The description of Truesight says:

A monster with truesight can, out to a specific range, see in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceive the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic. Furthermore, the monster can see into the Ethereal Plane within the same range.

The True Seeing spell description says:

This spell gives the willing creature you touch the ability to see things as they actually are. For the duration, the creature has truesight, notices secret doors hidden by magic, and can see into the Ethereal Plane, all out to a range of 120 feet.

The Detect Magic spell description says:

For the duration, you sense the presence of magic within 30 feet of you. If you sense magic in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that bears magic, and you learn its school of magic, if any.

Though I realize these are different things, I cannot help but notice the common trait of the awareness of magic within, or around objects or creatures. While Truesight and True Seeing seems to unravel the magic and is able to see beyond it, Detect Magic is only able to sense that something is magical until it uses an action. Given that all three have awareness about the magical world, would a creature that has truesight, or one that has True Seeing cast on it, also be able to tell if a weapon or object has a magical property or not?


1 Answer 1


Truesight does not directly give awareness of magic

It's important to note that while truesight allows a creature to see through any kind of magic that hides the true form of something, it doesn't "highlight" the magic that is doing the hiding. For example, if you find a door that is hidden by magic using truesight, you don't automatically find out that the door was magically hidden, you just notice the door when you otherwise would have failed to see it. Similarly, if you peer into magical darkness and see an object you otherwise couldn't see, you don't automatically know that the object was hidden by magical darkness. In fact, with truesight, you probably couldn't easily tell the difference between magical and mundane darkness.

So, unlike detect magic, truesight does not directly tell an observer what is and is not magic. Instead, it shows things as they really are and reveals any illusions as false, and the observer must make their own inferences about what might be magic based on discrepancies in what they see. In particular, any magic that does not create an illusion or hide or obfuscate the true form of something will appear the same with and without truesight.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah ok. so it's more like being blind to illusion.. ok. In that case, if someone was using an illusion to hide a door, Truesight would still see it, unaware it's hidden, but someone using Detect Magic would KNOW there's something off about that area, but not be able to see it, correct? \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Mar 20, 2019 at 6:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB A person with True Sight would know it is an illusion (not see through it). A person with true seeing would see through the illusion (and know it is there). A person with detect magic would detect an illusion magic aura around the barrier. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20, 2019 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ "automatically detect visual illusions" tells me that they would know things were hidden by illusions, like a feint ghostly image they can see through, rather than not seeing anything at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Mar 20, 2019 at 13:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB It depends on the nature of the illusion. You must read the specific spell or effect to see how the illusion will appear to someone who recognizes it as an illusion. Many illusions simply appear hollow or translucent once recognized as illusions, but some do other things. Regardless, a creature with truesight always recognizes that the illusion is not real. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20, 2019 at 15:11

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