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I am creating a 2nd-level Warlock, and I was planning on taking the Misty Visions eldritch invocation. This Invocation gives the ability to cast Silent Image at will. I have been doing a search online for uses of this spell and I constantly see posts on various websites saying to make X creatures doing whatever. I have seen nowhere a post saying it is not possible.

I have found a question on here asking about Major Image doing it: Does the Major Image spell allow the caster to fill the 20 ft cube with as many "body doubles" as he/she sees fit?

There, it was said that it is not possible - that to do this, you need a different spell and of a higher level. I would assume that it is not possible to create multiples in the 15-foot cube, but I can't find anything stating that fact.

Can Silent Image create multiple creatures or objects in the space allotted to the spell on one casting?

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2 Answers 2

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Only one

Silent image states:

You create the image of an object, a creature, or some other visible phenomenon that is no larger than a 15-foot cube.

The wording is straight forward: every option given is singular so silent image creates the image of a single object, creature, or visible phenomenon.

Moreover, the visible phenomenon option cannot bypass this restriction because multiple creatures/objects are ultimately multiple visible phenomenons, not a single visible phenomenon.

There are certainly edge cases, but the existence of edge cases does not invalidate the above. For example, for the purpose of silent image a swarm of insects could be argued to be a single creature or multiple, but accepting it is the former does not imply that a pair of giant wolf spiders is also a single creature.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's what I was thinking. I don't know why there are so many posts that say otherwise. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2, 2020 at 23:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 largely because if you gloss over that sentence it's easy to focus on the kinds of things you can create and not notice the limits the number of things you can create. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruse
    Jan 2, 2020 at 23:57
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Yes.

It can create the image of "an object, a creature, or some other visible phenomenon". A group of visible creatures is not "a creature", so it's "some other visible phenomenon".

The reason to read this as maximally inclusive is that, since the illusions aren't real creatures, there's no basis to distinguish illusions of creatures from illusions of things that aren't creatures. For example, if you are (arbitrarily) not allowed an illusion of two dwarves, you can define it as an illusion of two illusions of dwarves, and it's the same result.

Or you could imagine a creature whose physical form is two dwarves linked together by an astral silver cord, and make an illusion of that, with the cord of course being invisible. The fact that the creature isn't real is no obstacle; if this isn't an illusion of a creature, then it's an illusion of a visible phenomenon that's not "a creature", and is allowed on that basis.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your examples don't work, you need different workarounds. An illusion of two illusions is an illusion of two visible phenomena. An invisible cord is not even a visible phenomena. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruse
    Jan 3, 2020 at 0:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ruse Yeah, that's why the cord doesn't have to be included in the illusion. It's just part of the imaginary description of the creature that it has invisible body parts. Are you claiming that, if a creature had invisible body parts, you could not make an illusion of its visible parts? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Jan 3, 2020 at 0:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ (And "two illusions together" constitute a visible phenomenon. It's like how "rain" is a visible phenomenon even though it's made of millions of distinct drops.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Jan 3, 2020 at 0:34

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