Telepathy has been part of D&D since issue one, when it was part of a wide range of mental powers clumsily woven into the psionic rules. Like almost everything else in D&D, telepathy went through various permutations, errata, optional rules, and of course, homebrew systems in later editions.
In D&D 5E, telepathy manifests itself in a number of ways, most notably with the addition of the Aberrant Mind build for castersTasha's cauldron of everything, or with the 8ºMage spells at the highest leveltelepathy. But for those who want to try their hand at telepathy without playing a caster or burning out a high tier caster slot,Tasha's cauldron of everythingoffers a way to do that too – the telepathic feat.
Telepathy 5e - The Basics
As with some of the better talents, the telepathic talent doesn't require you to give up your ability score increase entirely. Instead, you can still use this talent to increase Intellect, Wisdom, or Charisma by 1 (up to a normal maximum of 20).
The feat itself allows you to telepathically speak to any creature you can see within range, as many times as you like (60'). Your telepathic conversation/speech will be in a language you speak, which of course means the target will only understand you if they speak that language. One caveat – the communication is one-way. You can talk to the target, but it can't answer you.
In addition, the talent allows you to use 2nd gear once per long pausendLevel Spellsrecognize thoughts. This does not use or require a spell slotTerMagic Slots. For the purposes of this spell, your casting ability is the one increased by the feat.
The good and the bad with telepathy
A universal downside to any achievement is that you sacrifice an ability stat boost to get it. Given how much of the game goes into various tests based on skill score - saves, abilities, etc. - this can be a tough decision when weighing how best to optimize your character.
The fact that the telepathic power allows you to save a partial skill score boost definitely makes it appealing, although obviously it's a bigger draw for classes and characters that use mental abilities rather than physical ones.
And that's especially true when one of your mental stats has dropped an odd number and you need to move it onto the next bonus. However, if you take the regular raise, you cantwoStats instead of just one, so consider whether talent is a viable trade-off.
The most obvious downside to the feat is that communication is one-way. The unlimited ability to speak to others with the spirit has potential uses - it springs to mind to mess with a devout priest or layperson by delivering "divine messages" to them, or to frighten enemies in a supposedly haunted location by sneaking around and "chasing" them. , not to mention the more mundane use of silent communication and coordination of Allied actions. Still, it's hard to deny that this version of telepathy's usefulness is limited.
recognize thoughtsit's a decent spell, used properly and under the right circumstances. This not only allows you to unobtrusively roll across the surface of a target's mind, but also gives you the ability to dig deeper (although this alerts the target to your intrusion).
A potentially more useful use of the spell is to "scan" thinking creatures around you, allowing you to spot invisible creatures (and then read their minds as well).
And even though it's only once per long pause, it's still a free spell that doesn't take up space and is available even to non-casters. Again, how useful or not this is for your character depends a lot on your build and what you're up to.
Applications of DnD 5e telepathy
With that in mind, let's talk about how you can use this talent. Who deserves more? Who would not benefit from this? And what are some of the ways you can make it work for you?
Given the limited parameters of the stat boost, this feat seems definitely aimed at the less physical classes. Sorcerers, sorcerers, sorcerers, bards, . . . They all have an obvious advantage if they can raise any of the three mental stats, and especially if your spell skill hasn't reached 20 yet.
In the hands (or rather brains) of a spellcaster, the telepathic talent has a few potential uses, one of the simplest being the ability to coordinate allies without alerting enemies in close combat.
Imagine being able to warn your comrades that you're going to cast a fireball or other devastating area of effect spell on your next turn, and have them all get out of the way while the enemy has no idea what's coming.
You can also give hints or instructions on how to hide or sneak allies without drawing attention to their presence, or share information you get in other ways, such as:recognize thoughtsSpells or any other type of divination without broadcasting it to everyone within earshot.
And it never hurts to have an extra spell that doesn't cost a spell slot, and it's especially good for those classes that don't normally have access to a spell on the mage list.
But while it's useful in the right situations (e.g. interrogations or when you don't want to rely on an insight check to know if someone is lying), it's a point thatrecognize thoughtsis somewhat limited to these situations.
For true telepathic communication in 5E, the above would be a better option.telepathySpell that allows at least two-way communication with unlimited range.
and the 5ºMage spells at the highest levelRary's telepathic connectionallows for a two-way connection with up to 8 creatures, although the duration is only 1 hour vs.telepathy24 hours. And as an added bonus, these spells don't just limit you to creatures that understand the same language.
And of course there's the Aberrant Mind build for wizards, for spellcasters who really want to rely on psychic powers. The Telepathic Speech feature for this build - in 1stLevel, not less - allows communication up to a mile or more (based on 1 mile per Charisma bonus - which if you're a halfway decent caster better be more than 1 mile).
Depends on language like the telepathic talent, but allows brief two-way communication any number of times.
Priests, paladins, and rangers could all make use of this feat and put the bonus into their casting skill - which the paladin and ranger could probably use the help for.
An invisible ranger capable of speaking warnings directly into the mind of an intruder in his forest, or a priest or paladin capable of doing sorecognize thoughtsFinding heretics or other enemies of the faith are certainly valuable applications of the feat.
And certainly, priests or paladins could benefit from the ability to quietly direct or coordinate their party.
As for the bandits, of course they could use somethingrecognize thoughtsto uncover critical information, not to mention using telepathy to grapple with guards or other human obstacles in their shenanigans.
Granted, the soul knife archetype (off againfrom Taschacauldron of everything) already gains Psionic Power at 3thirdLevel, giving them the possibility of a superior version of telepathy, but the Arcane Trickster and Phantom archetypes seem like good options for this feat.
And even the regular thief and assassin archetypes could certainly find userecognize thoughts, if not telepathy itself.
Monks can benefit from the Wisdom bonus, but it's hard to see much use for this talent beyond that. Besides the usefulness ofeveryoneBeing able to send silent messages to your party, telepathy doesn't seem to add much to the typical monk. They may be better off just going for the attribute score boost or a talent that better suits their class.
Regarding the purely physical classes. . . Sure you could make a telepathic barbarian, but why? Interesting color choice aside, it's hard to see a good reason to choose this feat for a fighter or barbarian. Boosting stats won't help them at all - the stats in question are most likely the "dump" stats that are at or below average.
And while they could startrecognize thoughts, even with the bonus - unlike other melee builds like Monks or Paladins - they probably won't carry much weight in terms of your cast ability value.
So while they could still read superficial minds, they would still be prevented from digging deeper. Furthermore, the blind fighting style ofTasha's cauldron of everythingat least gives fighters a better chance of spotting invisible enemies. So for those two classes, there are way better options than this talent.
Is the telepathy talent worth it?
Telepathic feat is not the most impressive feat one can accomplish. And for some classes, especially the more melee-focused builds, it's just not worth it.
But for spell casters who can take full advantage of the skill score boost, telepathy itself, and free spell casting, it can definitely have its moments.
The key question is how and how often you would use it. With a little creativity, it's possible to come up with a whole host of tricks that the telepathic talent can add to your repertoire.
It's up to you to judge how important these kinks are to the character you're building and whether it's better for you to use the telepathic talent or make another choice.
frequently asked Questions
How does DND 5e telepathy work?
It depends on the specific variant. Most high-level magical versions of telepathy allow for long-distance communication, involving the direct sharing of ideas and meaning without resorting to ordinary language. This is also the version (under the name Psychic Whispers) that appears as an option for the Soulknife rogue's psionic power class feature. For the Telepathic Speech feature or Aberrant Mind Warlock Telepathic feat, the characters mentally communicate in a language that they both must understand. The details of range and time limitations vary depending on the type of telepathy used.
Is telepathy a good achievement 5e?
For classes that focus on mental stats - mainly spellcasters - it can definitely come in handy. Some other classes can also benefit depending on how they are used. For pure melee builds, however, it's not worth it.
How can we communicate in D&D?
In addition to the obvious ability to have your character form words with the mouth hole, there are a handful of spells that allow for telepathic communication, such as:Rary's telepathic connectionortelepathy. Soulknife rouges and aberrant mind sorcerers also have access to forms of telepathy as a class feature.
What is telepathic language?
Some forms of telepathy - primarily through higher magics - go beyond language, allowing communication with others despite language barriers. This type of telepathy transmits ideas and images directly, eliminating the need for words.accordingly. In simpler forms of telepathy, such as For example, in telepathic performance, you still think in a language you understand and require the target to understand that language as well.