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During fight a party member tried to use Aura of Vitality while being invisible to stealthily top their HP. It was argued that auras give visual effects similar to light which would allow enemies to target the PC with AoEs or make a roughly accurate guess of the spot they occupy.

  • Does Aura of Vitality create a visible area of effect around the creature?

  • Would Aura of Vitality give a visual indicator that shows the rough
    location of the invisible creature?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that the spell invisibility "ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell." What was the source of their invisibility? Were they made invisible before or after the Aura was cast? Were they the caster of the Aura? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    2 days ago
  • \$\begingroup\$ As Kirt says, you'd have to cast Aura of Vitality (concentration 1 minute) and then have someone else cast Invis (concentration 1 hour) on you. (Or use a ring of invisibility or other item that allows invis without your concentration. So you could find a hiding spot and cast aura, then re-up the invis effect.) Or a Greater Invisibility effect would let you cast a spell (like Aura of Vitality) without ending it, but Greater Invis only lasts a minute and is also concentration. Anyway, "during a fight" is short duration so some of these are plausible. \$\endgroup\$ yesterday

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Aura of Vitality does not create light

The spell states:

Healing energy radiates from you in an aura with a 30-foot radius. Until the spell ends, the aura moves with you, centered on you. You can use a bonus action to cause one creature in the aura (including you) to regain 2d6 hit points.

It does not say that the healing energy is giving off light, therefore there is no visible light.

As a consequence, there is no visual indication that there would be a invisible creature.

Compare this for example to the spell holy aura, also an aura, which explicitly talks about shedding light:

Divine light washes out from you and coalesces in a soft radiance in a 30-foot radius around you. Creatures of your choice in that radius when you cast this spell shed dim light in a 5-foot radius and have advantage on all saving throws, and other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against them until the spell ends.

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Well...

You can always target someone with an AoE spell or attack. If you do not know where your enemy is, then you would guess, but nothing says an invisible creature cannot be hit by those.

Alas, spells do only what they say they do

The description of aura of vitality spell reads:

Healing energy radiates from you in an aura with a 30-foot radius. Until the spell ends, the aura moves with you, centered on you.[...]

If "Healing energy" is a visible, hm, energy, then yes, it would show where is the center, and by extension the caster. As when something giving off light is invisible still do shed light from it's position, the same is with the Aura of Vitality. That would not mean the creature is visible, only that it's location is known mind you.

But... spells do only what they say they do

That above is true if that healing energy would be visible. Which nothing in spell description states it is. You can imagine it like green light or something similar, but that would be only your imagination, because energy is intangible and invisible. If spell produces visible effects, it always says so. So no, that spell would not give out player's location if he is hidden.

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Aura of Vitality does not create a visible area of effect.

The description of the spell says:

Healing energy radiates from you in an aura with a 30-foot radius. Until the spell ends, the aura moves with you, centered on you. You can use a bonus action to cause one creature in the aura (including you) to regain 2d6 hit points.

The word radiates means simply that the source of the healing energy is the caster and it may affect creatures in a spheric area of 30ft radius: there is no indication that the aura is visible.

As already noted in Groody's answer, if the aura created by a spell produces a visible effect this is clearly stated: notably, Holy Aura seems to be the sole spell with this name that has a visible effect.

Therefore, if Aura of Vitality has been cast before the invisibility takes place (regardless how the caster became invisible), using the effect of this spell does not shed lights nor gives hints on the position of the caster.

If invisibility takes place before the casting of Aura of Vitality there may be some issues.

The question does not state how the caster has become invisible. Let's consider the 3 main cases.

Invisibility spell. The text of Invisibility states (emphasis mine):

The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell.

Hence, if the caster was invisible due to the effect of this 2nd level spell, casting Aura of Vitality ends the invisibility.

Greater Invisibility spell. The text of Greater Invisibility states:

You or a creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends.

This time there is no ending due to spell casting: hence the caster of Aura of Vitality remains invisible. Anyway, the material component of Aura of Vitality is verbal: hence, the magic chanting may give hints to enemies where the caster is.

Invisible because hidden. The caster is hidden because, for example, they took the Hide Action before casting, and hence they are unseen by enemies. Following the rules for hiding:

[...] you give away your position if you make noise, such as shouting a warning or knocking over a vase [...]

Since casting Aura of Vitality requires a verbal component, the caster is making noise, hence they are giving away their position.

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    \$\begingroup\$ All the points about casting possibly ending invisibility are valid. I think however it is well possible that the aura was cast before invisibility, it has a 1 min concentration duration. Then, while invisible, you can use its bonus action to heal \$\endgroup\$ yesterday
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin right: I read "tried to use while invisible" as "cast while invisible". I will include the observations when AoV has been already cast before invisibility takes place. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    yesterday

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