Truesight is a capability in DnD 5e that is very useful. In essence, it allows you to see things as they really are.
On the other hand, the Player’s Handbook explains the True Seeing spell like this.
“This spell gives the willing creature you touch the ability to see things as they actually are. For the duration, the creature has truesight, notices secret doors hidden by magic, and can see into the Ethereal Plane, all out to a range of 120 feet.”
That description for the 6th level spell True Sight basically covers what Truesight does in DnD 5e. Many different creatures can have this ability, so because of that, it can get pretty confusing how useful and effective it actually is.
This stems from the fact that it’s a very situational utility spell and ability. Unless you are specifically entering an area that you know will require Truesight, more often than not you won’t even need it.
So let’s take a look first at situations in which Truesight is useful.
Why you need Truesight
As we mentioned in the quote above. Truesight allows you to see things as they really are. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you have a hunch about something that even a perception roll can’t reveal. This is where Truesight comes in to streamline the entire thing.
Truesight is mostly used in Dungeons which have a lot of hidden corridors and rooms. If your Dungeon Master wants to mess with you, he’ll put a shortcut behind a hidden magic wall. Or hidden loot in a chest you can’t even see.
Speaking about your Dungeon Master messing with ya. One situation where Truesight is immensely useful is when fighting invisible enemies. If you know that you are about to face a group of invisible enemies, get Truesight on as many characters as you can in your group.
The above-mentioned also works for shapeshifters. Truesight also allows you to see the true form of shapeshifters. Trickery is the favorite tool of shapeshifters, truesight allows you to directly counter that. Make them feel dumb instead.
And the most important reason for which you’d need truesight is noticing traps. Certain magical traps you won’t even know are there until it’s too late. So if you’re raiding a wizard’s tower or something similar, it’s good to have truesight on at least one character.
With all that said, let’s actually answer the most important question of this article.
How to get Truesight in DnD 5e
There are multiple ways that we can go about this. So we’ll mention them all.
For starters, let’s mention that some creatures have it inherently. The way that you can “get” truesight is by being that creature. But that’s a very niche group of creatures, so let’s mention the other methods.
As mentioned above. Spells are the most common way of getting truesight. The 6th level spell True Seeing gives you this ability for one hour and up to a distance of 120 feet. Which all things considered is actually quite powerful, especially in regards to the ranges other methods offer you.
A great benefit to this spell is that most of the spellcasting classes can pick this spell up.
There is one Epic Boon in the Dungeon Master’s Guide called Boon of Truesight. It allows you to get permanent truesight up to a range of 60 feet. Half of what the True Seeing spell gives you – but permanent. So it’s up to debate if it’s worth sacrificing half the range for the privilege of having it permanently.
One other thing. Epic Boons are an exclusive Level 20 feature. Meaning that, since you have to be level 20 before you can even pick this up, maybe, just maybe it’s more powerful than we consider it.
That being said, there’s one final method that DMs use.
This point will challenge the previous point a bit. Obviously, the game designers consider truesight to be quite powerful. Some DMs do not share the same sentiment. So it isn’t uncommon to see DMs hand out magical items that offer you truesight.
Maybe offering you truesight but to 10 feet. Or offering you truesight but carrying a catch when using the item that offers you this truesight.
At the end of the day, get creative. If you and your DM believe it can be included in your game then why not, go for it.