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View Full Version : [3.5] Best way for a Cleric to gain Mindsight?



Curmudgeon
2010-10-30, 08:14 PM
What's the best way for a Cleric to gain Mindsight (Lords of Madness, page 126)? Mindsight requires "Telepathy special quality". The standard answer for arcane spellcasters is to take a 1-level dip into Mindbender (Complete Arcane, page 54). Ideally I'd like a divine prestige class that offers Telepathy. Is there such a PrC?

Zaq
2010-10-30, 08:35 PM
From the good old Lists of Stuff (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19871954/Lists_of_Stuff):

Telepathy
Telepathic Bond, spell, SRD
Mindlink, power, XPH
Animal Lord 8, ecl 13, Complete Adventurer, 100' with selected animal totem
Mindbender 1, ecl 6, Complete Arcane, 100'
Incarnate 7 (Tiefling substitution level), Magic of Incarnum, 100'
Shedu Crown, soulmeld, Magic of Incarnum, 100'
Soulspeaker Circlet, soulmeld, Magic of Incarnum, 20'/essentia
Ghostwise Halfling, race (LA+0), Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, 20'
Hellbred (spirit aspect), race, Fiendish Codex II, 100' at 15 HD
Psion 5 (Telepath), Mind's Eye expanded class (link), 5'/manifester level
Demonbinder 1, ecl 8, Drow of the Underdark, 100'
Planeshifter 7, ecl 16, Manual of the Planes, 100'

Looks like Shape Soulmeld: Shedu Crown is probably the most painless way. Actually, though, it looks like the list is inaccurate! Shedu Crown does not give 20'/essentia telepathy! The Crown bind (also easily gotten through a feat) gives 100' telepathy with no regard for essentia. So, if you can afford to drop two feats on it, that's a possibility.

Curmudgeon
2010-10-30, 09:55 PM
I'm quite aware of the Lists of Stuff, thanks. (There are other errors in there: the Ghostwise Halfling's Telepathy is only 10', not 20'.) My question pertains to getting the Telepathy special quality requirement as a Cleric, though. So spells don't cut it, nor powers, nor invocations (required for Demonbinder). Both Mindbender and Planeshifter require being able to cast 5th level arcane spells.

Hellbred race is relatively painless, but doesn't provide the benefit until 15th level. And as you pointed out, getting there with Shedu Crown will require both Open Least Chakra and Shape Soulmeld feats.

olentu
2010-10-30, 10:29 PM
I'm quite aware of the Lists of Stuff, thanks. (There are other errors in there: the Ghostwise Halfling's Telepathy is only 10', not 20'.) My question pertains to getting the Telepathy special quality requirement as a Cleric, though. So spells don't cut it, nor powers, nor invocations (required for Demonbinder). Both Mindbender and Planeshifter require being able to cast 5th level arcane spells.

Hellbred race is relatively painless, but doesn't provide the benefit until 15th level. And as you pointed out, getting there with Shedu Crown will require both Open Least Chakra and Shape Soulmeld feats.

It has been a while since I used incarnum but is there not a spell that opens chakras for binding. Bah I shall have to dig up that book and check.

Edit: Well the book is being hard to find so someone else will have to check my memory.

WinWin
2010-10-30, 10:33 PM
Special Qualities are usually listed in the stat block of certain monsters. They can be (su) or rarely (ex). Normally I would suggest a spell effect, something transformational that granted a template or the special qualities of the new form, or Domain access to Dominate. Not what you are looking for though.

Only thing that comes to mind is a multiclass or item.

Curmudgeon
2010-10-30, 10:57 PM
It has been a while since I used incarnum but is there not a spell that opens chakras for binding. Bah I shall have to dig up that book and check.
Yes, there's a 4th level Open Least Chakra spell. However, it only lasts 24 hours, so it looks like you'd have to cast it every day. Basically you'd be giving up a spell slot instead of a feat.

Darrin
2010-10-31, 09:14 AM
Try Divine Disciple. Player's Guide to Faerun p. 51.

You can also manage it by picking up a Psicrystal, but that would probably involve dipping out of cleric or spending some feats (Hidden Talent, Psicrystal Affinity).

Quietus
2010-10-31, 09:27 AM
Yes, there's a 4th level Open Least Chakra spell. However, it only lasts 24 hours, so it looks like you'd have to cast it every day. Basically you'd be giving up a spell slot instead of a feat.

Much cheaper that way, though - spell slots are far more common than feats. That being said, fourth level spell slots have a lot of nice things to fill them with.

Then again, doesn't it take till level 12 to get the Open Least Chakra feat? I could check my book, but it's like a whole ten feet over that way, so I'd rather make a fool of myself like this. :smallbiggrin:

RelentlessImp
2010-10-31, 09:30 AM
Yes, there's a 4th level Open Least Chakra spell. However, it only lasts 24 hours, so it looks like you'd have to cast it every day. Basically you'd be giving up a spell slot instead of a feat.

Extend it. Now you only give one spell slot up every 2 days.

Darrin
2010-10-31, 09:37 AM
Then again, doesn't it take till level 12 to get the Open Least Chakra feat? I could check my book, but it's like a whole ten feet over that way, so I'd rather make a fool of myself like this. :smallbiggrin:

Open Least Chakra is available at character level 6. This would work with the Shedu Crown, since the crown chakra is one of the least chakras. Soulspeaker Circlet has to be bound to the throat, which is a greater chakra.

Note: Once shaped and bound, the soulmeld is permanent until unshaped. Once the Shape Soulmeld and Open Least Chakra feats are taken, they can be recycled via Chaos Shuffle or Psychic Reformation.

Curmudgeon
2010-10-31, 09:46 AM
Try Divine Disciple. Player's Guide to Faerun p. 51.
With Mindsight the Cleric/Divine Disciple would only be able to see outsiders of the same alignment or who worship the same deity. The main reason for taking Mindsight is to be aware of enemies, so only being able to notice friendly outsiders seems pretty pointless.

Urpriest
2010-10-31, 09:51 AM
With Mindsight the Cleric/Divine Disciple would only be able to see outsiders of the same alignment or who worship the same deity. The main reason for taking Mindsight is to be aware of enemies, so only being able to notice friendly outsiders seems pretty pointless.

While logical and a reasonable ruling, that's not RAW. Mindsight says you can detect creatures within range of your telepathy. It does not specify that your telepathy must enable you to communicate with them. Hence attempts to cheese out the Xorvintaal Exarch by getting a Mindsight range of miles.

Psyren
2010-10-31, 09:52 AM
With Mindsight the Cleric/Divine Disciple would only be able to see outsiders of the same alignment or who worship the same deity. The main reason for taking Mindsight is to be aware of enemies, so only being able to notice friendly outsiders seems pretty pointless.

Actually, nothing about Mindsight says that it has to follow any restrictions that your actual telepathy does. You just need a telepathy ability, and you can see all the minds around you that have an Int score. Sure you can't communicate with them, but you weren't trying to do that anyway; just see them.

There should logically be some background telepathy present; otherwise, how would you know who are valid targets to speak with and who aren't, without metagaming?

Psyrogue'd by Urpriest

Toliudar
2010-10-31, 09:55 AM
Mindsight doesn't say that it only detects creatures that can be spoken with telepathically, only that its range is the same as the creature's telepathy. So, RAW, Divine Disciple should work.

Edit: DOUBLE swordsaged.

Psyren
2010-10-31, 09:58 AM
You also don't lose caster levels. The telepathy radius is smaller but there are no alignment restrictions.

A divine Mindbender, this is pretty neat :smallsmile: I should read the Faerun books more closely, there are some gems in there.

Curmudgeon
2010-10-31, 03:35 PM
While logical and a reasonable ruling, that's not RAW. Mindsight says you can detect creatures within range of your telepathy. It does not specify that your telepathy must enable you to communicate with them. Actually, it is RAW for this specific case.

A creature that has this feat possesses innate telepathic ability that allows it to precisely pinpoint other thinking beings within range of its telepathy.
Divine Emissary (Ex): At 1st level, a divine disciple can communicate telepathically with any outsider within 60 feet that has the same alignment as she does or serves her deity. The telepathy function of this class feature is a supernatural ability. The Divine Disciple has no range of general Telepathy; it has Divine Emissary instead, and Divine Emissary has a telepathy function in a very limited context. Only outsiders of appropriate alignment/deity are within range of the Divine Disciple's telepathy.

The Glyphstone
2010-10-31, 04:21 PM
Mindbender doesn't require casting 5th level spells. It requires knowing Charm Person and having an arcane caster level of 5+. That doesn't actually help on its own, but it does make things easier.

A Cleric with the Charm domain meets requirement #1. For the caster level minimum..I dunno. A 1-level dip in Sorcerer or Wizard and a feat slot on Practiced Spellcaster? I'm not sure if Alternative Source Spell works for this.

Darrin
2010-10-31, 04:23 PM
A creature that has this feat possesses innate telepathic ability that allows it to precisely pinpoint other thinking beings within range of its telepathy.


That's part of the fluff description, and it describes a creature who has already taken the Mindsight feat. It isn't describing the creature's abilities before it took the feat. It's not really a rule.



The Divine Disciple has no range of general Telepathy; it has Divine Emissary instead, and Divine Emissary has a telepathy function in a very limited context. Only outsiders of appropriate alignment/deity are within range of the Divine Disciple's telepathy.

The prerequisites for Mindsight don't *require* general Telepathy. Divine Emissary is an (Ex), but you may also notice that it grants Telepathy as an (Su) ability. So sure, yeah, it's limited to who you can use it on, but the requirements for Mindsight don't *care* if it's limited telepathy. In fact, many types of telepathy are limited to one creature or type of creature (particularly the Telepathic Bond effects.) Mindsight doesn't discriminate against those limited forms of telepathy, either. Once you qualify, then Mindsight works as written.

If you're really bent out of shape about this, then use Dragonsblood Pool to pick up Charm Person as an arcane spell and dip a level of Mindbender.

Psyren
2010-10-31, 04:24 PM
Actually, it is RAW for this specific case.
The Divine Disciple has no range of general Telepathy; it has Divine Emissary instead, and Divine Emissary has a telepathy function in a very limited context. Only outsiders of appropriate alignment/deity are within range of the Divine Disciple's telepathy.

Eh, that's a DM call if I ever read one. The rule as written calls it telepathy, therefore it is telepathy. A horse is a horse is a horse.

And as I said before, only being able to talk to Outsider minds does not mean they are the only ones you can see.

Urpriest
2010-10-31, 04:28 PM
That's part of the fluff description, and it describes a creature who has already taken the Mindsight feat. It isn't describing the creature's abilities before it took the feat. It's not really a rule.



The prerequisites for Mindsight don't *require* general Telepathy. Divine Emissary is an (Ex), but you may also notice that it grants Telepathy as an (Su) ability. So sure, yeah, it's limited to who you can use it on, but the requirements for Mindsight don't *care* if it's limited telepathy. In fact, many types of telepathy are limited to one creature or type of creature (particularly the Telepathic Bond effects.) Mindsight doesn't discriminate against those limited forms of telepathy, either. Once you qualify, then Mindsight works as written.

If you're really bent out of shape about this, then use Dragonsblood Pool to pick up Charm Person as an arcane spell and dip a level of Mindbender.

The prerequisites require the Telepathy special quality. I believe Curmudgeon is arguing that the Divine Emissary does not actually gain Telepathy, it simply can communicate telepathically, which is not the same thing. It's one of the most fine-grained, pedantic arguments I've heard on these boards, but it's also thoroughly in character, and it isn't too many steps beyond arguing that the swordsage teleportation maneuvers don't qualify you for Teflammar Shadowlord.

Darrin
2010-10-31, 04:35 PM
The prerequisites require the Telepathy special quality.

PCs don't have an SQ field as part of their stat block. However, if a creature/NPC had Divine Emissary (Ex), then it would likely be listed in the SQ field. Among other things, it grants telepathy as a supernatural ability. Ergo, it should count for Mindsight.

Urpriest
2010-10-31, 04:37 PM
PCs don't have an SQ field as part of their stat block. However, if a creature/NPC had Divine Emissary (Ex), then it would likely be listed in the SQ field. Among other things, it grants telepathy as a supernatural ability. Ergo, it should count for Mindsight.

No, it grants the ability to communicate telepathically as an SU ability, not Telepathy. The ability to communicate telepathically is not the same as having telepathy, even if said ability had no restrictions. This is the hair that Curmudgeon is splitting.

Psyren
2010-10-31, 04:46 PM
No, it grants the ability to communicate telepathically as an SU ability, not Telepathy. The ability to communicate telepathically is not the same as having telepathy, even if said ability had no restrictions. This is the hair that Curmudgeon is splitting.

Are you just playing devil's advocate? :smallconfused: I can tell you disagree with Curmudgeon, yet you're arguing from his stance.

In any case, if it didn't give telepathy, it would have left it at "communicate telepathically" as far as I'm concerned.

Urpriest
2010-10-31, 04:52 PM
Are you just playing devil's advocate? :smallconfused: I can tell you disagree with Curmudgeon, yet you're arguing from his stance.

In any case, if it didn't give telepathy, it would have left it at "communicate telepathically" as far as I'm concerned.

Ooh wait, there's a "telepathy function" of the class feature! Missed that sentence. The split hair turns the other way! So yeah, the ability to communicate telepathically with outsiders doesn't qualify you for the feat, but its associated "telepathy function", described in the next sentence, does. And if anyone ever brought all this up with a DM they would be checked into a home for the terminally OCD.

Curmudgeon
2010-10-31, 06:07 PM
The prerequisites require the Telepathy special quality. I believe Curmudgeon is arguing that the Divine Emissary does not actually gain Telepathy
Actually I'm arguing that Divine Emissary only gains a telepathy range for outsiders of the appropriate alignment/deity; for them the Divine Emissary has a telepathy range of 60'. For anyone else they've got no functioning telepathy.

Urpriest
2010-10-31, 06:12 PM
Actually I'm arguing that Divine Emissary only gains a telepathy range for outsiders of the appropriate alignment/deity; for them the Divine Emissary has a telepathy range of 60'. For anyone else they've got no functioning telepathy.

Telepathy isn't "for" things. Unless you can point to that qualifier in the telepathy description in the SRD? Limits on the targets of communication do not imply limits on the range, or limits on the existence of the ability.

Curmudgeon
2010-10-31, 07:15 PM
Telepathy isn't "for" things. Unless you can point to that qualifier in the telepathy description in the SRD?
The Divine Disciple doesn't get the Telepathy (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#telepathy) special ability. It only gets Divine Emissary, which includes its own limitations. Those limitations in turn determine whether the DD has telepathy or not depending on the location of appropriate outsiders. When Divine Emissary provides no telepathy function, the character has no Mindsight.

Psyren
2010-10-31, 11:33 PM
The Divine Disciple doesn't get the Telepathy (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#telepathy) special ability. It only gets Divine Emissary, which includes its own limitations. Those limitations in turn determine whether the DD has telepathy or not depending on the location of appropriate outsiders. When Divine Emissary provides no telepathy function, the character has no Mindsight.

But as Darrin pointed out, PCs don't have a "special quality" block. By your narrow reading of Mindsight, nobody can qualify for it without being a monster class. Obviously that can't be the case.

Darrin
2010-11-01, 12:17 AM
But as Darrin pointed out, PCs don't have a "special quality" block. By your narrow reading of Mindbender, nobody can qualify for it without being a monster class. Obviously that can't be the case.

Well, given the context in Lords of Madness, there's an argument Mindsight was never intended to be used by PCs. But something else I noticed in the Telepathy entry:

"Some creatures have a limited form of telepathy, while others have a more powerful form of the ability."

So even the Telepathy write-up admits that only being able to talk to certain creatures or other limitations may exist, and it's still considered telepathy. Only being able to talk to outsiders that worship your deity does not seem to be a limitation that would exclude you from picking up Mindsight.

I don't buy Curmudgeon's argument that Divine Emissary's telepathy only comes and goes as targets are available. I don't see anything in the Divine Emissary entry that says it stops working if a target isn't available. How can you conclusively prove there isn't a valid target invisible/hiding/disguised? (Well, okay, Mindsight might have something to say in that situation.) By the same argument, you could also say Telepathy stops working if their are no target minds in range. If you went that route, fairly simple fix: just carry an outsider with the matching alignment/deity with you wherever you go, ergo your telepathy always has a target within range.

Another point: Ok, so if telepathy is only considered working if there's an outsider with the proper requirements present. Fine. Plenty of other PrCs require certain feats or abilities. Let's take a PrC that requires TWF, for example. Both weapons are sheathed, so the character obviously can't use TWF at that moment. Or a ranger is wearing heavy armor. Do his class abilities instantly go away whenever he can't use TWF? Same thing with Divine Emissary. You always *have* the capability to telepathically communicate, once the conditions are right. Divine Emissary (Ex) itself doesn't go away.

I believe my argument boils down to this:

A) If a creature has the "Divine Emissary (Ex)" ability, is it likely to be listed in the SQ section of it's stat block?
B) Does this ability allow the creature to communicate telepathically in some form?

If A) and B) both are true, then A Winner Is You.

I can kinda-sorta see why Curmudgeon is insisting on a more stringent criteria, which I think can be boiled down to "Is this entry in the SQ field actually called Telepathy, which corresponds to the Telepathy entry in the MM/SRD?" But that's getting a little too far into a cold dark place where I would not want to game. Might be best to go the Shape Soulmeld: Shedu Crown route.

Gametime
2010-11-01, 12:55 AM
But as Darrin pointed out, PCs don't have a "special quality" block. By your narrow reading of Mindsight, nobody can qualify for it without being a monster class. Obviously that can't be the case.

Since it's listed in the middle of a section about monsters, instead of the "Feats" section, there's actually pretty good contextual evidence for it not being intended for PC use. It's certainly not conclusively the intention, but it's not obviously not either.

Psyren
2010-11-01, 01:21 AM
Since it's listed in the middle of a section about monsters, instead of the "Feats" section, there's actually pretty good contextual evidence for it not being intended for PC use. It's certainly not conclusively the intention, but it's not obviously not either.

The same can be said about any feat in the Monster Manual; however they, like Mindsight, use the catch-all term "creature" which can be applied to PCs as well as monsters.

Gametime
2010-11-01, 03:25 AM
Well, yeah, but two things regarding that.

One, the Monster Manual doesn't have one section devoted to feats and then another feat stuck off by itself in the middle of a chunk o' monster text. All the relevant feats are grouped together. They're in a monster book, true, but they're all together. Mindsight isn't in the feats section, and considering the other feats are all listed in the section about "aberration hunters", rather than aberrations like the rest of the book, there's a good argument to be made that Mindsight isn't intended for PCs. This is compounded by the fact that the relevant aberration doesn't make for a particularly good PC race, whereas the Monster Manual has several player-appropriate monsters (including the actual PC races).

Two, I don't think it's obvious that the game designers intended for the Monster Manual feats to be player accessible. I think it's certainly possible, and the rules as written certainly allow it, but the Monster Manual feats aren't inviolate or sacrosanct or anything.

The point is, there's nothing "obvious" about either Mindsight or any other monster-related feat being also intentionally allowed for PCs.

Urpriest
2010-11-01, 08:18 AM
The point is, there's nothing "obvious" about either Mindsight or any other monster-related feat being also intentionally allowed for PCs.

Mind Flayers have level adjustments, and there are mind flayer-only feats in a different section from the feats section. It would be a little odd to assume that these are not allowed to mind flayer PCs.

Cyclocone
2010-11-01, 08:34 AM
Mindbender doesn't require casting 5th level spells. It requires knowing Charm Person and having an arcane caster level of 5+. That doesn't actually help on its own, but it does make things easier.

A Cleric with the Charm domain meets requirement #1. For the caster level minimum..I dunno. A 1-level dip in Sorcerer or Wizard and a feat slot on Practiced Spellcaster? I'm not sure if Alternative Source Spell works for this.

Southern Magician (RoF) alone should do it.

Otherwise Magical Training (FRCS) +Practiced Spellcaster.

Note: Southern Magician and Magical Training both require you to be from a specific region in Faerun.
IIRC, 3.0 had was a rule that let you qualify as being from a certain region by taking ranks in Knowledge: Local for the relevant region; but I'm not sure that rule made it into 3.5.

Psyren
2010-11-01, 09:07 AM
The point is, there's nothing "obvious" about either Mindsight or any other monster-related feat being also intentionally allowed for PCs.

There are monster PCs, you know. The two camps are not mutually exclusive.

As Urpriest pointed out, this overlap includes Mindflayers themselves.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-01, 12:03 PM
Southern Magician (RoF) alone should do it. The FAQ author (Andrew Collins) disagrees:

Can a wizard with the Southern Magician feat qualify for prestige classes that require you to be able to cast a divine spell?
The Southern Magician feat does not allow you to cast divine spells per se. It only allows you to change the spells into divine spells once they have been cast. Thus, you wonít qualify for prestige classes that require you to be able to cast a divine spell. The Southern Magician feat only gives the bonuses specifically listed in the featís description.

Otherwise Magical Training (FRCS) +Practiced Spellcaster. That's been updated in Player's Guide to FaerŻn (page 41); it's still a regional feat. If the region and race requirement works in your campaign, it would let a Cleric qualify for either Mindbender or Planeshifter ─ though that would still be a dead level in terms of Cleric spellcasting. :smallannoyed:

If you're going to have to sacrifice 2 feats anyway, Open Least Chakra and Shape Soulmeld would be preferable, as you wouldn't need to also waste a level.