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I'm planning on running a Monk/Cleric (14 in Monk and 6 in Cleric, if my character survives that long, I haven't yet multi-classed into Cleric), and we've come across a few enemies that are able to blind members of our group, and as a halfling, I don't have the benefit of darkvision (which is fine, we have members of the party who are able to light up the room).

But with some of the context out of the way, Detect Evil and Good states:

For the duration, you know if there is an aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead within 30 feet of you, as well as where the creature is located.

As I wouldn't be concentrating on another spell, I should be able to make unarmed strikes while using this spell, but that leads to the question:

Would I still have disadvantage on my attack rolls (while blind) as a monk, if I know their location via this spell?

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You would still have disadvantage on attack rolls

The rules on Unseen Attackers and Targets state (emphasis mine):

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.

Detect evil and good will let you know the location of the creature so you do not have to guess, but because you cannot see them you will still have disadvantage on the roll.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would this boil down to a "just because I know their location, it doesn't mean I know how tall the enemy is, or what position their body is in", kind of deal? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12 '20 at 20:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KyleFairns The rule is that you have disadvantage unless you can "see" the target. It's not specific about why, but it's a reasonable inference that this includes knowing their body position, which direction they're moving, where their weapon is positioned, etc. The assumption is that most people defend themselves, rather than just stand there and get hit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Jun 12 '20 at 20:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KyleFairns Sure, my answers tend to come from a game mechanics standpoint, not so much a narrative one. But narratively, that makes sense, as well as the fact that there is more to attacking someone than just knowing their location: seeing which way they are dodging when you swing at them, working with the terrain around your opponent and yourself, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – smbailey
    Jun 12 '20 at 20:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ It boils down to you're blind. Imagine standing in front of a punching bag while blind folded. You know exactly where it is, but you won't be near as accurate in landing solid punches on it. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12 '20 at 20:10
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The spell gives you no further information than you already have, because you already know their location from noise. Blinded does not mean senseless.

From the Players Handbook chapter 9 on Combat, under "Unseen Attackers and Targets":

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.

As "guessing the target's location" and "targeting a creature you can hear" are given as two different circumstances, it is clear that if the target is making noise, you don't have to guess its location.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does hearing give location (direction + distance) or just direction? I suspect that there's also an element of sight being a sense where you not only know where someone is, but also have an idea of what they are doing, allowing you to direct your attack against their defense. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12 '20 at 19:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been relying on sight way too much - I definitely need to think outside the box a little more in terms of the senses I have, but if I'm not looking to make a perception check to see if I could hear them breathe, or the direction/location of the footsteps, I'm wondering whether the Detect Evil and Good could bypass that roll of chance \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12 '20 at 20:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Creatures don't necessarily make noise. A construct or earth elemental that isn't doing anything right now is going to sound like a rock. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Jun 12 '20 at 20:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Creatures not making noise are in fact Hidden from blind creatures. That doesn't negate my assertion that non-hidden creature's locations are still known to blind creatures. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12 '20 at 20:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Your DM is free to alter the rules, but that is an alteration. The rules are that unless a creature is unseen AND unheard, usually by taking the Hide action under appropriate circumstances, their location is know. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12 '20 at 20:10

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