This question: What are the drawbacks of a blind spellcaster? doesn't really touch on all the spells that are off-limits to a blind spellcaster.

As established in this question (Do you need line of sight to cast spells on someone?), you do not need to see the target unless it is a spell that states "that you can see".

I want to make a list of all such spells, but the only comprehensive online resource I know of, dndbeyond, has no "filter by spell text" option. What is a way to find out, short of reading through every spell in every book I own, what spell options are off-limits?

I'm not looking for ways to circumvent the blindness, such as magic items or spells like darkvision (whether or not that works).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, what issue are you trying to solve here? If you have a given NPC with a class then that would definitely limit options for example, and thus every spell would not be required for an answer. What issue are you trying to solve here? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 14:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster I am not asking for a list in the body, I'll change the title accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 14:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ so you're looking for an algorithm instead of its results, so-to-speak? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 14:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster note that "list question" on SE parlance refers to only a certain type of question and not every one that asks for a list of items qualifies. Though it seems irrelevant since this question is only asking for methods currently \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 14:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster See this meta on What are list questions?. '[A] list question means a question whose answers are a near-infinite, undifferentiated list.' Questions that are answerable with clearly defined and well-bounded lists do not fall into this category - though they nonethless are still often poorly received here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiggerous
    Apr 16, 2019 at 14:29

3 Answers 3


Two routes for you to find this, each with their respective drawbacks.

Search dndbeyond

dndbeyond does have free-text searching that can be filtered down. If you go to this link: https://www.dndbeyond.com/search?q=you%20can%20see&f=spells&c=spells it provides for you a list of all spells that includes the words 'you can see.' However, dndbeyond does not do phrase filtering, so you're going to get some extra results in there.

Personally, I wouldn't trust this option to catch everything. Dndbeyond's full-site-search is honestly a bit rubbish. I've had a experiences where it just doesn't find what I'm looking for, or leaves out relevant results. It's a good start, but I wouldn't count on it to be all-encompassing.


A bit of creative Google-fu can help you here as well. If you go to google and use the following search phrase...

"you can see" site:https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells

It will exclusively search through all spells in dndbeyond for the exact phrase "you can see." As a downside, this also includes homebrew spells...and adding a -homebrew to the search takes everything out, because the word 'homebrew' appears on every page on dndbeyond.

Alternately, if you're okay with limiting the list to publicly available data (i.e. spells covered by the OGL) and don't mind the risk of it being slightly inaccurate, you can refine your google search to target roll20's archive of spells instead. Make the search term...

"you can see" site:https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e

A quick look at the google results looks a lot cleaner...no homebrew. It might pick up a few class features in the process (since it isn't filtered on spells), but that should be the minority.


Neither of these options are perfect...but both are significantly better than manual perusal of the entire spell list.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your dndbeyond search doesn't include many of the spells that are off-limits, so you may also want to include that in your answer (for example, animal messenger and animal friendship). I didn't even think of the full site search, though XD. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BlakeSteel Yeah...I don't know why, but dndbeyond's search is a bit rubbish... \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 14:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Actually, it does. It's in the Navigation Bar at the top, under Creations. Google doesn't care where the text is if you give it an Exclusion...whether that's in the main text of the page, or in the navigation. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @guildsbounty ooh... thanks for pointing that out. And ouch, that really makes the native search's limitations more painful. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Apr 17, 2019 at 23:35

Well, I just paged through the Player's Handbook spells looking for the phrase "you can see". It took about 20 minutes. Unless I missed one or two, here's the list.

As you can see there are quite a few spells that are completely unusable to a blind caster (roughly a quarter of all spells in the book).

  • Animal Friendship
  • Animal Messenger
  • Animal Shapes
  • Arcane Gate
  • Bane
  • Banishment
  • Bigby's Hand
  • Blight
  • Call Lightning
  • Chain Lightning
  • Charm Person
  • Chromatic Orb
  • Command
  • Compelled Duel
  • Compulsion
  • Conjure Animals
  • Conjure Celestial
  • Conjure Fey
  • Conjure Minor Elementals
  • Conjure Woodland Beings
  • Counterspell
  • Crown of Madness
  • Demiplane
  • Detect Thoughts
  • Dimension Door
  • Disguise Self
  • Disintegrate
  • Divine Word
  • Dominate Beast
  • Dominate Monster
  • Dominate Person
  • Earthquake
  • Enlarge/Reduce
  • Enthrall
  • Etherealness
  • Evard's Black Tentacles
  • Eyebite
  • Fabricate
  • Feeblemind
  • Finger of Death
  • Flesh to Stone
  • Gate
  • Geas
  • Grasping Vine
  • Harm
  • Haste
  • Heal
  • Healing Word
  • Heat Metal
  • Hellish Rebuke
  • Hex
  • Hold Monster
  • Hold Person
  • Hunter's Mark
  • Imprisonment
  • Knock
  • Levitate
  • Magic Circle
  • Magic Jar
  • Magic Missile
  • Magic Mouth
  • Major Image
  • Mass Cure Wounds
  • Mass Healing Word
  • Mass Suggestion
  • Maze
  • Meteor Swarm
  • Misty Step
  • Modify Memory
  • Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound
  • Mordenkainen's Sword
  • Otto's Irresistible Dance
  • Passwall
  • Phantasmal Force
  • Phantasmal Killer
  • Poison Spray
  • Polymorph
  • Power Word Kill
  • Power Word Stun
  • Prayer of Healing
  • Prismatic Wall
  • Project Image
  • Sacred Flame
  • Seeming
  • Spirit Guardians
  • Storm of Vengeance
  • Suggestion
  • Tasha's Hideous Laughter
  • Telekinesis
  • Teleport
  • Tenser's Floating Disk
  • True Polymorph
  • Vicious Mockery
  • Water Breathing
  • Water Walk
  • Wind Walk
  • Wish (first four examples)
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    \$\begingroup\$ While this is helpful, and I appreciate you finding these spells, I had 2 reasons for wanting a method to find the list, as opposed to a list. 1) you did 20 minutes of work that I didn't want to put you through for 2) a list that will become deprecated when more spells are released. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2019 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation about the organization of the list has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Apr 17, 2019 at 23:32

tl;dr: There is no legal way to do so that is faster than looking at the spells manually.

Besides D&D Beyond and physical copies of the source books, there is no legal way to acquire information about the spells in 5e (excluding SRD content). Since D&D Beyond doesn't offer what you want, and you don't want to scour the books manually, you don't really have any legal option available.

What you can do is find a website that allows you to full-text-search SRD content. I don't know such a site, however, and I believe asking for one specifically would be off-topic here. Obviously, this only covers the spells in the SRD, but it's a good start as opposed to nothing.

Since your profile indicates that you're web developer, you could search the source code of the HTML documents listing the spells.

More specifically, you could iterate over https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells?page=X, where X is the page (duh). The links to each spell is in the format of <a href="/spells/spellname" class="link">Spell Name</a>. Regex-searching for those links (and excluding those that link to classes, depending on your regex search term) yields a list of the HTML documents for all spells.

The spells' HTML documents contain the spell description inside a <div class="more-info-content">.

Considering that you're a web developer, you should be able to figure out the rest yourself (I'm not sure if it would be legally ok if I provided a full implementation, even if I had the spare time).

Either way, this might not necessarily be faster than manually searching the spells, but if I had to do this, that's probably how I would do it, just because it feels efficient (even if it's not). The curse of every computer scientist ^^

Do note that, depending on how you implement this, you're going to have to make your script login to D&D Beyond, otherwise you won't be able to access non-SRD-content. Or you download all the non-SRD-HTML pages manually, but that defeats the whole purpose of automation.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Emphasis on no legal option, since I'm pretty sure that there are websites other than DnD Beyond that archive all of DnD 5e's rules content - just not legally. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Apr 17, 2019 at 6:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 yeah, probably. But advertising illegal sites is discouraged around here (for good reason), which is why I intentionally left that option out, or at least didn't mention “illegal sites“; “What you can do is find a website that allows you to full-text-search SRD content“ effectively describes what you're referring to. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 17, 2019 at 6:22

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