For standard usage of the Detect Thoughts spell,
"If the creature you choose has an Intelligence of 3 or lower or doesn't speak any language, the creature is unaffected" (PHB, pg 231).
Additionally one may use the Detect Thoughts spell to detect the presence of creatures they can't see, however
"You can't detect a creature with an Intelligence of 3 or lower or one that doesn't speak any language" (231).
The description for Wild Shape states,
"your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form" (67).
Apart from the crow, no non-awakened beast has the ability to speak (the crow specifically has the Mimicry abilty and notably has no languages listed on its stat block).
So it begs the question, can a Wild Shaped druid be affected by the Detect Thoughts spell?
Going one step further, would a druid with the ability to speak telepathically while Wild Shaped be affected any differently by the spell?
- Does the Detect Thoughts spell work against an Intellect Devourer?
- In what ways can a druid's Wild Shape be detected?
- Can a druid speak while in wild-shape?
- Can I Wild Shape or Polymorph into an Awakened Beast?
This question was inspired by the Telepathic feat from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.