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In XGE, the Gloom Stalker level 3 feature "Umbral Sight" states that a Gloom Stalker is invisible to any creature that relies on darkvision to see you in the darkness. (p. 42, XGE)

That sounds like a permanent effect, but I was wondering if there had been any official word on whether or not this effect could be more or less turned off or on at will.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ you should use more tags... without a D&D5 tag is hard to "guess" what XGE means (Xanathar's Guide to Everything)... \$\endgroup\$ Feb 6, 2018 at 23:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was only able to use 1 tag due to being new here. Sorry. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2018 at 1:22

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The key here is the description of Umbral Sight in Xanathar's Guide.

You are also adept at evading creatures that rely on darkvision. While in darkness, you are invisible to any creature that relies on darkvision to see you in that darkness.

To me, this implies that for the invisibility to occur, the ranger must be actively evading the creature relying on darkvision.

I looked over at Jeremy Crawford's twitter to see if he answered a similar question. Someone posed the same question as you in late 2017, but unfortunately did not receive a response.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that many of Crawford's answer with respect to class features are all along the same line: You choose whether or not to use them. For instance, I can elect to move how I please in favoured terrain as a Ranger. I don't HAVE to move at a fast pace just because we've been travelling for an hour. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2018 at 15:38
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I tweeted this question at Mike Mearls:

Quick question: Can a Gloom Stalker choose to be seen by creatures relying on darkvision in darkness, or is it a permanent effect? Thanks!

And he responded:

I believe you can always choose to make yourself visible to a creature.

In other words, yes, you can more or less "turn on/off" the Umbral Sight feature at will.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that Mearls' rulings are not official, and have often been wrong. Only Jeremy Crawford's rulings are considered official, as he's the rules designer for 5e. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 11, 2018 at 3:06
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Officially, no, not that I have heard. I have always considered attributes like that to not be under the player's control. It adds a dimension of risk and strategy when you think a buff like that can only be positive but there could actually be a downside that the enemy can outsmart.

However, that being said, you can modify the scenario so that the creature is no longer relying on darkvision, which will bypass that power.

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