I have a player who wants to know if they could use Arcane Eye above and below water (or any other liquids). I initially said yes, however, after reading the spell it says,

“A solid barrier blocks the eye’s Movement”

and I began second guessing my decision. In the context of this question and the 5e rules how “solid” is water and would it prevent Arcane Eye from entering or operating in it?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Was the water solid ? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30, 2019 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ The water was liquid, however, I'm getting hung up on whether a body of water is solid enough that it would prevent the spell from transitioning from air to under water. \$\endgroup\$
    – Torgg
    Oct 30, 2019 at 16:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 30, 2019 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


Water solidity won't prevent it, but other factors will

Water is not a solid unless it freezes. When you fall into water from a high enough altitude it feels solid but it isn't. The phenomena of it "feeling solid" is actually the fact that the object (us) has less binding energy than the kinetic energy upon impact. Therefore, water not being solid would not prevent the Arcane Eye. It being in water could hinder or alter what the eye sees depending on DM ruling on how clear the water is.

Water and the Arcane Eye

The spell Arcane Eye states:

You create an invisible, magical eye within range that hovers in the air for the duration.

Since spells do what they say they do and nothing else, the Arcane Eye would not be hovering nor in the air, so therefore cannot be used underwater.


The solidity of water does not matter in this case. What matters is that the eye would not be able to be used underwater because of the wording of the spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Eternallord66! I totally missed that little detail in the spell description. \$\endgroup\$
    – Torgg
    Oct 30, 2019 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Torgg No problem. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30, 2019 at 17:59

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