The Seeming spell "disguises physical appearances as well as clothing, armor, weapons, and equipment".

  1. Does this mean you can make weapons disappear as part of the disguise, or that you can only disguise them as other weapons or a staff or something? It seems weak for a 5th level spell if you can't disguise your troops as unarmoured peasants, but if you can hide equipment then that brings up question #2...
  2. If you can hide weapons, what happens when combat breaks outs and people start swinging (or shooting) them? If I disguise my longbow as a walking stick then presumably I pick it up and make shooting motions. But what if I disguise my longbow or battle axe as not being there at all because I'm wearing peasant rags and want to appear unarmed?

The Seeming spell:

This spell allows you to change the appearance of any number of creatures that you can see within range. You give each target you choose a new, illusory appearance. An unwilling target can make a Charisma saving throw, and if it succeeds, it is unaffected by this spell.

The spell disguises physical appearances as well as clothing, armor, weapons, and equipment. You can make each creature seem 1 foot shorter or taller and appear thin, fat, or in-between. You can't change a target's body type, so you must choose a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs. Otherwise, the extent of the illusion is up to you. The spell lasts for the duration, unless you use your action to dismiss it sooner.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The question is probably even more relevant with melee weapons, as in melee combat opponents rely heavily on seeing your weapon for defending. \$\endgroup\$
    – biziclop
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I originally had melee weapons in mind but used longbow as an example so it was easier to imagine. I've edited to also add a reference to a melee weapon. You make a good point that it should impact melee combat and parrying, but I know there are no rules for that (the spell does what the spell does) so I think it gets hand waved away. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Had a fun time searching "D&D invisible weapon" and reading forum posts on this topic from 2007 and stuff. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kaia
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kaia, I created a magic sheath that caused weapons to be invisible while in the sheath. So to a causal on-looker, the character looked unarmed. The players loved it until they encountered some downfalls of only being "invisible"; It would still be felt during a pat down search and on close examination someone could see clothing out of place, or hear it knocking as the character moved. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 17:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ A different spell (disguise self), but related discussions on what observers actually see: Can a Firbolg standing behind a wall see without being seen?, If my Firbolg lifts a barrel over their head while appearing 3ft taller from their Disguise Self, where does the barrel appear? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


Seeming only changes how things look

You omitted an important part of the spell's text:

The changes wrought by this spell fail to hold up to physical inspection. For example, if you use this spell to add a hat to a creature's outfit, objects pass through the hat, and anyone who touches it would feel nothing or would feel the creature's head and hair. If you use this spell to appear thinner than you are, the hand of someone who reaches out to touch you would bump into you while it was seemingly still in midair.

A creature can use its action to inspect a target and make an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If it succeeds, it becomes aware that the target is disguised.

You can entirely disguise that you have weapons

Since you can use it to make things that are present non-visible (e.g. when appearing thinner), you can make weapons entirely disappear in the illusion, for example, to appear as an unarmed peasant, as long as you adhere to the restrictions, i.e. you cannot make the creatures overall appear larger or smaller or have a different body type than the spell allows.

You only can become aware of the disguise, not "see through" it

If combat breaks out, and the disguised or invisible weapons cause damage, then the victim will realize something is wrong, because the weapons interact with them physically.

Will that lead to the illusion automatically failing like for minor illusion, or is all they can achieve to be aware something is wrong? Minor Illusion has the same language about not holding up to physical interaction but states:

If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the illusion becomes faint to the creature.

Here, the spell does not say it becomes faint if you succeed on the Intelligence (Investigation) check, only that the creature "becomes aware that the target is disguised". This would mean that even if you are aware of the disguise, it does not become faint, and you still cannot look through it. Seeming is a much higher level spell, and usually, higher level spells have more powerful effects.

I think you automatically become aware as you get hit, because that is a kind of "physical inspection". You only need to spend an action if you do not physically interact, but suspect something is wrong.

Interacting with disguised weapons

When they hit you, you'll know the disguised creatures are hitting you with something invisible or different from what it appears as. What are the mechanical effects of fighting against an invisible or disguised weapon?

If the entire attacker is invisible, they get Advantage on attacks. Here only the weapon is invisible, so the invisible condition for the attacker does not apply. And the effect of not being able to see your attacker and what they do at all should be larger than the effect of just not being able to see their weapon. As the spell does not say it gives advantage on disguised weapon attacks, rules-as-written it would not give Advantage to attacks.

Intuitively however, it should still be harder to dodge or parry an invisible weapon, or one that has other dimensions than the one you see. I think it would be up to the DM to give some circumstantial bonus here, or not, depending on the situation.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It would also be harder to use an invisible weapon, especially one like a bow. Knowing the pan you're holding is a 5-ft long greatsword is one thing, knowing how far away that point is is a whole other issue. I'd just rule it that the benefits and negatives even out most of the time, occasionally awarding or a assigning circumstantial bonus/penalties for particularly good or poor use of the effects. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 18:23

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