How can a fighter still see invisible objects while attending a soiree wherein at the door magic items are confiscated and active spells can be dispelled?

There's a quest in a special dimension where an artifact will be put up for auction. It is rumored that the item can be seen only via see invisibility, true seeing or other equivalent spells, but they can be dispelled on the spot.

I want to steal it but need to see it first.

Way One: A smart fighter finds a friend tattoer with Inscribe Magical Tattoo feat and pays him for See Invisibility Tattoo. Than he activates the tattoo, followed by casting Permanency spell by 11th level friend wizard. This application of permanency can be dispelled only by a caster of higher level than you were when you cast the spell ! Hah

Way Two: A smart fighter boosts his perception skill via feats, skill points etc.

Way Three: A psionic equivalent to See Invisibility or True Seeing, albeit not on an item as it'd get confiscated

Way Four: Acquire somehow scent ability to sniff out invisible artifact


2 Answers 2


Important thing to remember: Invisible does not mean formless or lacking mass.

This sort of issue with mundane ways to find invisible creatures and objects has existed since Tabletop games have begun.

Want a simple, low cost (but increasing time cost depending on the area that needs to be searched)?


Thats right, your common baking ingredient can foil invisibility (Though in combat it usually only aids in helping mark a target until they move/remove the flour. You still take fighting a concealed enemy penalties.)

If anyone wishes to rules lawyer you because they want to force you to use magic in a no magic zone keep in mind the following:

  • You are a fighter
  • Mundane can beat magical
  • Invisibility is not a world altering spell, nor is greater invisibility. It only affects sight
  • The object still possesses mass and thus occupies space
  • The flour must do one of the following on contact: show an outline of the invisible object or hide the flour. It cannot allow the flour to pass through without the item being mass-less (and then you would have an entrely different issue. How does one grab what does not exist)

Is spreading any sort of substance around going to necessarily be the cleanest way to do something in a social situation? No, thats where good ROLEPLAY in a ROLEPLAYING game comes in handy. Perhaps you pose as someone important who likes his snuff box despite being "highly allergic". Or wear elaborate clothes with plenty of room. Hell, hide it in a powdered wig. Or use the powdered wig. Use dancing streamers (less effective but they are long and can still touch an object an alter course, you just have to be paying attention.) Be the bumbling drunk using people themselves as your quick senses. Or get creative and use all or more of the same concept ideas.

Course you can always take the base concept (item has mass even if invisible) and run wild. Filling a mansion with water is a great way to make a splash. (invisible object will appear as a pocket of air)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Glitterdust is similar from a spell perspective, except it will stay with the target...and on cast, can potentially blind. Flour is a much simpler version of this without the lasting bright duration and status effect (with the ability to raise the DC) \$\endgroup\$
    – TechImp
    Jan 5, 2016 at 20:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Look, I know how to steal it, I am just trying to get as much possibilities as I can :) For me the simpliest way is to use my really big cloak to unfold it and let it cover the artifact and than with a quick maneuver ... You are clever boy! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2016 at 20:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh I meant no disrespect with the roleplay comment. I just have a really good group who manage to make it a joy for me to DM for each week because they actually play out like their character and it makes even small obstacles a fun experience. Too few groups I feel do that ^_^ \$\endgroup\$
    – TechImp
    Jan 5, 2016 at 21:41

Look Really Hard

You can spot invisible objects with an ordinary Perception check (links to d20pfsrd.com). The penalty for spotting an invisible object is -20, the difficulty of which really depends on your level.

Some possibilities to help make your Perception check:

  • Depending on how much privacy you have, consider taking 10 or 20 instead of rolling.
  • Several spells add to Perception. Perceive Clues (+5 competence bonus) can be created by an Alchemist while in the party (provided she has her equipment). Other alchemist formulae may have similar effects.


With blindsense you can detect invisible objects. The echolocation formula gives you blindsense within 40 ft.


This is not a RAW option, but a GM might be open to it. The scent special quality doesn't explicitly provide a Perception bonus, but it does allow you to identify things by scent:

Creatures with the scent ability can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights.

Maybe you could get away with detecting an unfamiliar or unique odor - like the artifact.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Scent? Hmm. An artefact really hasn't familiar odor, unless I had it once for a while in my possession, which is not my case. But thanks, good to know :) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 3, 2016 at 16:57

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