivalent companion
1 level 4 equivalent companion
1 level 1 equivalent companion.


Other class levels in classes that offer an animal companion donít stack for the purpose of determining the power of a beastmasterís additional animal companions, nor do they allow her to choose additional animal companions from the alternative lists.

So those last three derive their power from the BM levels alone, not from Druid+BM levels, making them very weak. A level 1 companion (a hawk? wolf?) will be killed in a single hit, or via the area damage they experience - it won't even be intentional. It's funny, because honestly a Wild Cohort (which costs only a feat) has more going for it than an animal companion.

I wanted to play a BM, but they are very weak - you may have to houserule that the pets use the druid level + BM level just to have them stand a chance - even then, an 18, a 12, a 9 and a 6th level companion aren't exactly formidable. The 18th and 12th will be able to handle combat, if buffed, but the 6th will need to be an aerial scout or something, staying out of the way, and the 9th is pretty iffy (maybe a mount? - you could thus protect it with a ride check and share spells with it more easily?).

Spending a feat on a Wild Cohort results in a stronger animal than the later BM companions do. At 15th level, a Wild Cohort chosen from the base list would be getting +9 HD, +9 Nat. AC, +4 St and Dex, and 5 bonus tricks - while a similarly chosen 9th level animal companion has +6 HD, +6 Nat. AC, +3 St and Dx and 4 tricks, and the 6th level companion has only +4 HD, +4 Nat. AC, +2 St and Dx and 3 tricks - though they can share spells.

(wild cohort link - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a )

skeeter_dan
2008-09-09, 05:46 PM
You may still have to tweak her companions; I don't recall if you can enter BM at 6th or not, but assuming you can, by 15th level she could be Druid 5/BM10 - having:

1 level 18-equivalent exalted companion
1 level 7 equivalent companion
1 level 4 equivalent companion
1 level 1 equivalent companion.



So those last three derive their power from the BM levels alone, not from Druid+BM levels, making them very weak. A level 1 companion (a hawk? wolf?) will be killed in a single hit, or via the area damage they experience - it won't even be intentional. It's funny, because honestly a Wild Cohort (which costs only a feat) has more going for it than an animal companion.

I wanted to play a BM, but they are very weak - you may have to houserule that the pets use the druid level + BM level just to have them stand a chance - even then, an 18, a 12, a 9 and a 6th level companion aren't exactly formidable. The 18th and 12th will be able to handle combat, if buffed, but the 6th will need to be an aerial scout or something, staying out of the way, and the 9th is pretty iffy (maybe a mount? - you could thus protect it with a ride check and share spells with it more easily?).

Spending a feat on a Wild Cohort results in a stronger animal than the later BM companions do. At 15th level, a Wild Cohort chosen from the base list would be getting +9 HD, +9 Nat. AC, +4 St and Dex, and 5 bonus tricks - while a similarly chosen 9th level animal companion has +6 HD, +6 Nat. AC, +3 St and Dx and 4 tricks, and the 6th level companion has only +4 HD, +4 Nat. AC, +2 St and Dx and 3 tricks - though they can share spells.

(wild cohort link - http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a )
Thanks for the information. I wasn't aware that the BM levels didn't stack for animal companions, so I'll likely houserule that. As for the Wild Cohort, share spells is a pretty big deal for this character, so I don't know how that would work. I'll mention it to her tonight before the session.

Prometheus
2008-09-09, 06:28 PM
I had a blind monk with supersensitive hearing.
(While I know this character is a druid) what is it with martial arts fills and disability? Half the protagonists are blind, one-armed, or cripples!