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I saw an interesting interaction today about the Leonin Daunting Roar ability. There was a blinded Leonin adjacent to allies and enemies. He wanted to use the Daunting Roar ability. The relevant text of the ability is "Creatures of your choice within 10 feet of you".

The DM ruled that the Leonin couldn't choose just enemy creatures since he was blinded, so the roar would affect all allies and enemies. My question is:

Does the Daunting Roar ability need the Leonin to be able to see a creature to allow it to be one of the chosen creatures?

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Rules as written, it does not. Partial text of Daunting Roar, emphasis added:

As a bonus action, you can let out an especially menacing roar. Creatures of your choice within 10 feet of you that can hear you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you until the end of your next turn.

The creatures affected by the Daunting Roar must be within 10 feet, and must be able to hear you.

The rules do not specify how the Leonin must choose. There is a great deal of latitude here for the DM. A reasonable ruling could be that the Leonin can simply choose "all my enemies", or "the creature on my left, and the one in front of me", or "the three trying to kill me", or "that big ogre" or many other ways of choosing which creatures are affected. There is nothing that says the Leonin must see the creatures to choose them. Close your eyes. Think of some things in the room with you. Keyboard, phone, pens, books. Mentally choose several. You need not see them to choose them.

Contrast with numerous features where you do need to see in order to choose, where the phrasing is creatures or targets "that you can see within range"; a few examples out of many being the spells bane, magic missile, and teleport.

You may wish to clarify with the DM how the feature works in this particular game. The DM may have a different idea of how it should work. It's also possible that the DM made a ruling to keep the game moving, intending to more fully understand the feature out of session. Happens all the time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer. That makes sense, I'll talk with the DM offline to see if they want it to work a specific way or just made the ruling, as you said, to keep the game going. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ian Graven
    May 28 at 20:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ To add to this, there are numerous examples where the rules specifically require you to see your targets of choice. For example the spell Bane: dndbeyond.com/spells/bane If Daunting Roar was meant to require sight, it would have specified it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pepijn
    May 28 at 23:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pepijn, I included some examples, including yours. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    May 29 at 0:19

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