Dim Light/Darkness factors stacking?

I have owned TB since it’s release, but only recently been able to start playing for the first time. I thought I had seen before on the forum that the Dim Light and Darkness +1ob does not stack, but since I started playing the question came up again and I’ve not been able to find the answer in searching.

So, if a character is in Darkness and attempts a Carpenter test to make a Household item like bowls which is normally only an Ob1, would it be final Ob 2 (+1Ob for darkness, same as Dim Light) or would it be final Ob 3 (+1ob each for dim and darkness factors stacking)?

I know there are other penalties to Darkness besides the +1ob, but it just doesn’t make sense to me that the same actions would not be at a greater penalty to be performed in total Darkness as opposed to Dim light. The way I read it, I’ve been treating it as an additional Factor with the skill list like this:
Type: Household Items, Boards and Building Materials, Pulleys Ladder Furniture
Light: Dim, Darkness

Sorry if I am just missing this when searching the forum, or just missing an obvious answer in the book. Thanks in advance!

  • Seth

Unless you have a class ability that says different (as far as I know) you can’t do anything in total darkness that requires sight. (which is most skills). Some social skills and anything that doesn’t require the ability to see are performed with a factor from the darkness (+1 to the Ob), same as in dim light. They do not stack.

So, in that example above, he couldn’t build the test in total dark. He couldn’t see to work with the wood and tools. In dim light, the Ob would have a factor at +1. If he had an abilty (or magic item) that would allow him to work in total dark, it would still have a factor of +1.


Thank you for the reply. I am not at home so I can’t look up the exact wording in the book, but doesn’t it only say you can’t use skills that require reading/writing (cartographer, scholar, etc)? You need to be able to see in order to do those skills, but I didn’t think it included all skills that involve sight. I could try it that way and see how it goes, though.

This is true. It does say that. I guess I was thinking about conflicts, which are limited to social only (flee, riddle or argue). (I’m a player, not a dev, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.)

I still don’t believe they stack though. Dim light is a factor in all tests except riddling (Which is confusing. Riddling isn’t a test. Its a conflict.) The same with darkness. However, when you are in darkness, you are not also in dim light, so it would still be only one factor. Darkness is more limited in that you can’t do Cartography or Scholar tests and can only do flee, riddle or argue conflicts. But it still just a “factor in all tests except riddling.”

Yeah. You are either in dim light or in Darkness, not both.

Okay, thank you both! My wife is playing an elf in our solo campaign, and often tries to do things in Darkness. She will be happy with the answer!