One of my PC's is a halfling druid (Circle of the Shepherd) who was born blind. She has a familiar that she can see through and years of rigorous training of her senses and a connection to nature via her feet gave her 10 ft. blindsight, not in a way she can actually see but she can sense enemies in combat and such. My questions are: do creatures she's seen through her familiar count for Wild Shape? And when she wildshapes, would she still be blind?

You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.

Emphasis is mine. It's a bit nebulous. You can't use any of your special senses, but does her blindsight qualify? Would the beast be blind to begin with, or would she be able to see?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this character blind by some physical reality or some sort of magic such as a curse? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 20:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's physical, she was born blind. Also she gets the blindsight through her feet and feeling the ground (natural connection) which I forgot about. I’ve edited the post accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 20:20

2 Answers 2


You have a homebrew character concept where the DM may have different interactions in mind

You've got some houserule/homebrew in here with your character concept. The below represents a rules-based answer to support how it should work, but your DM may think otherwise based on how they constructed your character concept. If they say something else happens, then that's generally what happens.

You should be able to use your familiar to 'see' new forms

The requirements of Wild Shape simply state (emphasis mine):

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before.

The requirement is that you have seen it. But, as you've stated, you're blind. So that presents an issue. An issue for which you have a resolution via find familiar(PHB, 240).

Additionally, as an action, you can see through your familiar's eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits of any special senses that the familiar has. During this time, you are deaf and blind with regard to your own senses.

With a Familiar created by this method, you can use your action to utilize the familiar's senses and now you are seeing so that you can find a new wild shape option.

You shouldn't be blind in your wild shape

As you've quoted, you don't retain special senses and you gain the senses of your wildshape. You can utilize any senses they have, but you don't have your special senses or your own lack of sight.

Special Senses

As Dragoonkite's answer suggests, your description of your sense doesn't really match blindsense, but is closer to tremorsense:

...can detect and pinpoint the origin of vibrations within a specific radius, provided that the monster and the source of the vibrations are in contact with the same ground or substance.

Tremorsense can't be used to detect flying or incorporeal creatures. Many burrowing creatures, such as ankhegs, have this special sense.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Yeah, I think the other bits are generally correct and still applicable, but the houseruleness does confound this more than it needs to be. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @second T.J.L.'s comment. The blindness is an attribute that has been self-imposed for narrative purposes. A strict by-the-book approach is going to create problematic rules conflicts (as has already been pointed out by the question) and significant handicaps. I think a creative homebrew solution is the simplest, least punishing way to allow a blind character to function relatively smoothly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 20:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @naut I apologize: I did not mean to cast aspersions on your answer. I was merely attempting to reinforce the fact that your (at that time)concluding paragraph was the most valuable in my eyes :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 0:56

Minor nitpick, but it sounds more like this Character has Tremorsense than Blindsight.

On to the question: Since it says you can't use any of your special senses unless the new form has them, then no, you would not keep Blindsight unless the new form also has it. That being said, if the new form can see, then they would be able to as long as they are transformed.

Seeing through the familiar: I don't see why not. They are seeing stuff, and I don't believe it specifies anywhere in Wild Shape that it has to be through your own eyes.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yup! Tremorsense \$\endgroup\$
    – Thank-Glob
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 20:52

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