Blind characters have disadvantage on attack rolls, however breath weapon does not require the attacker to roll dice. Should I assume, then, that there is not penalty for attacking with a breath weapon while my character is blind?


1 Answer 1


Blindness imposes no mechanical penalty on a creature using a breath weapon.

The blinded condition states:

  • A blinded creature can't see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature's attack rolls have disadvantage.

Since a breath weapon uses a saving throw by the target, rather than an attack roll by the attacker, there is no “penalty” to using a breath weapon while blinded. However, you must consider that if you can’t see, maybe you aren’t sure where the best place to point your mouth is.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the last sentence. I definitely wouldn't have a blinded dragon precisely place their breath weapon to catch every PC, including the ones at the very edges. Likely, I'd center the cone on one that either struck the dragon in melee or cast a spell with a verbal component in the last few actions, and whoever it hits, it hits. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 19:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Or I would reduce the damage/effect due to the dragon spraying it everywhere instead of focusing on a target. It's really up to the DM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nelson
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 4:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nelson It’s only up to the DM in sense that the DM can make up rulings for whatever they want. However the rules here are quite clear that that is not necessary. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 5:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @gatherer818: Note that dragons have Blindsight, although for blue dragons the 60ft blindsight is less than the range of their 90ft long, 5ft wide line of breath. So the worst-affected creatures will be non-dragons (or young dragons with only 30ft blindsight), and/or ones with line breaths (which need to be aimed accurately). e.g. a Dragonborn with their innate breath weapon on a turn when they're blinded. Sounds of combat (if any) around them might give them a chance to know something exciting is in that direction, but maybe not friend vs. foe. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 5:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes unless you Hide, your position is always known in combat. rpg.stackexchange.com/a/130130/14988 \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 7:28

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