The Ring of X-Ray vision states:

To you, solid objects within that radius [...] don't prevent light from passing through them.

The Way of the Shadow Monk has a level 6 feature that states:

When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness.

Say a Shadow monk is inside of a wooden crate with 1 inch thick sides. The crate itself is on a wagon in bright sunlight. Within 60ft of the crate is a tree creating an area of dim light.

If the Shadow Monk activates the Ring of X-Ray vision would they no longer be in darkness and so would be unable to use Shadow Step?

Prompted by this question which focuses on how the ring affects the appearance of a dark area. My question is interested about the "reality" of the darkness/illumination.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The question in the title is opposite of what you ask in the body. The title asks if the monk is stopped but the body asks if it’s possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 19, 2021 at 16:07

3 Answers 3


It cannot.

The Monk and the insides of the box are still in the dark. The Monk just perceives them differently.

To you, solid objects within that radius [...] don't prevent light from passing through them.

It is the same as if an illusion made the Monk imagine he could see light or fire near him. He would still be in the darkness (even if he believed to be in light or something), and would be able to use his Shadow Step.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If I understood well, your answer implies that the monk can see inside the box because of the outside light, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Feb 19, 2021 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage Yes, since the glasses make him perceive things as if solid objects didn't block the light. \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Feb 19, 2021 at 14:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would illusory fire not affect the light level near said fire? \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Feb 19, 2021 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the reference to a fire illusion needs clarity. Are you talking about Minor Illusion of a fire that anyone can see, or Phantasmal Force that only the monk can see in their head? \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 19, 2021 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott Minor Illusion can't create light. I was going for some generic illusion, Phantasmal Force works as an example \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Feb 19, 2021 at 21:54

The monk and the trees are still in darkness/shadow, so the spell works

Wearing the Ring of X-Ray vision does not change the environment, only the perception of the wearer.

Another way to see things (pun intended); Bob and Tom, two humans, walks into a cave and the cave is dark. Since humans do not have darkvision, these two cannot see in the cave. However Bob has Goggles of Night which would give him darkvision. When Bob puts on the goggles, he now has darkvision and his perception of the cave is different. But Tom still cannot see; the cave did not change to suddenly have light, only Bob sees it that way.

In this case, the monk now sees the light outside (along with the shadows of trees). And the light they see outside appears to illuminate the interior.


Consider the name of the item: "Ring of X-Ray vision"

X-rays are able to penetrate material, while invisible to the human eye, because it cannot perceive its wavelengths.

The 'normal' visible wavelengths have not changed, just the perception of the 'penetrating' wavelengths, when the monk uses the magic item and now can vision these 'penetrating' wavelengths.

The dim-light condition for the shadow-step feature of the monk are still the same as before, because this considers only 'normal' visible light.

The rest is the illogical magic of DnD, why you can magically destroy water, but not if it is part of a corpse or living being. Magic follows the rules of game balance, not of real world science.


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