Telepathy in DnD 5e: Complete User Guide & Examples » Black Citadel RPG (2023)

Communication is one of the most important parts of D&D. After all, the three pillars of the game are combat, exploration, and social interaction. Naturally, we like to get as many interesting ways to interact socially as possible.

Today we are going to talk about a spell called telepathy, which does exactly what you think it does. We will also talk about other abilities that are somewhat similar to this spell.



  • audition time: 1 share
  • Range: unlimited
  • Duration: 24 hours
  • School: evocation
  • Classroom: Seco
  • Level: 8º
  • Damage/Effect: None
  • Attack/Save: None
  • Components: V, S, M (a pair of silver rings attached)

spell description

You create a telepathic link between yourself and a willing creature with whom you are familiar. The creature can be anywhere on the same plane of existence as you. The spell ends if you or the target are no longer on the same plane.

Until the spell ends, you and the target can instantly share words, images, sounds, and other sensory messages with each other through the link, and the target recognizes you as the creature you're communicating with.

The spell allows a creature with an Intelligence of at least 1 to understand the meaning of your words and receive the range of the sensory messages you send it.

What is telepathy?

It is the ability to communicate using the mind. In D&D, the concept of telepathy appears everywhere. However, in the specific context of this spell, telepathy is a spell that allows you to mentally communicate with a target creature for up to 24 hours.

This is a tier 8 spell, which means we can anticipate some serious power from him. Definitely delivers. This spell is not only limited to concentration, but its range is only limited by the planes of existence.

This means you'll almost never have a reception problem, and when you do, you'll know exactly what's going on that caused it.

Perhaps a bit surprising, this is a very simple high level spell. The only part I can imagine people getting a bit confused about is the types of messages you can share with your telepathic link.

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The spell states that you can share "words, images, sounds, and other sensory messages." So what exactly are "other sensory messages"? well that includesanythingsomething else you can feel

Of the five great senses, touch, taste, and smell are not mentioned on this list. Naturally, as part of this spell, you can share a certain taste, smell, or tactile sensation with another person. How exactly this is useful, you will have to decide for yourself.

Strangely, and I'm not sure the designers of WotC knew this when they wrote it, there are many other senses that people have. I have to assume that any humanoid has the same range of senses as a real human, if not more.

There are some very strange senses that you can share, so I've divided them into simpler and darker senses:

simple senses

  • Equilibrioception – the sense of balance
  • Proprioception: awareness of your body
  • Nociception: the sensation of pain.
  • Thermoception: the sensation of heat (this is a completely different sense than touch)

dark senses

  • Sense of self (who you are, your understanding of yourself)
  • Suffering
  • Fomé
  • sensitivity to gravity

I'd love to turn this into an article that teaches you all about the many senses we actually experience, but that's not what I'm here for. It should be telling you what the spell does. The answer is that this spell can do a lot more than you would probably think.

To make everything a bit simpler, this spell has the ability to send any thought you have to another person. Just think how wide that range is. Not all our thoughts can be expressed so easily in words; that's why we sometimes have trouble putting our thoughts into words.

Emotions are a sense, they are a kind of internal sense that we have, and in those situations in which "we simply cannot find the words to describe what we are feeling" this spell takes care of that. Instantly.

After casting this spell, anything is free play to mentally transfer, and that works both ways.

Instead of sending "I need help, here are eight balors ready to kill me", you can simply send the appropriate emotional context and even an image of what you are seeing directly to your telepathic link.

The often overlooked part of this spell is its effect on creatures with an intelligence of at least 1. That's remarkably low intelligence. In fact, it is the intelligence of a swarm of insects, as close to nothing as possible.

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This allows creatures with the intelligence of an insect tounderstand and understandnot just the words you send them, but also any meaning you send them.

This is one of the few ways to communicate with an ally who has hadWeak mindcast on them. It's also one of the only ways to truly communicate with beasts or any other less intelligent creatures out there.

The only question then is willpower, and unfortunately for you, that's up to the DM.

When should you cast telepathy?

This is a difficult question to answer. That would be great to say whenever you want, but we're talking about a level 8 spell, so it gets a little more complicated.

You should cast Telepathy when you need to have a continuous mental link with another character for an extended period of time.

I know, it's a vague answer, but it has to be vague. There are so many useful situations for telepathy. Perhaps the simplest is when you are about to embark on a dangerous mission.

Exploring can be difficult and sometimes you have to go out alone. Telepathy gives you the ability to neverIn factbeing alone. We've all seen "...and I come alone..." situations on TV, and I think this type of scenario is a great trope for GMs to throw at their high-level players if the BBEG is a more relatable villain. What are you. able to argue with

Choose one of your allies for the telepathic link and have them close enough to assist you if necessary, then go and enjoy your little submission in some safety.

Of course, sometimes you'll just use this to get in touch with someone. There may be an NPC you're looking to for advice, one you can't easily get your hands on.

Especially on days off when you don't anticipate a fight any time soon, this spell is a great way to do it. Of course, you may also want to create a portal and just drop in for a quick tour.

I could go on listing examples, but instead I'll just say that when to launch this is completely range dependent. It's limited to the plane you're on, and that's it.

You should avoid casting this spell if you are anticipating a fight, as it can save space for a more powerful combat spell. Other than that, you're good to go.

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telepathic options

If you're familiar with our spell guides, you've probably already seen a list of similar spells. While there are some spells that allow you to do similar things, this ability isn't limited to spellcasting.

It's actually a type of ability that shows up in a decent amount in 5e, so we're just going to cover other ways you can go telepathic.

Note: I left out abilities that allow you to communicate telepathically with specific familiars or animals and decided to focus on broadly applicable abilities. With that being said, there are many ways to communicate with your family member or similar partner.

Rary's Telepathic Link, Fifth Level Divination

This spell is more focused on combat and exploration, allowing you to create a bond between you and 8 other willing creatures for an hour. This is great for dungeon crawling, stealth missions, and a wide variety of other encounters.

It is a much cheaper spell than Telepathy and allows you to communicate with more creatures, establishing up to a nine-way link. Similar to Telepathy, it has unlimited communication range (on the same plane of existence), but you must be within 30 feet of your targets when you cast the spell.

Telepathic, TCoE feat

Instead of a measly ASI, you can go telepathic! That's right, X-Men lovers, now is the time. This feat gives you a 1 boost to a single mental ability, but more importantly, it allows you to send telepathic messages to any creature you can see within 60 feet of you.

Some caveats, the creatures can only understand you if you speak in a language they understand, and they can't send you any communication.

Fortunately, this feat also gives you Detect Thoughts, which you can cast once per long rest or any other time with your own 2nd-level or higher spell slots.

If you're looking for telepathy in a more normal 'I'm telepathic' sense, this is the way to go. It doesn't allow you to constantly read minds, but that's okay; you can do it when you need it.

Of course, you can still use Telepathy and pretend you're connected to Cerebro if you want.

Psychic Whispers, Rogue Resource 3rd Level Soul Knife

You read well! THIRD LEVEL SKILL! I love completelyladinos canivetes, and this ability is a big reason. Allows you to establish a telepathic connection between yourself and a number of creatures up to your proficiency die that lasts for a number of hours equal to your die.

The ability is only weakened by the fact that the connection is only between you and them, meaning they have to send messages through you to communicate with each other. This is limited to one mile, but has a variable length of time, and you can do it up to double your long rest proficiency modifier.

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If your telepathic desires are focused on getting you and your party through dangerous situations, and you want that ability from the start, that's definitely it.oway to go

Detect thoughts, second level divination

What telepathy based list would be complete without detecting thoughts. This 1 minute concentration spell does exactly what it says on the tin and allows you to detect the thoughts of a creature you focus on as an action.

This spell is layered, allowing you to gain superficial information or deeper reasoning, and even allows you to detect invisible thinking creatures. It's a great interrogation spell and it's also a great spell if you're being sneaky. While it does not establish a "telepathic link", it is certainly one of the best telepathy spells around.

Encoding Thoughts, Enchanting Cantrip

This one is a bit of a stretch, but it allows you to extract the thoughts of yourself or another creature and attach them to a magical thread.

This is great for recording evidence and other investigative stuff, and people may even pay good money to listen to others' thoughts.

Awakened mind, first level ancient patron great sorcerer characteristic

This sorcerer feat is like having the telepathic feat, but with a slightly smaller radius. You can speakforany creature that understands at least one language within 30 feet of you.

This spell specifies "talk to" instead of "talk to", which means your line of communication is very one-way.

Silent Speech, Spooky Halfling Racial Characteristic

You can speakforany creature within 30 feet with which you share a language. Since this is racial and not something you gain access to at a higher level, it's nerfed a bit.

I've seen homebrews increase range at higher levels, and you can even do this "talk to" at an appropriately high level, but that's up to you and your GM.

general thoughts

Telepathy is an amazing spell with a lot of reach, but it's not the only way to establish a telepathic link.. It is restricted to wizards and cannot be stored in ring, wand, or staff form because it is too high a level.

If you're not an extremely high level wizard looking to burn through a level 8 spell slot in virtually unlimited mind communication, try one of the other size options. There are many ways to transform into Professor X, Jean Grey, or your favorite telepathic icon.

As always, happy adventures!

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