I am looking for ideas on how to defeat a flour trap. As a rogue, I rely on sneak attack to really damage my foes. The plan for taking on the BBEG is the party will make me invisible with our wand of Greater Invisibility. However, I know the enemy has set up several flour traps and uses telekinesis to disperse the flour into the air, making invisible creatures immediately visible.

However, flour is tricky. If you get it wet, it does not clean it off. Instead, it only makes it sticky. How could I overcome a flour trap and resume my invisibility? I think my DM is doing this because we have used flour against invisible creatures he's sent after us, and I think he is hoping we come up with a clever way of defeating it so he can use that same thing in the future. So, I'm not entirely sure I want an answer, lol.

To make this question more specific, we have at our disposal a cleric, a wizard, and a fighter. The cleric can prepare Create Water, but that will not help. Prestidigitation only clears one cubic foot per round, so the greater invisibility will wear off before the flour is entirely cleared. Is there anything that can clean an entire five foot square in a single round?

While not a primary source, WotC's old Rules of the Game articles partially covers this. They recommend removing clothing as a full round action. This could work for a single flour attack. But, what about multiple flour attacks? Their next suggestion is to wait an hour or two. Invisibility (and combat in general) does not last that long.

Because there have been several questions about this, I am updating this question with the specific rules for how my table adjudicates Invisibility:

  1. Targeting takes place at the time the spell is cast, unless the spell indicates otherwise. As a result, anything worn at the time the spell is cast becomes invisible. Anything added after the spell is cast to be carried or worn is not invisible, and it would follow the text of the spell itself. This is our interpretation of the wording of Targeting in the SRD:

You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell. ... Some spells allow you to redirect the effect to new targets or areas after you cast the spell. Redirecting a spell is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

  1. Because all targets of Invisibility are determined at the time of casting, if an invisible creature is later covered by something that is not invisible, they can be detected. This is our interpretation of the following lines from the Invisibility spell:

... Items dropped or put down by an invisible creature become visible; items picked up disappear if tucked into the clothing or pouches worn by the creature. Light, however, never becomes invisible, although a source of light can become so (thus, the effect is that of a light with no visible source).

Emphasis is mine. Thus, at our table, flour thrown onto an invisible creature renders them detectable (not visible, just detectable) as the flour is visible even if the creature covered in flour is not. The flour can only be "disappeared" by tucking it into pockets or into clothing.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Scope and oppinion are two separate things. The close votes are not about the question being too broad. The problem is that you are "looking for ideas" without defining how a good solution would look like. Also, I think (I don't play 3.5) that the flour thing is not in the rules and rather homebrew. So there are probably no solutions in the rulebooks which could be cited. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Jul 21, 2020 at 15:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ In that case you should cite that and say how that information is insufficient. Then people can suggest tried or official methods to resolve the problems you see there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Jul 21, 2020 at 16:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ How are you using flour to thwart invisibility? Both Invisibility and Greater Invisibility mention "Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person." Is your table ruling that flour on someone's clothes is not "worn", using footprints in the flour on the floor to see where they are, or something else? I'm asking because your table's ruling on this will result in different answers. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 22, 2020 at 18:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CaptainMan The DM's ruling was that the flour would fall under "items picked up disappear if tucked into the clothing or pouches worn by the creature". So, unless you tuck the flour into clothing or pouches, it remains visible. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 22, 2020 at 20:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CaptainMan My understanding of intent (and how my group plays it, though it may not be actually correct) is that only the items you had in your possession/were wearing at the time the spell was cast, are turned invisible. Anything that you pick up/put on/get thrown onto you after the fact does not turn invisible, and is only hidden because it is placed inside a pocket/pouch/etc. that is already invisible. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 23, 2020 at 17:38

6 Answers 6


Items you pick up become invisible if tucked into your clothing. If you wear a reversible cloak, you can reverse it after getting the outside covered in flour. The inside was not covered in flour, and so you are now invisible again.

If there are going to be multiple flour traps, you might need to carry several cloaks you can pull out of a pocket and drape around yourself to hide the flour. You'll need the cloak to be hooded, and long enough to reach the floor if you are going to avoid your flour-covered boots from being visible.

It's also worth noting that flour suspended in the air is very combustible, so a fireball should clear out the flour as well as amplify the explosion!

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    \$\begingroup\$ But you don't want to be too near when the fireball hits. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mary
    Jul 21, 2020 at 12:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @InterstellarProbe prestidigitation can clean flour from the clothes as well as from the face, can't it? The only issue is time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jul 21, 2020 at 14:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ consider the effects of any spell that generates wind. \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Jul 21, 2020 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Use a cloak with a sewn in mask with glass lenses over the eyes, and any time it gets covered in flour, prestidigitation it clean. The cloak will be considerably small than one cubic foot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Daniel B
    Jul 21, 2020 at 23:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mary Forget fireball, fire bolt is probably enough to get the job done. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 22, 2020 at 22:37

While gust of wind or fireball should work well to clear away aerially dispersed flour, it's worth noting a few things. First, telekinesis can only move one object at a time. So, the foe can keep lifting a sack of flour, pouring it out, then scooping more up - but only one at a time, so they might have trouble keeping every approach covered. If you're trying this alone - you get the greater invisibility and then go to kill the bad guy by yourself - it might as simple as finding an alternate route, if they haven't found a way to force you to walk down a specific hallway.

Second, even if they've got you forced to come down a specific path, you can always have other tricks ready, especially if you have Use Magic Device to operate some cheap wands or scrolls. For one, you can recast the greater invisibility, of course. But other options (some are not exactly answers to the question, as they don't directly address avoiding/removing the flour)...

prestidigitation will clean off the flour, but may take multiple castings. My advice is to cover as much of yourself as possible with a cloak, which you then throw to the ground after setting off the traps, and use the spell to clean off whatever the cloak couldn't cover. Shoes and face can be handled with two castings, probably.

obscuring mist will hide you from most sight as long as you're not adjacent to the foe. You can use that time to use a method to clean the flour off, including just taking off your cloak (assuming your cloak had you completely covered when you ran through all the traps). Or, if you can come up with a method to see through obscuring mist well enough to sneak attack, a reach weapon will leave you completely invisible to the opponent if they don't have the same.

gaseous form can get you past the traps. If greater invisibility is cast first, you'll become invisible vapor, float past the traps. If you cast it yourself from a wand, you can dismiss it, otherwise the caster will need to know how long it'll take you to get to the big bad and mark time and dismiss it once you're past the traps.

Any spell or poison that blinds, paralyzes, or knocks unconscious can be used to both negate the telekinesis and set up your sneak attacks. Flour on your boots won't matter when they can't see anything. Depending on how far the foe is from the traps, you could shoot rays past the traps or poison arrows. Or hold the charge on a ghoul touch and charge through, whatever.

summon monster can get you a flanking partner, especially if you're casting III or IV for a group or lower CR teammates. Even if you have some flour on yout shoes, you're still invisible, giving your opponent that 50% miss chance and a four-point swing in chance to hit. Prancing around invisibly dumping charges from a wand of summon monster IV is a cheesy and expensive, but effective, means of killing an enemy in "one-on-one" combat.

Ok, this wall of text is getting too high, let me move on to two closing points: Given the foe can use telekinesis, there's a real chance they can also use see invisibility. Watch out for that. Second, rather than letting you go alone, your party should come with. Get your greater invisibility cast after you're all already in the room. Let your team keep the enemy's focus while you land sneak attack after sneak attack. Readied spells to do damage and break concentration, bestow curse, even just trips and grapples can all make a bad guy's day terrible. And even a wizard with a dagger in one hand can provide a flank for a sneak attack.


Go invisible again

If someone re-casts greater invisibility on you, the flour that you're wearing will turn invisible (since it's now "part of your gear"). Of course this only works if you're not standing in a flour cloud when the spell is re-cast.

Try blink instead

The blink spell allows you to attack:

as an invisible creature (with a +2 bonus on attack rolls), denying your target any Dexterity bonus to AC.

even though you're not actually invisible. There are some other good effects, and one bad effect (a 20% miss chance on your attacks) which you can fix by getting a ghost touch weapon.



Flour properly distributed in the air is a powerful explosive. Your BBEG is literally sitting near a bomb he created. Blow it all up without even sneaking in. provided is a link detailing how explosive flour is.


This is considered a dust explosion and a real hazard for construction sites. This was an exact plot device in the show Goblin Slayer episode 8, where they used a bag of flour to kill a beholder.



Illusion magic is debated on more often than other types of magic and will likely come down to your DM's discretion, but may be worth giving a shot.

If you are invisible from your wand, and also have a silent image of flour floating down all around you and within your space, (or/and) a silent image of a pile of flour as it was/is as you disturb it, it may be plausible to sneak by. It's at least better than nothing.

If there is only one foe keeping watch and they aren't moving much, you may be able to describe an illusory "screen" directly in front of the foe that is like a constant replay of the last minute of floating flour, and if that works you don't even need the invisibility. It starts to stretch believe-ability with more foes though - a screen like that works from only one perspective.

After you go through the flour safely, you'll need a prestidigitation or something later unless you want to try a go at being a rogue cloud of flour. I, for one, would be somewhat amused seeing a wizard's face as some of the flour he is using telekinesis on splits away and comes towards him.


It's been decades since I played the game, but isn't there some kind of "cause wind" spell? If you had the ability to cast that after the trap went off, effectively keeping all the flour afloat and whipping about, you'd be next to impossible to detect while walking through it and would have a minimum of flour on you when you exited it. In fact, such a counter-measure would extend the flour cloud to a much larger area than intended by the trap-setters, possibly meaning that they're surrounded by flour, too, making you just as invisible as before.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe "Gust of Wind" is what you’re looking after, as @gatherer818 mentioned. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – breversa
    Jul 22, 2020 at 9:10

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