Shardminds and Telepathy

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Basically, our DM has a telepathic shardmind. Telepathy in any roleplaying game i've ever played is the most annoying thing i've every had to deal with. Usually, i'm on forums role playing and when telepathy is invovled other characters can guard themselves against it in some way. However, our DM uses the shardmind as a lie detector for the rebellion. He has stated that his character can go into people's minds and find their backgrounds. I have been against this from the very begining, and have stated that there NEED to be some kind of boundary. 

Now, this isn't a huge issue with our group, as the shardmind is not often in play. My real question is how do you role play with a telepath? How do you set of boundaries? My thought has always been that character with a higher wisdom or intellgence are not easily accesible. However, the power  in the book says that a shardmind can communicate with someone within 5 squares as though you were just speaking with them.

We have so far decided that he can only glean surface thoughts, however this still makes it impossible for people to lie to him. For example, how do you bluff someone who is reading what you are thinking? 

How many of you have run into this kind of issue, and if you have how have you worked past it? Do you have any limitations or barriers for telepathy and other such things? Keep in mind, this is all about Roleplaying with this kind of character. 

Ask any questions if i didn't make something clear, or something doesn't make sense. Thank you in advance! 

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'Telepathy' is just communication.  It can't read your mind.  It can't probe your memories.  It can't tell if you're telling the truth or lying.  It's entirely voluntary.  If you don't want to talk to the shardmind, you don't.  He can talk to you, just like if he were standing there talking normally, but you can ignore him, and the only 'information' he gets is what you choose to 'say' back to him.

In other words, your DM is making crap up.

The shardmind can use the normal allotment of skill checks to determine if someone is lying (Insight vs Bluff), of course.  But the definition of telepathy is:

"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."

That's IT.  No lie detecting, no memory reading, not even reading surface thoughts.  Communication, period.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
'Telepathy' is just communication.  It can't read your mind.  It can't probe your memories.  It can't tell if you're telling the truth or lying.  It's entirely voluntary.  If you don't want to talk to the shardmind, you don't.  He can talk to you, just like if he were standing there talking normally, but you can ignore him, and the only 'information' he gets is what you choose to 'say' back to him.

In other words, your DM is making crap up.



This.

Powers in 4E do EXACTLY what they say they do, nothing more. Your DM has dragged his baggage from previous editions into your 4E game.

That being said, NPCs are built differently from PCs, so the Shardmind can have an obscenely high Insight score, regardless of level. At this point, the DM can choose to describe that Insight score as an aspect or result of the Shardmind's Telepathy, but it shouldn't be infallible.

Thanks. I'm a Noob, as you can see. I don't actually have the psionic power supplement, nor any other information on Shardminds, so i ust went with what my DM had to say about it. I'll bring this up with him, and hopefully he'll be reasonable. And his insight is really out of the roof compared to most players, so it makes sense that he's hard to bluff. That being said, several of the DM's characters that have been used in play have overpowered aspects. (Average insight and perception was 20+ at level 4, compared to the rest of us who were luck to have even 17)

In his defence, this is his (and our) first compaign ever, so we are all bound to make mistakes. It helps when you say that everything does exactly what it says it does and nothing more.  However, he has agreed to keep the Shardmind out of play (since Shardminds suck all of the fun out of everything). Most of us have online RP backgrounds, so we all tend to defince things a bit differently. However, laying down the law seems to be the solution here. Thanks for the input.


EDIT: So, i spoke with my DM, and his response that since he's an NPC he can have that form of telepathy. His response is 'for the sake of story, this is what he can do'. I'm all for story telling, but that feels seriously out of bounds and a little unfair. More over, no one can create a shardmind character as the other Shardminds want nothing to do with the Human race or the empire.

I'm getting a bit frustrated here, because i know where he is coming from as a story teller, but the idea that he can have NPC's do anything bothers me. The premise is that Humans took over, and destoryed races like Shardminds and Eladrin and Minotaurs. Arcane classes are under the control of the empire. The heroes are the rebelion. The reason the Shardmind is around is because if a person wants to create an Arcane class, such as a wizard the Shardmind will determine that they are infact trustworthy. This makes sense, but means that this character can see through anyone's lies. 

Do i just sit here and go along with it so that it will be magically easier for Wizards to be accepted? I say Wizard because i created one, and the only way for her to fit in is for the Shardmind to go into her mind and find out she is trustworthy. I'm now at a loss, and am getting a bit fristrated as this was not what i was expecting when i started to play. 

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Several problems here.

First, the DM should *always* *always* *always* have some kind of campaign setting outline available for people to look at before the game starts, so they do know what to expect when they start playing.

Secondly, the DM needs to remember that it's not just his story, it's everybody's story.  This is why I'm not a big fan of saying 'all X are dead', because it paints me into a corner.

Thirdly, NPCs shouldn't overshadow PCs; he hasn't quite hit this level yet, from the information we have here, but it's striking me as the kind of DM who will have an overpowered NPC hike around with the PCs and do all the work for them.

Are the other players as frustrated as you are over the state of the game world?  If so, you should all have a chat with the DM and try to reach a compromise.  Your other option is to change to a non-arcane character.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
He's right that he can have NPCs do anything he wants. He seems to be using this NPC as a brake against players having particular classes. Such restrictions are not unheard of. In Dark Sun, for instance, one is free to be an arcane character, but will face certain prejudices. But this is expected to be known to the players, who make their choice with open eyes.

There seems to be something else going on here. You mention "Most of us have online RP backgrounds, so we all tend to defince things a bit differently." I'm not sure what "defince" means, here, or why "online RP backgrounds" should be an issue. Is there something personal in the backgrounds? Like is this an out-of-game violation, as well as an in-game one? Is the issue just that the NPC would know the PC's background, or is there something problematic in the background?

If everyone was on the same page with the concept of a truth-divining NPC as gatekeeper to certain classes, it could be pretty cool. If you couldn't pass the interrogation, you'd have to avoid or neutralize the NPC.

I'm curious: how does the lie detection work, since you, as a player can lie and the DM might not know?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Sorry for the confusion, 'defince' was supposed to be 'define' it was just a simple little typo. 

This is a homebrew compaign that is being built. There were parameters to begin with  saying 'x' race in unplayable. However, when we began it wasn't made explicitly clear that 'x' race was really in hiding and could become playable. This was information that was meant to be revealed in time, in order to add shock value to finding them. (Which i thought was a lot of fun.) The basics was that we were recruited to start a rebellion, and stop a greedy king fom throwing the world out of balance. It has since become a lot more complicated, so it is very hard to get everyone on the same page. The world is in a constant flux. 

I understand the restrictions are not unheard of, and i can acept them. I don't really mind playing a class that is a bit of an outsider, it's fun. The problem is that many players are not really informed of who is generally an outsider and who isn't. This is because most of us tend to be pretty poorly informed. (The whole 'work in progress' thing)

I don't mind the DM knowing everything about my character, he's supposed to. A few of us used to role play online, with all of rules laid down and most characters are pretty equal. (Even the Admin's characters) So the widea that a character knows everything about you (NPC or not) doesn't sit well in my stomach. I am the person that will speak up if something doesn't seem right, so that means i am the only one who seems to have a problem with it.

The lie detection thing is basically in interrogation. So, it happens off screen. The whole point is that the Big Leader won't believe anyone unless the Shardmind says they are telling the truth. (Which kind of makes him a bit of a plot device at the same time)

I have once against goten into a bit of a discussion with the DM, and after a little bit we did manage to reach a compromise. We agreed that yes, he can into people minds and root out the truth, but only if the person is willing to let him do it. I feel like this makes a character twice as trust worthy as someone who is having the mind reading forced on them. 

This leads me into another question. Have many of you created items and stuff in game? Our DM is creating a kind of ritual/spell things that allows the Big Rebel Leader to hide us. How exactly do you go about creating stuff like that? 
 

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