Can you use the "Thunderwave" spell to temporarily blind creatures that rely on tremorsense? It would be akin to hitting a sighted creature with a blinding flash of light. Could you also overcome a creatures "Scent" ability with say a blast of perfume or essential peppermint oil or a skunk's spray?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking from the perspective of a player or as a DM looking to make a ruling? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 17 '17 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would tremorweave be like a bliding flash of light? Tremorweave works through air, does not break/penetrate barriers. It is more a (non-deafening) sonic boom than a ground shockwave. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin May 17 '17 at 17:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast how would that affect answers? \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin May 17 '17 at 17:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin Because if a DM, it becomes a matter of addressing how and why to make a ruling. Because if a player, you have to be advised to discuss with your DM if you want a ruling, or are hoping that the spell works in a particular way. A player can't just say "we rule it this way" in 5e. But the player can recommend a ruling ... \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 17 '17 at 17:52

RAW, no.

Nothing in the spell description specifies that.

RAF (Rules as Fun)

I'd call that a creative use of resources, and allow it, at least to give the tremorsensor disadvantage on attacks for a round or two. (And possibly summon all its brethren from miles around.)

Advantage and Disadvantage (Chapter 1; PHB)

Advantage reflects the positive circumstances surrounding a d20 roll, while disadvantage reflects the opposite.

Advantage and Disadvantage (Chapter 7; PHB)

The DM can also decide that circumstances influence a roll in one direction or the other and grant advantage or impose disadvantage as a result.

  • \$\begingroup\$ summon all it's brethren... +1 \$\endgroup\$ – C Anderson May 17 '17 at 19:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe save vs Constitution on casting and again at end of each of the affected creature's turns \$\endgroup\$ – Clearly Toughpick May 20 '17 at 8:01

No, it doesn't

There are multiple ways to deal with creatures with tremorsense, check the Tremors series. But none of those are relevant to Thunderwave, as the spell says:

A wave of thunderous force sweeps out from you. Each creature in a 15-foot cube originating from you must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 2d8 thunder damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn't pushed.

In addition, unsecured objects that are completely within the area of effect are automatically pushed 10 feet away from you by the spell's effect, and the spell emits a thunderous boom audible out to 300 feet.

As we can see, there is nothing about blinding or deafening creatures, even though the spell creates a boom audible from 300 feet away. If the creature with tremorsense is within the spell radius, it will have to make a save to reduce the damage, but no additional effect happens.

If anything, this could mean that creatures with tremorsense could probably sense your character from further than normal (if they also have ears), due to the sound generated above the ground.

Keep in mind that the maximum distance travelled by a standard human (you and me) voice while still being intelligible is about 560 feet. That is much further than the distance of this boom. While the spell description does make it sound like its a very loud explosion sound, it is not that big of a deal, as the sound of a real thunder can be heard from miles away.


"Blinding" tremorsense should only work, if you make the creature or the ground tremble for a longer period, like Thaumaturgys tremor or an Earthquake, or somehow "disconnect" your standing ground from the creatures ground, even for a short period. And even then, it should be DM decision.

With the "Scent", that could be possible in real life application, but still it is not described in the rules afaik, so it should be DM decision.


Being not stated in the rules, it is up to the DM but remember that the duration of Thunderwave is instantaneous, so its effect ceases immediately after being cast.

As for the "Scent" ability, I would say that the DM could assign disadvantage to a Perception check based on smell.


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