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The description of the blink spell says, in part:

Physical attacks against you have a 50% miss chance, and the Blind-Fight feat doesn’t help opponents, since you’re ethereal and not merely invisible. If the attack is capable of striking ethereal creatures, the miss chance is only 20% (for concealment).

If the attacker can see invisible creatures, the miss chance is also only 20%. (For an attacker who can both see and strike ethereal creatures, there is no miss chance.) Likewise, your own attacks have a 20% miss chance, since you sometimes go ethereal just as you are about to strike.

You can see ethereal creatures using the see invisibility spell (emphasis mine):

You can see any objects or beings that are invisible within your range of vision, as well as any that are ethereal, as if they were normally visible. Such creatures are visible to you as translucent shapes, allowing you easily to discern the difference between visible, invisible, and ethereal creatures.

However, the relevant part of the description of Spirit Sensing Stance says (emphasis mine):

While in this stance, the initiators gains the scent special ability and he may detect creatures on the Ethereal plane that are near the Material plane within 30-ft. of his position.

If the creature you're attacking is in the Ethereal Plane, does it lower your miss chance from 50% to 20% if you can "detect" it? Or do you specifically need to be able to "see" it, as with see invisibility?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The wording of your question is a bit unclear. Are you asking whether there's a difference between "detecting" and "seeing" when it comes to the miss chance of a target that has the blink spell cast on them? (Or more specifically: "For an attack against a target with the blink spell cast on them, does Spirit Sensing Stance reduce the miss chance to 20%?") I've edited the question to clarify what I think you're asking; please review the post to make sure I've maintained your intent. If I've misinterpreted, feel free to edit/comment to clarify what you're actually asking. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 0:44

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Spirit Sensing Stance will not help you to reduce your miss chance when targeting a creature under the effects of Blink.

Spirit Sensing Stance gives you the Scent special ability, which functions as normal, with the additional bonus of allowing you to smell creatures on the border ethereal.

Scent (Ex):

This special quality allows a creature to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Creatures with the scent ability can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights.

The creature can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range.

When a creature detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The creature can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When the creature is within 5 feet of the source, it pinpoints the source’s location.

A creature with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry’s odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. Creatures tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.

Scent specifically operates off of you sense of smell, and does not enhance your sight in any manner. Blink specifically stipulates

If the attacker can see invisible creatures, the miss chance is also only 20%. (For an attacker who can both see and strike ethereal creatures, there is no miss chance.)

You may note that the Scent ability says that creatures with Scent ignore the effects of poor visibility, but this only applies when using Scent to track a creature.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Spirit Sensing also allows detecting ethereal creatures within 30-ft. IMHO this means that the "concealment" aspect is fully gone. When it is in material plane, you see target just fine. When it is ethereal, you still detect it just fine too (if within 30 feet). Now it could be debated that detecting the creature does zilch to pinpoint it, but I suppose the "ethereal detection" i basically "you do your scent thing in the Ethereal too, within 30 feet. So, not immediate location but 1 round like with Scent. Otherwise this just ends up making the "detect ethereal" part annoyingly useless, no? \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 3:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pat pinpointing a creature doesn't reduce miss chance (it just means that you attack the right square), thus being able to detect their location on the ethereal plane wouldn't actually help. They would still need to be able to see the creature. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 5:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pat Knowing a creatures location does not interact with the miss chance from concealment. The Scent ability specifically allows you to (if you spend a move action) know the direction a creature is in if it's within 30' of you, or pinpoint a creatures location when you are within 5' of it. What pinpoint actually means is "know what space they are in" and nothing more. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 15:33

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