True seeing, also known as true sight,[12] was a divination spell that allowed the subject see things in their true form or location.[3][5][6][11] A divine version of this spell was reversible, called false seeing, and masked the true form of things, generally making them appear the opposite of their true nature.[13][14][15]


The caster had to successfully touch the recipient of this spell and, for a number of minutes equal to the caster's experience level, the subject's vision was greatly enhanced out to a range of 120 ft (36 m).[3][13][14][15] (The older arcane version of this spell had half this range.)[12][16][17] Normal and magical darkness were no longer a barrier, illusions became transparent, magically concealed doors became obvious, invisible things became visible, blurred things became sharp, mirror images didn't fool the subject, and displaced and out of phase things were seen in their true location.[3][5][6][11] Polymorphed or transmuted things could be seen in their original form,[3][5][6][11] e.g., an elf that was really a polymorphed dragon appeared to have a life-sized spectral dragon superimposed on it.[16][17] The subject could also see into the Ethereal Plane and other coexistent planes.[3][5][6][11]

Additionally, the older divine version of this spell allowed the recipient to determine the alignment of creatures by examining the aura surrounding them.[13][14][15][note 2]

True seeing did not allow the subject to detect cleverly crafted hidden doors or see through solid objects, makeup and non-magical disguises, fog, or other physical barriers that blocked sight. This spell did not stack with other magical vision-enhancing effects such as scrying or clairvoyance.[3][5][6]

When cast in reverse, false seeing caused the subject to perceive things generally in the opposite of their real state. The opulent became shabby, ugly became beautiful, smooth became rough, mangy became fluffy, etc.[13][14][15]


In addition to verbal and somatic components, this spell required an ointment be applied to the eyes of the recipient. For true seeing the salve was made of fat, saffron, and a very rare mushroom that was dried and powdered.[3][12][16][17] For false seeing the ointment was made of poppy dust and pink orchid essence mixed in an oil base.[13][14][15] For the older versions of this spell, both mixtures cost 300 gp and had to be aged for one to six months in order to be an effective component for this spell.[5][6][11] The newer version did not required the ointment to be aged and cost 250 gp.[3]


The spell was attributed to Netherese arcanist Smolyn in -1958 DR and was originally called Smolyn's seer.[1]



  1. This spell was moved from the Divination sphere to the All sphere by the Player's Option: Spells & Magic sourcebook. See page 186.
  2. In keeping with the spirit of this spell, auras seen by this spell could not be used to locate hidden creatures, although the spell description does not explicitly state this.


  1. 1.0 1.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 24,26. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211,284. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 296. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  4. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 182, 225. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 231, 285–286. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  7. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 151, 152. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  8. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 181, 186. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  9. Barry A. A. Dillinger (May 1996). “The Dimensional Wizard”. In Pierce Watters ed. Dragon #229 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 50–52.
  10. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 50, 99. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 99. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 225. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 285–286. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 50. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 182. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 231. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.

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