Just to be very clear, this question is very much related to, but distinct from a previous question I asked a few years ago: Does Darkness cast a shadow? - I still am not quite satisfied with SevenSidedDie's very excellent answer (they usually are, aren't they?). This question asks does light penetrate through the darkness spell or does darkness cast a shadow. And it is distinct from Does the Darkness spell block vision?, which asks if the darkness blocks vision through it.

Is the Darkness spell visible from the outside? To make the question more clear, if darkness were cast on the surface of a flat plane, would I see a spot of darkness on the ground, or would I see a hemisphere above the ground?

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    \$\begingroup\$ How is this question different from the other one? As far as I can tell it is the exact same question but with different examples. If you are not satisfied with the answers to the other question, you should a bounty on the other question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruse
    Mar 20, 2019 at 22:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is not asking the same question. One asks, does the light shine through and illuminate things behind it, the second one asks if I am inside, can I see what's outside. This one is can I see through it and see what's illuminated on the other side of the darkness spell. I am sorry, it's not a duplicate at all to either of the other two questions. Unduplicate please. \$\endgroup\$
    – Escoce
    Mar 21, 2019 at 11:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ While the title of the first duplicate "Does the darkness spell block vision out of the area", the body of the question absolutely covers this one with the question about acting as a barrier to vision. I'm not seeing how this isn't a duplicate other than that question needing an update to it's title to match the body question (and the answers.) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Mar 21, 2019 at 12:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Then this is a dupe. It's asking the same thing (whether or not it blocks vision). It sounds like this is more of a different answer to that question (you think it may not) and should be submitted as such if that's your belief. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Mar 21, 2019 at 14:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Escoce I apologise for the frustration, I'll try to better explain why I believe your question is a duplicate (and why I'm starting to believe the other two questions are also duplicates of each other). All three questions are different ways of asking "is it opaque?" If the darkness is opaque, then it must be visible, block vision, and cast a shadow. If light passes through the darkness, then the darkness is not visible, it doesn't block vision and doesn't cast a shadow. Answering any of the three questions automatically answers the other two. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruse
    Mar 21, 2019 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


No, you can't see through it

A creature with darkvision can’t see through this darkness, and nonmagical light can’t illuminate it.

Think of the darkness spell as working a lot like a cloud of dark vapour. You can't see through it, even with darkvision.

Magical darkness spreads from a point you choose within range to fill a 15-foot-radius sphere for the duration.

If you cast it on a flat plain it would be a hemisphere above ground since it spreads in a sphere from the target location.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Allan, can you improve your answer with supporting textual evidence from the rules? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Mar 20, 2019 at 23:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer would be greatly improved by providing information why it would be so. Downvote was not from me, for what it is worth, but I kinda see where it is coming from. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Mar 20, 2019 at 23:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Much better, +1. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Mar 21, 2019 at 12:52

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