The 2nd-level Sor/Wiz spell see invisibility [div] (PH 275) allows an affected target to see nearby creatures and objects on the Ethereal Plane, but is there an inexpensive magic item or a low-level spell to see likewise creatures and objects on the similarly conterminous Plane of Shadow?

The character that needs this can probably afford to spend as much as 10,000 gp on such an item. Any spell would ideally have a duration of at least ten minutes and be lower than 4th-level so as to fit in a wand; the character is not a spellcaster and lacks combat-sufficient ranks in the skill Use Magic Device. The character has to see what's nearby because he's going there right now, making scrying effects et al. impractical. Because this is likely an item or spell nonexistent in official material, third party or even well-executed homebrew are options.

"Just don't go there!"

I know that I shouldn't even be using the spell shadow walk because the spells teleport and plane shift are better, but I intend to use shadow walk anyway because my character will have it as an extraordinary, spell-like, or supernatural ability. (Sword and Fist and its FAQ differ on the exact nature of the special ability shadow walk, the prestige class ghostwalker's level 5 class feature.) I'd really like to avoid using the special ability shadow walk to Batman from Commissioner Gordon's office onto the Plane of Shadow only to end up next to a nightwalker having tea at the coterminous desk or something.

Also, more generally, I'm a little worried about folks that make their homes on the Plane of Shadow wanting revenge after their lives are destroyed because a breath weapon, area effect power, or area effect spell modified by the feat Transdimensional Breath (DrF 50), Transdimensional Power (CP 64), or Transdimensional Spell (CAr 84), respectively, is used without checking the coterminous area first. Using a fireball on a dude sleeping in a rope trick is hilarious, but also irritating a pack of shadow mastiffs that are right next to a Material Plane border? Not so much.


While it doesn't allow sight, Greater Alarm from the Spell Compendium will at least tell you whether there are any enemies in the vicinity. Given the fact that the spell is 2nd level and there is a 4th level spell that actually allows someone to travel to the Plane of Shadow temporarily (Shadow Well) I would probably estimate a spell that allowed you to see into the Plane of Shadow at 3rd level at most.

In fact, the easiest way of modeling this might just be a "Greater See Invisibility" spell-- 3rd level, sees into the Plane of Shadow, and otherwise identical to the original spell. The level boost also matches up with the Alarm and Greater Alarm spells.

Other relevant magic in the Spell Compendium is Zone of Revelation (5th level cleric) which reveals all forms of invisibility, etherealness, and presence on the Plane of Shadow.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. Thank you especially for pointing me at zone of revelation (SpC 244) which, while a 5th-level spell, I overlooked and can probably be cut down to a 3rd-level spell by altering its duration, area, or effect. (Seriously, for example, Scog doesn't need everyone to see the dudes on the Plane of Shadow; only he needs to.) Thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6 '16 at 8:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, glad it was helpful. The only issue with a reduced Zone of Revelation (vs a See Invisiblity effect), is that you end up with something anchored in space. If you're only effecting yourself, a modified See Invisiblity would probably be more useful-- though it really depends on what your DM allows, assuming that isn't you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Balthanon
    Jan 7 '16 at 7:45

The Psionic power of Touchsight to the rescue!

Touchsight grants you an area effect sense of touch, which ignores any form of darkness up to and including any "physical environment obscuring sight", not to mention invisibility or concealment. It is an emanation, requiring line of effect, but not line of sight.

If one is not on the Plane of Shadow, one might use the Transdimenionsal Power Metapsionic effect to finish the job. However, your DM's interpretation may vary, check with them first.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Wait, touchsight extends to coterminous planes? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5 '17 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should add the Transdimensional Power metapsionic feat to this answer to allow touchsight to actually reach into the Plane of Shadow. Without it, it definitely does not. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 5 '17 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I don't think even Transdimensional Power would work since the range on touchsight is personal: the affected power "has its full normal effect on incorporeal creatures, creatures on the Ethereal Plane or the Plane of Shadow, and creatures within an extradimensional space in the power’s area." \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5 '17 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I would rule that touchsight does have an area affected by the feat, even if it isn’t listed in an area heading. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 5 '17 at 16:01

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