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Scenario:

I have cast Blink on a previous turn and I am facing a solid wall with at least 5 feet of empty space on both sides. During my turn I ready an action with the following trigger: "When I enter the ethereal plane, I move 10 feet forward."

When my turn ends, I enter the ethereal plane and use my reaction to execute my readied move which lets me pass through the wall so that I end up on the other side.

I can now no longer see the space I vanished from, but I can see a space on the other side of the wall I passed through which is within 10 feet of the space I vanished from.

Assumptions:

  • I roll 11 or higher on the end of turn D20 roll for Blink
  • I can execute a readied move while in the ethereal plane. (as per this Q&A)
  • I can move through walls while I am moving in the ethereal plane. (as per the same Q&A)

Reference material:

Blink says the following on returning to the material plane:

you return to an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 10 feet of the space you vanished from.

Questions to answer:

When my next turn starts can I reappear on my original side of the wall even though I can't see it anymore?

Conversely, can I reappear on the other side of the wall since I can see it and it is within 10 feet of my starting location?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yannick, please consider taking the "bonus scenario" and making it a separate question, being sure to link to this question as related in the text of that separate question. I think that both questions have enough meat in them to stand up and attract decent answers. For further guidance on this, please take a look at this meta \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 9 '18 at 3:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @YannickMG I agree with Korvin. The bonus question should be asked in a separate question. Note how none of the answers here have even touched on it. However, there is no reason to delete this question. Simply edit the bonus out and put it in a new question. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jun 9 '18 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I went ahead and removed the bonus scenario. \$\endgroup\$ – Yannick MG Jun 9 '18 at 21:37
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Yes, you can use Blink to reappear on the other side of a wall.

At the start of you next turn, and when the spell ends if you are on the Ethereal Plane, you return to an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 10 feet of the space you vanished from. (PHB pg. 219)

Notice how this does not say "...from within 10 feet of the space you vanished from." or "...that you can see from the space you vanished from."

Therefore I interpret the wording as "any space within 10 feet of the casting origin you can currently see."

A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible and utterly silent to someone on the overlapped plane, and solid objects on the overlapped plane don't hamper the movement of a creature in the Border Ethereal. The exceptions are certain magical effects (including anything made of magical force) and living beings. This makes the Ethereal Plane ideal for reconnaissance, spying on opponents, and moving around without being detected. The Ethereal Plane also disobeys the laws of gravity; a creature there can move up and down as easily as walking. (DMG pg. 48, emphasis mine)

So you cast Blink close to a wall, roll over 11, move to other side of the wall and, since you are still within 10 feet of your starting location, you return to the material at the start of your next turn where you are currently standing (Or some other square within 10 feet of the origin).

Be sure you already have some idea as to what's on the other side of the wall; You do not want to travel into the wall just to find out it is too wide and pop back into the material while still inside!

Note: 10 feet in DnD is only 2 squares, so you would have to cast Blink right next to the wall.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems a more accurate reading. I would add, however, that before using any shenanigan (even if it is allowed by RAW) you should talk to your DM, as a player. If you are the DM, be careful about abuses of that shenanigan. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 9 '18 at 8:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HellSaint I agree, to an extent. But a thicker wall prevents any shenanigans where they are not wanted. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Jun 9 '18 at 8:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ where is the information that "while on the Ethereal, you can see through the wall" coming from? The text you quoted says that objects don't hamper movement, but says nothing about them being seethrough. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Jun 9 '18 at 9:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ruse I believe I was thinking of the final bit of this answer here and crossing wires. You're right, though, in that the text doesn't mention it and I have removed it from the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Jun 9 '18 at 10:36
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You can only appear to squares you can see that is within ten feet of where you disappeared.

If for some reason you can no longer see your original square you cannot choose to apear there, (darkness, etc).

If you cannot see an unoccupied square within ten feet of where you entered the Ethereal Plane, then you appear in the closest unoccupied square (whether you can see that square or not). If more than one square is equally close, you appear in a randomly selected one.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If this is the right answer (which I'm not convinced of) I think it could be further clarified in regards to the timing. I added a bonus scenario to help explore the implications of this answer so it can be improved. \$\endgroup\$ – Yannick MG Jun 9 '18 at 3:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can see why it would be read that way, but the way it's worded is subject to interpretation just by how you parse the sentence: "...that you can see within 10 feet of the space you vanished from." Considering this may be important information, it may be helpful to expand your answer beyond paraphrasing. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Jun 9 '18 at 7:29
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No. You are limited to locations within 10' that you can see.

And that limitation is the same on the Ethereal and the Material planes.

There is a common misconception that ethereal creatures can see through solid objects on the material plane. However, this is not stated in the RAW and there is nothing in the text that suggests such a ruling was intended. The text mentions that the ethereal plane is "ideal for reconnaissance", but references only that the traveler is "invisible and utterly silent" and "solid objects on the overlapped plane don't hamper ... movement". It seems unlikely that the editors would have left out such an important property as the invisibility/translucence of solid objects from this list if it was, in fact, intended.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is not asking whether you can see through the wall, it is asking if you could travel through the wall and appear on the other side. If the character moves through the wall using a readied action, then the spot immediately on the other side of the wall will be both visible and within 10 feet of their starting position, satisfying the requirements. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Jun 9 '18 at 16:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ But that space is not one "that you can see within 10 feet of the space you vanished from." \$\endgroup\$ – pokep Jun 9 '18 at 18:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ More specifically this question doesn't assume that you can see though solid objects as part of it's theory and setup, so it's not clear how your answer matches up with it. \$\endgroup\$ – Yannick MG Jun 9 '18 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you walk 10 feet through the wall to the other side, then your current space is within 10 feet of where you vanished from, and you can see your current space. That makes it a valid choice for where to reappear. In fact, if you did so, the space you started from would not be a valid choice since you can no longer see it. You wouldn't be able to return on that turn even if you wanted to. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Jun 9 '18 at 21:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand your point . . . I simply am stating that the term "that you can see withing 10' of the space you vanished from" means "that you can see from the space you vanished from". And regardless of what plane you are on, you can't see the space across the wall from the space you vanished from. Perhaps I over-explained that point. \$\endgroup\$ – pokep Jun 9 '18 at 21:15

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