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See invisibility is a handy 2nd level spell that says:

For the duration, you see invisible creatures and objects as if they were visible, and you can see into the Ethereal Plane. Ethereal creatures and objects appear ghostly and translucent.

Does this mean that someone affected by this spell can see air?

This question is academic, but inspired by seeing this setup where air becomes visible. However, some useful things that arise from seeing air are:

  • Quickly finding where the burning fuse of a pack of dynamite is

  • Seeing the pace of breathing of creatures, which is useful for insight

  • Knowing the relative warmth or coolness of things, as warm air rises and cool air sinks


There are Q's already focused on defining what an object is (1, 2), but I am not asking if air is an object, and the nature of air does not necessarily determine the answer to this Q.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 16 '17 at 12:23
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Being invisible and being transparent are two different things. Air is not invisible, it refracts light (that is why the sky is blue). It is simply highly transparent. Thus this spell does not interact with the way you percieve air.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 16 '17 at 12:24
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No

Szega has the logical answer down...so I'll look at the RAW answer

As you quoted, See Invisibility does the following

For the duration, you see invisible creatures and objects as if they were visible, and you can see into the Ethereal Plane. Ethereal creatures and objects appear ghostly and translucent.

Is air a Creature or Object? Well, obviously it is not a Creature...but for Object, we can cite how the DMG defines 'Object' on page 246...

For the purpose of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or a vehicle that is composed of many other objects.

Is air a discrete, inanimate item? No, It is not.

Therefore, even if the air was 'invisible' (which as the other answer indicates, it is not), it's not an object, and thus would not be revealed by See Invisibility.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 16 '17 at 12:24

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