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Hzurr
2009-12-02, 05:30 PM
So, before too long, my PCs are going to be running into a Mind Flayer that has a "thingy" it's using to turn people into far realm abominations. It should be a fun and entertaining final boss fight since we have both a Githyanki and a Githzerai in the party. (Don't ask).

However, Mind Flayers have telepathy out to 10 squares, and the rules are a bit...vague on the rules of telepathy. Specifically, can a telepathic creature read someone else's thoughts against his or her will? We have one character who is using a Hat of Disguise to stay hidden after the party faked his death (He has assassins after him); but if the Mind Flayer can read his mind, it could lead to some...interesting conversations.

Here's the official entry on Telepaty


A creature that has telepathy can communicate telepathically with any other creature that has a language. The other creature must be within line of effect and within a specified range. Telepathy allows for two-way communication.


In addition, if the Mind Flayer can read surface thoughts, what would be the check to surpress certain thoughts that would arrive by reflex? I mean, if someone asks for your name, you can say "Billy" even if your name is "Johnny", but the name "Johnny" is still going to appear in your thoughts. How would you defend against that?

mikeejimbo
2009-12-02, 05:35 PM
I think that since it says "allows for" it means a telepathic creature can't read minds, only thoughts that are specifically sent to it.

But I'm probably wrong.

Ranos
2009-12-02, 05:36 PM
Concentration checks ?

Theodoric
2009-12-02, 05:37 PM
Concentration checks ?
In 4E? :smallwink:

Mando Knight
2009-12-02, 05:39 PM
Tactical mind-reading would grant some sort of absurd bonus. A Mindflayer Solo might have such an ability as a power (granting CA and defense bonuses against the target, or something), but unless otherwise stated, it can't let the Mindflayer pick off the top of the opponent's head.

oxybe
2009-12-02, 05:43 PM
it allows for 2-way conversation. so i would rule out actual mind reading.

i would allow the mindflayer an insight check VS the "dead" pc's bluff to see if he can blank his mind from the mindflayer interacting with him, if the illithid tries to do so.

my reasoning is that the mindflayer is essentially checking for life the same way a bandit would by poking at the body

Tiki Snakes
2009-12-02, 05:53 PM
It's basically just a method of communication (that might be, possibly, I'm not sure, language independant?), it doesn't allow thought-stealing. However, it would be quite reasonable to allow circumstantial bonuses to insight checks for the flayer to figure stuff out, like resisting a telepathic communicated-bluff, or so on, at your discretion of course.

Inyssius Tor
2009-12-02, 06:44 PM
Telepathy allows you to hold conversations without anyone opening their mouth, and you don't have to speak their language or vice versa.

By RAW, that's all it does.

That's it.

And before you decide that telepathy actually by-default should do much more than that, bear in mind that PCs can get telepathy. Kalashtar characters get it at-will as a racial feature, right from level 1. This is balanced because telepathy, by RAW, does not let you read memories or compel actions or destroy brains via sheer psychic fury or anything else.

Of course, one might reasonably let it provide a nice circumstance bonus to the occasional Insight check... :smallwink:

Chrono22
2009-12-02, 07:03 PM
How telepathy can be used varies depending on how the DM rules the "conversation" to work.
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133529

Oracle_Hunter
2009-12-02, 07:03 PM
Besides, Mind Flayers aren't so much interested in reading minds as, well, flaying them. (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/6/22/)

Also, IIRC there is an item or power that models mind reading - I think it's a weapon in AV I, but I may be mistaken.

Mark Hall
2009-12-02, 07:07 PM
So, before too long, my PCs are going to be running into a Mind Flayer that has a "thingy" it's using to turn people into far realm abominations. It should be a fun and entertaining final boss fight since we have both a Githyanki and a Githzerai in the party. (Don't ask).

He left out that the players of the Githyanki and Githzerai are engaged. I think the sniping is couples therapy for them. ;-)

However, Hzurr, I'll add that there's an item in Eberron that would grant Awesomest Prime telepathy that I'm thinking of having the Artificer make for me...

KillianHawkeye
2009-12-02, 08:28 PM
I just wanted to point out that the description of telepathy is pretty much the same as it was in 3E, and in order to actually read someone's mind you needed detect thoughts or similar magic.

cupkeyk
2009-12-02, 08:44 PM
Telepathy is like a language, like in teh kalashtar entry. No mind reading. Kalashtar need a feat to add some bonus to perception by picking up stray thoughts. they canm't read the mind, just detect em. So telepathy is pretty much just a fancy language.

Gametime
2009-12-03, 12:09 AM
As people have pointed out, Telepathy just allows for silent, difficult-to-detect communication. It's vastly more useful for PCs than NPCs, in general, because the DM can come up with all KINDS of ways for villains to communicate in secret or already have known things. Getting stuff past the opposition on the fly is where telepathy shines, and that's usually the PCs' job.

KillianHawkeye
2009-12-03, 08:41 AM
I dunno, I've heard a story about a group of devils that used their telepathy to coordinate an ambush against the PCs in an area of magical darkness (which the devils, of course, had no trouble seeing through).

Hzurr
2009-12-03, 03:00 PM
However, Hzurr, I'll add that there's an item in Eberron that would grant Awesomest Prime telepathy that I'm thinking of having the Artificer make for me...

Now THAT is what everyone needs. A crazy robot in their heads... :smallamused:

Hmm...but bearing mind that the PCs can get telepathy, I think it's definitely a good idea not to allow telepathy to read surface thoughts. Otherwise things are going to get very awkward, very quickly

Mark Hall
2009-12-03, 03:12 PM
Now THAT is what everyone needs. A crazy robot in their heads... :smallamused:

It's really my excuse to play music all game, 'cause that's more or less what gets stuck in my head. Oh, and hey, I've now got Lion's take on the Transformers theme on my computer now...