Telepathy

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The range of unblind extrinsic telepathy is indicated by flags. In comparison, the range of warning is slightly greater, and is indicated by question marks.

Telepathy is a passive ability that allows players and monsters to detect non-mindless creatures, regardless of whether or not they can be seen visually. Telepathy comes in two types: the less powerful intrinsic telepathy and the more powerful extrinsic telepathy.

Intrinsic telepathy only works when you are blind, and detects all non-mindless creatures on the level. Extrinsic telepathy does the same thing as intrinsic telepathy, but additionally works to a lesser degree while unblind, to a maximum range of 8 squares.[1][2] Because intrinsic telepathy is typically acquired before extrinsic telepathy, some players mistakenly think extrinsic telepathy does not show the whole level while blind.

Sources

Intrinsic telepathy can be acquired through the following methods:

Intrinsic telepathy can be lost through the gremlin's intrinsic-stealing attack at night, or else by committing murder as a lawful or neutral character.

Extrinsic telepathy can be acquired by:

It is possible to have both intrinsic and extrinsic telepathy simultaneously; in this case, the more powerful extrinsic telepathy takes priority.

Strategy

Intrinsic telepathy can be a useful substitute for other methods of monster detection, although it cannot be used to spot mindless monsters; over-reliance on intrinsic telepathy to detect danger while blind may result in something such as a golem sneaking up on an unsuspecting player. Using a blindfold or towel to blind and unblind yourself at will, as well as using an item such as a unicorn horn to cure any other sight impairments (e.g. exploding black lights) can mitigate the worst of this.

Possessing telepathy allows mind flayers to detect your location and hit you with a long-distance psionic attack for d15 damage. You can counteract this by temporarily removing or stashing your source of telepathy if it is extrinsic, but the damage is usually negligible outside of some early scenarios, possibly involving minesflayers; in any case, be prepared to deal with the mind flayer in question (see their article for more information).

Messages

You feel a strange mental acuity.
You gained intrinsic telepathy from eating a corpse.
You feel in touch with the cosmos.
As above while hallucinating.
A wave of psychic energy pours over you! It locks onto your telepathy!
A mind flayer is on the same level as you and attacking you via telepathy.

References

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.4. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-364}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.