True Vision and Light EE by the Grymlorde

True Vision and Light EE by the Grymlorde
Want your PCs to be blinded when under the effect of a blindness spell? How about in darkness when under a darkness? Well who wouldn’t, right?

And what about those of use who want to play NWN under 3rd edition D&D rules which NWN was actually based on? In other words, why are the lights so bright?!? Torches and light spells are supposed to be only 20’ of good light with 20’ of shadows. And for that matter, in 3rd edition darkvision gives excellent vision in the dark up to 60’ away but NWN gives. . .?

And for folks who prefer the Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, Immortal, and Rules Encylopedia rules, wouldn’t it be nice to have light spells, torches, and infravision that match those rules?

Well check out my True Vision and Light EE packages! There’s a D&D 3rd edition version, a BECMI version, and a true metric version of the BioWare lights and vision. All built upon the Enhanced Edition of NWN and Symphony’s HDR shader replacement.

Oh and for those of us who prefer “realism” whenever possible, according to an article published in Popular Mechanics in the late 19th century, torches give off a good light for 10-20 yard radius, depending on how clear the night is — in other words, Holmes got it right when he wrote the first rule for D&D torches giving off 30’ of light in the dungeon. So please use my BX package for “realistic” light and vision.

Updated to version 1.01 wherein I removed Symphony’s HDR shader. His shader is no longer need with the latest (.15) patch for EE released today.

Also, the “object sometimes stays green” bug is now gone, thanks to the changes in reset lighting.

True Vision & Light Version 2.0 [PnP] [HCR]
a.k.a Enhanced Edition version of PnP Vision & Light by The Grymlorde™ Version 2
Tested with EE v85.8193.3 and v83.8193.28

The most recent version of NWN EE boosted the power of the light sources. In the first EE release, a 20m torch gave off 13m of light. Now the same torch gives off more than 40m! The new 5m candlestick gives off a 25m radius! Humans & Halflings have an inherent vision that now extends out to 15 meters! And if that wasn’t bad enough, the latest version turns on Vibrance and High Contrast by default! In other words, by default no artifical light sources are needed in the latest version of NWN EE.

But if you want to explore truly dark dungeons and caverns lit only with candlesticks or torches, then this is for you!
This package contains models VERIFIED FROM IN-GAME MEASUREMENTS! Yes, that’s right! Thanks to Buddha for creating a 5 foot placeable and a 5 meter placeable, it is now possible to measure the radii of the four hand-held light sources in game!

Six different sets of content to choose from:

  1. 3eVisionLightEE v2 - Vision and Light per the D&D 3rd edition ruleset (“feet”). Default torch colour is now 20’ orange.
  2. 5eVisionLightEE V2 - Vision and Light per the D&D 3.5, 4.0, 5.0, & Pathfinder rulesets (“feet doubled”). Default torch colour is now 30’ orange.
  3. BioMetricLightEE V2 - Vision and Light with true metric values (“meters”), Default torch changed to 15m yellow.
  4. BXVisionLightEE V2 - Vision and Light per the D&D Holmes Basic, B/X, BECMI, & Rules Cyclopedia rulesets (“yards”). Default torch is now 10 yards orange.
  5. HumanVisionEE - Removes the “human/halfling” vision. No other changes whatsoever. This package is identical to my October 5, 2020 release

Package Contents:

  • fx_flame.01.mdl Tileset lights scaled to firebrands (indoor torches) as default + lens flare disabled
  • fx_light_clr.mdl Controls low-light vision, darkvision, ultravision, and item light properties (torches, rings, robes, &c.)
  • fx_placeable01.mdl Placeable lights scaled so that Pale Yellow & Yellow are 15 metres + lens flare disabled.
  • placeables.2da Darker lights (e.g. candles) have been given a darker colour so that they give off less light. NOTE: Only available in the builder’s hak as many modules have their own custom placeables.2da
  • progfx.2da Dim light on items now give off shadows
  • Torch models & inventory icons now reflect rulesets.
    *Default torch in 3e is now a firebrand with its model matching the inventory icon
    *Changed default torch inventory icon in other rulesets to yellow flambeau
    *Lamp (it_torch_001) now has an orange flambeau as an inventory icon
    *Added firebrand to 5e, B/X, & BioMetric packages as torch_003; 3e as torch_000
    *Added Project Q lantern to all packages
  • nw_s0_light.nxx Light spell now reflect rulesets
  • x0_s0_clight.nxx Continual light spell now reflects ruleset
  • xxxx.uti candle, firebrand, lamp, and lantern items included

What about other versions of D&D?
The other editions have some extreme ranges which make it difficult to fit into a standardised release. However, the following are decent approximations:

  • Chainmail through Eldritch Wizardry (1974–1977) — Use the B/X version
  • AD&D - use the BioMetric version but with 20 metre torches and 10 metre candles (!)
  • AD&D 2e - use either the 3e or the 5e package, depending on whether you want a strict implementation (3e) or one that inherits the shadowy light extensions of AD&D (5e).

What are the real-life values of candles, torches, etc.?
According Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXIII, No. 586 published on March 26, 1887:
“Torches consist of a bundle of loosely twisted threads which has been immersed in a mixture formed of two parts, by weight, of beeswax, eight of resin, and one of tallow. In warm, dry weather, these torches when lighted last for two hours when at rest, and for an hour and a quarter on a march. A good light is obtained by spacing them 20 or 30 yards apart”
Given that the testing was done at night rather than indoors, I think a torch gives off a “good light” when they are 20 yards apart (10 yards each). However, that does not mean that they have a 10 yard (30’) radius. I define “good light” as being able to read a scroll, book, etc. In order to do that, each torch must have a 40’ or 45’ (15 yard) radius so that the two overlap. Also, note that the Scientific American report did not take into account the metric system. So it is possible that we could read ‘metres’ instead of yards.
However, not all torches are equal. I have observed that some give off a yellow light and others an orange light. The ones with an orange light must be less than the yellow light. As it turns out, the English language has a term for dimmer torches, namely “firebrand.” Thus we can have 40’, 15 yard (45’), or 15 metre yellow torches and 30’ (10 yard) or 10 metre orange firebrands.

For a single candle, my own testing at home proves that 5’ (3e rules) is too conservative as I could read from a book at around 6 to 8 feet. So I think that 10’ for a single candle is more realistic. However in-game, 10’ feels a bit short and 5 yards (15’) feels more realistic. Honestly, I’m split between the 5e and the BECMI schemes (10’ vs. 15’ candles, 40’ vs. 45’ torches).

Keronsene “lanterns” were invented in the mid-1800s thus are anachronistic. Real lanterns are just a candle in a box. In some cases, there were large lanterns with 3 candles which would give off double the light (10’ in 3e, 20’ in 5e, 10 yards in BECMI, & 10m in BioMetric). If you want lanterns in your game, then please use the dim or low lights.

Bullseye lanterns made with candles were technogically possible but NWN does not have a cone of light effect.

Lamps for game purposes, are simply candles used in hot weather. Tallow melts at 104 degrees Fahrenheit and lamp oil congeals at 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Historically, Northern Europe used candles, the Northern Mediterreanean used both, and the Southern Mediterreanean, Africa, and India used lamps.

Reasons for this custom content:
BioWare gave Humans and Halflings “candlelight” vision which allows them to see in what is supposed to be pitch black darkness
BioWare implemented a light model which simulates distance in meters but in actuality is not true meters, e.g. 5 meters dim is actually [13 meters!]
The default torch at 20 meters, is brighter than torches in every single edition of D&D AND real life
The light spell as written creates a 15m r. white light on creatures but a 20m white light on objects.
Not only is this inconsistent, every edition of D&D has the light spell with a 20’ radius or smaller and a bright torch (yellow) color at best.
The continual light spell in every edition of D&D is not equal to full daylight for wizards & sorcerers. Likewise for clerics in 3rd Edition and AD&D.
Dim lights do not give off shadows by default. Now they do.

\hak\ A hak useable by players and builders (except for placeables.2da)
\override\ Alternatively all the files in the override (except for placeables.2da)

Pick one package to try (3e, 5e, Bio, BX, Grym, or Human)

Players - Option 1 (Recommended): Use the hak as a userpatch-hak.
- Option 2 (If you don’t know how to create a userpatch): Dump the contents of the override directory into your Neverwinter Nights override directory.

Builders - Option 1 (Recommended): Create your own hak using NWHak and the contents of the override except for the scripts. Import the scripts directly into your module.

  • Option 2 (If you don’t want to create your own hak): Use the existing hak.


  • Under Game Options, Graphics, Advanced Frame Buffer Effects::
    Disable (turn off) High Contrast and Vibrance unless you are playing in a room with a lot of glare.
  • Consider using the optional shader from Symphony once he updates it to be compatible with the latest EE patch.
  • Challenge yourself to use candles instead of torches. Until the 1800s, miners spent their entire workday with a single candle. Cave explorers (spelunkers) likewise relied on candles. Try it. It’s spooky.

Builder Tips:

  • Candles should not be used in environments hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (e.g. deserts & jungles).
  • Lamps should not be used in environments colder than 46 degrees Fahrenheit nor those that do not grow olive nor import olive oil (Northern European type areas).
  • Historically, Both candles and lamps were common in the Northern Mediterranean (Greece, Rome, Italy, Spain, &c.).
  • Historically, candles were unknown in the Southern Mediterranean, Africa, and India.
  • Historically, lanterns held a single candle and protected them from the wind. In some cases, there were lanterns with three candles which would be the next step up in brightness (e.g. 10’ for 3e).
  • Dungeons should use the Reset to Black lighting scheme. “Torch only” is a misnomer. That scheme applies some ambient colour and has some hidden lights. It was fine in 1.69 but no longer in EE.
  • For placeable indoor torches, use the Torch Bracket (x3_plc_torch003) as it is the only firebrand (indoor torch) placeable.
  • For torch colours, the following are recommended from dimmest to brightest. Note that “torch-lit only” uses 150, 142, 94 for dim torches (firebrands) and 239, 239, 196 for bright torches. Personally, I think that the best one to use is the dimmest (150, 142, 94) unless you have a magical area.
    150, 142, 94 (dimmest)[BioWare default]
    234, 204, 165
    239, 239, 196 [BioWare default]
    234, 183, 165 (brightest)
  • Use placeable candles instead of open flames for wooden interiors. For example in the City Interior tileset, there are several oil lamps. Turn those off and put a candle in them instead. And feel free to put in chandeliers as well.

Anachronisms in D&D
Note that D&D has the following anachronisms, which I encourage you to discard:

  • The D&D style oil lantern functions like a kerosene hurricane lantern which did not exist prior to the mid-1800s. Historical lanterns were simply a candle in a box with sides made from polished horn. That box protected them from the wind. They gave off the exact same amount of light as a candle. In some cases, there were lanterns with three candles. That would give off double (20’) not triple the amount of light.
  • 3.5e/Pathfinder/5e lamps give off 30’ light when in fact historical lamps give off the same amount of light as candles (10’). Historically, candles were used in colder climates (Northern Europe) while lamps in warmer ones (Egypt & India). This is because tallow melts at 104 degrees Fahrenheit while olive oil congeals at 45 degrees Fahrenheit. I encourage you to change the lamp to a 10’ low orange light and make it available in hot and warm climates only. Likewise candles should not be for sale in your desert and jungle tilesets.
  • Torches burn up oxygen and give off a lot of smoke. They should be only used outdoors, in large caves, and large dungeon rooms. If you do allow them in narrow dungeon corridors, have the occassional gust of wind blow them out. After all, if there is enough air flow to allow a torch in a dungeon, then there is enough to blow them out.

Light & Continual Light spells
In my opinion, a cantrip should only grant candlelight and not torchlight. Likewise a 2nd level permanent light spell should only be candlelight rather than torchlight. Therefore I encourage you to change the light & continual light spells to dim (“5m”) orange. If you want to give your magic swords light, then do it based on the plus, e.g. +1 has a dim light, +2 a low light, +3 normal light, and +4 and greater a bright light.

In NWN, corridors are exactly 5 metres (16.4042 feet) wide. Which is more than 60% wider than your typical D&D dungeon corridor. Likewise, doors are 2 metres (6.56168 feet) wide.

However, Human males are 5’9" and Human females are 5’8" tall.

What I did not do:
As noted above, I did not set the lights for candle placeables to 5’ (3e) because the game does not support a wide continuum of placeable light values. I tested candles (dark orange) set to 5m and the other lights were still too dark. 15 metre Pale Yellow is the best compromise unfortunately.

I also did not disable the lens flare effect for creatures, spells, and items. In my opinion, this helps to differentiate the magickal from the mundane. If you wish to do so, just ask and I’ll share what I’ve learned.

In the related projects, I link to Symphony’s HDR Shader. It does a good job making darks darker and brights brighter. However, the latest EE release breaks his shader. In time, he will update it. So use with caution.


  • TSR and Wizards of the Coast for the Dungeons & Dragons rules
  • BioWare for the original light model, shader, light spell script, continual light spell script, and torch_001 inventory icon.
  • SixThrice [Project Q] for the orange version of the BioWare flambeau torch_001 inventory icon, the brand torch model, and the lantern.
  • Maxam for the Versatile Dungeon tileset I used for testing.
  • Niv for being the first to publish a customized light model
  • Qlippoth for being the second to publish a customized light model
  • The Grymlorde™ [that’s me] for being the first to publish a customized light model with 100% black-out for Human/Halfling vision
  • Beamdog for the Enhanced Edition of Neverwinter Nights, and new shader
  • The Grymlorde™ [that’s me] for being the first to implement actual values in the light model, e.g. 5 metres for 5m
  • Buddha for providing 5’ & 5m placeable rulers.
  • The Grymlorde™ [that’s me] for the extensive D&D research, revised light models, revised light & continual light spell scripts, and fixed yellow firebrand icon; as well as two months of testing! Whew And yes, I came to hate this project as it came to take far too much of my time over the last three months.

Recently the EE enhanced lighting engine was release and now Humans and Halflings can see in the dark up to 45’ (15 yards of 13.5 metres)! Who needs light sources?

This is what Humans and halfling are supposed to see in the dark! Nothing! Zilch! Nada!

Here are the various torch illuminations from the PnP sets:

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At the request of @vapidchap, I posted an optional script override & erf for True Seeing. Now with added Ultravision!

I normally play low-level adventures, so I didn’t realise that NWN’s true seeing did not pierce non-magical darkness, unlike the 3e version. This one does.

Now if only it were possible to pierce magical darkness. . .!

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