The Ultimate Scrying 5e Guide: You Never Know Until You Scry

Written by: Staff



Time to read 14 min

Are you ready to learn the secrets of the arcane and peer into the mystic realm? Look no further than our comprehensive guide to scrying 5e! Scrying, the powerful divination spell, allows you to see and hear distant locations, delve into the minds of others, and gain insights into hidden knowledge. In this meticulously crafted guide, we will delve into the deepest recesses of scrying 5e magic, revealing its many uses, strategies, and possible limitations. Whether you're an experienced wizard, a curious rogue, or a devout cleric, this guide will help you harness the true potential of scrying 5e in your campaign. From gathering information before a dangerous quest, to uncovering hidden secrets, to gaining the upper hand in diplomatic negotiations, scrying 5e offers endless opportunities for savvy adventurers. So prepare your incense, sharpen your focus, and let's embark on a journey into the realm of scrying 5e, where the unknown becomes visible and the impossible becomes within reach. Get ready to scry 5e your way to victory!

How does scrying work in D&D 5e?

Scrying is a powerful divination spell that allows spellcasters to gain insight into distant locations, minds of others, and hidden knowledge. In Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (5e), scrying operates on the principle that magic can transcend the boundaries of space and time. By using incantations, symbols, and a focus, the spellcaster can tap into the arcane energies and project their senses to observe a specific target or location. The spell creates a magical sensor, which acts as the spellcaster's eyes and ears, providing them with real-time information from the scrying target.

To cast the scrying spell, a spellcaster must possess the required components, including a focus such as a crystal ball or a mirror, and a piece of the target creature or location. The spellcaster then needs to perform the necessary ritual, which involves chanting incantations, drawing symbols, and focusing their mind's eye on the desired target. Once the ritual is complete, the spellcaster's senses are projected to the target location, allowing them to observe and hear what is happening in that specific area.

The effectiveness of scrying in D&D 5e depends on various factors, including the spellcaster's proficiency in divination magic, the target's resistance or immunity to scrying, and the environment in which the scrying is performed. It is important to note that scrying is not foolproof and can be detected or even countered by certain magical defenses. However, with careful planning and the right approach, scrying can be a valuable tool for adventurers seeking hidden knowledge and an advantage in their quests.

Scrying (5th-Level Divination)

  • Casting Time: 10 minutes
  • Range: Self
  • Components: V, S, M (a focus worth at least 1,000 gp, such as a crystal ball, a silver mirror, or a font filled with holy water)
  • Duration: Up to 10 minutes (Concentration)
  • Classes: Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard


You can see and hear a particular creature you choose that is on the same plane of existence as you. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw, which is modified by how well you know the target and the sort of physical connection you have to it. If a target knows you're casting this spell, it can fail the saving throw voluntarily if it wants to be observed.

Knowledge & Save Modifiers:

  • Secondhand (you have heard of the target): +5 to the target's save
  • Firsthand (you have met the target): +0 to the target's save
  • Familiar (you know the target well): -5 to the target's save

Connection & Save Modifiers:

  • Likeness or picture: -2 to the target's save
  • Possession or garment: -4 to the target's save
  • Body part, lock of hair, bit of nail, or the like: -10 to the target's save

On a successful save, the target isn't affected, and you can't use this spell against it again for 24 hours. On a failed save, you create an invisible sensor within 10 feet of the target. You can see and hear through the sensor as if you were there. The sensor moves with the target, remaining within 10 feet of it for the duration. A creature that can see invisible objects sees the sensor as a luminous orb about the size of your fist.

Instead of targeting a creature, you can choose a location you have seen before as the target of this spell. When you do, the sensor appears at that location and doesn't move.

Benefits of using scrying in gameplay

Scrying offers numerous benefits to players and Dungeon Masters alike, making it an invaluable tool in gameplay. Whether you're a player seeking to gather information, gain a tactical advantage, or uncover hidden secrets, or a Dungeon Master looking to add depth and intrigue to your campaign, scrying can enhance the overall gaming experience. Here are some of the key benefits of using scrying in D&D 5e:

1. Information Gathering Scrying 5e allows players to gather crucial information about their surroundings, potential enemies, or important NPCs. By scrying on a specific location or individual, players can gain insights into their activities, intentions, and even their weaknesses. This information can be used to plan strategies, anticipate dangers, or negotiate favorable outcomes in diplomatic encounters.

2. Exploration and Reconnaissance Scrying 5e enables players to explore and scout areas that may be inaccessible or dangerous. By projecting their senses into distant locations, players can gather valuable intelligence without physically being present. This can be particularly useful when navigating treacherous dungeons, infiltrating enemy strongholds, or exploring uncharted territories.

3. Divination and Clues Scrying is a powerful divination tool that can provide players with clues, prophecies, or visions that guide their quests. By scrying on objects of significance or consulting mystical sources, players can unravel mysteries, uncover hidden pathways, or obtain vital information needed to progress in their adventures.

4. Negotiations and Diplomacy Scrying 5e can give players the upper hand in negotiations and diplomatic encounters. By scrying on key figures or observing their conversations, players can gain insights into their motivations, secrets, or hidden agendas. This knowledge can be used to manipulate negotiations, expose deception, or forge alliances that benefit the player's party.

man in front of a mirror Scrying 5e


  1. Long-Distance Observation: Scrying can be used to observe a creature from any distance, even if they are on another plane of existence. This makes it an incredibly versatile tool for gathering information without the need to travel.

  2. Stealthy Surveillance: The spell creates an invisible sensor that is not easily detected, allowing the caster to spy on the target without their knowledge. This is especially useful for gathering intelligence or keeping tabs on enemies.

  3. Versatile Targets: Scrying can be cast on any known creature, which means that as long as the caster has some knowledge of the target (even if indirect), they can attempt to observe them. This includes powerful NPCs or elusive enemies.

  4. Strategic Planning: By observing the actions, surroundings, and interactions of a target, a party can plan their next moves more effectively. This can be critical for avoiding ambushes, preparing for battles, or understanding the motivations of key figures.

  5. Enhanced with Familiarity: The difficulty of resisting the spell decreases with the caster's familiarity with the target, making it easier to spy on well-known or closely connected individuals.


  1. Saving Throw Allowed: Targets can resist the scrying attempt with a Wisdom saving throw. High-level or particularly wise characters may easily thwart the spell, rendering it useless and wasting a high-level spell slot.

  2. Requires Specific Components: The spell requires a focus worth at least 1,000 gold pieces, such as a crystal ball, a silver mirror, or a font filled with holy water. This component can be costly and is not always readily available, especially in low-resource campaigns.

  3. Limited Interaction: While scrying allows the caster to see and hear through the sensor, it doesn't allow for interaction with the environment or the ability to influence events directly. This can be frustrating if the caster uncovers information that requires immediate action.

  4. Countermeasures: Characters aware of the possibility of being scried upon can take countermeasures, such as the use of the nondetection spell or similar magic, to block or evade observation.

  5. Ethical and Roleplaying Consequences: The use of scrying can raise ethical questions and potentially lead to roleplaying consequences, particularly if it's used on allies or neutral parties. This could result in distrust, conflict, or repercussions from those who feel their privacy has been invaded.

Scrying spells and abilities in D&D 5e

In D&D 5e, scrying is not limited to a single spell. There are several spells and abilities that allow characters to scry on targets or locations, each with its own unique properties and limitations. Here are some of the prominent Scrying 5e spells and abilities in D&D 5e:

1. Scrying SpellThe Scrying spell is the quintessential scrying ability in D&D 5e. It allows a spellcaster to observe a particular creature or location from a distance. By using a focus such as a crystal ball or a mirror, the spellcaster can create a magical sensor that provides visual and auditory information from the scrying target. The Scrying spell has a range of up to 10 feet per caster level, allowing for a significant reach.

2. Clairvoyance Spell The Clairvoyance spell is another powerful Scrying 5e spell in D&D 5e. It allows the spellcaster to create an invisible sensor at a specific location, enabling them to see and hear what is happening there. Unlike the Scrying spell, which focuses on a specific target, Clairvoyance provides a broader perspective by allowing the spellcaster to observe an entire area. The sensor created by the Clairvoyance spell has a range of up to 1 mile, making it ideal for long-distance surveillance.

3. Familiar Abilities Certain familiars, such as the owl, possess the ability to scry on specific targets or locations. These familiars can act as the spellcaster's eyes and ears, providing real-time information from the scrying target. Familiars can be an invaluable asset for spellcasters, as they can perform reconnaissance, gather information, and even deliver messages in situations where direct scrying may not be possible or feasible.

4. Magic ItemsIn addition to spells and familiars, there are also magic items in D&D 5e that grant scrying abilities. These items, such as crystal balls, mirrors, or scrying stones, allow characters to scry on targets or locations without expending spell slots or using familiar abilities. Magic items can be found as treasures, rewards, or crafted by skilled characters, and they can greatly enhance a character's scrying capabilities.

Scrying 5e - a MUST HAVE Divination Spell?

Scrying as a divination tool

Scrying 5e is not just a means of gathering information or gaining a tactical advantage; it is also a powerful divination tool in D&D 5e. Divination magic allows characters to tap into the unseen forces of the universe, accessing hidden knowledge, and glimpsing into the future. Scrying 5e , as a divination spell, enables characters to explore the possibilities of the past, present, and future, unlocking secrets and unraveling destinies.

Divination spells, such as scrying, provide characters with insights, prophecies, or visions that guide their quests and shape their actions. By scrying on significant objects, consulting mystical sources, or communing with higher powers, characters can obtain valuable information that helps them make informed decisions, avoid pitfalls, or seize opportunities. This knowledge can be a powerful tool for characters seeking to fulfill their destinies or unravel the mysteries of the world.

Scrying as a divination tool also adds depth and intrigue to the overall narrative of a D&D campaign. By incorporating scrying into the storyline, Dungeon Masters can introduce hidden clues, foreshadow future events, or provide players with glimpses of the consequences of their actions. This creates a sense of mystery and anticipation, driving the players to explore and uncover the secrets of the world.

Tips for effectively using scrying in your D&D campaign

While Scrying 5e can be a powerful tool in D&D 5e, it requires careful planning and execution to achieve the desired results. Here are some tips to help you effectively use scrying in your D&D campaign:

1. Set Clear Objectives Before casting the Scrying 5e spell or using scrying abilities, determine your objectives and what specific information you are seeking. This will help you focus your Scrying 5e efforts and avoid wasting valuable resources on irrelevant or insignificant targets.

2. Gather Information and Prepare Before scrying on a target or location, gather as much information as possible about it. This may include studying maps, consulting NPCs, or conducting research. The more you know about the target, the more specific and accurate your Scrying 5e will be.

3. Consider the Environment Take into account the environment in which you are scrying. Factors such as magical defenses, anti-scrying measures, or interference can affect the effectiveness of scrying. Plan accordingly and make adjustments to your scrying strategy if necessary.

4. Time your Scrying Timing is crucial when it comes to scrying. Consider the time of day, the activities of the target, or any specific events that may affect the information you seek. Scrying 5e at the right moment can provide you with valuable insights and maximize the effectiveness of your scrying.

5. Be Stealthy and Discreet Scrying can be detected or countered by certain magical defenses. To avoid detection, be stealthy and discreet in your Scrying 5e efforts. Use spells like Nondetection or Invisibility to mask your scrying attempts and minimize the risk of being discovered.

6. Communicate and Coordinate If you are using scrying as a party, communicate and coordinate with your fellow adventurers. Share the information you gather, discuss strategies, and decide on the best course of action. Scrying can be a collaborative effort, and pooling your resources and knowledge can yield better results.

Scry 5e

7. Experiment and Learn Scrying is a skill that improves with practice and experience. Experiment with different scrying techniques, spells, or magic items to find what works best for you and your character. Learn from your successes and failures, and refine your scrying abilities as you progress in your campaign.

By following these tips, you can effectively use scrying in your D&D campaign, enhancing your gameplay experience and unlocking new possibilities for your character's journey.

Scrying in different settings and scenarios

Scrying 5e can be utilized in various settings and scenarios, each offering unique opportunities and challenges. Whether you're exploring a sprawling city, venturing into the depths of a haunted forest, or infiltrating a well-guarded fortress, scrying can provide you with the edge you need to succeed. Here are some examples of how scrying can be used in different settings and scenarios:

1. Urban Espionage In a city setting, Scrying 5e can be employed for espionage and gathering information. By Scrying 5e on key figures, eavesdropping on conversations, or observing important locations, players can gain insights into the city's power dynamics, criminal organizations, or political intrigues. This knowledge can be leveraged to uncover hidden plots, expose corruption, or gain the upper hand in negotiations.

2. Wilderness Exploration In a wilderness setting, scrying can aid in exploration and survival. By Scrying 5e on distant landmarks, observing potential threats, or scouting ahead, players can navigate treacherous terrains, avoid dangerous encounters, or locate valuable resources. Scrying 5e can be particularly useful when exploring vast forests, traversing desolate wastelands, or searching for hidden caves or ruins.

3. Dungeon Delving In dungeons or other confined spaces, scrying can provide critical information and help players overcome deadly traps or encounter powerful adversaries. By Scrying 5e on specific rooms, observing enemy movements, or detecting hidden doors or mechanisms, players can plan their approach, avoid lethal traps, or find shortcuts to their objectives. Scrying 5e can be the key to surviving and conquering challenging dungeon environments.

Scrying 5e with a crystal ball

4. Diplomatic Negotiations Scrying can be a valuable tool in diplomatic scenarios, allowing players to gain insights into the motivations and intentions of important NPCs. By scrying on key figures or observing their conversations, players can tailor their approach, negotiate from a position of strength, or uncover hidden agendas. Scrying 5e can be the difference between a successful diplomatic encounter and a disastrous outcome.

5. Battle Strategy Scrying can be utilized in battle scenarios to gain a strategic advantage. By Scrying 5e on enemy forces, observing their formations or tactics, or detecting hidden reinforcements, players can devise effective strategies or counter enemy moves. Scrying 5e can provide valuable information that allows players to exploit weaknesses, anticipate enemy actions, or coordinate their attacks.

Scrying 5e can be adapted to various settings and scenarios, enhancing the gameplay experience and providing players with new avenues for success. By creatively utilizing scrying in different situations, players can unlock hidden knowledge, uncover secrets, and shape the outcome of their adventures.

FAQ Scrying 5e

How does scrying work 5e?

Scrying works by the caster choosing a specific creature or location they wish to observe from any distance, even if it's on another plane of existence. The target creature gets a Wisdom saving throw, influenced by how well the caster knows the target and any physical connections they have to it. On a failed save, the caster creates an invisible sensor near the target, allowing them to see and hear as if they were there. The spell fails if the target is on a different plane or successfully resists.

Can scry mindread 5e?

No, scrying in 5e does not enable mind reading. It allows the caster to see and hear through an invisible sensor near the target but does not grant access to the target's thoughts or intentions.

Can scrying in 5e show environment around target?

Yes, scrying in 5e can show the environment around the target. The caster sees and hears through an invisible sensor placed near the target, allowing observation of the target's surroundings as well as the target itself.

Can you block scrying with lead in 5e?

No, the rules of D&D 5e do not specify that lead blocks scrying. Blocking scrying typically involves spells like "Nondetection" or "Mind Blank," not physical materials like lead.

Can you portent a scrying roll dnd 5e?

Yes, if you have the Divination Wizard's Portent feature, you can use it to replace a scrying roll in D&D 5e. This applies to both the caster's roll to overcome resistance or the target's Wisdom saving throw against the spell.

Can you scry a dead person 5e?

No, in 5e, you cannot use scrying to observe a dead person since the spell targets a specific creature, and dead individuals are considered objects, not creatures.

Can you scry on an object 5e?

No, in 5e, scrying specifically targets creatures, not objects. However, you can target a location you've seen before, potentially observing objects within that location.

How to negate scrying 5e?

To negate scrying in 5e, use spells like "Nondetection" or "Mind Blank," which prevent divination spells from affecting the protected creature or area. Additionally, being on a different plane of existence than the caster automatically negates the spell.

Does blood work for scrying dnd 5e?

Yes, in D&D 5e, using a body part such as blood of the target for scrying significantly improves the spell's effectiveness. It provides a -10 bonus to the spell's save DC for the target, making it much harder for them to resist the scrying attempt.

Does someone know if your scrying on them dnd 5e?

No, in 5e, the target of scrying does not inherently know they're being observed unless they have the ability to see invisible objects or can detect magical surveillance by some other means.