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Basic Information

As we all know, humans1 have difficulty seeing in the dark and, therefore, if they are to enter dark places for purposes of adventure, they will usually need to take a light with them.

This is mainly an index of sources of artificial illumination.

A list of potential lightsources would include:

For convenience, the following methods of "lighting" (i.e. igniting) something are also stowed on this page (until someone cares to move them):


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • If you're running a Classic Gygaxian Dungeon Crawl, you're going to need to somehow address the question of illumination
    • What kind of light source they are using can have a real bearing on how a scene looks - try looking at the same scene in bright light, dim light and various kinds of colour filter light for comparison, let alone using thermal imaging, image intensifiers or active infrared to look at it when it is apparently unlit.
  • Some game systems have mechanics for how the lighting affects a character's chance to see things.
    • many of which need to be taken with at least a pinch of salt.
  • In a Horror campaign, limiting what your characters can see is an effective way to heighten suspense. The type of lighting available will have a big impact on that.
    • Not just Horror campaigns, either; any setting where there might be something lurking out there in the darkness waiting to jump out and go "boo!"
    • In a modern game, remember that lights attract bullets. Much the same can apply in earlier settings as well.
    • You can do a very good 'suspense building' by having the PCs' opponent grab their light source and send it spinning away into the dark without actually attacking them (although obviously this only works well with directional light sources like flashlights and bullseye-lanterns) …
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