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Spawned from related: What does it mean "to see" when casting magic missile?

A circumstance occurs when I am no longer able to see my opponent. Fog Cloud was conjured over me, and I am blinded. I now lost sights of my opponent.

If I use Clairvoyance, and take the "seeing" sense, would I then be able to use a ranged attack or spell against my opponent? If examples are necessary, a ranged attack will imply an arrow being shot, and a spell would imply Magic Missile, for argument sake.

In the case of a physical object being in the way of you and your target, say a wall, I understand that you lose a clear path to your target, although it would generate a lot of "cool" points if your Magic Missile would bend around a wall and hit your target. I am uncertain, however, about the interaction between being blinded, Clairvoyance, and ranged attacks/spells.

I am looking for RAW, as opposed to any house rules, and primarily focused on targeted spells and attacks, and not area-of-effect such as Fireball.

We can safely assume that range limitations of all attacks, spells, and Clairvoyance are not being exceeded.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say "I am looking for RAW": as opposed to what? I ask because I don't see anything in the problem that fits what we use the tag for here. (If it's just "I don't want house rules or unsupported opinion" then that doesn't need the tag, but if that's not what you mean, then there might be important information missing from the question.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 12 '17 at 15:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie If I understand what you mean, I edited the questions so it asks that I don't want house rules, but how the mechanics work as they are written. Should I then delete the RAW tag? \$\endgroup\$ – A.B. Jun 12 '17 at 15:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! Yeah, the RAW tag doesn't get used for "just the actual game's rules, no house rules", otherwise it would be used on nearly every question. In this case it sounds like it's not called for. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 12 '17 at 16:30
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Yes, Clairvoyance allows you to see through it's sensor

If you had the time to plan and set up Clairvoyance (10 minute casting time), you could "see" if you are in a heavily obscured area but the sensor is not.

There are other ways to either cast without the time requirement or through other magical means:

  1. Potion of Clairvoyance (DMG, 187)(Rare) - No casting time needed.
  2. Ring of X-ray vision (DMG, 193)(Rare, requires attunement) - See through solid matter. As Fog Cloud is a physical obstruction, this should work, but DM may rule otherwise.

But you still must have...A Clear Path to Target

While Clairvoyance gives you the required "visual confirmation" of the target, you are still ultimately casting the spell(you are not casting it through the sensor) and that still requires a clear path(PHB, 204.)

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover.

A target around a corner would be considered behind total cover from you. It is not the Fog Cloud that is creating the physical obstruction (it's only an area under the visual impairment of Heavily Obscured) but that something around a corner is under Total Cover.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Or if you use a magic items that grants the same effect (Potion of Clairvoyance for example ,SRD p. 233, DMG not sure). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 12 '17 at 15:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I'm happy to add any magic items that allow this, but couldn't find any that cast clairvoyance at will without the time requirement. Did I miss something? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 12 '17 at 15:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ When you drink this potion, you gain the effect of the clairvoyance spell. An eyeball bobs in this yellowish liquid but vanishes when the potion is opened It appears to take one action, so if you have a bonus action spell/cantrip available you could do it in the same turn. If not, next turn you can. (Not sure if DMG has further magic items, the potion is all I found in the SRD). IIRC, there are artifacts that have the option of major and minor properties being "Clairvoyance" but I am AFB at the moment. Orb of Dragonkind comes to mind, but its powers are variable. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 12 '17 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Thanks! The Orb doesn't work because the Major Beneficial (or minor) doesn't circumvent spellcasting times - just allows you to cast it (as far as I've read.) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 12 '17 at 15:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, and the scrying feature does not seem to apply. I am a bit surprised that there isn't a ring of clairvoyance ... maybe 5e got rid of those as being OP? Aha, Superman comes to the rescue: ring of X-Ray vision! (Yes, IIRC, that's where D&D got that item ... Superman's X-Ray Vision ...) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 12 '17 at 15:40
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I think the answer would depend on how familiar you are with the area you want to cast Clairvoyance in. The spell requires that you either are familiar with the area or you can reasonably know that area, such as behind a door. If you didn't or couldn't you could wind up casting your sensor within the fog cloud (hence no seeing)or outside the fog cloud but in a spot that is not capable of seeing your opponent.

That being said, the spell allows you to use seeing as if you were at the spot of the sensor, so any spell that requires sight should be castable with it (and if you cast it on the other side of the wall, your Magic Missile should bend around the wall to hit 😏)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Even if you were able to see the opponent behind a wall via Clairvoyance, you would still need to have line of sight from the start of the spell to the intended target. \$\endgroup\$ – A.B. Jun 12 '17 at 16:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @A.B. More technically Line of Effect, an old term from previous editions but still "in play" per Crawford on the Jan 19, 2017 Podcast on the Wizards site going over targeting. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jun 12 '17 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmouth -- I listened to that podcast and re-read the rules but am still not sure a case couldn't be made to bend around a wall unless Line of Effect has to be straight (which I admit I am unsure of). Cover provides protection in the form of bonuses to AC (making you harder to hit), but MM doesn't care how hard to hit you are, if I can see you, I can hit you (caveats about range). I sent off a letter to Sage Advice asking for clarification, but until then as a DM I'd probably rule RAI that as long as a path exists, regardless of whether it is straight, you can hit with spells. \$\endgroup\$ – Patrick Williams Jun 12 '17 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PatrickWilliams There is difference between knowing a location and being able to do something with that knowledge. You know where the target is, but if you don't have something that can get there using the rules, you don't have something that can get there using the rules. Magic Missile is a little bit of an edge case (and I wouldn't be against that table ruling), but it IS a table ruling. You still need a clear path, and having the spell make turns to hit something is not the standard. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 12 '17 at 21:02

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