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The Scrying spell states (emphasis mine):

On a failed save, the spell creates an invisible sensor within 10 feet of the target. You can see and hear through the sensor as if you were there. The sensor moves with the target, remaining within 10 feet of it for the duration. A creature that can see invisible objects sees the sensor as a luminous orb about the size of your fist.

Notably, this is all that the Scrying spell says about the sensor.

The Locate Object spell states (emphasis mine):

The spell can locate a specific object known to you, as long as you have seen it up close – within 30 feet – at least once. Alternatively, the spell can locate the nearest object of a particular kind, such as a certain kind of apparel, jewelry, furniture, tool, or weapon.

If my character has both the Locate Object and the Scrying spells (and thus knows what a Scrying sensor is), can they use the Locate Object spell to find a Scrying sensor?

This question asks what can be done with a Scrying sensor, and its top answer is interesting but largely extrapolates from the Clairvoyance spell. In this case, I would like to ignore the extrapolation, however, and assume that the Clairvoyance spell is a different case from the Scrying spell.

This question and its answers are a good start for deciding what can be targeted by this spell, but they do not clearly answer the case where the object's kind is something like "spell effect".

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2 Answers 2

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The sensor is not an object

What is confusing here is that the Scrying spells says

A creature that can see invisible objects sees the sensor

However that does not say the sensor is an object. Being able to see invisible objects does not mean that everything invisible that you can see also is an object.

Object is a defined game term,

For the purpose of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or a vehicle that is composed of many other objects.

Objects are physical in nature, not spell effects. The DMG on p 246f has a list to assign AC and hp to them based on material and size. Listed there are cloth, paper, rope, crystal, glass, ice, wood, bone, stone, iron, steel, mithral, adamantine. Also, all the size examples are physical objects: a bottle, lock, chest, lute, barrel, chandelier, cart, window. "force" or "magical effect" is not on the list.

So the sensor as a magical effect has no AC or hp, and is not an object.

Because it is not an object, it also cannot be the target of Locate Object.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that the sensor from Clairvoyance cannot be attacked because the spell explicitly says that it cannot be interacted with in any way. Are you extrapolating from this here, or is there another reason to believe that the Scrying sensor can't be attacked? \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    May 10 at 14:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nben: how would you attack it, when it has no defined AC or hp? It is not an object, but a magical effect. You could dispel it by targeting its area, if you want to get rid of it. \$\endgroup\$ May 10 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ OIC—I guess my impression was that most objects in 5e don't have explicitly granted AC or hit-points, though—i.e., that kind of stuff would be up to the DM to determine. \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    May 10 at 14:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, and there are guidlines for it on p. 246f DMG, but they all are for real world substances: cloth, paper, rope, crystal, glass, ice, wood, bone, stone, iron, steel, mithral, adamantine. "force" or "magical effect" is not on the list \$\endgroup\$ May 10 at 14:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nben, sounds good, I did that. \$\endgroup\$ May 10 at 14:50
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Unfortunately no

While it's true that Locate Object finds the nearest object of a kind, a sensor made by scrying is not described as an object. It is possible to see when you can see the invisible, but nothing says it is tangible, or that you can interact with it, which is the most common way to discern if something is a object. The sensor is exactly this — an invisible sensor shaped like a luminous orb about the size of your fist.

Think about that: you could not locate the flame from the Continual Flame spell — the flame is not an item, nor it is tangible. The only thing it is, is a source of light that responds to environment in some ways. You could find an item that Continual Flame was casted upon, but not the flame itself. The same is true of an illusion — you cannot use Locate Object to find an instance of programmed illusion — because it is not a item, and exactly the same can be said about the sensor — it is more of a manifestation of spell cast than an item, and since nothing says the spell creates an item, it does not do so.

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