Can a warlock use the Ghostly Gaze eldritch invocation to see objects affected by the invisibility spell or those within the area of effect of the darkness spell?

More specifically, do the objects within a warlock's sight appear as ghostly, transparent images no matter whatever special effect may be on them?

Which specific overrides the general rule? Invisibility & magical darkness, or the Ghostly Gaze?


3 Answers 3


No, Ghostly Gaze does not work that way

The Eldritch Invocation Ghostly Gaze from Xanathar's is explicit in how it works:

As an action, you gain the ability to see through solid objects to a range of 30 feet. Within that range, you have darkvision if you don’t already have it. This special sight lasts for 1 minute or until your concentration ends (as if you were concentrating on a spell). During that time, you perceive objects as ghostly, transparent images.

Nowhere in that description does it grant you the ability to see in Darkness or to see Invisible Objects.

In fact, both of those already do have mechanical options available to do so: The Eldritch Invocation Devil's Sight is what allows you to see in magical darkness and the spell See Invisibility allows you to see invisible objects. The language in those mechanics specifically allows for those interactions while the language in Ghostly Gaze does not.

There is no reason to think that such language is implicitly added. Without calling out explicitly that Ghostly Gaze grants vision in magical darkness or the ability to see invisible objects, you can not just add those mechanics to it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That was my inclination. Thank you for verifying. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2018 at 20:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It might also be worth clarifying what that last sentence is trying to say: that you're able to see through solid objects (that are visible to you with darkvision, at least), but you still know they're there by seeing the faded images of them (so you don't run into a solid door, for example). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 8, 2018 at 6:55


My gut says no for two reasons:

  1. Spells only do what they say they do. But then I thought: Ghostly Gaze is not a spell, however, so maybe it applies to all objects.

  2. But then the invocation specifically calls out darkvision, and that leads me to think that the designers thought it necessary to inform us that humans could use this to see in a normal-dark room behind a closed door. And since they were so specific, they probably didn't intend for us to interpret the invocation more broadly to include seeing invisible objects in that normal dark room or objects within a magically dark room.

But I could be wrong. I have been once or twice.



Ghostly gaze gives you the ability to see through solid objects, but darkness is not a solid object so no benefit is granted. You get darkvision, too, but as Darkness states, that is of no help to you, either.


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