Most spells state that the target must be something you can see. for example the magic missile spell says:

Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range.

But recently I saw that the guiding bolt spell does not. It states this:

Make a ranged spell attack against the target.

I was wondering how this targeting works against invisible creatures.

Let's say we are in a closed of room with an enemy, they turn invisible and we have no idea where they are. We know he is still in range because the room is very small.

Can I cast guiding bolt and just say, "I target the invisible creature in this room"? Or do I actually need to know where they are?


1 Answer 1


When making a ranged spell attack, you follow the normal rules for making an attack, just as you would if trying to stab or shoot the target with a weapon.

This also means you apply the normal rules for trying to target an invisible creature:

When you attack a target that you can't see, you have disadvantage on the attack roll. This is true whether you're guessing the target's location or you're targeting a creature you can hear but not see. If the target isn't in the location you targeted, you automatically miss, but the DM typically just says that the attack missed, not whether you guessed the target's location correctly.

Specifically; if the target is completely hidden, you need to guess where it is and then roll with disadvantage, missing automatically if you failed to correctly guess the target’s location. If the target is just not visible, but you know where it is, you don't have to guess but still roll with disadvantage.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to reference how it is different from spells that say 'a target you can see' insofar as it is usable on invisible targets rather than a radar the question seems to suggest. Also potentially how it interacts with cover, if that is the reason you can't see the target. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Oct 14, 2019 at 10:32
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ In addition to what SeriousBri said, you should point out/cite where the relevant rules can be found. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 15, 2019 at 3:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I made a slight change to your wording, you should still roll for the attack regardless of the accuracy of your guess (which the rule you quoted actually states). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2021 at 17:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .