I am playing as a Warlock with the Misty Visions Eldritch Invocation. I see a group of enemies, and I cast Silent Image to create a 15 x 15 rock in the space(s) that they are occupying.

If they succeed on their saving throw, they'd be able to see through it, but if they fail, they should be blind? Shouldn't they?

Maybe they see rock right in from of their eyes, what if I cast an image of Obsidian?, or Basalt? or Black Concrete? Can I blind them, or make them think they are blind?

Misty Visions Description:

You can cast silent image at will, without expending a spell slot or material components

Silent Image Description:

You create the image of an object, a creature, or some other visible phenomenon that is no larger than a 15-foot cube. The image appears at a spot within range and lasts for the duration. The image is purely visual; it isn't accompanied by sound, smell, or other sensory effects.

You can use your action to cause the image to move to any spot within range. As the image changes location, you can alter its appearance so that its movements appear natural for the image. For example, if you create an image of a creature and move it, you can alter the image so that it appears to be walking.

Physical interaction with the image reveals it to be an illusion, because things can pass through it. A creature that uses its action to examine the image can determine that it is an illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the creature can see through the image.


2 Answers 2


Problem number 1: physical interaction reveals the illusion

Physical interaction with the image reveals it to be an illusion I see a group of enemies, and I cast Silent Image to create a 15 x 15 rock in the space(s) that they are occupying.

If you wrap the illusory rock around someone that way, they are in contact with it. Even minor movement puts them into a physical interaction with it- touch - and thus reveals it to be an illusion. If the illusion is revealed, they can see through it.

If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the creature can see through the image.

Problem number 2: you cannot create the blinded condition that way

The use of illusions can obscure or block vision, such that if the illusion is not seen through (Int Check or Int Save) an obstruction to line of sight is created. There are a variety of ways to do this, to include the scenario you present. One I have seen in play is the use of a minor illusion of a door to block the line of site to a small ally of mine: a gnome.

Blinded is a condition with an explicit mechanical effect

• A blinded creature can’t see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight.
• Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage. (PHB, Appendix A)

Nowhere in the spell text of silent image does it say that it afflicts the target with the blinded condition. Your DM could rule otherwise.

Compare with this spell, sunburst:

Each creature in that light must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 12d6 radiant damage and is blinded for 1 minute. (Basic Rules 2018, p. 106)

This explicitly inflicts the blinded condition.

Bottom line: this won't work out as proposed

What might work: cast a dome of rock, 15' tall over them. The illusion is that they are inside of a dome, but the rock does not touch them. Initially, that will block line of sight 360. Once they interact with the dome, though, by touch or other interaction, they'll see it to be an illusion just as with the case in Problem #1. But that is a round or two of those enemies not being able to see what you are doing, provided they don't make the int save/int check.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The question isn't whether it imposes the Blinded condition, but whether it can blind people. Blocking their line of sight in all directions will do that, and has the same mechanical effect as the Blinded condition. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 17:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells No it does not. losing line of sight does not be default defeat all visual ability checks. As to advantage/disadvantage, that's another mechanical effect that simply not having line of site does not create. Sometimes, it utterly prevents attacks/spells from being possible. The problem with using that term is that there is a discrete condition that is blinded. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ The effect of having your line of sight obstructed is defined by reference to the Blinded condition. "A heavily obscured area--such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage--blocks vision entirely. A creature effectively suffers from the blinded condition when trying to see something in that area." This includes disadvantage on attack rolls (under the Unseen Attackers and Targets rules). \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 18:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells If the illusion cast was of a dome that did not touch the enemy, it might work like fog cloud, depending on saves or int checks. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 18:10


You can use silent image to make someone unable to see you and most other things. That does not give them the blinded condition, but it will replicate many of that condition's effects. For example, if you use silent image to make an illusory wall and you stand behind that wall you will have advantage on your attacks against a target who cannot see you and they will have disadvantage on attacking you back. Note, however, that physical interaction with the illusion reveals it to be false, which means that if you put someone inside of a rock the GM may well have them automatically detect it as illusory and have it fade. The GM might also read that sentence as modifying the next one, in which case you are mostly correct-- most and possibly all of the effects of the blinded condition also apply to a character who is unable to see anything besides the thing covering their face. If the GM rules that such an illusion will automatically fail, though, you have to resort to making a skybox-- a sphere or half sphere around the group rather than completely covering them. In such situations the enemies will be unable to see things outside the sphere but able to see things inside it just fine. They also won't treat any area that's not difficult terrain as difficult terrain-- something which you will have to rely on the good graces of your GM to apply even in the more severe case.


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