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Emperor Tippy
2007-07-20, 07:56 PM
First the Spell description:

Mind Blank
Abjuration
Level: Protection 8, Sor/Wiz 8
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One creature
Duration: 24 hours
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

The subject is protected from all devices and spells that detect, influence, or read emotions or thoughts. This spell protects against all mind-affecting spells and effects as well as information gathering by divination spells or effects. Mind blank even foils limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to affect the subjectís mind or to gain information about it. In the case of scrying that scans an area the creature is in, such as arcane eye, the spell works but the creature simply isnít detected. Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject do not work at all.

I bolded the part my question concerns. How broad should information gathering be interpreted? I was debating this issue with another person earlier and I feel that a person under the effects of a Mind Blank spell should have no information revealed about them if they are being viewed by someone using True Seeing.

So you have a human polymorphed into an elf and under the effects of mind blank. A guard under the effects of True Seeing looks at the "elf". Does he just see an elf or does he penetrate the disguise and see a human polymorphed into an elf?

I said that it would count as information gathering by a divination spell and should thus be blacked (So the guard sees an elf) while the other person contended that the guard would see a human as information gathering only applies to direct attempts to learn about the person (such as with legend lore or vision).

So what do you think and how do you interpret information gathering?

Gavin Sage
2007-07-20, 08:36 PM
For reference:


True Seeing

Divination
Level: Clr 5, Drd 7, Knowledge 5, Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1 min./level
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

You confer on the subject the ability to see all things as they actually are. The subject sees through normal and magical darkness, notices secret doors hidden by magic, sees the exact locations of creatures or objects under blur or displacement effects, sees invisible creatures or objects normally, sees through illusions, and sees the true form of polymorphed, changed, or transmuted things. Further, the subject can focus its vision to see into the Ethereal Plane (but not into extradimensional spaces). The range of true seeing conferred is 120 feet.

True seeing, however, does not penetrate solid objects. It in no way confers X-ray vision or its equivalent. It does not negate concealment, including that caused by fog and the like. True seeing does not help the viewer see through mundane disguises, spot creatures who are simply hiding, or notice secret doors hidden by mundane means. In addition, the spell effects cannot be further enhanced with known magic, so one cannot use true seeing through a crystal ball or in conjunction with clairaudience/clairvoyance.
Material Component

An ointment for the eyes that costs 250 gp and is made from mushroom powder, saffron, and fat.

Emphasis mine as it seems the most relevant part of this.

I'd say no since True Seeing is not really an information gathering tool. The specific example of the scrying spell decides me, since Mind Blank is not explicitly giving a blanket Divination Immunity. There would be simpler ways to say that if it was so or even intended to be so. So "all things" compared to "information gathering" I favor the all things.

Raum
2007-07-20, 08:36 PM
True Seeing is a Divination spell and Mind Blank prevents information gathering by divination spells - seems clear that True Seeing will not provide information.

However, it's worth pointing out that "not gathering information" is very different from "getting false information." In your example, the guard with true sight won't see a human with the "true sight sense" but neither will he see an elf except with normal vision. Whether or not the guard notices the lack of information is open to interpretation.

Edit: @Gavin - In general, the higher level spell should trump the lower when the effects directly oppose each other.

Dausuul
2007-07-20, 08:59 PM
Damn, that's a tough call...

I think I'm going to side with Emperor Tippy on this one. The wording of true seeing says that it reveals "the true form of polymorphed, changed, or transmuted things." I would classify that as direct information gathering about the subject (specifically, divining what the subject's true form is), and thus prevented by mind blank.

On the other hand, if the mind blanked person were using seeming instead of polymorph, I think true seeing would win. True seeing allows you to "see through illusions," which implies that in that case it's negating the illusion rather than divining information directly about the subject.

Dark Knight Renee
2007-07-20, 09:02 PM
This came up in my game a while back, and I believe it was ruled that Mind Blank didn't affect True Seeing (unfortunately for the BBEG). On the otherhand, I'm still trying to figure out how we managed to excuse getting around Mind Blank with Commune.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-20, 09:05 PM
"Commune" asks the gods/elemental princes/etc. stuff. They have their own methods of information gathering (i.e. Divine Senses), which are not stopped by Mind Blank.

Mind Blank does not affect true seeing, except for ridiculously broad definitions of "information gathering". By that logic, if a Mind Blanked person were walking through snow, a Scrying spell on that area of snow couldn't see their footprints (even though the spell describes just the person as not appearing).

Dausuul
2007-07-20, 09:17 PM
"Commune" asks the gods/elemental princes/etc. stuff. They have their own methods of information gathering (i.e. Divine Senses), which are not stopped by Mind Blank.

Mind Blank does not affect true seeing, except for ridiculously broad definitions of "information gathering". By that logic, if a Mind Blanked person were walking through snow, a Scrying spell on that area of snow couldn't see their footprints (even though the spell describes just the person as not appearing).

My take on "information gathering" is to envision the divination spell as a kind of metaphysical spy. What does the spy examine in order to retrieve the desired information? If the answer is "the subject of mind blank," then the spell fails. Otherwise, it succeeds.

Thus, in your example, scrying reveals the subject's footprints because it can examine them without examining the subject's person. Likewise, as you point out, commune just has to examine the deity who is answering the question, so you can get info via commune as long as the deity has a way to get the answer. On the other hand, there's no way true seeing can reveal the true form of a polymorphed subject without examining that subject directly. So mind blank works.

With illusions, true seeing beats mind blank because true seeing in that context is not providing information at all. It's just negating effects that prevent your normal senses from working properly.

Raum
2007-07-20, 09:28 PM
Mind Blank does not affect true seeing, except for ridiculously broad definitions of "information gathering". Information is defined as "knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc." and gathering it means you're "accumulating, collecting, or assembling" said information. It's a broad statement limited only by the "...by divination spells or effects" caveat. When it is a divination spell or effect gathering information, why would the protection not work? Though I do agree with you on Commune, more powerful opposing effects should see through the protection. Alternatively, what is your narrower definition of information gathering?


By that logic, if a Mind Blanked person were walking through snow, a Scrying spell on that area of snow couldn't see their footprints (even though the spell describes just the person as not appearing).Only if you've somehow protected the snow with a Mind Blank. Target does matter.

Jack_Simth
2007-07-20, 09:59 PM
Call with Game balance first, logic second:

Mind Blank does not foil True Seeing. Nondetection, however, can - if the True Seeing effect's caster level check beats the Nondetection DC for the subject.

Why?

Well, I don't really like "ultimate" spells - True Seeing Trumps everything? Meh, makes it too complex to magically sneak in to a magically guarded area. Mind Blank Trumps everything? Meh, makes it so you can't readily defend against certain magical sneaks.

Nondetection, however, introduces a die roll into it. You make a caster level check to get info on the subject by way of a divination spell. This "feels right" to me. The Invisible Sneak isn't perfectly hidden, the True Sighted guard can't always see the Sneak. A more skilled caster has an advantage.... but it's still a little chancy, unless the difference is extreme.

Dausuul
2007-07-20, 10:09 PM
Call with Game balance first, logic second:

Mind Blank does not foil True Seeing. Nondetection, however, can - if the True Seeing effect's caster level check beats the Nondetection DC for the subject.

Why?

Well, I don't really like "ultimate" spells - True Seeing Trumps everything? Meh, makes it too complex to magically sneak in to a magically guarded area. Mind Blank Trumps everything? Meh, makes it so you can't readily defend against certain magical sneaks.

Nondetection, however, introduces a die roll into it. You make a caster level check to get info on the subject by way of a divination spell. This "feels right" to me. The Invisible Sneak isn't perfectly hidden, the True Sighted guard can't always see the Sneak. A more skilled caster has an advantage.... but it's still a little chancy, unless the difference is extreme.

So... a third-level spell beats a sixth-level one, yet an eighth-level spell doesn't? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

I think my interpretation works pretty well balance-wise. True seeing wins in most circumstances (since normally you're using it to penetrate illusions), but it's limited by the fact that you have to be there in person--it doesn't work in combination with long-range divinations. Mind blank remains powerful but can be circumvented by indirect divinations such as legend lore and commune.

namo
2007-07-20, 10:13 PM
At some point I investigated that issue - there are long threads that crop up about it on the wizards boards from time to time. To sum it up, the RAW is not clear (surprise !), but the majority opinion, which convinced me, is that Mind Blank can only stop effects that interact with the protected creature. True Seeing magically enhances the sight of the target, so it is not foiled by Mind Blank.

That said, I really like the following houserules :
- True Seeing requires a caster level check (it grants an untyped bonus (+4 ?))
- Mind Blank is not absolute ; instead it grants an untyped bonus (+8 ?) to Will saves against mind-affecting/scrying/... spells.

That way the schools of Enchantment and Illusions are not so easily negated.

Jack_Simth
2007-07-20, 10:17 PM
So... a third-level spell beats a sixth-level one, yet an eighth-level spell doesn't? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
Game balance first, logic second. I mentioned that, didn't I?



I think my interpretation works pretty well balance-wise. True seeing wins in most circumstances (since normally you're using it to penetrate illusions), but it's limited by the fact that you have to be there in person--it doesn't work in combination with long-range divinations. Mind blank remains powerful but can be circumvented by indirect divinations such as legend lore and commune.
Oh, it works, balance wise... but I don't particularly care for "ultimate" spells - True Seeing pretty much trumps the almost the entire school of illusion... and is only 6th level. Mind Blank does the same for the school of Enchantment. It just... leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

Aximili
2007-07-20, 10:20 PM
I look forward to seeing the result of this thread.
However, just a thought: it should probably be made into a Pool, since its more of opinion and interpretation than actual rulling.


True Seeing magically enhances the sight of the target, so it is not foiled by Mind Blank.If it did, it would be transmutation. Being a divination spell, it actually aquires an information and gives it to you (in this case, trough your sight). The process of aquiring the information, might actually interact with the mindblanked.


That said, I really like the following houserules :
- True Seeing requires a caster level check (it grants an untyped bonus (+4 ?))
- Mind Blank is not absolute ; instead it grants an untyped bonus (+8 ?) to Will saves against mind-affecting/scrying/... spells.

That way the schools of Enchantment and Illusions are not so easily negated.
I'd make it +8 and + 14 respectively. That way the two schools are not so easily negated. If you give bonuses of +4 and +8, you are actually making it pretty hard to negate those two schools.

Ravyn
2007-07-20, 11:53 PM
I agree with the people who say Mind Blank doesn't block True Seeing. The reason? I can't see any reason how having an empty head would affect someone else's arcanovision. Scrying I can see it blocking, since one of my favorite literary explanations for it is "seeing the individual as the individual sees herself", but you're not going to miss an illusion just because the individual doesn't know they're disguised.

Thinker
2007-07-21, 12:51 AM
I look forward to seeing the result of this thread.
However, just a thought: it should probably be made into a Pool, since its more of opinion and interpretation than actual rulling.
What does a pool have to do with a discussion?

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-07-21, 01:33 AM
As a GM, I would rule that a person under both the effect of some illusion spell and mind blank being seen by a person with true sight would be resolved as follows:

The True Sight person would see through the illusion. The spell is not gathering information about the target, it is merely piercing the illusion around it. However, he could not read his mind, or find him with scrying. You would need to use your eyes to find the person.

edit: The spell Mind Blank specifically prevents scrying by Prying Eyes, which all have True Sight... which means it should be able to either foil True Sight, or simply be a jammer and prevent that information from reaching back to the wizard who cast it. I would tend to say the latter.

namo
2007-07-21, 02:52 AM
If it did, it would be transmutation. Being a divination spell, it actually aquires an information and gives it to you (in this case, trough your sight). The process of aquiring the information, might actually interact with the mindblanked.

I disagree with your qualifying my version of True Seeing as transmutation : it's a "mystical", not a physical enhancement (those words don't really fit but I can't find any better for now :smallsmile: ).

A question then : would Mind Blank stop See Invisibility ? Arcane Sight ? Comprehend Languages ? True Strike ? All of these gather information in some way.


I'd make it +8 and + 14 respectively. That way the two schools are not so easily negated. If you give bonuses of +4 and +8, you are actually making it pretty hard to negate those two schools.

You may be right about the +4 for True Seeing : getting bonuses to the Caster Level tends to be too easy - so maybe +6.

And you actually raise a delicate issue with Mind Blank : if it's needed to perfectly protect the low Will-save classes, then +14 is fine. But it hard to increase save DCs (much harder than to increase save bonuses), so I'd aim lower ; in fact I'd keep the +8 I first suggested. Perhaps add a no-failure-on-a-1 clause.

Renx
2007-07-21, 04:18 AM
I can't see any reason how having an empty head would affect someone else's arcanovision.

That's exactly what MB does. You don't have an empty head, it's just when someone is trying to detect you, you "draw blank".

It blocks "information gathering by divination spells or effects." That one should be obvious. I.E. for all intents and purposes you don't exist for any divination spell and/or effect. It even guards against wish effects, for crying out loud.

Now, if it blocks one of the most potent spells in the D&D world (9th level, no less), it most certainly blocks True Seeing.

Example: Mel-inster the wizard casts Mind Blank on Tizz-drit the rogue, who then uses a Hat of Disguise to disguise himself as a beautiful naked woman and proceeds to waltz into the temple of Torm.

As everyone knows that Torm is a chauvinist, a visiting cleric Dadder-cly casts True Seeing in disbelief that a woman would just walk into the temple. Now, as Tizz-drit does not exist for True Seeing, the question becomes instead: "Does True Seeing 1) replace your original vision or 2) is superimposed on it?" If 1, Dadder-cly sees nothing where Tizz-drit is. If 2, he'll just see the naked woman.

All names are random and any resemblance to existing characters is completely accidental.

lord_khaine
2007-07-21, 05:07 AM
i would personaly say true seing does penetrate mind blank, as i understand that clause about informagtion gathering they are refering to things like divination, scrying commune ect.

tainsouvra
2007-07-21, 05:55 AM
I would probably rule that the Mind Blanked subject doesn't show up under True Seeing at all--it reveals no information, not even what was readily apparent without the spell...which, if you think about it, reveals that some kind of ruse is in play, but oh well.

Edit:
Just to clarify, True Seeing does not completely replace normal vision, so it wouldn't make the Mind Blanked subject invisible. It would just reveal nothing at all about them, even if it's apparent that there should be something unusual.


"Does True Seeing 1) replace your original vision or 2) is superimposed on it?" If 1, Dadder-cly sees nothing where Tizz-drit is. If 2, he'll just see the naked woman. Well, True Seeing does nothing to help with nonmagical concealment, normal disguises, etc...but you still can use your normal vision against those during the spell's duration, so it can't be completely replacing your normal vision with the spell's effect.

It's either correcting magical effects as needed while leaving the rest or superimposing as you suggested while leaving the rest, but it definitely doesn't do anything to things it can't read. Your normal vision prevails and Tizz-drit would see the naked woman.

Elana
2007-07-22, 01:45 AM
Thanks to unclear rules, it has to be settled by fluff.

As I interpret it, the guard would see the form of the human, but thinks he sees the elf.
(As the Mind blank spell, blanks out the truth the divination spell discovered)

But then again, it might be that they were just thinking about spells like detect thoughts, which would be in line with the first sentence.


The spell has the same problem as fabricate. The wording is bad.

Trying to find the intended meaning I checked with the AD&D writeup.
That lists crystal balls and other scrying devices and spells like clairvoyance, communing, contact other plane and wish related methods as spells that are unable to penetrate Mind Blank, but it doesn't list true seeing.

So it might have been intended for true seeing to work.
(But on the other hand, they changed enough, so it might as well be intended to stop true seeing now)

Renx
2007-07-22, 04:14 AM
The problem stems mostly from the fact that True Seeing is generally thought to be all-powerful. It's not, really. It's a 5th level spell.

Also, Mind Blank used to be an anti-scrying spell. In I.U.D.C. there was an exploit for minor artifact power I:Z, a 'minor power' of 3 Mind Blanks per day.
Clerasil was taken aback. "You mean three people could be continuously protected better than if they were all wearing amulets? That's pretty sick for a minor benign power."
"No, as a matter of fact, it's disgusting for a minor benign power."

And, as we've seen from this thread, there's a definite split in the way people think about illusions and polymorph effects. If you don't perceive them as being a part of the caster, it's easy to argue Mind Blank doesn't cover them. IMO disguising magic and polymorphs are so 'close' to the caster that Mind Blank does affect them.

Also, when in doubt, go with RAW: "Information gathering by divination spells or effects." are blocked (emphasis mine). IE anything that a divination spell/effect would return about and of the caster is blanked. I'm sorry, but that does include True Seeing. It might help to think of it like this: True Seeing examines a naked woman and draws blank. OK, nothing special there, moving on. Easy as pie. Little does the suspicious cleric know that the woman is in fact an old male lecher heading to the womens' showers.

Mmm... pie.

Douglas
2007-07-22, 01:15 PM
Personally, I would rule that the much clearer wording of Psionic Mind Blank (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/mindBlankPsionic.htm) clearly illustrates the Rules As Intended, and magical Mind Blank should be changed to match. Mind Blank is supposed to block a) anything relating to your mind (as indicated by the spell's name) and b) long range search-and-locate magic. The clause about Wish and similar spells is there to clarify that these spells are treated as having the appropriate descriptors when used in those ways.

CASTLEMIKE
2007-07-22, 02:37 PM
Amended post after sitting down with PHB, EPH and D&D.

Mind Blank is a high level anti divination spell. Both the psionic and magical Mindblank are written very similarly accounting for effects.

The spell protects against all mind-affecting spells and effects AS WELL AS INFORMATION GATHERING BY DIVINATION SPELLS OR EFFECTS.

If foils True Seeing because it is a lesser magnitude Divination spell which allows the being under it's influence to see things as they really are (Information gathering).

Mindblank may be ineffective versus communes because the spellcaster is contacting/targeting powers who are unaffected by the mind blank spell for information regarding the mind blanked being. Diety Divine Sensing is only impervious to Divine Shields or the Block Sensing of Powers of a Diety of it's rank or lower page 28 Dieties and Demigods. The commune spell may circumvent the Mindblank to some extent by dealing with an unaffected third party who has information about the mindblanked being who can respond to questions with simple answers or very short responses.

For non powers the True Seeing spell functions for the being under it's effect but fails against the Mindblanked being for several key points and reasons:

True Seeing is a divination spell of lesser power or magnitude than Mindblank.

The True Seeing spell text description does not specifically state that it works versus Mindblank in any manner either as an area or targeted effect. True seeing does specifically list a few spells which it does work against (ALL of the spells or powers it works against are of lesser spell level or magnitude).

Last the psionic Mind Blank is Specifically Noted as only being ineffective versus the single power of Metafaculty (Key point is that Metafaculty is a level 9 power with an experience point cost of 1,000 XP).

Since True Seeing specifcally lists powers and spells it is both effective and ineffective against and Mindblank is on neither by default that makes Mindblank effective versus True Seeing.

IMO the Mindblanked being is simply not detected by the True Seeing spell when used as an area effect or specifically targeting a creature (Basically the Mindblanked being would become invisible to most beings using True Seeing akin to the effects of the psioinc Cloud Mind (The being with True Seeing in effect would see a door opening by itself when a Mindblanked being opened it but not the Mindblanked being or his equipment opening the door).

Matthew
2007-07-24, 06:26 PM
I vote for True Seeing to work. I could have gone either way, but Douglas' parallel example swayed me.

Gavin Sage
2007-07-24, 08:21 PM
Personally, I would rule that the much clearer wording of Psionic Mind Blank (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/mindBlankPsionic.htm) clearly illustrates the Rules As Intended, and magical Mind Blank should be changed to match. Mind Blank is supposed to block a) anything relating to your mind (as indicated by the spell's name) and b) long range search-and-locate magic. The clause about Wish and similar spells is there to clarify that these spells are treated as having the appropriate descriptors when used in those ways.

Given this that this is another version of the spell and the only argument for True Seeing not being effective is subjective, its clear what was meant by WotC with "information gathering".

Counterpower
2007-07-24, 09:53 PM
I'm siding with douglas on this one. The way psionic mind blank is written makes more sense than the strict reading of mind blank's effect. I would probably houserule that mind blank's effects are similar to that of psionic mind blank. Although, I do agree with the other side that purely RAW, true seeing would probably be defeated. That's why I'd houserule it. I share a general dislike of unstoppable spells.