So, I’ve noticed that some enemies are specifically called out as being able to see in the dark - does this mean that anything not able to see in the dark, like, say, the Tomb Guardians in the Dread Crypt, should be taking penalties for Dim Light/Darkness? As a specific example, when the players first enter the crypt through the tight squeeze, four Guardians come out of the alcoves to confront them. Should a couple of the Tomb Guardians be lighting up torches to back up their buddies? Or do we assume that because they’re these badass (and eyeless) undead, they can all go in swinging with their shields and spears?
It’s weird, because I definitely don’t have this problem when thinking about other humanoids of the playable races - of course the rival party of adventurers is carrying lights. They need to see as much as you do. But how strict should I be with tracking lights for monsters?
I believe it has been said in the past that they can attack you if you are in light. Though I would imagine then that the same thing applies to players, if they sneak up on goblins carrying torches without a light source of their own, they could still attack the goblins because the goblins are lit. I’m not sure though, so don’t quote me on that.
In general, monsters don’t require light and don’t suffer any penalties for its lack. Feel free to use your judgment as GM though. Human cultists definitely require light (unless they have some sort of magic). Undead creatures don’t.
Thanks JB, thanks Thor!
So it sounds like I’ve been doing it right, then - where light creates a source of drama and tension for players, it’s not something that a GM should be tracking strictly in combat for monsters. Saying “The harpy swoops down from the rafters, candle clutched tightly!” is a lot less fun than “The harpy swoops out of the shadows, clawing at your face!”
Monsters get to break the rules!
Also, they’ve usually been living in the area, so they’re likely acclimated.