I have an invisible enemy (an Oni).

The party's archer has just picked up a way to see invisible creatures.

He wants to use dye arrows to fire at the Oni and splash it with paint, which will then mark its location for everyone else.

Obviously the Oni can just use an action to become visible then go invisible again and turn the dye invisible - but until it does that, does this work? Does the dye get turned invisible even though it is applied after the invisibility is already active.


1 Answer 1


Yes, the target is made visible by the ink. From the Pathfinder Glossary entry on Invisibility:

If an invisible character picks up a visible object, the object remains visible. An invisible creature can pick up a small visible item and hide it on his person (tucked in a pocket or behind a cloak) and render it effectively invisible. One could coat an invisible object with flour to at least keep track of its position (until the flour falls off or blows away).

Until the target casts Invisibility again, or takes some other action to remove the dye, they'll remain marked by it. As a fluid, the dye would also drip off the target and stain their feet, meaning that one could keep track of the invisible creature's footprints or the dripping of the dye to follow them.

Note that the rules for whether the dye will fade with a second cast of Invisibility aren't stated explicitly, it would be down to GM fiat. The rules of Invisibility seem to suggest that it would fade, as it's now being "carried" by the creature.

If the recipient is a creature carrying gear, that vanishes, too.

Hitting the creature with dye in the first place requires that you overcome or negate the concealment gained by Invisibility (50% miss chance). A creature covered with dye may also retain that concealment while "visible" (due to the dye not totally covering them), subject to GM discretion.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The funny thing about this is that, strictly RAW, only flour would work. If someone blew another type of "traditional anti-invisibility tools", like paint as in the question or something else, it wouldn't work. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 13:02
  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ Flour was an example of something that could be used, not an all exhausted list. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben-Jamin
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 13:26
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @ThalesSarczuk strictly RAW: paint, dye, and other materials would be "visible objects". The invisible creature would need to cover the stain or remove it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ So does Pathfinder have rules for detecting and fighting invisible opponents based on the visible particles that get stuck on them by walking on dirty/dusty floors, mud, bumping into a dirty wall or person, pet hair, etc? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dronz
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 19:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dronz yes, you can attempt to notice (not pinpoint) an invisible creature with a DC 20 Perception check, attempt to pinpoint them with a DC 40 Perception check, and the invisible creature gets a +40 bonus to Stealth checks (+20 while moving). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 11:13

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