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The lesser restoration spell description states:

You touch a creature and can end either one disease or one condition afflicting it. The condition can be blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned.

If a creature is blinded because they've had their eyes removed entirely, can the spell just replace their eyes?

The much higher level regenerate can explicitly regrow lost limbs, but does not actually mention eyes or other organs.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This raises the question of how much damage lesser restoration can fix? What about permanent blindness due to staring at the sun, or intense radiant damage (laser), which in real-world physics can cook your retinas and damage the mechanism that senses light. I'd say maybe on that. Or badly scratched corneas, or cataracts (clouded lenses)? Cataracts seem on the border with disease which this healing spell can also cure. Or damage to the optic nerve from trauma that doesn't pop the eyeball. (I supposed I should ask a new question if there isn't one already.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 26 at 4:02

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The spell does not restore any organ or limb.

Lesser restoration ends one condition, among the list provided in the spell's description or one disease: it does not allow to restore an eye or a limb.

A spell that provides such an effect explicitly states it in its description, such as regenerate, as already noted in the question:

The target's severed body members (fingers, legs, tails, and so on), if any, are restored after 2 minutes. If you have the severed part and hold it to the stump, the spell instantaneously causes the limb to knit to the stump.

This is confirmed also by the DMG, page 272:

Lose an Eye. You have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost eye. If you have no eyes left after sustaining this injury, you're blinded.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good find on the DMG quote. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Jan 24 at 22:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ A fascinating RAW question, though: If someone gouges your eyes out (perhaps an interrogation that... escalated) and thus you are blinded, does this spell end the condition without restoring the eye(s)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Commented Jan 24 at 22:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Novak Indeed: after some search I may have found something useful, beside (excellent) Thomas' answer. I recall also some discussion about the differences between being blind and having the blinded condition, but I fail to retrieve it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Jan 25 at 9:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Novak I think that would depend on the condition of the gouged eyes. In practice, (partial) blindness will occur far before the eyeball is crushed or removed, e. g. due to retina, nerve, cornea, blood vessel, or muscle damage, etc. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 26 at 7:07
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No.

Some conditions have underlying causes. Unless you treat those, the subordinate condition cannot be removed.

For example, the stunned condition:

A stunned creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can't move [...]

So, when you are stunned, you are also incapacitated. Let's imagine an effect that can remove incapacitated, but does not affect stunned. Would it work?

No. Because to lift the effects of incapacitated, you need to remove stunned.

Therefore, the creature might be blind, but unless you remove the underlying cause of blind, it will remain blind.

Spells and temporary effects that directly cause a condition tend to end when the condition is lifted, unless it says so in the effect description.

A DM may even consider that the blind condition is removed but immediately re-applied. In any case, the spell will fail to produce the desired effect.

To restore the sight of a creature without eyes, you need to restore at least one eye.

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Creatures without eyes are typically immune to the blinded condition.

This search at D&D Beyond shows creatures immune to the blinded condition, and many of them share one notable characteristic: they have no eyes. Having no eyes, they are immune to effects that blind a creature’s eyes. Now, most of these eyeless creatures also have blindsight or another special sense, but there’s no rule saying you can’t just have no senses at all.

So having your eyes gouged out isn’t something that gives you the blinded condition that could be cured via lesser restoration, rather it removes your sense of sight and makes you immune to blindness like other eyeless creatures.

This is similar to the case of an NPC from Princes of the Apocalypse, Hellenrae:

The chief lieutenant of Marlos Urnrayle, Hellenrae lost her sight as a child. A bitter, angry orphan, she was taken in by a monastic order and trained to use her other senses to compensate.

Hellenrae has immunity to blindness, and blindsense out to 60 feet due to her other sense being sharpened. I imagine if restoring her sight were as simple as lesser restoration, she would have already done that.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "having your eyes gouged out isn’t something that gives you the blinded condition" -> This directly contradicts the DMG, according to Eddymage's answer: "Lose an Eye. [...] If you have no eyes left after sustaining this injury, you're blinded." \$\endgroup\$
    – walen
    Commented Jan 25 at 9:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ A creature is immune to the blinded effect if it can "see" by means other than normal eyes. Whether or not one also has functioning eyes is a separate question. So "having your eyes gouged... makes you immune to blindness" is only true in the sense that a normal eye-reliant creature that has lost its eyes is immune to FURTHER blinding effects, because it's already blinded and that isn't a condition that stacks. One might as well say that decapitating a standard human grants immunity to "Power Word: Kill". \$\endgroup\$
    – Jay McEh
    Commented Jan 25 at 14:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ and trained to use her other senses to compensate - Until that step happens, the Blinded condition is applicable. If you're talking about ordinary humans that relied on vision, but recently had their eyes gouged out, I find it implausible to argue that they're not Blinded, exactly like if you put a blindfold over them or damaged their eyes in more subtle ways that left them physically filling the sockets. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do agree with the conclusion that Lesser Restoration won't restore gouged-out eyes, or remove a blindfold, but disagree with this answer's reasoning / premises. e.g. a human that recently lost their eyes and wasn't already specially trained for darkness or being blindfolded will clearly have disadvantage on their attacks because they can't see, for the reason stated under the Blinded condition. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 26 at 3:55

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