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 Post subject: Telepathy
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:28 pm

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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1255
Location: Bowie, MD USA
Well, I feel like this must have been asked at one time or another, using the forums search tool is quixotic so I'm just asking it. The description of the ability in the main book (p.172) states only a range and duration. It doesn't say anything about a line of sight, as many powers do. It does, however, say "this is done by focusing on that one person...". So, can a psychic read the mind of someone he/she can't see?

I see two situations for this. The first less likely. You think/know somene or some people are inside a room, or edifice, or simply behind a wall within the range of the ability. Can you send your telepathy out to find that person and then read the mind? Someone being invisible would fall under this. The telepathy vs Invisible Haze is a particularly interesting case. I think this would NOT work since you then have the psychic having to read one person's tboughts but not everyone in the area. This is commonly depicted in movies, shows, comics, and stories with the psychic power coming into effect and the psychic having to focus to keep the thoughts from his head. This always seemed strange to me; it would imply we are always projecting our thoughts but no one can detect them except psychics. The way the ability is described it seems that the power has to be activated and then used like a tool. The description also clearly states that it can only be done on one person at a time, so it can't be used as radar or sonar.

The second is the more possible option. If you can pinpoint a person's location but can't see them can you use telepathy? The most obvious yes would be for touching somoene even though you can't see them. The psychic could be blind, blindfolded, or merely in the dark. Less certain are things like seeing a silhouette behind a screen, or having used Presence Sense. In that sort of situation could the psychic read the surface thoughts and would the psychic be able to distinguish between the target maiking a save and the target being an inanimate object?

Other questions I thought of while typing the above. How does this effect represent when used on someone who is sleeping? Does the psychic see dreams? Are there no surface thoughts? Does the sleeper have a save? How does language come into play? If the psychic is a Goblin and the target is a Wolfen, can the psychic understand what the surface thoughts are (assuming the goblin doesn't speak wolfen)? Is there any context added to the surface thoughts? For example, if that Gobling tried to read my surface thoughts would he know about my laptop and hotel wifi or would he just see a little square picture and have no idea what it was?

"I throw down the guantlet and challenge everyone to show the forum posts that already answered these questions and thus make me look lazy and foolish."

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 Post subject: Re: Telepathy
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:09 pm

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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:49 pm
Posts: 35
In my games, the telepath must be aware of the target, though not necessarily by sight. The power cannot be used to search a room, for example (I sense the thoughts of two people in there!) but could be used after another power or event makes the psychic aware of them. A player may hear the target moving, or feel them physically (A hand in the darkness! What is on their mind?) or may have used another ability such as presence sense to identify the target.

In my games, TP is a focused activity, an attempt to hear something very, very quiet that most people can't hear at all.
I don't allow a TP to just read random minds, or hear everyone in a crowd. While the psychic may have the ability to hear a person's thoughts, it will require effort (and expenditure of ISP) to make out any useful thoughts, rather like stopping to eavesdrop on a conversation in another room.

That said, I have occasionally inflicted the CURSE of unrestrained telepathy on a PC. Everyone's thoughts, all the time. Save vs insanity, Dave.

 Post subject: Re: Telepathy
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:45 am

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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:05 pm
Posts: 2350
Comment: Kill it with Fire.
I play it that mostly you need LOS except for a few exceptions
presence sense
clairvoyance but still within range
through cameras
or anything that gives you a very good idea of someones specific location.

I also play that anyone can sense their minds being probed, some might not understand whats going on though

Cant pinpoint people using telepathy
I also play that if you break into their mind they can try to do it back if they have telepathy
I also say yes they get a save in their sleep, however the younger they are and less set in their ways the easier it is.
using telepathy on something that doesn't have thoughts, including empty space gives a headache.

And i play that images are thoughts and words, if you don't know the language they think in (usually native) you just get images without subtitles, if you do know the language you of course get the subtitles.

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