Touchsight allows you to feel your surroundings, and ignore invisibility and darkness and other visually obscuring effects. It also allows you to detect and pinpoint all creatures within range. And it allows you to discern objects that you have line of effect to.

The discussion came up wondering about if atoms could be detected by the telekinetic sense of touch that touchsight grants. Atoms probably count as objects.

Next was viruses, not sure if they count as objects or creatures, but anyway....

Finally, due to a MSHRPG crossover, the question came up about microverses and the creatures that live therein, or a hero that shrinks themselves down to the microverse scale.

Thus, with that background, we are looking for any indication of if the Touchsight power could enable a D&D hero (who may be in a D&D world or in a Marvel world) to feel/detect/pinpoint the presence of microscopic objects and creatures and/or nanoscopic objects and creatures within the range of the Touchsight power's effect.


1 Answer 1


D&D is not based on the real world. There aren't viruses or bacteria, just diseases, curses, and poisons. Atoms may not even exist. It's much more "four elements of creation" and less "here's the periodic table." For example, polymorph any object doesn't concern itself with molecular weights, etc. It just turns something into something else. The molecular composition isn't important, what's more important is "what is this thing on an existential level."

Regardless, to answer your question regarding Touchsight:

You generate a subtle telekinetic field of mental contact, allowing you to “feel” your surroundings even in total darkness or when your sight would otherwise be obscured by your physical environment. Your touchsight field emanates from you out to 60 feet. You ignore invisibility, darkness, and concealment, though you must have line of effect to a creature or an object to discern it. You do not need to make Spot or Listen checks to notice creatures; you can detect and pinpoint all creatures within 60 feet. In many circumstances, comparing your regular senses to what you learn with touchsight is enough to tell you the difference between visible, invisible, hiding, and concealed creatures.

It only helps you find creatures (and maybe objects) without the need for spot/listen checks. "Creatures" is obvious since there are explicit rules provided. "Objects," less so -- no rules are provided for the actual benefit of discerning an object other than ignoring "invisibility, darkness, and concealment." Would that help you, for example, notice an object disguised as another object via illusion or discern a secret door? Likely not since the former is not hidden by any mentioned condition, and you would have no line of effect to the passage behind the door, and the door itself is not necessarily hidden via one of those three conditions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It may be useful to point out that what D&D defines to be a “creature” can be no smaller than Fine, which are still up to a ½ foot in size—measured in inches, not nanometers. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jul 19, 2021 at 1:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @kryan I don't believe there is a rule stating creatures cannot be smaller than fine. The polymorph spell states that it cannot be used to take a form smaller than fine, and I do not know of any creatures smaller than fine, but polymorph's rule implies that such creatures are in fact possible. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2021 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WannabeWarlock, actually, D&D was exactly based on the real world originally. There are various quotes from Gygax regarding and confirming the matter. Furthermore, as people have transitioned and even taken objects and foods back and forth, there is absolutely the potential for viruses and bacteria to be present in Oerth. Blame Mulynd, among others, for that. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 23, 2021 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko I'm just referring to what's in the rules. If you try to add real science to D&D, it breaks down because it is a fantasy setting where things like creatures with the fire subtype don't have any water in them. Obviously, the setting is based on the human experience, but the explanation of the world in D&D, based on the rules, is more medieval and less scientific. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 23, 2021 at 19:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I get what you are saying, but because the "settings" of a prime material plane default to Earth normal, except where otherwise indicated (as per aforementioned creator and developer comments) it already had real science built in from pretty much the beginning. Anything not specified in the rules defaults to science, basically. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 26, 2021 at 2:04

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