[RPG] Does Sunlight Sensitivity impose disadvantage when in illusory sunlight


Inspired from here Does the Daylight spell count as "direct sunlight" for the purposes of Sunlight Sensitivity?

I want to cast Major Illusion just outside a window to make an illusion of part of the sun.

You can't create sufficient heat or cold to cause damage, a sound loud enough to deal thunder damage or deafen a creature, or a smell that might sicken a creature (like a troglodyte's stench).

The spell description does not specify it can't be as powerful (so bright that it's blinding, or whatever cause the disadvantage) as the sunlight.

Will a creature with Sunlight Sensitivity get disadvantage when fighting under the illusory sunlight?

Similarly, will a vampire takes damage under this illusory sunlight?

There is a precedence in Tomb of Annihilation, pg. 141, that sunlight cast by illusory magic still affects creatures averse to sunlight:

Illusion magic generates the sunlight […] This light is treated as real sunlight, and creatures averse to sunlight are affected by it.

Best Answer


An illusion of the sun created by Major Image would not be enough to impose disadvantage. It is not the brightness of the light that matters, but its source.

Sunlight sensitivity

While in sunlight, the drow has disadvantage on Attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Sunlight Hypersensitivity

The vampire takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on Attack rolls and Ability Checks.

The sensitivity only comes into play when you are actually in sunlight. An illusion of the sun is not considered sunlight. Sunlight can, by definition, only come from the sun (or from a spell that specifically says it is sunlight).

Jeremy Crawford, lead rules designer, has agreed with this:

Q:Underdark Sunlight sensitivity. Does bright light from torches, light cantrip etc cause the disadvantage or only sunlight?

A: The text of Sunlight Sensitivity specifies that sunlight is the problem for the creature. Bright light in general is fine.

In other words, no matter how bright your illusion is, it is still not sunlight and still will not cause disadvantage.