Detect Thoughts DnD 5E Spell

Hello magic casters of all shapes and sizes! Welcome to another episode of our 2nd level spell series! Today we’re gonna be taking a look at one of my personal favorites in terms of creative usefulness but also the bane of my existence in terms of writing these articles and you’ll see what i mean in a little bit here.

Today we’re gonna be taking a look at dnd 5e detect thoughts spell this is usable by the Bard, Sorcerer and Wizard and it is found in the Players Handbook and it is pretty much what you expect it to be. In any case let’s get on to the mechanics here. So we know exactly what we’re talking about. We also recommend you to visit our spells home page if you haven’t checked it out yet!


The Effect at a glance and this is super simplified by the way. Effect: Read a creatures surface thoughts. It use an action in order to probe deeper, or else switch targets. Whenever it probing deeper, the target shall make a Wisdom save on a success the spell ends.

  • Level: 2nd
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: Self
  • Components: V, S, M *
  • Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)
  • School: Divination
  • Attack/Save: WIS Save
  • Damage/Effect: Detection

Your cast time is the standard one action, the range is technically self but the actual area of effect is 30 feet from you. The duration is one minute and it is concentration.

The components are Verbal, Material and Somatic, if you’re curious about that verbal component it is a copper piece it, it is not consumed in the spell and it is kind of a meant to play on the penny for your thoughts kind of phrase. So bear that in mind you also have to speak forth incantation and gesture with one hand.

The school is divination which makes a ton of sense. Now let’s look at the full description that better understand this spell. Quick warning in advance this is gonna be a long one.


For a specific duration, you can easily read the thoughts of some specific creatures. Of course whenever you cast a spell and also as your action on each turn until unless a spell ends, you can easily focus your mind on any one of the creature which you could see within 30 feet of you. However if a creature that you select has an Intelligence of 3 or lower or it may does not speak any type of language, actually, the creature is unaffected.

You may also like to check wild cunning dnd

You’re initially learn a surface thoughts of a creature- but what is most on its mind within that moment. But as an action, you are either able to shift your attention to an another creature’s thoughts or else an attempt to probe deeper into a similar creature’s mind. If you are probe deeper and then the target must be making a wisdom saving throw.

Anyway if it is fail, then you shall gain insight into its reasoning (if any), its an emotional state, and even it is something which looms large in its mind (such as something it worries over, loves, or hates). When if it succeeds, then the spell will end.

Either any way, the target can know that you’re basically probe into its mind, and of course unless you do shift your attention for an another creature’s thoughts, of course the creature is able to use its action on its turn to make an Intelligence check contested with your Intelligence check if it succeeds, the spell will end.

Here some questions are verbally directed at a target creature naturally shape a course of its thoughts, so as per this spell is specifically  effective as part of an interrogation.

You can even use this particular spell for detecting a presence of thinking creatures that you can not see. Whenever you cast the spell or else as your action during a duration, you are able to search for the thoughts within almost 30 feet of you.

Any way the spell is capable of penetrate the barriers, but 2 feet of rock and 2 inches of any metal but other than the lead, or else a thin sheet of the lead blocks you. So that you can not detect a creature with an Intelligence of 3 or else lower or even one which doesn’t speak any language.

Once you do detect the presence of a creature in this type of way, you can read its thoughts for the rest of a duration as we described above, even though if you can not see it, but it must be still within a particular range.

This is one of my least favorite ones to read. In any case there’s a lot you can do but the biggest takeaway read someone’s thought using an action to probe deeper switch targets. You can also detect invisible creatures this way. Although in the beginning it says you really can’t. This is just worded very strangely but the ruling is you can. So just bear that in mind.

Attributes Of Detect Thoughts DnD 5E Spell

Casting Time1 action
ClassesBard, Sorcerer, Wizard
ComponentsV S M
DurationUp to 1 minute
MaterialA copper piece
NameDetect Thoughts

Now let’s go to some fun stuff some alternative uses.

Alternative Uses

So it already mentions in terry so i can’t really use that one because kind of a direct use. But in terms of my indirect uses this would be a good way to figure out of someone’s lying to, like an important figure for example a king, queen, noble or even just a quest giver.

It’s really if anytime it’s important to know that what you’re being told is trustworthy and reliable. This spell can really help you out. It can also be very useful against invisible foes like it mentioned a little bit earlier here. This would include ghosts, spectres are just people following you.

That you don’t quite know where they’re I think it’s incredible, i really do love this spell. Outside of that a skilled player can really use this to help fine-tune plans or better understand the psychology of certain key characters to better restructure how they expect the events to play out.


In any case if you have any ideas, alternative uses, or any of your thoughts please put it down in the comment section beneath really do appreciate it. That being said, i hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy spell-casting everyone.

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