Understanding Divine Sense in 5e – Empowering the Paladin

Divine Sense is a unique ability granted to paladins in the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). It allows paladins to tap into their innate connection with the divine, granting them the ability to perceive and sense the presence of certain supernatural beings and forces.

When a paladin activates their Divine Sense, they extend their senses beyond their normal capabilities, gaining a brief glimpse into the invisible world around them. This heightened awareness allows them to detect the presence of celestial beings, fiends, and undead creatures within a limited range, typically up to 60 feet.

Divine Sense 5e

Divine Sense functions as a supernatural radar, giving the paladin a general sense of the location and nature of these beings. While it doesn’t provide detailed information or specific identities, it serves as a valuable tool for identifying potential threats or uncovering hidden dangers.

Dvine sense 5e spells in dnd spells

It’s important to note that Divine Sense doesn’t grant the ability to perceive mundane or mortal creatures, and it doesn’t provide information about the intentions or motivations of the detected entities. It simply alerts the paladin to the presence of supernatural beings that would otherwise be hidden from normal senses.

Paladins can use Divine Sense multiple times per day, replenishing their ability to do so after completing a short or long rest. This enables them to maintain constant vigilance against the forces of darkness and to protect their allies from hidden threats.

In summary, Divine Sense is a powerful tool that allows paladins to tap into their divine connection and detect the presence of celestial, fiendish, or undead beings. It grants them an invaluable edge in the battle against supernatural forces and reinforces their role as protectors of the innocent and champions of the light.

What Qualifies as Total Cover?

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, the rules define total cover as a form of complete physical obstruction that prevents a creature from being targeted directly by an attack or spell. When a target has total cover, it means that there is an obstacle, barrier, or condition in place that provides complete protection from incoming attacks or spells.

To determine if something qualifies as total cover, the Dungeon Master (DM) ultimately makes the ruling based on the specific circumstances and the description of the environment. However, there are general guidelines that can help in determining whether total cover applies. Here are some common examples:

  1. Solid Obstacles: A physical barrier, such as a wall, a closed door, or a dense pillar, that completely blocks the line of sight and prevents any direct targeting.
  2. Opaque Conditions: Heavy fog, thick smoke, or dense foliage that significantly obscures vision and prevents accurate targeting.
  3. Complete Concealment: Being inside a fully enclosed space, like a closed barrel or a hidden room, that completely hides the target from view.
  4. Magical Effects: Certain spells or magical effects may create barriers or illusions that provide total covers, such as the wall of force spell or an illusory terrain.

It’s important to note that total cover not only blocks attacks but also prohibits spells that require a clear line of effect. Additionally, creatures behind total cover are typically unaffected by area-of-effect spells or abilities that target a specific point or area.

However, the total cover does not necessarily mean complete invulnerability. Certain spells or abilities may have the capability to bypass or ignore total cover, such as the teleport spell or abilities that specifically state they can pierce through barriers.

Ultimately, the DM has the final say in determining what qualifies as total cover in their game. They may consider the specific details of the situation, the abilities of the attacking or perceiving creature, and any relevant spells or features that could influence the ruling.

How it Doesn’t Work

While Divine Sense may allow for a Paladin to sense evil or good beings and where they are, it does not allow them to identify who the divine being they are sensing is. For example, while they may be able to identify that there is a vampire in range, they won’t be able to discern if the vampire is Dracula or if it’s Count Strahd.

Divine Sense also only functions as a way to identify and discern the locations of good and evil beings; it does not allow you to target or affect them directly. Unlike the Hallow spell, which allows for a Cleric to directly keep Fiends, Celestials, Elementals, Fey, or Undead out of a specified area.

If you attempt to keep track of a tricky fey-like creature or another being that registers with Divine Sense, you will not be able to detect them. Unfortunately, Divine Sense doesn’t allow a Paladin to track Fey or Elementals. They are strictly locked to Fiends, Celestials, and Undead. To get around this, a Paladin could theoretically take three levels in Ranger to gain Primeval Awareness.

This feature functions differently from Divine Sense because you have to expend a Ranger spell slot to focus on the region around you. For one minute per level of the spell slot expended, you can sense if any of the following Creatures are present within 1 mile of you or up to six miles if it is your Favored terrain: Aberrations, Celestials, Dragons, Elementals Fey, Fiends, and Undead.

This doesn’t reveal the location and surpasses the total cover. This also doesn’t reveal the identity or the number of creatures within range. What would be even better than Primeval Awareness is to use the spell Detect Evil and Good, which becomes available to Paladins at the first level.

Using Divine Sense When You Aren’t A Paladin

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Divine Sense is a unique ability granted specifically to paladins. It is not available to other classes by default. However, the Dungeon Master has the authority to introduce homebrew or variant rules that allow non-paladin characters to access similar sensing abilities. This can be done through custom feats, class features, or magic items.

If you’re playing a character who is not a paladin but still wants to possess a sense similar to Divine Sense, you can discuss this possibility with your Dungeon Master. Together, you can explore options for creating a balanced and thematic ability that aligns with your character’s background, class, or story arc.

Here are a few examples of potential alternatives to Divine Sense for non-paladin characters:

  1. Sensory Awareness Feat: The DM could create a feat that grants the character the ability to sense the presence of specific creature types, similar to Divine Sense. This feat may have prerequisites or limitations to maintain game balance.
  2. Mystic or Psionic Abilities: If playing in a campaign that incorporates psionics or mystic characters, the DM could allow your character to learn or manifest an ability that grants limited sensing of supernatural or otherworldly beings.
  3. Magic Items: Your character could acquire a unique or enchanted item that grants a limited form of sensing ability, such as detecting certain creature types or supernatural forces.

It’s crucial to work closely with your Dungeon Master to ensure that any homebrew or variant abilities are balanced, thematically appropriate, and enhance your character’s role-playing experience without overshadowing or undermining the abilities of other classes.

Remember, the Dungeon Master’s role is to maintain game balance and create an enjoyable experience for all players, so their approval and guidance are essential when introducing custom abilities to the game.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Divine Sense in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition:

Q: Can Divine Sense detect invisible creatures?

A: Yes, Divine Sense can detect invisible creatures as long as they fall into the categories of celestial, fiend, or undead. It allows the paladin to sense their presence even if they are invisible.

Q: Does Divine Sense reveal the specific identity or location of detected creatures?

A: No, Divine Sense does not provide specific details or identities of the detected creatures. It only alerts the paladin to the presence of celestial, fiend, or undead beings within the specified range, typically 60 feet.

Q: Can Divine Sense penetrate barriers or total cover?

A: No, Divine Sense does not penetrate physical barriers or total cover. If a creature is completely obstructed by a solid obstacle or behind total cover, Divine Sense will not detect its presence.

Q: How often can a paladin use Divine Sense?

A: Paladins can use Divine Sense a number of times equal to one plus their Charisma modifier per long rest. This means they can activate Divine Sense multiple times per day, but it is limited by their available uses.

Q: Does Divine Sense work through magical illusions or shapechanging?

A: Divine Sense cannot see through illusions or detect creatures in their true forms if they are shape changed or magically disguised. It detects the presence of celestial, fiend, or undead creatures, but it may not recognize their actual identity if they are concealed by illusion or shape-changing magic.

Q: Can non-paladin characters use Divine Sense?

A: By default, Divine Sense is specific to the paladin class. However, the Dungeon Master has the authority to introduce homebrew or variant rules to allow non-paladin characters access to similar sensing abilities, as long as it is balanced and thematically appropriate.

Q: Does Divine Sense reveal the intentions or alignment of detected creatures?

A: No, Divine Sense does not provide information about the intentions, alignment, or motivations of the detected creatures. It only alerts the paladin to their presence, allowing them to identify potential threats or hidden dangers.

Remember, the Dungeon Master has the final say on the interpretation and application of Divine Sense in their game, so it’s always a good idea to consult with them for any specific rulings or clarifications.

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