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My level six moon druid can wild shape into a CR2 beast. I checked the monster finder and discovered there's a monster called an Enormous Tentacle.

I noticed the monster's senses include "blindsight 10ft" but I'm not sure if this replaces normal vision or is in addition to it. The monster also has "passive perception 12".

On the one hand, the monster is described as an "enormous tentacle" and I guess tentacles usually don't have eyes. On the other hand, it seems weird to give this creature a 35ft reach if it can only see ten feet.

I feel like, if a player character was fighting this thing, and they tried to argue "this monster can't see me because tentacles don't have eyes", they probably wouldn't get very far.

Is there anything in the monster manual about deciding whether a creature has vision?

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2 Answers 2

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The enormous tentacle can see you

The enormous tentacle is described on p. 54 of AcqInc:

The enormous tentacle uses the stat block of a giant constrictor snake with these changes:

  • It can reach anywhere inside this room.
  • It has no bite attack.

(The room is a circular room of about 70 foot diameter, with a large pool in the middle in which the tentacle resides.)

The giant constrictor snake is a normal snake, just oversized. So its vision should conform to that of a normal snake. Snakes are not blind outside of their blindsight, they have vision of shapes. Likewise, the Enormous Tentacle should have normal vision in addition to its blindsight, if its stat block is otherwise identical to that of a snake. So, yes, it can see. Eerie.


More generally, the Senses section in the stat block lists perception and special senses. The default is that the monster is not blind. The MM says on page 8:

If a monster is naturally blind, it has a parenthetical note to this effect, indicating that the radius of its blindsight defines the maximum range of its perception.

The giant constrictor snake's senses line looks like this:

Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 12

Because there is no parens that say it is blind beyond this radius, it can see normally.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It is worth noting that while the stat block is a specific creature, the intention and narrative is that it is part of a larger creature which isn't seen. In the tentacle room for example it talks about how the creature (which isn't seen) has tremorsense allowing it to see everyone in the room, so the giant snake is just a proxy for this. I doubt it is even intended to be a valid creature for wild shape. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jun 25 at 17:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri, yes I agree -- I think the Tentacle is like a special feature, not a normal creature. The Giant Constrictor Snake would be a creature to Wild Shape into. It is also CR 2, so it will fit. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 25 at 18:16
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The tentacle can see you. Creatures that are blind but have blindsight have sense descriptions that say,

Blindsight XX feet (blind beyond this radius).

Shambling Mound is an example of such a creature. Since the tentacle's senses block doesn't say anything like that, it can see normally.

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    – Someone_Evil
    Jun 27 at 16:58

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