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I am new to D&D 5e, but everything I have read so far doesn't really clarify this for me.
Context: There is total darkness, essentially making all characters "hidden". None of the characters can see except for 1 PC. He is controlling creatures in the darkness, commanding them to attack. The creatures themselves cannot see in the dark on their own but the PC can see for them.

  • He controls them through verbal or psychic commands (new mystic). And he sees through his own vision, so the creatures only receive their information through said verbal commands.

Do the attacking creatures get advantage because the PC can see for them, or do they roll as if blinded too?

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    \$\begingroup\$ How is he controlling them? \$\endgroup\$ – András Jun 3 '17 at 21:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ More to the point, in what way does the controller "see for them"? \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jun 3 '17 at 21:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Which mystic skill are you using that allows the creature to see as the mystic does? Which UA are you drawing on for this skill? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 4 '17 at 15:47
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First, darkness does not make 'all characters "hidden"'. Taking the Hide action makes you hidden and only to those whose passive Wisdom (Perception) is less than your Dexterity (Stealth) check. Being in darkness creates the prerequisite for hiding: being unable to be seen clearly but you are not hidden until you Hide.

For the circumstances you describe, everyone knows where everybody is. Everyone who can't see gives advantage on attacks against them and disadvantage on attacks they make. For the blind attacking the blind this cancels out - it only makes a difference when the sighted attack the blind or vice versa.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for clarifying "hidden". It is a very common error in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jun 4 '17 at 16:58
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Nobody suffers disadvantage, and only the PC who can see has advantage on attack rolls.

Per "Vision and Light", PHB,

Darkness creates a heavily obscured area. ... A heavily obscured area ... blocks vision entirely. A creature effectively suffers from the blinded condition ... when trying to see something in that area.

Per "Unseen Attackers and Targets", PHB,

When you attack a target that you can't see, you have disadvantage on the attack roll. ... When a creature can't see you, you have advantage on attack rolls against it.

Per "Advantage and Disadvantage", PHB,

If circumstances cause a roll to have both advantage and disadvantage, you are considered to have neither of them...

Without knowing exactly how the PC is controlling the creatures, I am going to assume that the PC is playing as a Mystic from Unearthed Arcana.

Per "Psionics", "Telepathy", Mystic Class article:

You can telepathically speak to any creature you can see within 120 feet of you in this manner.

So all PC characters except the one who can see will have disadvantage on their attack rolls, since they can't see their targets, but they will also have advantage on their targets, since the targets can't see them. These will cancel each other, and the PCs that can't see will not have advantage or disadvantage.

The PC who is controlling the creatures will have advantage on his attack rolls, since he can see other creatures but they can't see him.

The creatures being controlled will be in the same situation as the PCs who can't see. The creatures cannot see the PCs, since Telepathy lets you speak to any creature, not allow them to share your sight.


As a side note, being unseen does not automatically make a creature hidden. Per "Using Each Ability", "Hiding", PHB:

When you try to hide, make a Dexterity (Stealth) check. ... An invisible creature can always try to hide.

Emphasis mine. If being unseen automatically granted the hidden status, an invisible creature would not have to try to hide, they would just already be hidden.

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This depends on the type of control the PC has over the creatures. If it's any sort of "command" then the creatures will still be blind as spells like "Dominate monster" show that even though the enchanter is issuing commands through a telepathic link the creature can only preform its task to the best of Its ability.

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If this is some sort of puppet act, where the guy who can see is manipulating the limbs and perfectly controlling the movement of each attacker, then the attacker essentially is the guy who can see, as it is an extension of him.

If however, the attackers are being commanded to attack, then they cannot see their target and would have disadvantage on their attack role.

The target in the darkness would give their attackers advantage on their attack roll, since they cannot see the attack

Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s Attack rolls have disadvantage.

This means that if the attackers can't see, they have disadvantage. Attacks against this target also have advantage, so the two cancel out and attacks are rolled normally. If the attacker is the guy who can see and is perfectly manipulating his puppets, then the attacks are rolled with advantage since the attacker takes no penalties.

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