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As the title says, if you cause a creature to be Frightened of you, as in the Frightened condition, but they can somehow manage to not see you, do they stop rolling with disadvantage to attacks/ability checks?

Below are scenarios to illustrate my question.

Scenarios:

  • If a creature is frightened of you, and they turn their back against you to hit someone else, would they no longer have disadvantage to attack rolls/ability checks?

  • If a creature is frightened of you and they have Blindsight, can they close their eyes to stop seeing you, and hence stop rolling with disadvantage?

  • If a creature has 60 ft of movement and is frightened of you, and there is a corner they can reach in 15 ft that will block you from sight, can they run to that corner to stop being frightened, then run back to attack without disadvantage? Assume they would not provoke OA to do this, although the OA is immaterial to the question.

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If the source of the Frightened condition isn't within line of sight, you're still Frightened, but you don't suffer some of the effects of being Frightened.

  • A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight.
  • The creature can't willingly move closer to the source of its fear.

There's nothing here that indicates that breaking line of sight ends the Frightened condition. Specific features that inflict the condition might have clauses to that effect, but in general it's not the case.

To answer your specific examples:

If a creature is frightened of you, and they turn their back against you to hit someone else, would they no longer have disadvantage to attack rolls/ability checks?

No, they would still have disadvantage. Even if they turn their back, you would still be within line of sight, since 5e has no facing rules.

If a creature is frightened of you and they have Blindsight, can they close their eyes to stop seeing you, and hence stop rolling with disadvantage?

No. As above, line of sight doesn't require them to actually look at you.

If a creature has 60 ft of movement and is frightened of you, and there is a corner they can reach in 15 ft that will block you from sight, can they run to that corner to stop being frightened, then run back to attack without disadvantage?

They can run to a corner to block line of sight, and stop getting disadvantage on their rolls, but they are still Frightened, and they can't move back, since the second clause of the condition prevents moving closer to the source of their fear. Note that even if they could move back, as soon as the source of their fear was within line of sight, they would be getting disadvantage again.

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    \$\begingroup\$ for reference, DMG p.251: "to precisely determine... line of sight..., pick a corner of one space and trace an imaginary line from that corner to any part of another space. If at least one such line doesn't pass through or touch an object or effect that blocks vision... then there is line of sight." \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 May 11 '16 at 3:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Line of sight" is more about worrying that the scary thing can see YOU, not whether you can see it. \$\endgroup\$ – Sebkha May 11 '16 at 3:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sebkha Yep, the Bugblatter Beast of Traal it ain't. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 11 '16 at 3:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I just realized that, per a very strict reading of the line of sight rule, two Medium characters on opposite sides of a 5-foot thick wall, with a 1-foot diameter hole in the center of the wall's square, don't technically have line of sight, because although a line can easily be drawn from center to center of the two characters' squares, a line from any corner is at too great an angle to traverse the 1'x5' hole. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan Henderson May 11 '16 at 13:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems like the OP has some confusion on the definition of the term line of sight. It might be worth including the definition at the top of your post. \$\endgroup\$ – Ethan May 11 '16 at 20:16
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Frightened imposes disadvantage on attacks and ability checks

while the source of its fear is within line of sight.

So for the first two bullets: no, unless you were using optional Facing rules (DMG p. 252). Even with Facing though, for the second bullet still no, unless you rule/houserule that the optional Facing rules extend to “no facing at all” when closing your eyes.

For the last bullet, Frightened explicitly says yes to the first part, allowing you to run away to break line of sight:

while the source of its fear is within line of sight.

and then no to the second part since choosing to move towards it is impossible:

The creature can’t willingly move closer to the source of its fear.

Before you object that you can willingly move closer once you've broken line of sight, no you can't: if you break line of sight you're not suffering disadvantage anymore, but you're still Frightened.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Even using the optional facing rules, the creature would still be in Line of Sight to the source of the fear, and thus still roll with disadvantage. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Jun 13 '18 at 19:54

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