In 5e you can see through the eyes of your familiar with the find familiar spell.

...as an action, you can see through your familiar’s eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits of any special senses that the familiar has. During this time, you are deaf and blind with regard to your own senses.

Our DM ruled that this feature lasts for the specified duration, meaning our Wizard could not send out the familiar 60 feet around a corner and then effectively communicate with the party around the Wizard. He was blind and deaf with regard to his own senses until the start of his next turn. Our Wizard disagreed. I can see this either way, so I was curious if there was a definite answer.

Can you end this feature of the spell prematurely as is done with concentration spells?


You cannot end the effect early, but this should not prevent the wizard from speaking to the people around him.

The wording of the effect is very clear: until the beginning of your next turn. It is also important to note that the familiar does not move until its own turn, not during the wizard's, thus necessitating the full duration.

The wizard is deaf, but not dumb. Nothing about the spell or the defended condition prevents speech, although volume control would be impaired. The wizard could relay information to his companions, although he could not hear questions from them.

Now, there is one more point to consider. Can a character communicate during another character's turn? The chapter on combat, in the section entitled "Other activity on your turn," it says that you can communicate as you are able "as you take your turn." This does imply that you cannot communicate during any other turn. Since the familiar doesn't move until its own turn, the wizard will not be able to speak until the effect ends anyways. If the familiar is already in position before the wizard's turn in which he activates the effect, the wizard can describe what he sees at that time, although may speak more loudly or quietly than he intends from being deaf.

  • \$\begingroup\$ A familiar does not move on your turn? Interesting... \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Jan 11 '16 at 17:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Correct. The spell specifies that it has its own turn and initiative. The wizard commands it during his turn, and can cast spells through it on his turn, but the familiar moves and takes an action on its own. \$\endgroup\$ – Derek Stucki Jan 11 '16 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, you need to fix the phrasing of "... that the familiar does not move until its own turn, not during the wizard's...". \$\endgroup\$ – Theo Brinkman Jan 11 '16 at 21:08

Well, so there is the practical answer which is, a turn only lasts 6 seconds and you couldn't take another action until your next turn anyway.

I'd say 6 seconds isn't very much, and most certainly could be absorbed by "reorienting" yourself again.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, the Wizard wanted to cast magic stones as a bonus action (cantrip) and hand them out to the party. He could in theory also use his movement freely or interact with an object \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Jan 11 '16 at 17:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ No where is that limited really except blindness and deafness may make moving more difficult. Handing out equipment (stones) would still require an action. This isn't a simple object interaction \$\endgroup\$ – Escoce Jan 11 '16 at 17:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, walking towards a party member and holding out his hand certainly would be free, and they could take it on their turn. Either way, specifics are not important, but you CAN do more than just "an action" every turn. I just wanted to point that out because it matters. \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Jan 11 '16 at 17:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a point of contention, but a turn doesn't last 6 seconds, a round does. Turns occur within the round. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jan 12 '16 at 0:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli it's a minor contention, because all turns occur within the 6 second round and all turns are effectively 6 second long in succession within that 6 second round. \$\endgroup\$ – Escoce Jan 12 '16 at 0:23

Rules as written, no. The spell details that you use your familiars senses until the start of your next turn, without providing a statement saying you can end the effect earlier.

That said, a turn lasts 6 seconds. In, or out of combat, a nearby ally can shake you back to the here and now as needed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd like to know why this was downvoted. It seems reasonable to me \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Jan 11 '16 at 17:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PremierBromanov Probably because the second paragraph makes an assertion that could easily be wrong while providing no evidence that it might be right. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 11 '16 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, turns don't last 6 seconds, rounds do. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jan 12 '16 at 0:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli Difference without distinction? Rounds last 6 seconds, players get one turn per round short an additional effect. \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic Jan 12 '16 at 0:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ I responded to Escoce above with respect to this as well. While in this particular case it doesn't really matter, the distinction is necessary. Lair and legendary actions occur on a turn basis rather than a round basis, and due to this there is a significant difference between the two words. They are not interchangeable, although most of the time the consequences are identical. Picture a car and a truck. Both are vehicles, both can transport you, but they serve different purposes regardless of the vast similarities. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jan 13 '16 at 16:58

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