Clairvoyance is a 3rd-level detection utility spell belonging to the Bard, Cleric, Sorcerer, and Wizard spell lists.
Clairvoyance uses old magic to see or hear everything in its given location. The all-seeing eye of a magician reaches even places he has not yet tread.
The Player’s Handbook description says the following:
- Clairvoyance 5e
- Which Classes Can Pick Clairvoyance?
- Is Clairvoyance Good in 5e?
- Advantages – Clairvoyance
- Disadvantages – Clairvoyance
- How Should I Use Clairvoyance?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: 1 mile
Components: V, S, M (a focus that is worth at least 100 GP, either a glass eye for seeing or a jeweled horn for hearing)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes
You create an invisible sensor that is within range of a location familiar to you (a place you visited or seen before) or an obvious location that you find unfamiliar (such as behind a door, in a grove of trees, or around a corner).
The sensor will remain in place for the duration and can’t be attacked or interacted with.
When you cast this spell, you choose seeing or hearing. As your action, you can switch between hearing and seeing. You can use the desired sense through the sensor as if you were there, in its space.
A creature able to see the sensor (such as a creature benefitting from truesight or see invisibility) sees a luminous, intangible orb about the size of your fist.
Which Classes Can Pick Clairvoyance?
Traditional classes, such as the Bard, Cleric, Sorcerer, and Wizard, freely unlock Clairvoyance.
All four classes unlock a 3rd-level spell slot at level 5, which enables them to use this spell.
The Great Old One (Warlock) subclass also has Clairvoyance on their spell list. Like traditional classes, it can only use this spell at level 5.
Is Clairvoyance Good in 5e?
Clairvoyance is a helpful utility spell used for visual or audible spying. It deals no damage to targets. However, its utility is enough to make it a decent spell.
Advantages – Clairvoyance
Extremely Long Range
Not many spells have 1 mile of range. Clairvoyance’s range makes sense in the mind of a spy.
Pinpointing an area of interest without Clairvoyance means they’d have to go into dangerous territory if they wanted to scout it personally.
However, with Clairvoyance, you can identify the area, then pinpoint a location for the sensor from far away. You wouldn’t have to risk stepping into a trap or personally entering an area.
Scouting is usually quick, as you want to draw the least attention possible. Therefore, keeping a sensor up for 10 minutes gives a player more than enough time to gather information.
Having a Ranger or Rogue with you while scouting would make it easier. Their ability to hide, confirm your information and make decisions will benefit your scouting mission.
Disadvantages – Clairvoyance
Make sure that you cast Clairvoyance away from suspicious eyes. If they were to find you or suspect you are spying on them, they’ll try stopping you.
Taking damage or losing concentration will result in the whole scouting or spying mission failing and a party member being injured.
Pricey Material Component
You’ll need to pay 100 GP for a focus. Even though it might not seem like much, losing it will cost you another 100 GP.
Good luck finding one of these foci in the wilderness. Remember that it’ll take time to cast if you unlock Clairvoyance far away from a merchant.
How Should I Use Clairvoyance?
Clairvoyance isn’t a damage spell or utility spell used in combat. It acts as a sensor to relay information back to a party. In most cases, good information can go a long way.
Scouting an Encampment
There will always be bounties or quests that relate to an encampment full of enemies.
Most players will try scouting the area before engaging in battle. If they walk a little too fast or make some noise, enemies can easily capture them, maybe even wound them.
Using Clairvoyance keeps your party members from harm and acquires information without a hassle. Just place it somewhere with views of most of the area and witness or hear everything you need.
Within your campaign, you have allied with a faction of humans. You don’t trust them and find out they’re having a meeting tonight.
Before the meeting, you cast Clairvoyance, placing the sensor inside their meeting room. What you hear shocks you.
There are moments in a campaign where you’ll need to use spells to find the truth. Clairvoyance, just like Zone of Truth or Detect Thoughts, can be used to uncover the truth.
Monitoring Places of Interest
Some places in D&D have strong magical energy. If you pick up on this, there’s a chance that the DM has something planned for this area.
Note: An experienced DM won’t needlessly add landmarks or sites of interest. There is always something greater about them that they’re keeping hidden.
The area could also be linked to a portal or hidden dungeon. Therefore, putting up a sensor using Clairvoyance would be helpful.
Whenever you arrive near the area, simply place a sensor near it. You will be able to see what’s going on without even being near it.
Combine With Rary’s Telepathic Bond
If you have your Rogue or Ranger scouting with Clairvoyance active, you can use Rary’s Telepathic Bond to communicate with them.
Since everything is done using telepathy, enemies won’t hear you communicate, and you can quickly relay information back to your party.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Cast Clairvoyance as a Ritual 5e?
Clairvoyance doesn’t have the ritual tag you see above spells in the Player’s Handbook. You need to focus on keeping your concentration up.
Are Both Materials Needed To Cast Clairvoyance 5e?
When casting Clairvoyance, only the focus material relating to what you chose (visual or audible) will be required.
Being able to hear or see what’s going on in an area without being there is powerful.
Even though you don’t deal damage with this spell, having a sensor spying on enemies without them being able to do much is impressive.
If you want to roleplay a spy or gather information quickly, then Clairvoyance is the spell for you.