Can anyone explain to me why these 2 spells are not both cantrips?

I am curious why these 2 spells are almost identical. But the darkness version is 1st level and the light version is 0 level. With but a small amount of editing they are the same spell. It seems to cheat a shadow caster out of a cantrip with a darkness descriptor:

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/d/dancing-lights

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/d/dancing-darkness

Comments

  • edited February 15
    I would think because Dancing Darkness has the potential to make someone without low-light or dark vision blind and these characters are more common than some with light-sensitivity.

    So, in short, Dancing Darkness has a potential harmful component to it making it a more powerful spell than Dancing Lights which is just used as a magic torch for the most part.
  • edited March 13
    Hmm... that although, explainable, seems more of a flimsy excuse. Especially for those with light sensitivity. As a group with all characters having the same handicap (drow, or other light sensitive Underdark races) would be blind. Emission of floating (dancing) light and the absence of floating (dancing) light (dancing darkness) are the same. Hell, look at the game mechanics & description of both spells! It is almost a cut and paste of one to the other, other then one is talking about darkness and one about light. ... just saying. This spell here is a reverse-able spell. https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/o/open-close
    Use it one way it can help; in the other way, it hamper. Open=help; close=hamper....
  • Sorry, I'm gonna agree with pvtcheese on this one. Darkness typically has many more uses against a wider variety of creatures, and running in a party where everyone has light sensitivity seems pretty rare, depending on your setting.
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