Can the original form of a familiar be detected by Truesight?

Further to the question "How to determine if an animal is a familiar or a regular beast?", can the original form of a familiar be detected by Truesight?

PHB pg 185 includes the following in the description of Truesight:

"perceives the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic."

PHB pg 240 includes the following in the description of the Find Familiar spell:

Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the familiar has the statistics of the chosen form, though it is a celestial, fey, or fiend (your choice) instead of a beast."

Where it gets more complicated is that also in the description of the Find Familiar spell, it indicates:

You gain the services of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose

I found this question "Is a soul or spirit a creature?" regarding creatures and spirits, but I don’t believe the answer addresses whether a spirit is a creature.

I also found this question "What exactly is a fey fiend celestial spirit?" regarding spirits, but again I don’t believe it addresses whether a spirit is a creature (although it is very long so I may have missed something).

However, MM pg 279 includes this in the description of the Specter (Wights and Wraiths also have references to being spirits):

A specter is the angry, unfettered spirit of a humanoid

Accordingly, has the celestial, fey or fiend been "transformed by magic", and is its spirit a "creature", such that its original form would be apparent to someone with Truesight?

D&D 5th Edition: Truesight and Darkvision, Why Does A Monster Have Both?

While creating a homebrew monster based around eyes and vision, I looked up monsters that had both darkvison and truesight, surprisingly only two have both, the Avatar of Death and Canoloth, I’ll use the Canoloth as the example here.

When reading the descriptions of both vision types, darkvision allows a creature to see in dim light as if it were bright light and darkness as if it were dim light but it can’t discern color and only sees shades of grey, with truesight not only can you see in normal darkness but also magical darkness, as well as many other benefits, so what confuses me is why any creature would have both forms of vision (especially when it only has darkvision out to 60 feet but truesight out to 120 feet) when truesight already has the only benefit of darkvision along with all its other benefits?

Have I misinterpreted the mechanics of these different sight types, is their a hidden reason behind having both? Or is it just a slipup of the designers to give a creature like the Canoloth both forms of vision?

Can a kalashtar’s linked quori spirit be seen using truesight?

In various depictions of kalashtar, the quori spirit that they are merged with/linked to is seen behind them or occupying the same space, sometimes echoing their movement or stance. Is this purely artistic licence, or is there some truth to the representation? Would this sight be perceptible through any magic or senses?

How does Belashyrra’s Truesight interact with its Eye Thief ability?

Eberron: Rising from the Last War includes a really interesting boss monster named Belashyrra.

Belashyrra has Truesight out to 120 feet:

A monster with truesight can, out to a specific range, see in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceive the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic. Furthermore, the monster can see into the Ethereal Plane within the same range.

Belahsyrra also has a powerful ability called Eye Thief:

Belashyrra can see through the eyes of all creatures within 120 feet of it. It can use its Eye Ray through any creature within 120 feet of it, as though it were in that creature’s space.

The interaction of these two abilities, Truesight and Eye Thief, raises a couple questions:

  • Does Belashyrra still have Truesight when viewing through another creature’s eyes? This question is important for adjudicating an invisible creature behind total cover. Truesight let’s you see invisible creatures, but if it doesn’t apply when using Eye Thief, Belashyrra wouldn’t be able to see an invisible creature behind total cover, even when looking through their eyes.

  • If Truesight does work when viewing through another creature’s eyes, is the 120 foot range measured still from Belashyrra’s position, or the creature’s?

Does Truesight allow you to see through or behind solid objects?

From what I understand in the references in the MM and PHB to Truesight, it seems that a creature with this sense can see into the Ethereal Plane and see invisible things/creatures. However, does this allow the creature to see through solid rock, e.g. if a PC was out of typical line of sight, with 100% cover, hiding behind a large tree or a stone pillar?

There was some confusion about this in a recent campaign. The way I would interpret it is that having Truesight does not allow a creature to see through objects, e.g. like x-ray vision. For me, seeing the "invisible" does not mean the same as seeing the "non visible".

I would appreciate any RAW answers using 5e literature and/or experience on applying a house-rule regarding this matter.

Does the Arcane Archer’s Shadow Arrow inhibit blindsight, tremorsense, and/or truesight?

Shadow Arrow:

You weave illusion magic into your arrow, causing it to occlude your foe’s vision with shadows. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 psychic damage, and it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be unable to see anything farther than 5 feet away until the start of your next turn.

Blindsight:

A creature with blindsight can perceive its surroundings without relying on sight, within a specific radius.

If a creature with blindsight (like a Flying Sword) fails its saving throw against an arcane archer’s Shadow Arrow, is its ability to perceive enemies via blindsight restricted? Would creatures with truesight or tremorsense be handled the same way?

It seems to me that this is fairly straightforward, but upon reading this question about opportunity attacks, there seem to be cases where the word "see" is used more generically as all forms of perception.

Is there any way for a character to create a magical disguise that wouldn’t be automatically defeated by a creature with Truesight?

I’m attempting to come up with a solution to the question in the title, but have been unsuccessful thus far.

Some monsters have the Truesight ability which states the following (emphasis mine):

A monster with truesight can, out to a specific range, see in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceive the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic. Furthermore, the monster can see into the Ethereal Plane within the same range.

This seems like it’d be nearly impossible to utilize any kind of magical disguise against this creature, however a means to thwart players’ using Truesight would be to rely on additional coverage via the Nondetection spell, which says:

For the duration, you hide a target that you touch from divination magic. The target can be a willing creature or a place or an object no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. The target can’t be targeted by any divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

and Alter Self’s Change Shape option, which says:

You transform your appearance. You decide what you look like, including your height, weight, facial features, sound of your voice, hair length, coloration, and distinguishing characteristics, if any. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your statistics change.


As written, this spell combination would defeat players taking advantage of True Seeing spells. However, monsters do not follow the same rules as players, so I don’t think this would work if the players were to attempt to deceive a monster with the True Sight sense as the ability is not inherently divination magic (to my knowledge).

My question is twofold. Are there any rules which specifically state that the monster True Sight ability is considered a magical divination effect that could be countered by Nondetection? If not, is there another combination of spells that could be used to counter a monsters’ True Sight ability for the purposes of effectively passing off a magical disguise?

Does Shadow of Moil heavily obscure you against an opponent with Truesight?

Shadow of Moil is a level 4 Necromancy spell with the following description (XGtE 164):

Flame-like shadows wreathe your body until the spell ends, causing you to become heavily obscured to others. The shadows turn dim light within 10 feet of you into darkness, and bright light in the same area to dim light. Until the spell ends, you have resistance to radiant damage. In addition, whenever a creature within 10 feet of you hits you with an attack, the shadows lash out at that creature, dealing it 2d8 necrotic damage.

The core rules (PHB 185) state for Truesight that:

A creature with truesight can, out to a specific range, see in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceive the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic. Furthermore, the monster can see into the Ethereal Plane.

Would a character under the effect of Shadow of Moil still have advantage against a creature with Truesight? Essentially, are “flame-like shadows” darkness, if spells do exactly what they say they do?

If I used Wish to become immune to being seen via Truesight and stand in an area of magical darkness, can a creature with Truesight see me?

As the title says, does standing inside an area of magical darkness, while being immune from detection through truesight (not the spell, but the monster ability), render me unseen from a creature that has truesight?

On the one hand, the answer might be yes. I am undetectable by truesight now, and truesight is what is enabling the creature to see me.

On the other hand, the answer might be no. Truesight allows the creature to see through the magical darkness and I am not actually invisible.

Which is the answer that has more adherence to the rules as written? Or is this a gray area in the rules?

How does Truesight affect a shapechanger who grows/shrinks like a polymorphed dragon?

In searching for this answer, I did come across this post that is similar, though my question is more cosmetic than functional…

The sense of Truesight states:

A monster with truesight can […] perceive the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic.

Many dragons, such as the Ancient Bronze Dragon have the action:

Change Shape. The dragon magically polymorphs into a humanoid or beast that has a challenge rating no higher than its own, or back into its true form.

I’ve always thought of True seeing as simply seeing things as they are in this regard, as seeing the white complexion of a changeling. However, while observing this trait from the dragon, something occurred to me that seems odd:
A wyrmling is a medium size, meaning there might not be much hight difference, but an ancient dragon is Gigantic, meaning their true form would be quite massive

So trying to visualize how this would seem tends to create certain issues:

  • The size of a dragon being now smaller could fit into spaces a large dragon could not
  • If the dragon used a form with additional limbs, such as a spider, would those appear to the creature with Truesight?
  • Given the size difference, how would one aim for the dragon?

Given that, I am wondering How would Truesight work on such a creature whos size changes, such as the dragon? Would they see a tiny dragon 6-7 ft tall? or be staring into space as they talked to it?

Another example of this is a polymorphed Tyrannosaurus… Would the truesight creature gain a disadvantage on the creature’s attacks, only seeing the person within?