Wait really? No "read mind" power for Psions?!

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So I may play an occasional sort of "guest star" character in a friends D&D campaign. The campaign hasn't so far incorporated psionics but the setting has Mind Flayers and Aboleths as a major part of the history, so I worked out (with some DM approval) a background for a character who's a telepath due to mind flayer experiments (and and Elan at the moment though that could change, either to just straight human or Kalashtar depending on what the DM thinks works best. I do like the idea of having telepathy and not being able to speak verbally as a fun character quirk). I've been wanting to play a psionic character in a 4e game for a long time but this is the first chance I've had to maybe probably actually do it. 

Anyway, I've been looking through powers, feats, etc, for Psions and... I'm shocked to find that there doesn't appear to be any sort of power, feat, or ritual that lets a Psion (and a telepath at that!) read minds. Even some sort of limited ability to read surface thoughts, or only find information after a seriouse psionic combat or overcoming a will defense or... something! Can this possibly be true? I'm a freakin' telepath! Reading surface thoughts and invading someone's mind should be like... Telepath 101! I can take control of someone and make them attack their friends but I can't get a basic read on what they're thinking? Please tell me there's something I'm missing!
statting mind reading would be a mechanical nightmare i think.

you're better off just working with your dm to get the thing you're looking for.
Well if that's my only option then I guess that's what I'll have to do, but it's not like previous editions haven't had similar powers. It's not like it has to be an attack power. Honestly doesn't seem like that tough a problem to solve. Make a utility power that lets you read "surface thoughts," leave what that means up to the DM. Or maybe say you can find out 50 words or something. Or you get 1 minute of access. Or... any number of things. It's just kind of shocking that there's nothing even remotely like this for a freaking telepath. Make it a ritual with a prerequesit that you're a telepath. Something!

It's just crazy that this isn't supported in the main rules at all. Frankly, as much as I love 4e, and have for years, this is one of the main problems with this edition. An obsession with what's "easy to stat up" rather than what makes any sense for the story... Sorry I don't mean to sound like some 4e hating grognard. I'm really not. But maybe recent products with a bit more story emphasis and a bit less worry about "mechanical purity" has spoiled me. Just seems like as a telepath I should be able to interrogate someone psionically. Any fiction you read about telepaths has that as at least a possibility that must be kept in mind. It's as simple as that.
If you look at some of the classes designed before the Psion, you will, in fact, find a lot of Utility powers that have ridiculous non-combat utility.  Off the top of my head, I look at the Wizard, who has a power that can actually erase someone's memory!

What I think the designers noted, however, is that people don't tend to take these powers because they are very "niche".  While you might find a lot of potential utility in being able to read someone's mind, others might not.  More to the point, there are going to be times when the ability is absolutely worthless, such as when fighting things that don't have much in the way of thoughts going on in their head.

Now compare the opportunity cost of taking a utility like, say, Shield, which can potentially save your butt in every combat, ever, and even be used against things outside of combat, such as traps or hazards, versus...well any other level 2 Wizard utility.  Moonstride, maybe, but in actual play, I've seen Wizards chuck Moonstride into the dustbin fairly quickly.

This isn't to say that a power to read minds shouldn't exist, because yes, it should.  The problem is more that unless it does a LOT more than just let you try to figure out an enemy's plan, ferret out The Mole, or whatnot, it's just not worth taking in most games. 

As a result, actually statting up the power for the percentage of players who'd want it, might not be worth the ink.  You'd be better off, as suggested above, asking a DM to create a custom ESP/Detect Thoughts/Probe power.  Or just giving it to you as a freebie that you can read minds, as a tool for him to sneak more exposition into the campaign.

Personally, the design space "mind reading" should occupy would better be represented as a Ritual (and for all I know, such a Ritual may exist!), rather than a power.

This all ties into what should/should not be a utility power, an area where I feel WotC dropped the ball before they realized there was an issue at all.  What should a utility power do?  Evade an attack or a nasty condition in combat?  Grant a combat buff?  A skill buff?  Let you use a skill associated with your class in new ways/in combat?  Increased out of combat utility?  Additional support for your class/role?

Currently they do ALL of these things, and as a result, a heirarchy of what you should take is created that edges out a lot of really cool powers.                  
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
And this is exactly where I think one of the biggest fialings in 4e exists. Personally I think utility powers wer a great idea that fell totally flat. The concept of utility powers was an awesome one. Solve the problem of making you "refuse the ice cream." Utility powers should be useful non-combat abilities that might have a use in combat if you're clever, but shouldn't really be focused on that. Instead we mostly got combat powers that don't do damage and have limited use outside of combat. I had a wizard in my last campaign take exaclty the power you're talking about and she used it to great effect several times to wipe the memory of various NPC's/enemies. It was awesome. I want more of that.

And seriosuly knowing what your enemy is thinking... Not too hard to come up with some SUPER USEFUL combat abilities out of that. Even with something with only animal intelligence: IT'S GOING TO ATTACK RIGHT NOW, GET OUT OF THE WAY! Bam, you're done.

I'd also like to mention that I did in fact say that a ritual would be another good option for this, but as far as I can tell even that doesn't exist.

The point being this really should be in the game and the fact that it's not is a seriously failure on the part of the designers. Just one more area of design space left very very empty so we can instead focus on yet another cookie cutter combat power... Again sorry to sound bitter. I really have been spoiled by more recent products like Heroes of the Feywild that show me what 4e could, and should, be.

Anyway I guess I'l have to work with my DM to come up with something custom. It's a a serious shame on the developers that this doesn't already exist though. This sort of omission does nothing to dispell the cries that 4e is just "a board game" or "just a tactical wargame" that we all know aren't true, but occasionally start to feel true...
IMHO reading someone's mind is just one way to exert control over your fellow players, and that's not something, that should be available. It's power play which will have a great chance of becoming very annoying for the others at your gaming table, including the DM.
It's good and right that some things were left out.

And hey, for what it's worth, reading complaints like yours somehow even make me like 4E better, because such a "spoil the fun power" has been left out ...
You can present more twisted plots and characters without fear, that one single attempt of power usage destroys an entire campaign arc, thank you.

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From Eberron Player's Guide:

telepathy 5 (you can communicate with any other creature that has a language and is within line of sight and within 5 squares of you; this allows for two-way communication)



Could you please explain to me why that is not exactly what the OP was looking for?

Oh wait... I think I see where the problem is: reading one's thoughts and mental communication is one thing, but invading one's thoughts really ought to be an attack, or a distraction.  Just like how one should be able to cover his ears to prevent auditory input from coming in, so should people be able to shrug off any attempts to fill their minds with incessant blabber.

Lo and behold... from Player's Handbook 3, where the Psion was introduced:

Distract: "Your mental barrage momentarily confuses an enemy."
Send Thoughts: "You communicate telepathically with a creature."

Again, can anyone tell me why 4E doesn't have telepathy, mind-reading, etc.? 
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Whoa there. I'm not suggesting I should be able to read other player character thoughts. I'm also not suggesting there shouldn't be any sort of way to defend against reading one's mind. In fact I think it would be great if there was a way to defend against it and a Psion had to work hard to actually gain access to an NPC's mind to extract some information. I'm also not suggesting a character should just have carte blance access to any thought or memory they want. Leave it up to the DM what sort of information they should be able to get. But read nearly any story about a telepath, or even look at previous editions of the game, and you'll see that it'd dangerous to leave your thoughts unguarded around a telepath. Hell, make it a ritual that takes 15 minutes to cast and reqires the subjec to be there the whole time. I don't really care. All I want is more or less the most basic ability

I'm simply saying it's a pretty big oversight to not have a power that allows one to read the thoughts of an NPC, or at least attempt to.

And... no the game doesn't provide mind reading.

Telepathy: (from the compendium) "A creature that has telepathy can communicate mentally with any creature that has a language, even if they don’t share the language. The other creature must be within line of effect and within a specified range. Telepathy allows for two-way communication." 

This is just talking without using your voice. Not mind reading.

Distract: you confuse an enemy, not read it's thoughts.

Send thoughts: you can send  a message of up to 25 words to a target, and they can respond if they choose to. Again not mind reading.

None of this is not what I'm looking for. It's all cool, and fits with the telepath theme. But none of it is the most iconic ability a telepath has. Again, I can apparently invade an enemies mind and take control of it, but while I'm doing that I have no idea what it's thinking?

I'm looking for some sort of ability, even if limited, and with the possibility to be defended against, to find out information an enemy might not want me to know. It's pretty simple and it's basic telepath stuff. Doesn't it seem like the sort of thing you would use a telepath for? Interrogating an enemy?

Look I'm not saying 4e is a horribl game or anything. I've been playing it for 4 years as both a player and DM. It's my preferred edition. In general I like most of the design decision they've made. But it also has it's flaws, and things like this really expose them. There's far too much of a focus on what's easy to stat up and what is focused on combat. I want more than just combat powers. More recent products have given that to me in certain contexts. They've shown me all the other stuff in the game that should have been there from the start. They've reminded me of all the other stuff I used to love to do when I played D&D, without having to just wing it as a DM or try to make up new stuff with my DM if I'm a player (not that there won't always be some of that, but some fairly basic stuff should be covered by the game system, and in some cases, especially with older products... it's just, not.).

Anway, it's pretty clear that I haven't missed some power or ritual or feat, and I'm just going to have to work with the DM to make something up. It's not the end of the world, but honestly, it's a failure on the part of the game designers.

Now! To take things in a more constructive direction, anyone have any suggestions on good ways to set up a mechanic for something like this? I don't really want it to be easy, I'd like it to be reasonably balanced and I'm not looking to ruin the DM's plans, but I think an ability like this is cool and flavorful and frankly gives the DM a tool to advance the plot if they want to. So any ideas? Just a simple attack against will? Something more complicated? What restrictions should there be on what sort of information can be obtained? Should it be dangerous to delve into someone's mind like this? Especailly if it's against another psionic character/creature? Anything else you think I need to be thinking about as I come up with this?
Whoa there. I'm not suggesting I should be able to read other player character thoughts.



And what sense would it make to restrict the mighty Psion to only be able to read NPCs minds? Are those brains somehow different from the ones of player characters?


All I want is more or less the most basic ability



Telepathy is btw just the ability to communicate without physical means. And Psions do have this ability.
Being able to read minds is not basic, at least not from the experience I have.

Maybe the Homebrew Forum would be a better place for you to ask for suggestions and I'm sure there were others who already had such ideas.

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Read Unearthed Arcana: The Awakened Psion, on Dragon 394. I think that's exactly what you're looking for.
TorianT - You're absolutely right. Saying it's the most basic ability is way overstating it. I do still think any pretty much any fiction involving telepaths reading minds is part of the deal, but it's not the most basic. I was up way too late last night and I guess I got a bit cranky.

My basic opinion that it should be a part of the game and should have been since PHB3 stands but I overzealous in stating that opinion. My appologies to you and to Chaosfang.

Olrox17 - Thank you! That is exactly what I was looking for! I'll have to discuss this with the DM and see if he likes these options but that's pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Thank you! Good to know that someone else saw this deficiency, and that they saw fit to at least put it into (virtual) print, even if it's only in an Unearthed Arcana article.
Oh, and as for why it would only be open to NPC's? I feel like there are enough gamist aspects to the game that we can just sweep one or two things like that under the rug. Or open it up to PC's and leave it up to the group and players to determine if/when to use that ability. I personally would be pretty unlikely to use it on another player just because I'd feel like that would violate the usualy social contract of gaming at the tables I play at. I don't like to play an adverserial sort of game and I can't think of many situations in which a PC of mine would feel the need to delve into another PC's mind. Generally we're pretty much open books with one another, and generally are the sort of characters that would respect one another's privacy, so my character could probably just ask another PC what he wanted to know.

Anyway, sorry again for getting a bit cranky earlier. I really should have been in bed! 
The ability to read an NPC's mind destroys any kind of mystery plot, as it makes interrogation and information gathering far too easy.  Whether or not it's 'basic' is irrelevant; it's bad for the game.
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You're welcome  That article was really helpful for one of my players, who wanted a "Psycho Mantis" like character. I hope your DM will allow it ^^
The ability to read an NPC's mind destroys any kind of mystery plot, as it makes interrogation and information gathering far too easy.  Whether or not it's 'basic' is irrelevant; it's bad for the game.



That's only the case if you assume reading minds can only exist as total unrestrected access to any information the player might seek. I'm not looking to add that to this or any other character.

That's not how it's worked in previous editions and there's no reason it would have to work that way in this one. I suggest you go and read the article Olrox17 mentioned (wizards.com/dnd/downloads/dragon/394/394...). It's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. It's very flavorful, it's not something you can just do without any dificulty (you have to successfully make a psychic attack of some sort), it has potential consequences, and what information you get may not be what you're looking for, and is left in the hands of the DM. If anything something like this can easily be a huge help to the DM who can give the players unexpected peices of information to nudge them in one direction or another, or simply to confuse them. It's a great way to add a lot of flavor to the world and to the NPCs. I know I'd love to have something like this in my toolbox when I DM.
Psionic powers in 4E are sledge hammers, not scalpels. There might be a ritual that allows you to read a mind of an unwilling person, but other than that I cannot think of anything.
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a Mind reading psion is part of the whole mythology surrounding psychic telepaths in almost all of fictiondom. Having a psion that cannot on some level read another sentient being's mind is no telepath at all.

It can be abused (as can almost anything else that is fun in D&D) but with the right controls and DM, it is a deep and rewarding ability to be able to roleplay.
"If it's not a conjuration, how did the wizard con·jure/ˈkänjər/Verb 1. Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic. it?" -anon "Why don't you read fire·ball / fī(-ə)r-ˌbȯl/ and see if you can find the key word con.jure /'kən-ˈju̇r/ anywhere in it." -Maxperson
Homebrew change: Psions get to base Insight off their Cha modifier and get a +2/tier bonus to checks.

Plant Thought: You leave one of your thoughts or feelings in the target. This thought is not strong enough to control the target, but it can change the target's actions in subtle ways...The more believable the thought is, the more likely it is to be believed.



Inception
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Psions really do need a way to be good at insight and a utility bonus to diplomacy and bluff.

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

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Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

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Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Psions really do need a way to be good at insight and a utility bonus to diplomacy and bluff.



 Probably why the telepath psion is CHA secondary...
a Mind reading psion is part of the whole mythology surrounding psychic telepaths in almost all of fictiondom. Having a psion that cannot on some level read another sentient being's mind is no telepath at all.

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The real problem here is that some people think that a 4e character's powers represent everything they can possibly ever do, period. That's not actually true, though. A character's powers are just the basic, mechanically straightforward and non-gamebreaking things that he or she can be assumed to always be able to do (unless stunned or whatever). They're the baseline to ensure that every character has some interesting and relevant things to do, both in and out of combat, that don't rely on DM fiat. They're not supposed to cover everything a player might want his or her character to be capable of. Rogues don't have a power to let them swing from a chandelier. Paladins don't have a power to let them sense the presence of supernatural evil. And psions can't read minds without the target's consent. But the absence of those specific powers in no way implies those characters cannot do those things. It just means that those abilities are sufficiently niche, dependent on circumstances, or potentially troublesome to game balance or plot, that the designers thought they would work better by being improvised by players and DMs on an ad hoc basis.

So, if you and your DM agree that your psion can read minds by succeeding on an Int vs. Will attack as a standard action once per encounter (for example), then your psion can do that. It is not a flaw in the game that there is no specific power for it, though, any more than it's a flaw in the game that rogues don't have a "swing across the room on a chandelier and kick the BBEG in the face" power.

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

So, if you and your DM agree that your psion can read minds by succeeding on an Int vs. Will attack as a standard action once per encounter (for example), then your psion can do that. It is not a flaw in the game that there is no specific power for it, though, any more than it's a flaw in the game that rogues don't have a "swing across the room on a chandelier and kick the BBEG in the face" power.


I was about to post something similar to this.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
The real problem here is that some people think that a 4e character's powers represent everything they can possibly ever do, period. That's not actually true, though. A character's powers are just the basic, mechanically straightforward and non-gamebreaking things that he or she can be assumed to always be able to do (unless stunned or whatever). They're the baseline to ensure that every character has some interesting and relevant things to do, both in and out of combat, that don't rely on DM fiat. They're not supposed to cover everything a player might want his or her character to be capable of. Rogues don't have a power to let them swing from a chandelier. Paladins don't have a power to let them sense the presence of supernatural evil. And psions can't read minds without the target's consent. But the absence of those specific powers in no way implies those characters cannot do those things. It just means that those abilities are sufficiently niche, dependent on circumstances, or potentially troublesome to game balance or plot, that the designers thought they would work better by being improvised by players and DMs on an ad hoc basis.

So, if you and your DM agree that your psion can read minds by succeeding on an Int vs. Will attack as a standard action once per encounter (for example), then your psion can do that. It is not a flaw in the game that there is no specific power for it, though, any more than it's a flaw in the game that rogues don't have a "swing across the room on a chandelier and kick the BBEG in the face" power.



Too true.

DMG p.42:

Your presence as the Dungeon Master is what makes D&D such a great game. You make it possible for the players to try anything they can imagine. That means it’s your job to resolve unusual actions when the players try them.




DMG p.189:

A house rule also serves as a handy “patch” for a game feature that your group dislikes. The D&D rules cannot possibly account for the variety of campaigns and play styles of every group. If you disagree with how the rules handle something, changing them is within your rights.
This advice can’t turn you into an expert game designer—we’d need more than a page for that. Instead, this is a basic introduction to the concepts behind rules design. Once you’ve become familiar with these ideas, the best way to learn more about game design is to play, see what’s fun and what’s not, and use your discoveries to guide your own work.




And finally, DMG p.7:

The last essential component of a D&D game is fun. It’s not the DM’s job to entertain the players and make sure they have fun. Every person playing the game is responsible for the fun of the game. Everyone speeds the game along, heightens the drama, helps set how much roleplaying the group is comfortable with, and brings the game world to life with their imaginations. Everyone should treat each other with respect and consideration, too—personal squabbles and fights among the characters get in the way of the fun.

Different people have different ideas of what’s fun about D&D. Remember that the “right way” to play D&D is the way that you and your players agree on and enjoy. If everyone comes to the table prepared to contribute to the game, everyone has fun.




Apparently nowhere in the books is it written that players are free to use their powers in any way they feel possible -- and before the release of Rules Compendium, even skill improvisation was only vaguely introduced in the DMG and modules, which gave the idea that D&D 4E was closed to the idea of stuff other than what is listed in powers and skills could be used outside that which was written -- although *because* there is p.42 of the DMG and there is a guide to houseruling (for newbie DMs no doubt), it's wholly plausible that the intent was that all these powers could be very well used outside what is written on the cards but only at the discretion of the DM.

In short, yeah I agree: it's all about what the DM will allow.  Although I do have to correct you on one teeny tiny bit:

PHB, p.54:

Your DM might rule that you can’t use powers in special circumstances, such as when your hands are tied.




So even with regards to powers, DMs can justly say "no you can't use it" or "it doesn't work".  Honestly, the "prone gelatinous cube dilemma" that some have difficulty wrapping their minds around could easily have been played down in two ways:
1. (as officially explained) Prone is just a general term, reflavor effects on gelatinous cube as necessary (different name, same effects, same power that inflicts said effect).

2. (alternate explanation) DMs can always have gelatinous cubes immune to tripping (martial power-induced prone), but because gelatinous cubes were never prone immune in previous editions and because it would be unfair to martial characters to exclude them outright, we decided to remove the "immune to trip" as a baseline trait.

Personally I'd have it as "immune to mundane or improvised methods of being knocked prone", so NPCs and improvised attempts to trip the target (e.g. Barbarian using Strength vs. Reflex as a standard action to knock the target prone) do not work at all, but because Fighters with Knockdown Assault are likely trained to take advantage of an enemy's weaknesses to make him vulnerable -- usually by knocking him prone -- then Fighters get to inflict the same effect (Prone) but not by tripping him (normal visualization of knocking target prone).  Maybe banging the cube so hard and so suddenly with his shield so that it doesn't eat the shield and instead gets splattered all over the floor and exposing its core somewhat... or maybe maneuvering his weapon in such a way that its senses get confused and it needs some time to recollect itself.  Or whatever.

But like you said, the powers are the baseline, and it's up to the DM and the group to determine what other effects are there aside from the initial use of the powers (as done in the Dragon article).  And like what's written in the DMG, the important thing is that everybody has fun, and that everybody is responsible for everyone else's fun... so if everybody on the table is cool with the Psion doing more (or the Fighter doing less, assuming both DM and Fighter player agree that Fighter dailies is ruining their sense of versimilitude), then go for it The important thing is everybody around the table is having fun.
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
As a DM, I'd probably rule that you can expend one use of a daily/daily utility power to make an Insight check to gain a piece of information from a target. The problem is, besides not having fine control over what information you get, the target will know what you just did, so it wouldn't be an advisable thing to do to either a party member, or to that unsettling Grand Vizier.
Psions really do need a way to be good at insight and a utility bonus to diplomacy and bluff.



 Probably why the telepath psion is CHA secondary...

And insight is Wis.

So they need...
1) A utility/feat that let's them use Int in place of Wis for insight checks.
2) A utility power that let's them spend some power points to boost a diplomacy check.
3) A utility power that let's them spend some power points to boost insight.


Push Thought:    Diplomacy Utility 2
At-will  Free Action  Personal
Requirement: You must have at least 2 power points.
Trigger:  You are about to make an diplomacy.
Effect: You can spend up to 1/2 your maximum power points.  For each power point spent, you gain a cumulitive +2 power bonus to your check.

Read Intent:  Prerequisit, telepathy
Benfit: You can use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Wisdom modifier for insight checks.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.


2) A utility power that let's them spend some power points to boost a diplomacy check.
3) A utility power that let's them spend some power points to boost insight.



No need for a utility power - just take the Psionic Skill feat.
Well, a Tiefling Psion can take a paragon path that lets them use Charisma for Insight and Perception, does that count?
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
I play an Elan Psion (kinieticist) in a long-running Dark Sun game and the DM and I have an unspoken agreement on how psionics work, including telepathy. With some effort, I was able to use Insight to empathically read people, Bluff to imitate ally sounds/mannerisms, and Intimidate to bombard scary scenarios into minds directly. In game terms, these can be actual psychic tactics to lower someone's mental defenses and read their innermost thoughts. If you have the Group Mindlink capability, allow your allies to contribute their skills and make it a skill challenge that takes place in the mindscape! (in one of our first Dark Sun sessions, my psion attempted to interrogate a captured defiler, using methods mention above, but I rolled extremely poorly, which translated to the defiler's mind being incredibly well guarded)

I made sure to take some rituals that can be used psionically. ie Seek Rumor is a level 2 divination that I reflavored to tapping into a community's unconscious or subconscious, depending on time of day.

Discern lies, object reading, history revealed, and inquisitive's eyes are also excellent telepathy flavored rituals.

There are also a couple of awesome utility powers that can help you plumb the depths of your targets minds. Both are in Dragon 389.

Damning Secret (level 2, encounter), prereq Insight, allows you to use Insight instead of Intimidate.

Faulty Memory (Level 6, encounter), prereq Bluff, target must share language (telepathy bypasses this), on a successful Bluff vs Insight check target believes your version of events.

In a recent gaming session for the Warrens of the Stone Giant Thane adventure module, my telepathic ardent was able to use Bluff on a stone giant into thinking it heard orders from his superior to fetch the thane a midnight snack.

I was also able to use Bluff on the thane himself into believing we were Elemental Eye adherents by giving off "evil" juju/vibes (of course a natural 20 helped in this).

I guess what I'm trying ot say is, be creative with your skills. Like the others here said before me, there are a lot of feats, powers, and even items to help you be a damn good telepath.

(here's a thought, you can use a dominating power to force a target to spill whatever secrets/plans you wish to know.)
Arcane Mutterings.

Use Arcana for Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate - refluff as you will. 
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
I made sure to take some rituals that can be used psionically. ie Seek Rumor is a level 2 divination that I reflavored to tapping into a community's unconscious or subconscious, depending on time of day.

I like this approach. Reflavoring (and reskinning, in other contexts) is a wonderful approach to customization that does not require game mechanics to be spoon fed to us.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Your presence as the Dungeon Master is what makes D&D such a great game. You make it possible for the players to try anything they can imagine. That means it’s your job to resolve unusual actions when the players try them.



A fair point, but one used a little too easily & a little too frequently as an excuse.  Reading minds is a basic aspect of the telepath archetype.  It's like weilding swords for a fighter.  A fighter who couldn't use swords would be a bit odd, no?  Sure, you could refluff and axe, but should you have to?  In order to cover the basics of the concept?

Some things are just the basics of a given character concept, they aren't weird outlying ideas, and yeah, those should probably be covered by the game designers rather than left up to DMs.  Especially if they're hard to design properly - the designers are the paid professionals, after all.

Fortunately this issue was covered for the OP in that dragon article.
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The main problem with an outright "I can read your mind" ability is that it tramples on things like the Insight skill. It might be viable as a Daily utility power (perhaps involving an Insight check), or as an encounter utility power that gives a boost to your next Insight check (making it a more abstract representation of the idea).

Insight isn't the only thing that it stomps on, of course, but it's the obvious one.
*raises eyebrow* wait, a discussion about why psions don't actually have mindreading as an ability and how to implement it got moved to the rules Q&A forum? 
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
Wut?

This has nothing to do with existing rules.  Where was it before?  It should go back.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
It was in general before.

It could be here for a "how can I get an effect in the current rules that I can refluff as me reading someone's mind". 
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
That's not really what this forum does.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Yeah.  If anything, this thread should be in the Houserules forum.  At least when it was in the General forum, it made sense cause of asking "generally" how do you accomplish mind reading on a 4e Psion.  Being in Rules Q&A means the thread is officially over.

"How can I have my Psion have mind reading abilities?"

"Ask your DM."

/thread    

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