For example, a wizard casts scrying to peer into the big bad's lair, where his pet umber hulk happens to be lounging. Would you rule that the caster must deal with the effects of the umber hulk's gaze attack since his vantage point is within 30', or would he be safe from the umber hulk's confusion ability since he physically is still miles away?

I have a feeling it's the latter, taking the rules strictly as written, but I'm open to the possibility there was a clarification published somewhere that I'm not aware of.

I'm also curious if the answer would be any different for sound-based effects, such as a chasme's droning or a satyr's pipes.


2 Answers 2


RAW, no, it wouldn't affect the caster of scrying.

The umber hulk's Confusing Gaze (MM, p. 292) specifies that it takes effect when

a creature starts its turn within 30 feet of the umber hulk and is able to see the umber hulk's eyes.

Scrying an umber hulk would satisfy being able to see its eyes, but the wizard is well outside of 30 feet, and isn't starting their turn aside from that. A chasme (MM, p. 57) has the same qualification. I can't find relevant information for satyrs online.

Gazes aren't recognized as separate types of attacks in fifth edition, so a blanket judgement can't be made.

However, this feels very silly to me, personally, and I feel this is a situation where the rules should bend to in-universe logic. In the case of the umber hulk, I wouldn't hit the wizard with Confusing Gaze unless the creature could see invisible things and noticed the scrying sensor, but I would target them with a chasme's Drone.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Usually it's best to wait until you have all the information instead of including qualifiers for partial answers like "I'll crack open my monster manual [later]". This isn't a typical discussion forum, and we try focus on good questions and high quality answers (which yours could be with some refining). Take our tour for more details. Also, if you offer a house rule as an answer (your last paragraph) you should back it up with play experience or more detailed references for why your approach is a good one for the OP to use. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 19:17
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ From a personal standpoint, using some form of distance viewing feels like a very traditional way to avoid gaze attacks... i.e. I'm not going to look AT Medusa, I'm just going to use this mirror here... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2018 at 23:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Satyr MM entry is on p. 267, with the "Variant: Panpipes" sidebar: "Panpipes. The satyr plays its pipes and chooses one of the following magical effects: a charming melody, a frightening strain, or a gentle lullaby. Any creature within 60 feet of the satyr that can hear the pipes must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be affected as described below. Other satyrs and creatures that can’t be charmed are unaffected." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 6:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ measuring distance from the caster's physical location also has the disadvantage that it behaves differently if you scy an umber hulk that's sitting in the room next to you, or at the right distance might even change as the creature with the gaze attack moves. \$\endgroup\$
    – Silver
    Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 20:13

Yes, the caster would be affected

I've thought about this some more, and I think the answer lies not in the description of the creatures' various gaze attacks, but in the text of scrying itself. From PHB, under the description of the Scrying spell:

On a failed save, the spell creates an invisible sensor within 10 feet of the target. You can see and hear through the sensor as if you were there. The sensor moves with the target, remaining within 10 feet of it for the duration. A creature that can see invisible objects sees the sensor as a luminous orb about the size of your fist. (emphasis mine)

The line "as if you were there" would seem to answer any questions regarding range- for purposes of sensory effects, it is as though the viewer were present. That means the scryer can be affected by sight and sonic based attacks as long as the scrying sensor is within range, regardless of the actual distance to the caster. This makes intuitive sense as well as matching RAW (and also makes scrying a little riskier, which is awesome)

This is both good and bad for the scryer

Note that, while this does put the scryer at risk of becoming charmed, confused, frightened or turned to stone by a target they scry on, it also resolves any confusion about special senses and range, so a scryer with Truesight or Darkvision could use those senses, even though physically they are far out of range.


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