5E Light Emanating from an Invisible Character

MarkB

Hero
On the question of a torch held by a creature that casts greatest invisibility or invisibility, the torch becomes invisible.

However nothing is blocking the light from the torch. Invisibility doesn’t do that. So the light from the torch still works and lights up the area around it. You just cant see the torch.
Yep. The way I picture it is to imagine taking a picture of a room illuminated by a single bulb, and then photoshopping out the bulb. You can't see the bulb, but you can still work out which part of the room is most brightly lit, and which direction the shadows are pointing, which will let you guess where the bulb would have been in the original image. At least, you can if there's only one light source present.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Faerie Fire is a good example of an invisible creature emanating light.
True, though IMO this is only due to the spell write-up for FF specifically stating it trumps Invisibility - easy to justify if one takes the FF light to not be coming from the target itself but from the air just around the target...
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yep. The way I picture it is to imagine taking a picture of a room illuminated by a single bulb, and then photoshopping out the bulb. You can't see the bulb, but you can still work out which part of the room is most brightly lit, and which direction the shadows are pointing, which will let you guess where the bulb would have been in the original image. At least, you can if there's only one light source present.
Logic begs me to ask: if the bulb is photoshopped out such that the light has no source, then where does the light come from?

Put another way, if you can't see the light source in the fiction (assuming no barriers between you-the-viewer and it) that means there's no light coming from it in your direction, as if there was you'd see a light there.

And that there's no light coming in your direction extends to mean there's no light coming from it in any direction.
 

MarkB

Hero
Logic begs me to ask: if the bulb is photoshopped out such that the light has no source, then where does the light come from?

Put another way, if you can't see the light source in the fiction (assuming no barriers between you-the-viewer and it) that means there's no light coming from it in your direction, as if there was you'd see a light there.

And that there's no light coming in your direction extends to mean there's no light coming from it in any direction.
The light comes from the bulb. You nevertheless can't see the bulb because it is magically hidden. Sure, that makes no sense from the viewpoint of optical physics, but it doesn't need to, because it's magic.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The light comes from the bulb. You nevertheless can't see the bulb because it is magically hidden. Sure, that makes no sense from the viewpoint of optical physics, but it doesn't need to, because it's magic.
It doesn't need to make sense, I guess, but when it so easily can be made to make sense why not go that route?
 

Esker

Explorer
True, though IMO this is only due to the spell write-up for FF specifically stating it trumps Invisibility - easy to justify if one takes the FF light to not be coming from the target itself but from the air just around the target...
Yeah, I figure that invisibility causes light to just penetrate right through the invisible creature or object without refraction (I guess except the little bit of light your eyes absorb so you can still see.) And I figure Faerie Fire is a special kind of magic light that still reflects off of invisible things.
 

MarkB

Hero
It doesn't need to make sense, I guess, but when it so easily can be made to make sense why not go that route?
Because the other version makes more sense (at least to me) within the game's fiction and from a rules standpoint. From the viewpoint of a fantasy world, there's nothing that stops an invisible creature from being able to shed light while still being invisible.

There's nothing in the Invisibility spell that says it's incompatible with having a light source, and a sourceless illumination certainly feels more magical, so why short-change the invisible character simply "because physics"?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
There's nothing in the Invisibility spell that says it's incompatible with having a light source, and a sourceless illumination certainly feels more magical, so why short-change the invisible character simply "because physics"?
I'll throw this obstacle at the invisible person every time, if for no other reason than it now and then makes invisibility just that little bit less of an automatic go-to option than it usually is.
 

darjr

I crit!
If you have a light behind a think curtain the curtain can still light up and pass light through even if you can’t see the torch. If the torch is around a corner the light still goes around the corner, this time casting a shadow.

invisibility doesn’t block light. Invisible creatures can still see and illuminate thier surroundings.

Thus the light goes through the invisibility but the source can’t be seen, if it’s a held object.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
If you have a light behind a think curtain the curtain can still light up and pass light through even if you can’t see the torch. If the torch is around a corner the light still goes around the corner, this time casting a shadow.

invisibility doesn’t block light. Invisible creatures can still see and illuminate thier surroundings.

Thus the light goes through the invisibility but the source can’t be seen, if it’s a held object.
Sure, but the extra bright area just around the source should be visible right?
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
There is no RAW solution, so it's definitely up to you to decide. The real question comes down to how you view light and illusion magic. I personally would make the light be from an obvious location, giving away the character's location, but don't forget that being invisible doesn't actually change that anyway (by RAW you have to take the Hide action to remain hidden). Having the light simply existing in an area without an obvious source is perfectly acceptable as well. The real issue is being consistent with it, because a player may want to use this trick themselves later.
 

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