The True Strike cantrip provides:

You point a finger at a target in range. Your magic grants you a brief insight into the target's defenses. On your next turn, you gain advantage on your first attack roll against the target, provided that this spell hasn't ended.

There's another thread on this site discussing the cases in which casting this spell might make sense. Implicit in these arguments seems to be the idea that the "brief insight" granted by the spell is not useful in itself. It occurred to me that such insight could be useful in itself if it granted knowledge of specific details that might be useful for higher-order tactical or strategic planning outside of just getting Advantage on the next turn.

Does the brief insight granted by True Strike provide access to specific details about the target's defenses, or is the language simply an explanation of how the player gains Advantage? An example could be where I don't particularly need to gain Advantage on my next roll, but I want to know whether that bandit over there is concealing any weapons or wands underneath his cloak.

If the first case is true, a DM might report,

Ok, you cast True Strike at the cloaked bandit. He has knives hidden in each of his boots, and is carrying two wands of Fireball and one of Magic Missile in the sack over his shoulder. The walking stick he is carrying conceals a three-foot double-edged sword. He is resistant to lightning damage though a spell that seems to have been cast on him, but you would need a more powerful spell than True Strike to identify the exact spell or source. If you still have concentration at the start of your next turn, you will have Advantage in attacking.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like it's a bit of a stretch to call weapons and wands "defenses" anyway. Even if it did work that way, the only thing from the example I'd call a defense is the lightning resistance. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


Brief insight is mechanically represented by advantage in the following attack.

From the Basic Rules

Advantage reflects the positive circumstances surrounding a d20 roll, while disadvantage reflects the opposite.

So, when your character has a brief insight into the target's defenses, it's not a long-lasting array of information. Your character simply briefly knows where to strike in the next turn, thus gaining advantage.

Whether homebrewing the True Strike cantrip to have that additional effect would make it balanced or not could be worth its own specific question.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is vastly superior to any of the answers on the linked question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 17:21

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