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The boss for a campaign i am writing right now is a high level spell caster. He will frequently be using the invisibility spell. The adventurers are all level 3, and none of them have any spells or skills that allow them to specifically locate an invisible object.

Is it possible that they can listen to the verbal part of a spell and locate where he is? I ask this because i notice that 14th Level rogues get the feature 'Blindsense' which allows them to detect any invisible creature within 10 feet of you so long as you can hear them.

Furthermore, by using a sorcery point, and investing it into metamagic, the boss can cast these spells without the verbal component as specified in the Subtle Spell section. If he were to do this, would there then be no way of detecting the boss?

I assume a high survival check would enable them to see footprints moving, but other than that?

Many thanks.

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marked as duplicate by Dale M dnd-5e Mar 5 '17 at 20:11

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Any attacks will give away the boss position:

The boss can stay invisible only if he does not attack. From PHB page (p 194-195)

Unseen Attackers and Targets

Combatants often try to escape their foes’ notice by hiding, casting the invisibility spell, or lurking in darkness.

When you attack a target that you can’t see, you have disadvantage on the attack roll. This is true whether you’re guessing the target’s location or you’re targeting a creature you can hear but not see. If the target isn’t in the location you targeted, you automatically miss, but the DM typically just says that the attack missed, not whether you guessed the target’s location correctly.

When a creature can’t see you, you have advantage on attack rolls against it.

If you are hidden—both unseen and unheard—when you make an attack, you give away your location when the attack hits or misses.

The invisibility spell also points this out:

A creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends. Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target's person. The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell.


The PCs themselves can still try and locate the boss by attacking areas where they think he will be and could potentially do AOE effects to try and effect him without knowing his exact location (like Faerie Fire). The can also try to grapple him one he reveals himself with an attack to prevent him from moving even if the boss tries to turn invisible.

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It's possible to locate invisible creatures by listening

According to the PHB (291), invisible creatures are heavily obscured:

For the purpose of hiding, the creature is heavily obscured.

Which is comparable to hiding in fog or dense foliage (PHB 183):

A heavily obscured area—such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage—blocks vision entirely.

It doesn't mute the noise that the creature could make, and so it's possible to roll a perception check (not a survival check) to detect where the wizard is.

Attacking the invisible wizard will happen at disadvantage

PHB 194 states:

When you attack a target that you can’t see, you have disadvantage on the attack roll. This is true whether you’re guessing the target’s location or you’re targeting a creature you can hear but not see.

Addendum: Greater Invisibility

The spell Greater Invisibility, which is a 4th level spell, does not reveal you when you attack. Indeed, you remain invisible for the entire duration, no matter what you do:

You or a creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends. Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person.

As a high level spellcaster, he could simply cast this spell for the fight and not have to spend so many actions.

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