In D&D 5e, some spells (such as Enlarge/Reduce) specify that you cast the spell on a target you can see. I attempted to cast it on my team mate who was in darkness but whose silhouette I could see against a light source behind them. If I can clearly make them out and know their distance from me, but I can't make out details about them (face, shirt color, etc), am I not able to cast the spell on them? My DM ruled that if it's dark and I can see a giant, black object (such as a house) but there is no bright/dim light source around like the moon (I don't have dark vision), I would not be able to cast spells on it when it specifies I need to see it (I guess ignoring them saying "you see a giant, black object"). Is this RAW somewhere or RAI?
To me, it seems like "seeing" their silhouette counts as "seeing" in general, even though they technically aren't within the radius of the light source.


1 Answer 1


If you can see it, you can target it

Page 204 of the Player's Handbook, in the Spellcasting chapter, says:

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover.

That, to my mind, is what is meant by any spell description that says "a target you can see". You don't need to be able to read their facial expression or make out what color shirt they are wearing. You just need to be able to define where the target is and have nothing blocking your view.

It means they can't be behind total cover or around a corner, etc.

In your situation, you could see the target, even if only as a silhouette, so you can target them with spells that require being able to "see" them.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .