Consider a corridor. At one end of the corridor, I stand and can see a torch 50 ft away at the other end. My (completely mundane) vision extends 60 ft. Suddenly, an object affected by Darkness is placed 25 ft away from me, such that there is 5ft between me and the edge of shadowy illumination and 5ft between the opposite edge and of said illumination and the torch. Can I still see the torch?

Quoting the relevant parts of any vision/line of sight rules would be appreciated. I can find rules that say how my vision is affected when looking in the the shadowy illumination, but not beyond it.

Low effort diagram: enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this magical darkness like the spell darkness? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nepene Nep
    Aug 4, 2021 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NepeneNep Yes. Exactly. \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Aug 4, 2021 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


In 3.5, the darkness-line of spells were significantly toned back for both balance and gameplay reasons. Now, darkness and it's more-powerful sibling, deeper darkness, both simply act as "reverse light sources" to a degree. As such, they do not hide anything outside of their radii any more than the light from a torch would illuminate something outside of its radius.

However, there are spells that act as the old 3e and earlier darkness spells, creating a pitch-black globe of impenetrable darkness. The primary such spell is blacklight. Note, though, that its duration is rounds-per-level instead of 10m/level and 1d/level for darkness and deeper darkness, respectively.

So to sum up, darkness spells that cast darkness as a reverse light source do not interfere with vision on the other side of the globe, but darkness spells such as blacklight do block/obstruct vision.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In the fiction, what does the character see in this situation? I.e. how would that character describe the contents of his field of view? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave
    Aug 5, 2021 at 2:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dave imagine if you were standing in a hotel hallway lit by directional sconces (i.e. lamp shades on the sides so they only light their section) and nothing else. Most of the hallway is bright, but the sconces in one section are out, making that section very dark. It'd look kind of like that. Just a dark section with an absence of the normal light there. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5, 2021 at 5:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this interpretation works in d&d 3.5, if this were true, and there's darkness between you and a light source, if someone stands in the darkness you would be able to see his outline perfectly, because you can't see through him, which should negate the miss chance granted by darkness, but this isn't mentioned in the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yopi Lapi
    Aug 5, 2021 at 5:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @YopiLapi i don't think seeing a possible silhouette somewhere in a radius would even inform as to what square a character was in, much less negate concealment. Regardless, these comments are just opinion. That's just how i envision the effect as appearing. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5, 2021 at 6:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ The existence of Blacklight is good evidence for your claim, but it also seems to be your only evidence. Is there no better source than "it doesn't work that way because if it did, it would be worded like this other spell"? \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Aug 5, 2021 at 17:11

Your sight outside the area of Darkness is unaffected

The Darkness spell only affects what is inside its radius. You can look through Darkness to things on the other side as if the Darkness wasn’t there. You know, the way it works in real life.

Darkness from the spell does not block vision.


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