I have made a command decision: no more infravision.
Infravision…the whole concept…has annoyed me for years. Really. I can remember (really!) first reading about in my Tom Moldvay Basic Set and thinking “What the F?” And today, I’m still saying the same thing.
Hell, in my own games, I’ve long since given up on infravision. “Certain species (like elves and dwarves) can see in the dark…period.” Otherwise the whole thing is just…what? I mean, where does this idea come from?
Certainly Tolkien elves and dwarves (and the Norse myths from which they descend) still make use of light sources…torches and such. Faerie folk may have better vision than normal people (as noted in their increased ability to find secret doors and traps and such), but if they see better in the evening, it’s because those sharp eyes are making better use of moonlight and starlight…NOT because they see heat sources like the Predator monster.
I mean, isn’t that what “infravision” is? Some kind of infrared or thermographic vision? “Your character sees heat sources,” why exactly? I just don’t get it.
I mean, setting aside the general uselessness of it (infravision is fouled by torchlight and most parties have humans in needs of real light anyway…plus picking out “heat images” doesn’t tell you where a door or doorknob is, nor read the writing on the tomb wall!)…SETTING ASIDE the uselessness of infravision, what the hell is it based on exactly? Where in myth and legend does it say elves “see heat.”
Be honest, don’t most of you ignore infravision most of the time anyway?
Maybe this comes from Wendy Pini’s “wolf rider” elves…but most elves in ElfQuest still need and use torches (the wolf riders simply having heightened senses…smell and hearing…like wolves).
I don’t know…what I DO know is that I’m tired of it. I found myself putting it in my “fantasy punk” game and then thought, why? Why bother? Because it’s in “D&D?” Because Shadowrun uses “low-light vision” for its elves and orcs?
Nope, screw it. No allergies to sunlight and no friggin’ “infravision.” If an elf wants to see in the dark, he can wear night vision goggles. That’s a cooler image anyway.
Owl & Weasel Wednesday #19 October 1976
10 hours ago