Let's say a PC has a Mirror image spell active on him and attempts the Hide action on it's turn.

As per the spell description, the mirrored images occupy the PC's space, usually a 5'x 5' square :

Three illusory duplicates of yourself appear in your space. Until the spell ends, the duplicates move with you and mimic your actions, shifting position so it’s impossible to track which image is real. (Player's Handbook, p.260)

As the images don't stand in the caster's exact location, but flit around in the square, would they, by the rules, hinder the chances of success of the Hide action? How exactly?


2 Answers 2


Short Answer: No, it should not have any effect by RAW.

5e spells have a way of being very specific, and the rule I usually see is that if it does not make mention, it is not part of the spell. You create three duplicates of yourself within your square, and they move about as to confuse enemies. Nothing on this has any mention of hiding, simply that others cannot track which is real. Also the fact that they mimic you I believe is the problem with attempting to hide with this spell.

The way I picture it, you now have three mirror images hiding in a 5x5 square (somehow, or attempting to). You probably have the benefit of the spell still, but does not effect your hide attempt. Your DM might award you something in regards to creativity however, using the duplicates to distract while you hide, if so though it would be the DM's discretion.

Also as support for this - other (slightly) similar questions (Does Mirror Image enable Sneak Attack?) disallow stacking of mechanics in similar ways, so I would play safe and say this does not as well.

As well, if you take a look at this (What advantages does hiding have?) the explaination of the advantages gained/used are listed quite well. You cannot hide if you are visible. Mirror Image does nothing to break that vision, however it does probably distract. The problem is that assuming the creature is looking at your square it probably sees all mirror images, and they are all hiding in a small area.

House Rule/Homebrew Idea: Give Disadvantage on stealth/hide.

As for house ruling this situation, I might opt to give the player disadvantage on his hide/stealth check. This is because although it is confusing which is the real one - they are all attempting to hide in a small area, and this would probably be a red flag for anything close by that happens to see any of the illusions. On the same note - it could almost be considered multiple stealth checks in the same square, which would certainly give disadvantage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this could benefit from a treatment about how GM might judge hiding harder (your doubles aren't hiding and are visible in the square) and not just easier. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 23:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ A fair point - I'll add a bit of additional thoughts for it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 13:33

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the situation. There're are (apparently) a bunch of you now. Some aren't real. It's "impossible" to tell which is which. If you're hiding behind a column, there is probably not enough room for the illusory images, so there they are, acting like they're hidden when they aren't. You're still hidden, but those other images are going to be a dead giveaway that something suspicious is going on.


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