Detect Thoughts 5E Spell

Hello magic casters of all shapes and sizes! Thank you so much for checking out the 20th episode of our second level spell series. Today we’re gonna be taking a look at one of my personal favorites in terms of creative usefulness but also the bane of my existence in terms of doing these articles and you’ll see what i mean in a little bit here. Today we’re gonna be taking a look at detect thoughts dnd 5e.

This is usable by the bard, sorcerer and wizard and it is found in the players handbook and it is pretty much what you expect it to be. In any case let’s get on to the mechanics here, so we know exactly what we’re talking about.

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  • Level: 2nd
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: Self
  • Components: V, S, M *
  • Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)
  • School: Divination
  • Attack/Save: WIS Save
  • Damage/Effect: Detection

So the effect at a glance and this is super simplified by the way: Read a creatures surface thoughts. Use an action to probe deeper or switch targets, when probing deeper, the target makes a wisdom save, on a success the spell ends. In any case don’t miss the comparision between detect magic vs identify 5e.

Your cast time is the standard one action, the range is technically self but the actual area of effect is 30 feet from you. The duration is one minute and it is concentration. You can also read this amulet of detect thoughts dnd.

The components are verbal, material and somatic. If you’re curious about that verbal component it is a copper piece, it is not consumed in the spell and it’s kind of a meant to play on the penny for your thoughts kind of phrase so bear that in mind, you also have to speak forth an incantation and gesture with one hand.

The school is divination which makes a ton of sense. Now let’s look at the full description that better understand this spell. You can observe the difference between detect magic vs invisibility.


For the duration, you can read the thoughts of certain creatures. When you cast the spell and as your action on each turn until the spell ends, you can focus your mind on any one creature that you can see within 30 feet of you. If the creature you choose has an Intelligence of 3 or lower or doesn’t speak any language, the creature is unaffected.

You initially learn the surface thoughts of the creature–what is most on its mind in that moment. As an action, you can either shift your attention to another creature’s thoughts or attempt to probe deeper into the same creature’s mind. If you probe deeper, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw. If it fails, you gain insight into its reasoning (if any), its emotional state, and something that looms large in its mind (such as something it worries over, loves, or hates). If it succeeds, the spell ends. Either way, the target knows that you are probing into its mind, and unless you shift your attention to another creature’s thoughts, the creature can use its action on its turn to make an Intelligence check contested by your Intelligence check; if it succeeds, the spell ends.

Questions verbally directed at the target creature naturally shape the course of its thoughts, so this spell is particularly effective as part of an interrogation.

You can also use this spell to detect the presence of thinking creatures you can’t see. When you cast the spell or as your action during the duration, you can search for thoughts within 30 feet of you. The spell can penetrate barriers, but 2 feet of rock, 2 inches of any metal other than lead, or a thin sheet of lead blocks you. You can’t detect a creature with an Intelligence of 3 or lower or one that doesn’t speak any language.

Once you detect the presence of a creature in this way, you can read its thoughts for the rest of the duration as described above, even if you can’t see it, but it must still be within range. * – (a copper piece)

Oh my goodness i was not looking forward to that, this is one of my least favorite ones to read. In any case there’s a lot you can do but the biggest takeaway is read someone’s thought using the use an action to probe deeper switch targets, you can also detect invisible creatures this way although in the beginning it says you really can’t. This is just worded very strangely but the ruling is you can so just bear that in mind. Now let’s get to some fun stuff, some alternative uses. You may also like to read telepathic feat 5e.

Alternative Uses

So i already mentions interrigations so i can’t really use that one because kind of a direct use. But in terms of more indirect uses this would be a good ay to figure out if someone’s lying to you like an important figure for example, a king, queen, noble or even just a quest giver it’s really if anything it’s important to know that what you’re being told is trustworthy and reliable this spell can really help you out. Also read this how to detect invisibility 5e.

It can also be very useful against invisible foes like it mentioned a little bit earlier here. This would include ghost, spectres are just people following you that you don’t quite know where they’re. I think it’s incredible, i really do love this spell. Outside of that a skilled player can really use this to help fine-tune plans or better understand the psychology of certain key characters to better restructure how they expect the events to play out. Also read 5e how to detect curses.


In any case if you have any ideas, alternative uses or any of your thoughts please put it down in the comment section beneath, i really do appreciate it. That being said, i hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy spell-casting everyone. Also read encode thoughts 5e | invisibility 5e | helm of detect thoughts dnd | detect good and evil 5edetect magic 5e uses | death ward 5e |

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