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I am preparing to play a character who's only form of vision is magical blindsight with a range of 60 feet. I have a couple questions about how it interacts with other effects.

  1. Scrying spells, such as Clairaudience say that they function even if I am blind as if they were a separate sensory organ. Since I can't read with blindsight can I use a scrying spell to obtain the benefits of items that require them read, such as a manual or tome?
  2. Are there any other ways for me to obtain the information from a book, scroll, etc. either through a magic item or spell that perhaps puts the info straight into my mind? More specifically is there a way for me to effectively be a wizard with a spell book?
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The other part is now here: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/41000/… –  Ryan Raten Kuhar Jun 15 at 22:08

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up vote 8 down vote accepted
  1. As you linked from the (Scrying) subschool description, a Clairvoyance spell explicitly allows a blind character to see.

    it functions normally even if you have been blinded, deafened, or otherwise suffered sensory impairment.

    Items that need to be read sound like use-activated items, which are "generally straightforward and self-explanatory". That would mean that if you can read it (which you can do through (Scrying) spells, assuming you can read), well, then you can read it.

    A problem with your specific example is that Clairvoyance lasts for 1 min./level, but it takes a total of 48 hours to read a tome.

    In any case, this is definitely something whose specifics you're going to have to work out with your DM rather than divine from the rules text - the rules are of rather limited help in situations this detailed.

  2. To read without reading, I recommend the Scholar's Touch spell from Races of Destiny. In short, it absorbs the information from a book into your mind in one round.

    Whether it is sufficient to become a Wizard with a spellbook - I direct you towards your DM again. What exactly a Wizard does with their spellbook when preparing spells isn't well defined, what we do have is on page 178 of the Player's Handbook.

    To play a blind Wizard in general, I would either dispense with the spellbook or simply ask the GM if the character can have their own personal spellbook in braille.

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Complete Arcane has some alternative for magical writings, which might be relevant if you are just looking for your wizard to have his own spellbook and write his own scrolls (as opposed to being able to read something someone else has written). I only have a physical copy, but I'll summarize some of it below - if you have access to that book, relevant pages are 138-139.

Essential characteristics of scrolls:

  • Single use only (once it is "read" the writings are gone)
  • Spell completion device (only accessible to spellcasters, requires deciphering, may require level checks when spell level exceeds the casters abilities)
  • Usable by means of Use Magic Device
  • Must be physically manipulated in a complex way
  • Must be in user's hand to be used
  • Use provokes attacks of opportunity.
    Example alternatives:
    Gemstones (held and waved during castings, casting "depletes" them)
    Incendiary (specially treated paper which burns during the casting)
    Macrame (complex weave of precisely tied knots, casting includes pulling specific strings to unravel the pattern)

You get the idea - essentially, as long as the mechanics of usage are fairly similar, anything goes (with GM's approval, of course). In the same manner, your blindsighted wizard doesn't need a spellbook of paper and ink - he can use "pages" of wood, sheet metal or stone and carve his writings into them. Or he can have a series of coded notches and holes on a weapon or staff - or even pieces of string or rope with special sequences of beads and knots.


If he needs to read the writing of others, your wizard can have someone else read it to him, use spells (scrying, Scholar's Touch, Polymorph into a sighted form or even use Magic Jar to posses someone else's body etc. etc.), or simply have a "seeing eye" familiar to scry through.

A final point - if you really are interested in playing a blind character, don't try to circumvent this limitation with X-ray rings etc. This is a curve-ball, but you'll miss all the fun if you manage to have an effectively sighted "blind character". Also, you may wish to consider other arcane/divine casters, for which blindness doesn't undermine their fundamental class feature. Some options include Sorcerers, Warlocks (from Complete Arcane, and imho more suited for a dark "Illidan" theme) and, you can have a look at Pathfinder's Oracle with a Clouded Vision curse and Witch (which have a familiar to teach him spells instead of a spellbook)

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The idea of a reading familiar seems very interesting. –  Matthieu M. Jun 16 at 16:57

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