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A Ring of Mind Shielding has the following effect:

While wearing this ring, you are immune to magic that allows other creatures to read your thoughts, determine whether you are lying, know your Alignment, or know your creature type.

Jeremy Crawford has unofficially stated on Twitter that this ring does not protect against or have any interaction with the Zone of Truth spell.

Assuming that ruling to be true, what is the complete list of spells or other magic which the "determine whether you are lying" clause of the ring would provide immunity to?

My motivation behind this question is to discover if there even exists any such magic, or whether this clause of the Ring's text is effectively superfluous.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure that this is answerable. We don't know why JC ruled that way which makes this unclear as to how to apply that ruling to other spells/abilities. Only JC can tell us, which I think makes this primarily opinion-based. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 2 at 13:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not to mention this is a list question, which is already tenuous on topicality (unless the list is finite and suitably constrained) \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 2 at 13:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Hmm. Would it help if I were to ask the question under the assumption that JC's reasoning is ZoT compels rather than detects truth? (or simply edit or re-ask as "What magic can directly detect truth?", explicitly excluding magic that can compel it?) \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil May 2 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm honestly not sure, and I'm not sure how to handle these questions. I've posted a meta question about questions like these attempting to extrapolate a JC tweet. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 2 at 13:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this might be easier to ask if there exists any magic such that the ring's text matters. \$\endgroup\$ – GcL May 2 at 13:43
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There are none

After a search on D&D Beyond for the term lying in any of the official rules, and one for truth there are no game elements that detect whether someone is lying in a magical way. There a number of monsters that "know if they hear a lie", but nothing hints that the traits are magical in nature.

The language is likely present in case a future game element allows the determination of lies without fully detecting thoughts (like the detect thoughts spell which is blocked by the first clause of the magic item). In the case of a future release of this sort, the clause would be pertinent.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you think detect thoughts couldn't or wouldn't work? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 2 at 13:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch detect thoughts is clearly countered by the "allows other creatures to read your thoughts" clause of the Ring. Since my intention was to find whether the "lying" clause was superfluous or not, even if detect thoughts might be prevented by the "lying" clause, the fact that it is already prevented by another clause means it should not be on the list. \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil May 2 at 13:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch That seems to be covered under the "allows other creatures to read your thoughts" clause rather than the "detect whether someone is lying" clause \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 2 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, then you may want to add that the only way to know if you're lying is if someone knows your thoughts - and the ring already guards against that. Unless I'm missing something (which I probably am) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 2 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch It could be future-proofing in case a later effect simply detects lies (without detecting thoughts). The same language as the ring has appeared on a lot of magic items and monsters \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 2 at 13:58
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Wish

The spell Wish could be thwarted with the Ring of Mind Shielding

You might be able to achieve something beyond the scope of the above examples. State your wish to the DM as precisely as possible. The DM has great latitude in ruling what occurs in such an instance, the greater the wish, the greater the likelihood that something goes wrong. This spell might simply fail, the effect you desire might only be partly achieved, or you might suffer some unforeseen consequence as a result of how you worded the wish. For example, wishing that a villain were dead might propel you forward in time to a period when that villain is no longer alive, effectively removing you from the game. Similarly, wishing for a legendary magic item or artifact might instantly transport you to the presence of the item's current owner.

Example

Jed a high level wizard is asked by the king to join in on, as a council, the most important treaty in history. Jed understanding the importance of the treaty uses the spell Wish to secretly detect if people in the room are lying. Jed’s Wish is fairy simple “I wish to magically know when people are lying during this meeting.” During the treaty the Drow emissary is totally truthful (ring of mind shielding), while his king is lying about important issues. End of example

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How does this square with the fact that the spell Mind Blank has the unique clause "The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target’s mind", as if Wish can bust through any protective spell/magic without this clause? \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil May 3 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ The way Mind Blank is written allows the spell to be unambiguous when it comes to the spell Wish. The Ring of Mind Shielding also uses unambiguous language, “immune to magic that allows other creatures to” ... I do not see a conflict between the two. If Mind Blank had used the word “uniquely” instead of “even” then it would be the only defense against Wish. The English definition of the word “even” (adverb) used to emphasize something surprising or extreme. Of course how Wish and the entire magical weave work is up to the DM. \$\endgroup\$ – Alk May 3 at 13:39
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Arguably, comprehend languages and tongues

The Ring confers immunity to magic that "allows other creatures ... to determine whether you are lying. Not, you'll notice, magic that determines whether you are lying, but magic that would allow another creature to reach such a conclusion.

So if I don't speak your language, and you use a spell to understand my speech, and I'm obviously lying to you (say I'm a bad liar and contradict myself), the magic is allowing you to determine that I'm lying, because otherwise you don't know what I'm saying. Therefore I'm immune to the magic and you can't comprehend my speech while I have the Ring on.

Note that the immunity has to apply even when I'm not lying, or else the spell would still enable you to determine that I'm lying by the fact that your translation stops working.

Arguably, any kind of scrying magic

"Prof. Moody": Good morning class! I'm Professor Moody! Constant vigilance! Today we're going to learn summon greater demon for legitimate educational reasons.

Hermione: Locate creature Professor Moody!

If the imposter is wearing a Ring of Mind Shielding, the magic should be unable to confirm or deny his claim to be Professor Moody, since this would allow Hermione to determine that he's lying. In fact no scrying magic can provide corroboration for any true or false statement of fact he's ever made. Or might make in the future. He emits a light cone of magical inscrutability in both directions.

And now things go off the rails

Alice: Hey, is that a Ring of Mind Shielding?

Bob: No.

Alice: casts identify

If identify works, then it will confirm that Bob is lying. If identify doesn't work, then it also reveals that Bob is lying.

Possible solutions to the paradox are:

  • Lots of other magic items resist being identified, so this by itself is not strong evidence that it's a Ring of Mind Shielding.
  • Divination magic is generally unable to determine if something is a Ring of Mind Shielding. No actual Rings need to be present for this to happen. The abstract category of Rings of Mind Shielding resists magic.
  • Identify will work just fine, but Alice will be weirdly unable to conclude that Bob is or isn't lying. Maybe she'll forget what he said, or assume he didn't know what the ring did, or just never be able to put the two facts together.
  • The Ring will prevent Bob from answering the question in the first place, so that he can neither lie nor tell the truth about it.
  • Or this whole line of reasoning is wrong and this particular magic immunity conferred by the Ring only protects against actual lie-detecting magic, if there is any, which there isn't in any published source as of yet. (Except for detect thoughts, which is already blocked by the Ring's other effects.)

I think the last of these is probably the intended function of the item, but it's the least fun option.

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