How to make Arcane Eye and our game style fit better together?


Our DM works fairly improvisationally, which results in a playstyle that is fluid and responsive to our actions. We have relatively short sessions, so we like to keep the game moving. There is no criticism of the DM’s style here at all, it’s what we all enjoy.

We are currently 8th level. The rogue in our party was recently replaced by an wizard, who can cast Arcane Eye. Now, rather than the rogue being able to scout at will, when we encounter dungeons we use Arcane Eye. The problem with this is that the 4th-level slot, 1 hour duration and concentration mean that we want to get the most use out of a single casting by scouting as much as possible in one go, rather than just scouting ahead by one room as we crawl.

So far, so completely within RAW and objectively the most tactical choice.

However, this can be a bit tedious as players to plod through a load of rooms at once, and forces the DM to come up with all the rooms of the dungeon immediately, rather than giving him sufficient time for his improvisational creativity to flourish. Obviously there’s the barrier caused by the 1 inch diameter access for Arcane Eye, and what’s most likely to happen if nothing changes is that dungeons will become full of suspiciously airtight rooms!

What could we do about this? Our thoughts so far

  • The DM could plan ahead more – but we don’t want him to have to do this, it becomes much more work for him!
  • We could modify the spell – for example, we could have a variant that increases the duration and doesn’t require concentration, but reduces the distance it can travel from the caster to "next room" distance like 30-60ft.
  • We could just live with it and the DM can obviously decide to modify the world as he sees fit to cope with our abilities – but this seems a little frustrating to us as players (and to my character with a spell that becomes less useful).

Interested to hear thoughts on these suggestions or any other ideas!