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I know the spell says you can communicate with the familiar telepathically if you are within 100 feet of it but the wording afterwards does not actually say the shared senses have to adhere to the 100 feet range set for telepathy. I think I'm missing something really obvious.

How far does a familiar have to be so can you actually see through it?

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2 Answers 2

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100 Feet

While your familiar is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, 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.

The standard spell applies to everything after.

Warlock Familiar for Contrast

A good example that proves this point is the exceptions made by the Pact of Chain Familiar with Voice of the Chain Master Invocation.

You can communicate telepathically with your familiar and perceive through your familiar's senses as long as you are on the same plane of existence. Additionally, while perceiving through your familiar's senses, you can also speak through your familiar in your own voice, even if your familiar is normally incapable of speech.

This would be a necessarily wordy and weak invocation if that wasn't the intent.

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The 'Additionally' part of the next sentence seems to imply that they are bound to the same rules

From the SRD, here is the text of the spell:

While your familiar is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, 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.

Emphasis mine. The addition of 'Additionally' to the start of the sentence implies to me that the previous sentence needs to be taken into account. For instance:

Thanks for agreeing to watch my dog this weekend! While I'm away feel free to watch my TV or use my WiFi. Additionally, you can eat whatever is in the fridge if you get hungry

To me, that sentence implies you can eat anything from the fridge while you're watching my dog this weekend. I didn't give you carte blanche to take whatever you wanted from my fridge from this day forward, I simply gave you permission to eat from it at a specific time. If you walked into my house 3 months from now and started raiding the fridge, that wouldn't be what I intended above even though technically I did tell you you could do it.

DnD 5e seems to defer to a standard-english reading of most passages as a pseudo-ruling by default, so since we can make a pretty strong argument that 'Additionally' depends on the conditions in the previous sentence, I think we can be reasonably certain that you need to be within 100 feet for you to see and hear through your familiar.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Last paragraph is important in understanding 5e ruleset. As a player, don't go lawyering away from the meaning gained from standard reading just to bend stuff your way. That is the GM private territory. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this answer is great but accepted the other one because it pointed out the contrast. Nevertheless, +1. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 6:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ "With your new iPhone, as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can surf the internet. Additionally, you can play candy crush". I honestly don't think the wording indicates that they're connected. The word "Additionally" feels more like it's adding on a completely new idea than extending an existing one. In your example, the meaning came more from other cues than the use of the word "additionally". Firstly, since I'm dog-sitting for you, it's fair that I should get your food for the duration of that dog-sitting, but it's not fair that I would get it forever thereafter. (1/2) \$\endgroup\$
    – MrHiTech
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, because I'll only be in your house for the duration of the dog-sitting, I'd only have easy access to the fridge for that long. Eating something from the fridge immediately when you get hungry implies you have easy access to the fridge, so it's implied that only then would you be eating from my fridge. Finally, it's important to consider the contexts of these things. I'm going to see you after you finish dog-sitting, and can update my instructions then if need be. (2/2) \$\endgroup\$
    – MrHiTech
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 18:43

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