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In the spell Greater Invisibility the following effects are noted:

You or a creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends. Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person.

In the second part of the effects, it states that anything is deemed invisible as long as it is on the target's person. From an other question I have a simple answer.


However, I'm interested in borderline cases:

Are, for example, the following items when set/connected, still invisible while I'm touching it?: chains, nets, ropes, traps

An example: I place chains on a creature, but am still holding one of the chains. Are the chains invisible because I'm still holding them?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Highly related, maybe even a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jun 15 '17 at 9:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is related, but in my case it is interacting with other creatures, I'll update the title. \$\endgroup\$ – Inferno IV Jun 15 '17 at 9:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to edit your question to make it a little clearer that you're interested in borderline cases where it's not clear whether a particular object does or doesn't count as being "on your person." \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Jun 15 '17 at 10:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe I changed the title to "Is a long object currently being used still considered “On Person”?" \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jun 15 '17 at 13:31
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A simple test for borderline cases: Is the item under your control?

I think this test is a little easier to adjudicate and is a little tighter than the "possession" and "50% support" tests. Simply enough, does the character have the ability to drop, throw, or manipulate the item at will? (When applying this test, we ignore any conditions that the person is under, such as Restrained or Petrified.)

In the case of the man holding the chain constraining the other man, the answer would be, Only the links he controls turn invisible.

Suppose that it is the man in the chains that is Invisible. He is restrained from actually manipulating the chains, but the chains (or the portion on his body) should be invisible - if he wasn't restrained they would be under his control just as his clothes are. But if he was in a set of stocks, the stocks would not be invisible, as he would not control the stocks even if he wasn't stuck in them.

Suppose the fellow is chained up, invisible, and Petrified. The chains would be invisible, since he would be in control if only the conditions didn't apply. Suppose another person removed the chains from him. The moment the second person has control over the chains, they become visible.

It's a simple, intuitive test. It is consistent with how many other spells work. It's hard to abuse the rule. And I believe it matches our general expectations.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Where does "under your control" end in the case of an item like a rope or chain. I'll take a better example, an invisible person is holding a fishing rod and casts the hook out into an empty space. Assuming the line is not "invisible" naturally (transparent fiber) as we are interested in the magical invisibility effect at what point does "the object that is the fishing rod, line, hook, and sinker" stop being invisible? Apply that back to a chain that is stretched out across a room, into a pit, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – Draco18s Jun 15 '17 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ At the same point where, should another character attempt to interact with the item, the DM would require a roll. A lure in the water is clearly not under the person's control (since the point of a fishing lure is that the fisherman relinquishes control to make it easy for the fish to bite). But the rod is just as clearly under his control and thus invisible. Where exactly the line disappears? Eh . . . that's why we have DMs. \$\endgroup\$ – pokep Jun 15 '17 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did say "empty space" ;) But yes, there is some relinquished control involved with fishing. But the "50% of weight supported" when holding a rope leading down into a chasm conflicts with a "notion of relinquished control over the other end." It's a fuzzy scenario and it's that fuzziness that the question is trying to resolve. \$\endgroup\$ – Draco18s Jun 15 '17 at 17:15
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On Person is something in your possession

In your possession means either in storage or actively being held by you (backpack vs holding a weapon.) This would be the case, otherwise going 'invisible' would leave you with either your weapon floating or things you're carrying still visible. The link you provided in your question shows that all goods in your possession at time of casting are invisible.

Once you remove the item from your person (drop the weapon, for instance) it is no longer invisible.

Specific Case: The Chain(s)

As long as you are still in possession of (holding) a chain, that chain remains invisible. Just like when you're holding a weapon, that weapon is invisible. As long as the physical connection persists, the requirement of "on your person" is still met.

I do think there is enough of a gray area to add a bit on doing something cool.

Rule of Cool

There is enough of a gray area here on whether or not the chains are still 'on your person'. They aren't like a weapon you hold to hit with, ut they are still in your possession. Given the visuals of this are pretty cool, I think a ruling FOR invisible is fine, but it is grey enough to allow a DM to say otherwise.

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It's probably best to interpret "on your person" literally.

If you lean a piece of wood up against your desk, it's not on your desk, it's on the floor. If you are supporting at least 50% of the weight of an object, then it can reasonably be said to be "on" your person (i.e. it's on you). If you wrap chains around a person, and that person is supporting the bulk of the weight of the chains, then the chains are "on" that person, even if you're still holding the ends of the chain.

Ultimately, it's up to the DM.

Whenever you have to interpret natural language to understand the rules, the DM is going to have to make a judgement call. The rules have already given you all the help that they can.

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