The spell mirror image creates figments of the caster.

These figments separate from you and remain in a cluster, each within 5 feet of at least one other figment or you. You can move into and through a mirror image. When you and the mirror image separate, observers can’t use vision or hearing to tell which one is you and which the image. The figments may also move through each other. The figments mimic your actions, pretending to cast spells when you cast a spell, drink potions when you drink a potion, levitate when you levitate, and so on.

In the DnD faq, it states that you can have all the figments and yourself in the same square.

So all of that seems simple enough, however, the last paragraph in the spell is confusing.

An attacker must be able to see the images to be fooled. If you are invisible or an attacker shuts his or her eyes, the spell has no effect. (Being unable to see carries the same penalties as being blinded.)

So I am wondering, if someone closes their eyes, do they still need to know which square my real character is in? Can they do this using the listen check, and will this fail if the mirror images are in different squares to the original caster?


2 Answers 2


Shutting your eyes makes the mirrored caster invisible to you.

In order to discern the square of an invisible creature you may attempt a Listen check at a DC equal to the creature's Move Silently check +20. If you succeed, you suffer the normal 50% miss chance due to total concealment.

Mirror images don't produce sound, so you cannot detect them and they cannot foil your listen check. If they occupy the same square as the caster, however, there is a gray zone.
My opinion is that you can't be foiled by vision, so if you reach the AC and beat the 50% miss chance you'll strike the real caster.

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ If mirror images don't produce sound, then why does the spell description say "observers can’t use vision or hearing to tell which one is you and which the image"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Naurgul
    Jan 16, 2011 at 18:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's a quite clever point. The text you cited seems to contradict the fact that this spell doesn't fool a blinded target (last sentence of its description). I inferred the fact that figments of the caster don't produce sound by that sentence. However, being as the words you mentioned state, the figments could produce sound, but it doesn't matter in the case the attacker can't see them... odd. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 17, 2011 at 10:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ this is just a case of function defining form. It is clear that they wanted a character to be able to choose to fight in the blind to ignore the spell, but did NOT want a character to be able to just make a listen check to ignore the spell altogether. The first one would make for a cool scene, the second one would render the spell almost useless. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yandros
    Feb 22, 2012 at 23:15

A real world scientific description would be that vision is the dominant sense for the human brain, and as long as you can see the illusion, your eyes dominate and your ears don't get the chance to tell you the truth even though they hear it. Only when you close your eyes, do your ears get the chance to reveal the facts.

Any creature that has another dominant sense, such as smell for dogs or hearing for bats, would be unaffected by this illusion.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That would make the spell useless against gnolls and suchlike... it's a pretty important point for the handbook not to mention, if it were that way. I wouldn't decide to arbitrarily weaken the spell like that to try to apply scientific reasoning to what is, literally, magic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yandros
    Feb 22, 2012 at 23:20

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