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Illumination describes the amount of visible light that exists in both subterranean and wilderness environments. It is related not only to light sources available to creatures, but also to natural conditions related to weather and astronomical bodies. The effects of illumination, though mundane to most players, require exhaustive explanation, because light is fluid and difficult to quantify with regards to player imagination.

Light Sources

Illumination Radius
in hexes
Radius in
torch, lamp oil 6 12
torch, whale oil 5 10
torch, resting 2 2

Light is produced through combustion, in the form of torches, lanterns and lamps, and through spellcasting.


These are the cheapest and most available form of illumination. A torch can be made using a strip of cotton, linen or woolen cloth that is at least 2 inches wide and 36 inches long, which is wrapped repeatedly and then tied around one end of a stake about 18 inch in length. For game purposes, a torch weighs 2 lb., 6 oz. The end is soaked in 1 ounce of whale oil or lamp oil, and sealed with 1 oz. of candlewax. This operation requires 8 action points (AP) to complete. A torch will last for 100 combat rounds. Afterwards, the stake can be reused, though it will lose 1 inch of its length with each use. A 15-inch torch will be hot on the face, whereas a 12-inch torch will feel too unpleasantly hot to hold for more than 25 rounds at a time. A torch less than 10 inches long will be impractical.

A torch dipped in lamp oil will illuminate a radius that is slightly better than one dipped in whale oil. Torches may be put down, though they will sputter on a wet surface after ten rounds and go out; or they may set a dry surface ablaze over the same time (save vs. normal fire). If applied to paper or an airy fibrous substance, the save should be made immediately. A torch that has been laid down will illuminate a smaller radius.

Full moonlight enhances a torch's radius of illumination.


Hooded and bullseye lanterns have a bladder that holds up to 4 fluid ounces of either whale or lamp oil. They feature a glass bubble above this bladder. Once the lantern is lit, a turn-key adjusts a valve that controls the amount of air, which will determine the amount of illumination. All lanterns can be adjusted to illuminate areas from zero to maximum radius for that device. Lanterns will burn oil at a speed proportional to the radius illuminated. Lanterns are commonly made of brass, as more common materials would be too hot to hold comfortably. It requires 1 AP

Hooded Lanterns are so named because of a metal plate above the glass bubble, which protects the holder's hand from the heat. This also allows the light to be shielded from the holder's eyes if the lantern is held below chest height. This light is cast in all directions. These lanterns stand about 9 in. tall and weigh 1 lb., 11 oz.

Bullseye Lanterns are fashioned so that the light shines in a horizontal direction, offering a 60° arc of light. These lanterns cannot be made to shine more widely, but a shutter contained within can be adjusted to offer a smaller arc, or closed completely. Even when closed, the bullseye lantern will still show that it is lit, as light will be visible through cracks in the object; but while this will reveal the location of the lantern, it will not provide enough illumination to reveal anything, even the nature of the holder. The lantern's range of illumination is intensified with a lens. These lanterns stand 11 in. tall and 2 lb., 5 oz.

Missile Attacks in Darkness

# Hexes Penalty
1-2 -1
3-5 -3
6-9 -6
10 or more -12

It stands to reason that it will be harder to hit objects with hurled or fired missiles outside an illuminated area, particularly since illumination makes the dark seem darker. The table shown indicates penalties accrued when firing at targets beyond the area of illumination, whether or not the shooter is located within that illuminated area (the simplification is used for playability). This penalty is cumulative with normal penalties due to the range of the target.

Additionally, if a combatant or object (including the shooter!) casts a shadow on the target, then the distance "outside illumination" should be measured from the shading object, not the perimeter of illumination.