Published on December 19, 2022
Despite how much fun Manfred Mann’s Earth Band makes being “Blinded by the Light” out to be, it can be quite inconvenient in a game of D&D.
Sidharth Chaturvedi - Wizards of the Coast - Blindblast
Table of Contents
Blinded in D&D
Being blinded is something that nobody can truly escape. Whether it’s a particularly sunny day, someone’s high-beams blasting at you in the opposite lane, or an evil wizard casting darkness, it’s nearly an everyday occurrence. Blindness in 5e is no different, offering a ton of ways to blind yourself or others. But how does this status actually work?
Blindness is something that can affect anyone in the D&D world, especially unprepared adventurers. In previous editions, when a player became blinded, they would fall under some pretty negative ailments, like losing AC or movement speed. However, 5th edition D&D has made this condition much less crippling, while still being potent.
What is Blinded in 5e?
Blinded is a condition listed in the Player’s Handbook. When a creature is blinded, they are affected in two ways:
- A blinded creature can’t see, and fails any ability check that requires sight.
- Attack rolls against a blinded creature grant advantage, while the blinded creature’s attack rolls are made with disadvantage.
This leads to some interesting interactions, as being blinded can be common across an adventure. Many spells can blind players in different ways, or they may be blinded by simple things like literal blindfolds.
Mechanics That Affect Blinded
You may be upset to find out that there really isn’t much in the way of getting around blindness. This status effect was intentionally made to be potent, so there isn’t much leeway here.
As you can guess, spells don’t quite work when you can’t see your intended target. You need to be able to see where you’re casting some spells, which means that spells that don’t require touch are almost guaranteed to fail. Any spell that explicitly states “a point you can see” or similar verbiage will be impossible to cast while blinded.
This fighting style allows you to effectively see anything within 10ft of you that isn’t obscured by coverage, including when you’re blinded.
A rare ability that very few classes have access to, this allows you to bypass the limitations of being blinded, but only within a specific radius.
How is the Blinded Condition Applied?
Heavily Obscuring Vision
When something completely blocks a creature’s vision, like the aforementioned blindfold, heavy fog, or total darkness, they are subjected to the blinded condition.
They’re plenty of spells that impose the blinded condition, some of which are:
- Blinding smite
- Holy weapon
- Divine word
- Wall of light
- Wall of sand
- Holy aura
- Color spray
- Prismatic spray
- Prismatic wall
- Reality break
- Nathair’s mischief
Open Your Eyes
There’s no chance the blindness status effect will go away anytime soon. Not only is it incredibly realistic, but it’s also intentionally made to be a potent ability on both sides. While it’s been toned down in D&D 5e, blindness is still here to stay.
What’re your thoughts on blindness? Have you found any neat workarounds, or are you rocking a blind character yourself? Let us know in the comments below!
Blinded 5e FAQs
If two blinded characters attack each other, do they have advantage?
Since being blinded grants you disadvantage on your attacks, but attacking a blinded creature also gives you advantage, what happens is that both of these benefits are canceled, leading to a regular attack roll.
Does the darkness spell make you blinded?
Yes. This spell creates a heavily obscured area, making it impossible to see through in most circumstances. This imposes the blinded condition on every creature that cannot see through magical darkness.