If someone has light cast on a portion of their clothing, and then they go invisible, would the light still be visible?

3 thoughts on “If someone has light cast on a portion of their clothing, and then they go invisible, would the light still be visible?

  1. D. Walker says:

    Back in 3.5E, the rules for the Invisibility special ability (as used in creature stat blocks in the Monster Manual, for example) state:

    “If an invisible character picks up a visible object, the object remains visible. One could coat an invisible object with flour to at least keep track of its position (until the flour fell off or blew away). An invisible creature can pick up a small visible item and hide it on his person (tucked in a pocket or behind a cloak) and render it effectively invisible. ”

    Similarly, the rules for the Invisibility spell state:

    “The creature or object touched becomes invisible, vanishing from sight, even from darkvision. If the recipient is a creature carrying gear, that vanishes, too.”

    …and…

    “Items dropped or put down by an invisible creature become visible; items picked up disappear if tucked into the clothing or pouches worn by the creature. Light, however, never becomes invisible, although a source of light can become so (thus, the effect is that of a light with no visible source). Any part of an item that the subject carries but that extends more than 10 feet from it becomes visible.”

    So if you cast Invisibility on a person, and they pick up a lit torch afterwards, people will see a lit torch floating in the air, giving off light.

    But if you cast Invisibility on a person who is already holding a lit torch, both they and the torch turn invisible, and the light given off by the torch remains visible but appears to be coming out of thin air. If they put the torch down, it becomes visible again. If they pick it back up, it stays visible.

    And if you cast invisibility on a person who is carrying a stone pot with a lid, both they and the pot turn invisible, and if they put a lit torch inside the pot and close the lid, neither the torch nor the light it produces can be seen, even though neither object is itself invisible.

    Of course, 5E doesn’t have those same rules. It doesn’t say one way or the other how it works.

    However, the devs have repeatedly said that in this edition, if something isn’t clearly spelled out in the rules, it doesn’t happen. Since nothing in the rules says that the light given off by a lit torch can’t be made invisible, we must assume that it can be, and that if you hold a lit torch while invisible, it sheds no light.

    It’s also worth noting that in this edition, the Invisibility spells specifically states:

    “Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person”

    So if an invisible person (specifically under the effects of the Invisibility spell) picks up an object, that objects becomes invisible, which didn’t happen in 3.5E.

    This also doesn’t include any limits to size – so if you pick up a 50 foot long bamboo pole, it also becomes invisible. In theory, anything you can lift while invisible, you can make invisible.

    Fun fact – a barbarian with Aspect of the Beast (Bear), a Strength of 20, belonging to a race with Large Build, under the effects of the Enhance Ability (Bull’s Strength) and Enlarge/Reduce spells, has a carrying capacity of 4800 pounds, and can lift a maximum of 9600 pounds. So you could fill a wagon with nearly 5 tons of cargo, and every last piece of cargo will go invisible when lifted.

  2. Trueasy says:

    What if you cast Greater Invisibility on a mount (say a dragon) while riding said mount. Would the mount and “Anything the target is wearing or carrying” (which would be you at said point) become invisible? Wouldn’t this allow both the mount and you to attack for the next minute while still being invisible? Unlike regular invisibility which would stop the moment you or your mount attacked, cast a spell, etc.

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