[RPG] Does this errata allow vision out of an area of Darkness


I thought this was a moot point, settled and done, but a recent errata opens up the question for me again.

Vision and Light (p. 183). A heavily
obscured area doesn’t blind you, but you
are effectively blinded when you try to see
something obscured by it.

This corrects the following rule:

A heavily obscured area–such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage–blocks vision entirely. A creature effectively suffers from the blinded condition (see appendix PH-A) when trying to see something in that area.

Now, this errata implies to me that being within a heavily obscured area does not prevent one from seeing OUT of the area, merely from seeing INTO the area. For instance, a rogue in an area of deep shadow would be heavily obscured to the guard standing by the streetlamp, but the rogue could easily see the guard. (Substitute thick foliage and elf for a less light based situation.)
On the other hand, the rogue would be effectively blinded to anything else in the same area of darkness.

So, what in the Darkness spell specifically prevents one from seeing OUT? The only indication I can see is that "A creature with darkvision can't see THROUGH" it and that doesn't really convince me. Can Darkness be interpreted as simply a mobile, impenetrable shadow?

Best Answer

Caveat: I don't think this is incredibly clear from the wording of the spell, so my answer will be subject to some semantic parsing.

No, that errata does not impact the effect of the Darkness spell.

The fact that "darkness" as opposed to "the effects of the Darkness spell" is listed as an example of a heavily-obscured area and that the spell description doesn't describe it as creating "a heavily obscured area" means that errata is kind of a red herring in this case.

The spell description says that a creature with darkvision can't see through it (which requires the logical leap that creatures without darkvision also can't see through it :) ), which means someone in the area of effect can't see out, since that would require seeing through some portion of the darkness.

A more grody scientific explanation would say that since "nonmagical light can't illuminate it," you can't see something unless light bounces off that thing and hits your eyes, and light that does do that would potentially be illuminating something in the darkness, so...no on that front as well (though if your game gets to the point of debating the nature of light itself, you might want to call it a day already).