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Can demon lords read minds in D&D 4th edition?

If they cannot, would it be a stretch to say Graz'zt (a demon lord I'm depending on heavily in my campaign) can perform this feat?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Read thoughts is a second-level spell. Demon lords have power well in excess of second-level spells. But that doesn’t mean that every demon lord will have that particular power. The abilities of powerful, supernatural beings like demon lords are often tightly tied to their titles, roles, and power sources.

So a demon lord of pure brute force probably wouldn’t have a power as subtle as mind reading, could be incapable of it even if for some reason he wanted to (though, by the nature of demon lords, it’s equally possible that he would also be unable to want it). But Graz’zt, who is all about seduction? Seems very appropriate.

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+1 yeah. Detect thoughts would be almost nothing compared to the power most of them would wield. Definitely for having it fall in line with flavor. Graz'zt would hands down. –  LitheOhm May 10 '13 at 21:05
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Worth mentioning that in 3.5, all demons possess telepathy (so mind reading isn't much of a stretch), and that in 1e, demon lords would normally have quite a few psionic powers. Also in 3.5, succubi get detect thoughts, so that again emphasizes the seduction angle. –  starwed May 10 '13 at 21:59
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This is now a 4e question. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton May 10 '13 at 23:12
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@Brian When the Q says "the D&D universe", context or straight-up answers from other editions seems within scope. –  SevenSidedDie May 11 '13 at 0:19
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edited for clarity to reflect the querent's intent. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton May 11 '13 at 0:27
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In the Book of Vile Darkness, (3rd edition) the description of Grazz't states that he can use detect thoughts at will. This is actually true for all the demon lords listed there, but Grazz't's entry additionally notes that:

He often goes into combat with these abilities active: tongues, unholy aura, and detect thoughts.

In 1st edition, Grazz't had psionic powers that could be used to read thoughts. (Again, this is true of many other demons.)

More generally, you shouldn't be afraid to add things that fit with the flavour of your game, and this goes double or triple for unique entities like Grazz't. Adding overly powerful combat abilities could TPK your group, but adding an ability like mind-reading to a powerful demon lord isn't a balance issue. It's only a question of whether it makes narrative sense. (And it totally does here; you should feel free to give him more potent mind reading than a 2nd level spell.)

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+1 mindread should be a minimum. These are campaign powerhouses, not 3rd/4th level casters. –  LitheOhm May 11 '13 at 3:21
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Eh, adding detect thoughts could be a balance issue; it could affect combat, but more importantly, balance does not only care about combat. Still, this is a really good answer, particularly for searching for various write-ups of Graz'zt's stats, and even though it could be a balance issue in general I don't think it will be here. –  KRyan May 11 '13 at 17:56
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It's DnD, dude! =) There is all is possible and limited by your imagination only. So you give not enough info for large answer. Which DnD edition you're use? 3.5? 4?

Anyway - yes you can make something like this. How it will work - this is one what you as DM must know. For example: You can make Arcana or Whisdom vs. players will check - if check is success, Demon read part of target's mind.

Don't do any ultimate powers, always players must have something to oppose it.

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