The spell Blink raises some interesting problems.

First, many players believe the spell allows its recipient to attack with the benefits of invisibility (+2 to attacks, denial of Dexterity AC bonuses to the target--making it a really good effect for Sneak Attacking). I disagree, and don't believe the writeup of the spell supports this interpretation -- it talks about miss chances and blind fighting, which are similar considerations to invisibility, but this doesn't necessarily indicate that one gains these offensive benefits. A person under a Blink effect is only unseen in the time they are Not Actually Present ( at those moments they are in another dimension). Thus, for the 80% of attacks the Blinking character is in the Material plane for, these benefits would not apply. The other 20% of attacks the issue is moot -- they are unseen because they are in another dimension, but their attacks would not affect someone on the material plane so their visibility is kind of irrelevant. Unless such attacks can hurt someone on the material plane from the ethereal (very rare -- perhaps a weaponlike Transdimensional Spell could do it) the attacks would not get the offensive benefits of invisibility. Do you think me wrong on this?

Second, how does one handle grappling a Blinking character? I can't find anything approaching a definitive authority on this. I houseruled that initiating a grapple is handled like any other attack: if the initial touch attack avoids the 50% miss chance, a grapple check is made and if successful the Blinking character takes the attacker's unarmed damage, and the attacker moves into the Blinker's square. But I ruled that the grapple cannot be maintained and the Blinker is treated as if materializing inside a solid object -- the blinker is shunted to the nearest open square and takes 1d6 damage/square, but automatically escapes the grapple. I've seen others rule that grappling attempts automatically fail from the start (like Freedom of Movement) and still others rule that a successful grapple suppresses the Blink effect. I don't believe there is an official ruling on this. Am I wrong? What do you think is the right, or at least best, way to handle this issue?


closed as too broad by LitheOhm, Brian Ballsun-Stanton Dec 4 '13 at 23:53

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    \$\begingroup\$ There are two questions here. Please split them up and title them well. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Dec 4 '13 at 23:53

Using the Blink Spell on SRD, I see the following:

You strike as an invisible creature

So it does necessarily include this bonus. Your attack can't be parried, dodged, or even seen for half of it but it will still connect, whether once in the body or at striking point. Nonetheless, you are in fact invisible. Plus, you are invisible 50% of the time, and only ethereal 20% of the time (as per the rule about seeing invisible attackers). If you'd like, you can treat it as a 20% chance for an attack to miss Prime Material or hit Ethereal but that might make it too crunchy.

An ethereal . . . can move through solid objects, including living creatures.

For each 5 feet of solid material you walk through, there is a 50% chance that you become material. If this occurs, you are shunted off to the nearest open space and take 1d6 points of damage per 5 feet so traveled.

I mostly agree with your assertion about grappling in this case as it is consistent contact. However, this isn't always a full pinning hold when in control of the grapple, so I might continue the 50% chance of being shunted, but otherwise the grapple would be lost as they might move ethereally out of the grapple before coming back in or even an Int based reflex save to know when the shift occurs for half or no damage. They could even rely on it, making it a 20% chance to break the grapple with no result.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What you are citing to is Jans Carton's Hypertext d20 SRD website, which is not an official publication--it is a third party site with a whole lot of unofficial annotations. The official Revised SRD is found on the WotC site, here [link]wizards.com/d20/files/v35/SpellsA-B.rtf . It did not include a writeup of Blink, so the primary authority remains the actual published 3.5 Player's Handbook, which doesn't say that. I respect Carton's work, but I think he dropped the ball on this one. \$\endgroup\$ – Epiphanis Dec 4 '13 at 19:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also -- Blink never makes you invisible per se. You can't be seen half the time because you are ethereal, not invisible; during those moments ethereal creatures can see you just fine. \$\endgroup\$ – Epiphanis Dec 4 '13 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Epiphanis you're going to see a lot of Carton's site on here. It's a widely accepted authority for 3.5 games and the 3.5e tag questions are littered with it. Aside from that, you mention yourself "[the official Revised SRD] did not include a writeup of blink..." \$\endgroup\$ – LitheOhm Dec 4 '13 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Epiphanis Both the original 3.5 Player's Handbook and updated-with-errata Player's Handbook include, "You strike as an invisible creature (with a +2 bonus on attack rolls), denying your target any Dexterity bonus to AC" (206). \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 4 '13 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Epiphanis d20SRD contains: A. SRD material, B. updated by official errata, C. a few unofficial table and section headers for easier reference, and D. one completely unofficial monster called out as such (scorpionfolk). Any other conflict you see (and to date, I have seen none) would be an error that should be reported using the contact information provided on the website for that purpose. It does not, for example, include extra rules or suggestions for rulings. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 5 '13 at 15:09

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