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D&D 3E
Settle this please 
26th-Oct-2005 08:46 pm
I'd like to think I know the answer but this caused a huge rules argument and I want some other opinions.

If a player uses clairaudience on an npc who is communicating telepathically, does the player hear the telepathic conversation?

I said no, because to me telepathic communication is an exchange of thoughts, not sounds.

Another player said yes, because hearing something in your head would still use the same part of your brain that hears real sound. I have no real knowledge of anatomy, so I don't know if this is true.

I was the DM, so I just used the "what I say goes" rule, but I hate using that, especially when the players have a somewhat valid arguement.
27th-Oct-2005 01:01 am (UTC)
I would have to say "no" to this one.

27th-Oct-2005 01:17 am (UTC)

Clairaudience only deals with actual sound.
27th-Oct-2005 01:26 am (UTC) - Brain perception is largly, er... not understood.
Hearing thoughts _might_ use the same part of the brain, we don't know.

My theory is that things like dreams cause you to hear stuff not by actually processing something, but simply by creating a memory. In other words, you don't actually hear it, you just _remember_ that you heard it.

That's my theory, and there's nothing to say that it isn't correct.

That said... It's possible the brain creates the signal that needs to be output, and instead of sending it to vocal cords, sends it to the hearing center of the brain and allows it to be decoded.

That's a theory, and there's nothing to say that it isn't correct.

As far as clairaudience, regardless of the interpretation of sound by the human mind (now, I don't know how an Elf's or Dwarf's mind work.. ;)) is accomplished, clairaudience only allows you to hear audible patterns. This means there has to be a waveform created. Air molecules have to be bouncing around and vibrating. mmmmmm, waveform mechanics...... *slips into daydream of technical stuff*

Er, oh, right. Telepathics doesn't create a waveform, at least not in any medium the ears can recieve on. So my DM decision would be "no" also.

Altho there is no reason why you can't create a say, clairtelepathic spell that allows this.
27th-Oct-2005 01:31 am (UTC)
No. Clairaudience is a scrying effect; it creates a sensor that can see or hear in the given location. It doesn't actually connect you to a specific creature's mind.
27th-Oct-2005 02:14 am (UTC)
Ding ding ding!

This is the answer. Clairaudience/Clairvoyance creates a magical sensor near the target; even if the target has infravision, you can't see him if he's in the darkness.

Yes, even the Psionic equivalent.
27th-Oct-2005 02:31 am (UTC)
Exactly. With the "Clair" spells you have to ask:
"Would that person hear it if they were actually sitting right there?"
27th-Oct-2005 01:31 am (UTC)
Not only No, but without out question "NO! And stop trying to bring science into my games! You die." No.

27th-Oct-2005 01:34 am (UTC)
well normal conversation comes from our throats (forget exactly what parts) the vibrating of this and that...then its taken in by our ears and into our brain and deciphered. A telepathic conversation would eliminate the throat and ear part.

However if clairaudience picks up on the transmission of energy (voices) (i'd have to reread the spell to see) then I'd say that there is some transmission of energy, however silent to others. Perhaps the player would catch a part of it but not all because of this. Unless you want to say, its an instant transfer (ala teleport)

27th-Oct-2005 01:50 am (UTC)
No No *Thinks No as well*
27th-Oct-2005 02:37 am (UTC)

Just kidding :P

No. Really. :)
27th-Oct-2005 04:00 am (UTC)
If the target of the spell were the person, I'd say he might have an arguement. But the target of the spell is the location. Also, if you had established magical theory in the game that supported his arguement, he might have a case. But on it's own, no.
27th-Oct-2005 04:04 am (UTC)

Now beat him senseless and let the other PCs rob his corps.
27th-Oct-2005 07:08 am (UTC)
I now join the merry chior of 'no's', however, you might have settled the arguement by rolling a dice, then saying no, that would have made instance peace. People seem to respect the dice, and don't feel cheated.
27th-Oct-2005 09:57 pm (UTC)
I agree with this. Give him a feeling of "percentage," so its luck's fault, not yours.
27th-Oct-2005 09:01 am (UTC)
I would say "no". He's thinking of 'Detect thoughts'

27th-Oct-2005 03:48 pm (UTC)
I would say "no". Clairaudience actually can't be "used on an NPC" - it is not a targeted spell at all! You are not seeing/hearing things through the eyes/ears of nearby creatures- you are seeing/hearing things through your magical sensor. The spell's effect has nothing to do with nearby creatures in any way. If you read the spell description, it doesn't even mention other creatures at all, anywhere in the stats or text.

Also, keep in mind that D&D (especially magic) is not supposed to deal with science. How do we know what part of the brain interprets telepathy??? It's a magic spell, for goodness' sake. It can be interpreted by your middle toe on your left foot if it so pleases. Just as shooting fire from your fingers is a rather unexplainable phenomenon in our world, so is using magical telepathy.
27th-Oct-2005 09:56 pm (UTC)

Telepathy powers are not subject to visual detection, and clairaudience specifically states it only hears things in the environment as subject to normal detection.

Would clairaudience let you hear a high pitched noise only dogs hear?


Would clairaudience let you hear something your ears couldn't hear, but a telepath could?

No, no, no.

Now, the Seer psionic power Clair--crap, it's Clair-something, it lets you hear/see--you can manifest powers via this. In this way, you might be able to manifest another psionic power capable of eavesdropping on telepathy.
27th-Oct-2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
I'm behind you on this one.
28th-Oct-2005 11:24 am (UTC) - Tell them to lay off the crack.
Even there argument, assuming they know what they are talking about, doesn't apply. If would be a connection of non sound entering into the targets (of the telepathic transmission that is) hrariong center, not YOURS. So it doesn't matter, and you should smack them.
On another note, I do however, generous as though I am, allow the use of the spell to target a specific telepathic tranmission. If you remove all the other affects of the spell. That is until i wrote a spell that did that very thing, then I stopped.
NO NO NO though
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