Rant: If Invisibility is Mind-Affecting, I'll Kill Myself

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This rant is actually pretty short because my point is easy to prove.

The idea that invisibility is a mind-affecting spell is ridiculous for several reasons.

1. 1st-edition AD&D Player's Handbook

In the 1st-edition AD&D game, the Player's Handbook had the invisibility spell and the invisibility psionic power. The psionic power reads,

    "However, psionic invisibility cannot be detected by any form of magic , only a mind bar being able to prevent the power from opperating with respect to that particular creature, for this power affects minds, not light waves or similar physical manifestations."

So if the psionic power affects minds (and not light waves) and isn't affected by magical detection (such as detect invisibility), the only reason the detect invisibility spell is in the game is to detect non-mental (light-based) invisibility.

Since the only other form of invisibility in the game is the invisibility spell (or potions or items based upon it), that must be the kind of invisibility (light-based) that detect invisibility works on, which means that the invisibility spell has to work on light, not minds.

2. 3rd edition D&D Player's Handbook

In the new version of the game, invisibility is a glamer, not a phantasm. A glamer "changes a subject's sensory qualities, making it look, feel, taste, smell, or sound like something else." To be a mind-affecting spell, it would have to be a phantasm, because of all of the kinds of illusion, only a phantasm creates "a mental image ... [that] is totally in the mind of the subjects ... all phantasms are mind-affecting spells." Note also that the invisibility spell doesn't have the [mind-affecting] description.

So invisibility is no more a mind-affecting spell than fireball is.

3. Common Sense

If invisibility is a mind-affecting spell, then it is the most powerful spell in the entire game and is very broken. Why? Because invisibility has no saving throw, has no limit to the number of targets it affects, and affects all creatures that see it, no matter how far away they are. No other spell in the game allows you to affect an unlimited number of creatures at an unlimited distance (even on other planes) with no saving throw. Certainly no 2nd-level spell does. Invisibility can't be a mind-affecting spell, because it just can't affect that many people in that way and still be a second-level spell.

 Think of it this way: Imagine you are my DM and I am a player of a mage character in your game. I'm doing spell research. At what level would you peg the following spells?

Option (e) is a fairly reasonable attack spell. I'd probably put that at 2nd or 3rd level, possibly higher depending upon the rest of the spell's stats. That means that option (f) has to be a more powerful spell than that (so 3rd or 4th level), and option (g) is even more powerful than that (4th or 5th level). By the way, option (g) is the attack-spell equivalent of invisibility. If invisibility is a mind-affecting spell that affects an unlimited number of people at unlimited range, no save, then it should be at least a 4th- or 5th-level spell. Strangely enough, invisibility is still pegged at 2nd level.

 Invisibility doesn't affect minds. It affects light. It affects the light around the target creature. That's why it is a "Target: You or a creature [touched]" spell instead of a "Target: everyone in line of sight" spell.

 Invisibility is not a mind-affecting spell.