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It would be unusual, to me, if there were no spell in the world that could "feedback" (as my DM puts it) on the scryer. We're usually really creative about this sort of thing, but on this we have no ideas.

Otherwise, besides continuing to try to detect the scrying orb and then casting a spell (or throwing a thick blanket over it), or spending all our time in deep caves, there is nothing we can do.

I suppose we might be able to detect person somehow? That, at least, would be something—though we do not know who it is who is scrying. We just know that it's happening regularly ('cause we are such big heroes, and about to try to foil a war, is why).

Details and clarification

  1. They have a lock of hair from several of our number that were given up many sessions back when they wanted to be seen doing heroic stuff...
  2. We have a Lantern of Revealing, I think it's called, that reveals all invisible things, and it has several times revealed the orb that is the "camera" for scrying. In our game we have become the leaders of those fighting a distant evil Iron Empire; they are trying to figure out how best to beat us.
  3. What we are looking for is a way to zap them in the eye, using the energy that is their scrying beam thing, that would be a best solution, but the core problem is that we feel powerless. We'd settle for whatever can counter the scrying on our party.
  4. We are level 9, and we have two Clerics, a Ranger, a Rogue and a Fighter. I think that's right. Actually, they are so much more than those things... :-) but that's what you really need to know.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Oct 19 at 17:59
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I wrote an adventure supplement where I had to deal with the same issue, but from the villain's POV. She knows after kidnapping the twin kids of the Cassalanters (from Waterdeep: Dragon Heist) that someone was likely to scry to find out where the children were being held.

I have her deal with this through the use of illusion spells cast on the room where the children were kept. Since the scry spell simply states "You can see and hear through the sensor as if you were there", it offers no particular advantage against illusions. As the villainess is a succubus with the innate Shapechanger ability, she appears in a different guise whenever she enters the room.

In fact, if the villainess figures out that the party is on to her, she leaves clues with the children designed to lead anyone scrying on them into a trap.

You could adopt the same strategy as a party - since you know when you're being scryed on, using your Lantern of Revealing, feed the scryer the information you want them to get in order to lure them out in the open, or at least confuse them, by using illusions.

Also, here's an earlier question I asked that might have some relevance: Would scrying on a target with a gaze attack affect the caster?

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There is little you can do to hurt them physically, but that's not to say that you're helpless.

The spell Scrying is on page 273 of the Player's Handbook, and it has several restrictions you can exploit.

  1. First, it requires materials worth at least 1000 GP, though these are not consumed by the spell. This is the hardest restriction to exploit, but it helps narrow down the field of who it is and where they are. Every time the spell is cast, the target can make a Wisdom saving throw to not be scryed on, and if it works the spell fails and cannot be used on that target again for 24 hours.
    This save is much harder if the caster has a physical piece of the target such as hair or fingernails, and is slightly harder if the caster has something belonging to the target.
  2. If you have some way to detect which party member is being scryed on, you could consider temporarily separating them from the group or even going as far as to kill and Reincarnate them to invalidate the physical piece of them that the caster has.
  3. It's also possible for them to scry a location, in which case your best bet would be to go somewhere they couldn't scry, since they can only scry places they've seen before.
  4. There is a 3rd level spell called Nondetection (PHB 262) that makes the target immune to scrying for 8 hours, but it costs 25 gp every time and as such isn't sustainable unless your party is filthy rich.
  5. The 'nuclear option', which costs less GP and is guaranteed to work but is much more difficult in general, is the spell Plane Shift (PHB 266). Plane Shift moves your party to another plane of existence, and takes a one-time expenditure of 250 gp to cast. Scrying does not work at all against a target on another plane of existence, so you would be immune to scrying for so long as you stayed on that other plane. You can also use Plane Shift to get back to the Material Plane, but that would require another expenditure of 250 gp. The main difficulty with Plane Shift is the costs, it taking a one-time cost 500 gp to effectively use and a 7th level spell slot every time it is used.

There is no spell, to my knowledge, that lets you attack the scryer directly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You could mention mind blank as a spell that protects against divination magic. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Oct 19 at 20:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nuclear option? No, reincarnate is the nuclear option - then you have a new body and the hair is no good \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Oct 20 at 7:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is the extradimensional space created by Rope Trick another plane of existence? If so, it would be less costly than spell-shift. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Oct 20 at 16:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Plane Shift doesn't consume its component. Depending on your DM you may need a different component for each plane, though. \$\endgroup\$ – Jorn Oct 20 at 20:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Although hiding from the caster is not what is being asked for, since you do include it among the options, for completeness you could include hiring a caster to cast Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum, which prevents scrying and detection spells. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Oct 21 at 5:55
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This actually came up in a session, except it was the PCs who were discovered as the scry-ers rather than beeing the scry-ees.

The first time the targets freaked out and tried various things to destroy the orb. But they were clever enough to not give away how they knew (they also had a lantern of revealing)

As the DM, I knew this was a particularly smart target group they were spying on, so the next time they were scryed on they didn't react at all. Or at least they tried not to. (Deception check)

Later the target group got better at this, and began feeding the party misinformation (more deception checks) every time they detected the orb. They were also careful to get non-detection spells cast on them if they had to discuss secret things, but since the scrying wasn't 24/7, the party never caught on.

In the end, all this did was slow down the targets with a lot of extra work to keep from being spied on, but it did send the party on a few wild goose chases based on what they believed the targets were up to.

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There are a few options, but they aren't all optimal

Basically, you are in a situation when you know you are being scryed on (PHB, 273), but you don't know who is doing it or how to deal with it. You've basically got these options available:

  1. Attack the caster
  2. End the scrying
  3. Trick the caster
  4. Hide yourselves from the caster
  5. Do Nothing

Attack the caster

5e does not have any available option to trace back the scrying to it's source, so this isn't really a viable option.

End the scrying

There are a couple of options here that you've got available:

Dispelling the sensor

Dispel magic (PHB, 234) will allow you to target the now seen sensor from your lantern of revealing (DMG, 179)

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell's level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

You'll either need to upcast this, or take the risk of failure with the ability check.

Trick the caster

This is what I think may be your best bet. You don't know who the caster is, but you do know when you're being observed - use that to your advantage! You can feed false information and then use that to try and discover or create false leads. Once you've set that up, you can 'end' your talk and move somewhere else for your actual plans.

Hide yourselves

You've got a couple options here, but they aren't optimal. First of all, it reveals to the caster that you're on to them, but they will also either require hiring outside casters to do this when you want to make plans, or have a way to purchase multiple magic items.

Your options here are using nondetection (PHB, 263):

The target can't be targeted by any divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

Or purchasing several amulets of proof against detection and location (DMG, 150):

You can't be targeted by such magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

Do nothing

This really isn't what you're interested in as it doesn't help at all in terms of hiding plans or seeding false leads. But it's an option :)

Optimal choice?

Well, this is very much going to be up to you and your party, but of the choices, the option to trick the caster seems like the best bet. This lets you control the situation rather than giving up any control to the caster. You get to own the narrative, and that's always a fun thing for players to do (and for the DM to respond to and work with!)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Much better organized than my attempt yesterday. \$\endgroup\$ – JamesB Oct 20 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ In an RPG "trick the scryer" is awesome. Find some powerful entity with an impenetrable bastion, that even a high-level character would get slaughtered trying to enter. Then, create a whole "story" where that place has a vulnerability, a-la Death Star plans. Allow the scryer to see you making elaborate preparations to exploit that vulnerability, and make sure the scryer gets all the details. Then, an intervening event forces you to delay. Scryer goes "haha, I shall beat them to it!" Gets slaughtered. \$\endgroup\$ – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 21 at 16:06
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If your DM is open to spells researched by player characters under earlier editions of D&D, there is a solution. The Cantabrigian Grimoire is the result of a runaway period of spell research by a few British AD&D1e players in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

These homebrew spells worked pretty well in campaigns of that era, making characters more versatile but breaking the game. However, they have not been adapted for 5e, or used in a 5e game (to the best of my knowledge, since there's no telling who may have grabbed them from the website). They may thus require changes for 5e.

The fifth level spell Logical Laser Beam will do just what you want, and references the fourth level spell Laser Beam for details of the effects.

Laser Beam (Evocation)

Level: 4
Components: V, S, M
Range: 5'/level 
Casting Time: 4 segs
Duration: Instant
Saving Throw: None
Area of Effect: 1 creature

Explanation/Description: A beam of light springs from the caster's fingers and strikes the target. doing caster's level dice of damage. The size of the dice depends on the colour of the target and the colour of the beam:

Silver: no damage 
Light colour of beam or white: D2 
Dark colour of beam/flesh/light colours: D3 
Light opposite colour of beam/Dark colours: D4 
Dark opposite colour of beam/Black: D6 

This spell has a material component of a 6000 gp silvered rod made from a corundum gem. This is not used up in the spell. The beam colour is the same as the gem. Opposite pairs of colours are: red/green, blue/yellow, purple/brown.

Note: The 6000gp price was for AD&D1e, and 5e seems to use a rather different price scale.

Logical Laser Beam (Evocation, Divination)

Level: 5
Components: V, S, M
Range: Special
Casting Time: 5 segs
Duration: Instant
Saving Throw: 1⁄2
Area of Effect: One creature

Explanation/Description: This spell is identical to Laser Beam save that it can be fired through a previously seen scrying point as well as through air. It will then affect the scryer in the normal manner.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It is, but I'm not sure that recommending homebrew you haven't tried (and that actually requires someone to re-homebrewed and just adjust it for 5e) is really what we try and do here. This is basically "here, I found this from another system/edition, it needs work and I haven't tried it." And it's entirely dependent on their DM to allow it, i'm just not sure how helpful this is. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 20 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, we seem to have established that 5e has no canon way of doing it, and there is no indication in the OP that answers are constrained to 5e RAW. Since I knew of a concept that did exactly what the OP wanted, I suggested it, with appropriate caveats. \$\endgroup\$ – John Dallman Oct 20 at 18:49

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