I am playing a Rogue with the Arcane Trickster archetype.

Are there any Level 5 (or lower) 5e Wizard spells that allow the caster to eavesdrop / spy on / bug a conversation or private event?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you just looking for the ability to spy on things? Or leave a long-term sensor behind to gather information over a prolonged period of time? Do you have any range requirements for it? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 14:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly related: Is there any sort of permenant tracking spell or device in 5e? Could one be made? \$\endgroup\$
    – DrPhil
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for a specific level at which you would do this? \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually it doesn't matter as long as it lets me listen to people without them knowing it's all good. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vicidsmart
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vicidsmart I'd recommend revising your post to describe specifically what criteria you want of the recommended spells. Do you want to hear, see, hear and see, get temperature sensations etc? Also, a duration needed would be helpful as well. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 16:14

4 Answers 4


The following spells may apply here:

Arcane Eye: Creates an invisible magic eye that can be moved and seen through for up to 1 hour (concentration required)

Clairvoyance: Creates a magical sensor in a place you are familiar with, granting you sight or hearing (your choice) in the location for up to 10 minutes (concentration required)

Scrying: Creates a magical sensor targeting a specific creature. On a failed save you can see and hear the creature for up to 10 minutes (concentration required)

Find Familiar: Creates a familiar you can communicate with telepathically (up to 100 feet), thus it could act as a bug if well hidden

Invisibility: Makes a creature invisible for up to 1 hour (concentration required) or until they attack or cast a spell. (see also: Greater Invisibility allows hostile actions, but has a 1 minute duration)

Polymorph: Turns a creature into a different creature for up to one hour (concentration required). This option changes your ability scores, so your new form must be intelligent enough understand and recall whatever information it gathers. (unfortunate that being a literal bug will not work...)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Fundamental problem with polymorph is that you don't retain your intelligence while in that form. Meaning you could be there and listen but you may not understand anything let alone remember it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth Good point - I'll note that above. \$\endgroup\$
    – Conduit
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for scrying alone; It literally does what the OP has asked for. For Polymorph, are pixies still able to turn invisible in 5e? \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 23:44

You could go with...

Find Familiar (Ritual) (PHB Pg.240)

Wizard, 1st level Conjuration

"...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 the next turn."

Or with

Clairvoyance (PHB Pg.222)

Bard/Cleric/Sorcerer/Wizard, 3rd level Divination

"You create an invisible sensor within range in a location." "...When you cast the spell, you choose seeing or hearing. You can use the chosen sense through the sensor as if you were in its space"


Clairvoyance pops to mind. Any number of scrying spells and magic items exist. So yes, easily enough. Also such things as a rat familiar (or druid) hidden in the walls. Owl on the windowsill. Detect Thoughts spell, or other mindreading, on a participant. Lots of options.


Arcane Eye, Clairvoyance, Scrying... Dominating one of the members before or after will also work.


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