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Monday, July 16, 2012

Spell Study Series: 3rd Level Perception Spells

Today's installment deals with a trio of perception or detection spells, so the general conclusions already discussed also apply here.
Clairvoyance: Same as ESP spell except the spell user can visualize rather than merely pick up thoughts.

Clairaudience: Same as Clairvoyance except it allows hearing rather than visualization. This is one of the few spells which can be cast through a Crystal Ball (see Volume II).
There's absolutely no quantifiable difference between these spells and ESP, so there's no need to delve into duration or range. However, I think it's worth noting that Clairvoyance and Clairaudience as described here don't do what we generally think. Clairvoyance does not allow you to see what is in a room; it allows you to visualize what a non-mindless being is thinking. So, you can see a room if there is a conscious, thinking being observing it... as long as it isn't daydreaming or hallucinating. So, the spell is more limited than many players and GMs believe; if you want to see what's on the other side of a wall, Wizard Eye is actually the spell you normally want.

On the other hand, Clairvoyance does let you see into someone's dreams, something most people probably never thought of. Clairaudience would normally be used for eavesdropping, so the spell will mostly work as expected, unless used on ghosts having a conversation.
Infravision: This spell allows the recipient to see infra-red light waves, thus enabling him to see in total darkness. Duration: 1 day. Range of infravision: 40-60'.
Not a lot to say here, other than the duration is much longer than later versions of the spell. One whole day! That's practically forever. There's none of the usual caveats here that we normally see in infravision discussions, although presumably you can't read, write, or draw a map without light of some kind. Also, since U&WA specifically mentions that charmed monsters or those convinced to serve the party lose any ability to see in the dark, there is no natural infravision in the original game; it's a purely magical ability.

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