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What happens if I have a Familiar (from the Find Familiar spell) hidden in a coat pocket (not a pocket dimension, just a regular pocket), and I use the Greater Invisibility spell on myself? Would it turn invisible with me, or would it remain visible, floating awkwardly in space?

You or a creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends. Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person.

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Yes, as long as it remains on your person

Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person.

The spell indicates "anything" you are carrying becomes invisible. It doesn't say "any objects", so there is no restriction that this does not apply to creatures you are carrying.

In fact, it seems like you could even be carrying this familiar in your hands rather than hidden in a pocket, and it would still remain invisible.

This also implies that any other creature you're carrying would share the invisibility.

If the familiar stopped being on your person, it would no longer be invisible.

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    \$\begingroup\$ ... Invisible Centaur Stack? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 '19 at 12:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Chronocidal doesn't work, as laid out here: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/122712/…. We can dream, though :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Vigil
    Apr 12 '19 at 12:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm a bit unclear on this answer: it seems to imply that if you were "carrying" another character you could also make them invisible. E.G. If a halfling was sitting on a half orc's shoulders and the half orc had greater invisibility cast on her, they would both become invisible. Was it your intent to suggest that the spell works this way? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 '19 at 16:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Gandalfmeansme yes, that was my intent - I believe the interpretation I am following here implies that to be the case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vigil
    Apr 12 '19 at 16:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch "Moving a Grappled Creature: When you move, you can drag or carry the Grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you." - seems clear you can carry while grappling, but I'm unsure how that affects the answer or in what context I should be citing it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vigil
    Jun 29 '19 at 15:09
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Yes, "anything" means "any object or creature" just as it does in the rest of the Player's Handbook.

The invisibility spell targets anything the target is wearing or carrying for as long as it is on the target’s person. The question many people ask is whether "anything" includes creatures. Based on the obvious interpretation of all other spells, "anything" would mean the same as "any object or creature."

The Player's Handbook uses the term "anything" in many different spells. Gate, Blink, Find Traps, Otiluke's Resilient Sphere, Reverse Gravity, Etherealness, and Rope Trick. In each case, "anything" clearly means "any creature or object". If it were being interpreted as just "any object" then the spell would be open to strange interpretations such as being able to attack other creatures through the resilient sphere or a creature not being able to travel through a gate.

For example:

  • The sphere is immune to all damage, and a creature or object inside can’t be damaged by attacks or effects originating from outside, nor can a creature inside the sphere damage anything outside it.

    Notice the writers simple replaced the words "creature or object" with the word "anything" in the second half of the sentence to avoid redundancy.

  • A disintegrate spell targeting the globe destroys it without harming anything inside it.

  • Anything inside the extradimensional space drops out when the spell ends.

  • You can’t see anything more than 60 feet away.

  • Anything that does so is instantly transported to the other plane, appearing in the unoccupied space nearest to the portal.

  • A trap, for the purpose of this spell, includes anything that would inflict a sudden or unexpected effect you consider harmful [...]

Does a detect traps spell detect a hidden snake trap? It wouldn't if it only detected traps that are objects.

When a rope trick ends, do the characters fall out of the extradimensional space or just the objects in their possession? It depends on what you think "anything" means.

In every case in the other spells, "anything" clearly includes "any creature".

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    – V2Blast
    Jul 19 at 17:13
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No; "anything" means "any object".

In the absence of special game definitions for terms, D&D 5e reverts to natural language in interpreting the rules.

The word "anything" is defined on Dictionary.com as:

pronoun

  1. any thing whatever; something, no matter what:
    Do you have anything for a toothache?

noun

  1. a thing of any kind.

The word "thing" has many definitions/uses, but its primary definition is:

noun

  1. a material object without life or consciousness; an inanimate object.

(Other dictionaries display similar definitions.)

In this context, what this means is that a spell like greater invisibility (when cast to target a single creature) turns the creature and any objects being worn (e.g. clothing) or carried (e.g. weapons) are invisible as long as the spell remains active. The word "anything" does not somehow make a single-target spell into a multiple-target spell just by the targeted creature carrying another creature.

Objects are defined in the basic rules/DMG:

For the purpose of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or a vehicle that is composed of many other objects.

This generally matches the definition of "thing" above.


A question in the 2019 Sage Advice Compendium addresses a very related topic:

Some spells (like eldritch blast) target a creature. Some others (like fire bolt) target objects too. Does this mean that I can’t attack the door with eldritch blast?

The target specifications (creature, object, or something else) in spells are intentional.

In this case, greater invisibility clearly targets a single creature at its lower level, and allows the invisibility to extend to "anything" worn or carried by the creature. In this context, it clearly uses a term used to refer to objects, and doesn't mention the word "creature". If the spell's benefits were meant to extend to creatures carried by the target, it would clearly say so.

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