Suppose a Sorcerer with Subtle Spell is blindfolded, and has their hands tied behind their back. Could they Subtle cast telekinesis to remove the blindfold?

The relevant part of the spell description:

When you cast the spell, and as your action each round for the duration, you can exert your will on one creature or object that you can see within range, causing the appropriate effect below.

In short, do they see the blindfold when they open their eyes (even if the blindfold is pitch black)?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So it boils down to "can you see perfectly black item"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Aug 1, 2019 at 8:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Blindfold's don't have an existing ruleset, how is your DM (or you if you're the DM) ruling how it works? Does it give the Blinded condition? Or something else? Given your use of the "blind" tag, you seem to be directing that they are suffering from the 'blinded' condition. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Aug 1, 2019 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean RAW, or something else? Consider adding a tag. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2019 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WakiNadiVellir Not sure I understand what you're asking/recommending OP to do. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Aug 1, 2019 at 20:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it an ordinary blindfold or a magical one? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast
    Aug 2, 2019 at 14:09

3 Answers 3


Yes, but going by RAW you'd have to contest your own strength

The definition of "see" means you can visualise the target or include it in at least one of your sight senses; as the only thing blocking your normal sight is the blindfold, the blindfold is currently in your vision.

However, going by the rules as written, there's a hilarious wrinkle:

If the object is worn or carried by a creature, you must make an ability check with your spellcasting ability contested by that creature's Strength check. If you succeed, you pull the object away from that creature and can move it up to 30 feet in any direction but not beyond the range of this spell.

As there is no listed exception for objects being worn by the person casting Telekinesis, you'd have to contest your own Strength check against your own spellcasting ability to be able to successfully remove the blindfold from yourself.

Of course, this is pretty ludicrous and I imagine most GMs would choose not to enforce that unless you'd really annoyed them that day. :P


No, the PC is Blind

The problem here is that you have been blinded. I am making an assumption (but will update if the question clarifies) that the character is now blind based on the tag included in the question itself.

If they are blind, they can not see. It's not that they only see the blindfold, but that they cannot see at all. If they can't see, then they don't meet the spell's requirement.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That was my initial thought NautArch, but I would argue that the blindfold itself is an exception to the condition because it is the thing that's causing the condition in the first place. You can't see anything past the blindfold, but if your sight sense is still active and the only thing in its way is an object in front of you, I would say you're able to see the object. It does depend on how the GM mechanically implements the blindfold though, as you commented. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2019 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnClifford There are no exceptions to the condition. If the condition applies, it applies. A DM can always rule differently, but you didn't state any different mechanic about the blindfold so I didn't apply anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Aug 1, 2019 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then I shall await OP clarifying and amend my answer to acknowledge yours as the right one if the blindfold is causing Blinded. :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2019 at 15:29
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ the only thing in its way is an object in front of you, I would say you're able to see the object - strictly speaking I don't think that's the case. If a blindfold is truly opaque, and fully covering your eyes, there will be no light "inside" it (between it and your character's eyes). Sight works by way of light hitting our eyes. There's no light to reflect off the "inside" surface of the blindfold to hit your eyes. So you can't see the blindfold. \$\endgroup\$
    – dwizum
    Aug 1, 2019 at 18:29
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @dwizum That assumes that real world physics operate the usual way in D&D, which isn't a valid assumption. Consider a blindfolded person with darkvision, for instance. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 1, 2019 at 19:14

I would rule yes, they can

with a note below.

The requirement for exerting your will is that you can see the target, that is the blindfold. Unless you are in darkness, you would be able to see the blindfold. The amount of light needed to see the blindfold is open to the DM's ruling. As a general rule, you would be able to see the blindfold if at least the blindfold is within dim light area.

The blindfold being worn is actually not a concern, because you won't resist.

Note: Stricter (and ridiculous) reading would require you to still perform the contest. The DM may grant advantage to spellcasting ability roll and disadvantage for strength roll for not resisting, though.

If the blindfold is secured with a knot, more realistic DM might consider whether you can't see the knot. Most of the times you can't see the knot, thus won't be able to untie the blindfold. You might still be able to remove the blindfold, though, if it's not tightly secured.

Note: Stricter reading would disregard the position of knot. You can see the blindfold, so you can manipulate the knot wherever it is.

So, I would ask myself these questions:

  1. Is the blindfold in darkness? If yes, the answer is no.
  2. Is the blindfold secured with a knot? If yes, most likely the answer is no.
  3. Else, yes, you can remove the blindfold.

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