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Can either the Nondetection or Mind Blank spells prevent information about oneself being divined from others through the Legend Lore spell?

In this instance, the party was trying to legend lore the true name of a legendary creature that had protected itself with nondetection and mind blank.

However, this entity's parents were not given the same security and were still in existence. Would legend lore be able to find the information through them?

Especially in question is the line from mind blank:

The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target’s mind or to gain information about the target.

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Mind blank foils legend lore

Mind blank states that:

The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target.

Legend lore states that:

The spell brings to your mind a brief summary of the significant lore about the thing you named. [...] The information you learn is accurate but might be couched in figurative language.

Legend lore is clearly a spell used to gain information and so it is foiled by mind blank.

Note that mind blank doesn't foil attempts to gain information from its target, it foils attempts to gain information about its target, which means that:

  • it doesn't matter whether that information is known to other people, written in a book, or long since forgotten.
  • it doesn't matter how legend lore gains information.

So long as the information is about mind blank's target, then attempts to gain it via spells (or similar effects) are foiled.


Whether nondetection prevents legend lore is unclear

Nondetection states that:

The target can't be targeted by any divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

Legend lore is certainly divination magic, but does it target the named/described person/place/object?

"Target" is ambigous in 5th edition and in the case of legend lore, I do not think a solid case can be made either way.

When you cast legend lore you are choosing something by naming or describing it and this is similar to other spells where you choose your target(s). However, other spells subject their targets to an effect, whereas legend lore doesn't: you learn information about something, but nothing happens to that thing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Follow up clarification. Under the "similar power" phrase I assume a knowledge cleric's 10th level divine intervention and 17th level Visions of the Past would be foiled, but it's 20th level improved divine intervention or direct contact with a deity cannot, as wish is gained at 17th level? \$\endgroup\$ – kent Aug 20 at 11:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @kent Visions of the Past would probably be foiled, but what divine intervention can or cannot do is very much up to the DM. It's description says as much: "The DM chooses the nature of the intervention; the effect of any cleric spell or cleric domain spell would be appropriate". Maybe the improved divine intervention is still bounded by domain spells, and therefore no more powerful than a wish. Maybe a god's intervention is fundamentally more powerful because it's a god, regardless of the cleric level. Maybe the intervention is a dispel magic + legend lore combo. It's DM fiat. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Aug 20 at 12:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 20 at 22:40
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No, Legend Lore still works for knowledge outside of the Swordsman's mind

In order for Mind Blank(PHB, 259) to prevent Legend Lore(PHB, 254) from working, the following clause must be met:

Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is immune to...divination spells...The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target.

Legendary to only itself?

While Legend Lore is a divination spell, it does not necessarily target the legend whose lore you are seeking. If the creature was the sole source of information about itself, then Mind Blank would prevent information because the creature itself is the only repository of knowledge about it, and the spell prevents divination spells from affecting that creature.

Outside information sources

But Legend Lore doesn't need to enter the mind of the legendary swordsman in order to glean information. It allows the caster to discover the legends about that swordsman. Those legends still exist and come from sources that aren't protected by the Mind Blank.

The spell itself even clearly talks about the types of information(emphasis mine):

The spell brings to your mind a brief summary of the significant lore about the thing you named. The lore might consist of current tales, forgotten stories, or even secret lore that has never been widely known. If the thing you named isn't of legendary importance, you gain no information. The more information you already have about the thing, the more precise and detailed the information you receive

It is lore that is discovered, not information pulled directly from the mind of the legend in question. Because the lore is basically public domain knowledge and not private information held by the swordsman, the information is still discoverable.

Nondetection(PHB, 263) also wouldn't affect information from Legend Lore as it specifies:

For the duration, you hide a target that you touch from divination magic. The target can be a willing creature or a place or an object no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. The target can't be targeted by any divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

Again, Legend Lore is not targeting the swordsman at all. It's targeting available lore about the swordsman.

However, any information that is only known to the swordsman would still be protected.

Ultimately, the Swordsman is not a target of the spell at all. The target is available information about the Swordsman.

Mind Blank works on whose mind?

I think the possible confusion, and another possible reading lies in how the spell works. Unfortunately, this isn't really described. All we know is that the spell is cast on a specific individual and that individual is protected against all of the things listed above, including

...gain information about the target.

My general assumption above is that this protection works against someone attempting to use divination directly on the target, but their mind only draws a blank for that caster. No information is given because that mind is protected.

Reading that the spell blanks everyone's mind about the target seems less reasonable. Allowing someone to use legend lore to gather known information around the universe that isn't from the legend itself still seems to fit within the theme. Stretching mind blank over all information from all sources seems too much, but it is a reasonable alternate ruling.

Providing information as a DM

If you are the DM, then this is a great opportunity to provide more information to your players. They have a spell that is made for you to give more details about a potential storyline. Limiting it doesn't solve that much, but allowing it gives an opportunity to a DM to seed story arcs with both known and unknown information. Use the tool to help guide the players and give them hooks to go deeper into your story.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe your answer is correct, as it seems more reasonable that the "gain information about the target" is referring to things like the Battle Master Fighter's 7th level ability "Know Your Enemy", rather than a blanket protection about any source of information. \$\endgroup\$ – Willem Renzema Aug 21 at 19:30
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Legend Lore would reveal information about the legendary creature and is not prevented by Mind Blank due to Legend Lore being cast on the caster, not the legendary creature

I found this answer to a similar question: Why does Mind Blank stop the Feeblemind spell?. It that question it states that Mind Blank prevents all effects from Feeblemind due to the fact that Mind Blank

foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target.

Emphasis mine

Using that statement as a basis for what Mind Blank prevents, it would seem that Legend Lore would not be prevented by Mind Blank. Legend Lore states that you can

Name or describe a person, place, or object. The spell brings to your mind a brief summary of the significant lore about the thing you named. The lore might consist of current tales, forgotten stories, or even secret lore that has never been widely known. If the thing you named isn't of legendary importance, you gain no information. The more information you already have about the thing, the more precise and detailed the information you receive is.

By definition, for the Legend Lore spell to take effect, the creature must be legendary, which you said it was in your question. This lore, as written in the description of Legend Lore, does not have to come from the creature itself, therefore never affecting the mind blanked creatures mind, and not being prevented.

Legend Lore also never states that the information is taken from the creature being targeted by the spell, which would mean it is not prevented by Mind Blank. Mind Blank can prevent a wish spell if it tries to affect the creatures mind, however Legend lore does not state it affects the legendary creatures mind.


Nepene Nep makes a good point in his answer saying that

Legend Lore is a divination spell, and Mind Blank blocks divination spells

However, legend lore has a range of self, therefore meaning it is cast on the caster, not the legendary creature.

Additionally, I would say if the creature truly is legendary, then preventing Legend Lore from working by using Mind Blank would make things a lot harder on the PCs to find information about it. The lore they get might not be very specific, but can include current tales, or forgotten stories about it, made up by other creatures that this legendary creature might have no knowledge about.

For example: You could have a very friendly, yet shy, legendary Yeti, but the local stories about him all say that he is a stone cold killer.

The players would most likely learn that information about him being dangerous, rather than friendly.


Another point that has been raised is that Mind Blank also mentions it prevents

spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target

I have assumed that Mind Blank would only prevent information from being extracted from the legendary creature, rather than about the legendary creature. I could not find any resources, or similar question about spells used to gain information about a creature, if that creature is not the target of the spell.

My argument is that Mind Blank would only prevent information from being gained from the legendary creature, and that Legend Lore would provide information that is known by other creatures. If no other creature knows any information about the legendary creature, it would by definition not be legendary.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Except wish can only be cast on oneself and can be foiled by mind blank on another creature. \$\endgroup\$ – kent Aug 20 at 0:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why are you not addressing the or gain information about the target portion of the mind blank spell? \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Aug 20 at 0:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ This seems irrelevant. Mind blank's "to gain information about the target" language has nothing to do with "extracting" information from the target. If it only meant "protects against Detect Thoughts" it would say that. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Aug 20 at 1:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NepeneNep Mind Blank has more effects than just "foils Wish et cetera". It explicitly states "Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is immune to [...] any effect that would [...] read its thoughts" \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Aug 20 at 7:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NepeneNep: Targeting is not clearly/singly defined in 5e, and detect thoughts itself repeatedly refers to the other creature as a "target". \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 20 at 8:26
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Legend Lore is a divination spell, and Mind Blank blocks divination spells. The fact that you could figure out the information from other sources, like parents, doesn't prevent you from being unable to cast the spell Legend Lore on the legendary swordsman.

If the parents are involved in the legendary deeds you may be able to find information about them and mind read them directly.

Let us examine a comparable spell. Detect thoughts

Range: Self

For the Duration, you can read the thoughts of certain creatures.

This is explicitly something that Mind Blank is set up to block.

Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is immune to psychic damage, any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts,

So, contrary to mullac's answer, I will note that a spell being self ranged does not stop this from working. This is a divination spell you are using to gather information about a target. If self targeted spells work against Mind Blank, then you can't stop people reading your thoughts which is silly.

So yes, I stand by my answer. You can't legend lore a chosen figure if they are mind blanked.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you casting it on the swordsman though, or the legend associated with them? \$\endgroup\$ – kent Aug 20 at 0:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @kent the spell is cast on the caster(range of self). \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 20 at 0:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro that is less clear than the targeting of the caster to learn lore. Lore has more sources than the legendary swordsman themself. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 20 at 0:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nepene Detect thoughts, true seeing, etc. These all rely on indirect contact between you and the protected target. Legend lore does not. \$\endgroup\$ – kent Aug 20 at 2:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nepene RAW you can name and describe something regardless of whether it is currently in existence and thus targetable. Arguably, folk heroes of legendary importance that never existed outside popular consciousness also work. In contrast the spells you've brought up refer to sensing/tracking/detecting the thing itself. \$\endgroup\$ – kent Aug 20 at 4:28

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