Is Mind Blank OP?

Rules Questions

Referring to

I was researching Mind Blank and it's interaction Invisibility and with True Seeing. Clearly Mind Blank perfects the Invisibility and renders True Seeing to having no effect. But I think Mind Blank may be otherwise OP. Lets discuss through example!

Lets say a character, named MB, is currently protected by Mind Blank.

Let’s say that you want to use divination magic to find out what MB had for dinner last night. Sorry it fails, because divination magic is blocked from revealing any information about MB. What if you scry the restaurant where you know MB had diner last night to watch while the restauranteur is going over the weekly receipts? Sorry that would reveal information about MB so it fails too (or at least all the records referring to MB are visibly blank to your scrying). What if you want to use a discern lies spell to ask one of the other people who was there having dinner with MB? Sorry that fails too, because it reveals information about MB.

What if you use a wish spell to teleport MB’s table receipt to you? It is totally unprotected and you know exactly where it is because you can see it through a window. Sorry that fails too, because it reveals information about the MB.

What if MB is a bard and has published his memoirs which are available is hundreds of libraries worldwide, and you want to use a wish to teleport a copy to you or create a duplicate copy for you? Sorry that fails too.

What if a copy of those memoirs is right in front of you and you don't want to touch it because it might be cursed, so you use a wish to create the effect of an unseen servant and you direct the servant to turn the pages for you. Sorry, the unseen servant is created but it can't turn the page for you because it would reveal information about MB.

What if you want to know whether some other person is the MB’s parent, child, or no relation at all? Sorry that fails too. Whether and how person X is MB's relative is also information about MB and that is protected.

What if you want to know whether MB has ever been in some specific city and you try to find that out by using divination magic to remote view the city records? Sorry that fails too.

What if you are a extraplanar being and you want to use divination magic to judge if MB is worthy of your help when MB just cast contact other plane to ask you a question? Sorry that fails too.

In fact the entire present, past and future of MB and every encounter MB has or is having or will have or interact with is protected from divination magic while the Mind Blank is in effect. Even the fact that Mind Blank is in effect is unknowable through divination spells.

What *should* a more realistic set of limitations be for mind blank?

Dark Archive

The easiest and likely most intended interpretation is that Wish cannot be used as a divination-like way to DIRECTLY gain information about an MB target. All your examples about using Wish to teleport things that contain information to you, or to summon things to retrieve the information for you, or any other indirect and non-divination-like way should work just fine, all the others that function like divination magic would indeed fail, yes.

Several of your examples are wrong, some are just questionable.

Teleport and Unseen Servant are not divination magic, Mind Blank doesn't interact with them at all.

Divination magic targeted at something else, like records or a receipt will work just fine. Viewing the records, assuming nonmagical knowledge on finding the records, is a divination effect to let you see the records. The divination effect is not gathering information about the target through magic. The knowledge about the target (words on a page) is being translated through nonmagical means. (using magic to locate, know about etc. the records based on their connection to the target would fail.)

Discern lies cast at someone else doesn't reveal any information at all about MB, it reveals information the target of discern lies, particularly whether or not that person is lying.

The relationships (which is divination about 2 people really) and the extraplanar being examples are relevant, although of course an extra planar being would probably be just fine assuming that someone they didn't know anything about was unworthy, making it a detriment no the MB character, not an advantage.

This is not to say that mind blank is not a very powerful and useful spell.

The part that says "Mind blank even foils limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to gain information about the target" is particularly problematic. It literally means that if the result gains information about the target then the wish is foiled in some way, without exception. i.e. no matter how convoluted or indirect that the wording of the wish is constructed, it's foiled.

There is nothing in the spell's description, or in any other rule that I've found, that says that this only applies to "direct" information and not to "indirect" information about the target.

So basically the spell creates a two step test:

1. Would the result of the spell allow the caster to gain any information about the target protected by Mind Blank?

2. Was the magic or item used a divination (school), wish, limited wish, miracle, etc.?

If the answer to both questions is yes, then the spell either completely fails (targeted divination) or is somehow modified so as to thwart gaining ANY knowledge of any kind about the target (area divination not revealing the target; wish, et. al. foiled).

This seems OP. If Mind Blank protected only direct information then that would almost completely nerf it's wish protection since players are quite inventive and could surely devise a wish wording that could indirectly gain the information that would normally be considered direct information. For example, Mind Blank and Invisibility... The wish could be that the target constantly releases visible steam from their body; thus gaining direct knowledge about the current location of the target, without using a divination spell. Or how about even simpler, "I wish the target was not invisible"?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You're overthinking it. Wishs made to make someone steam or not be invisible is fine, you're not "gaining information".

Also why would you blow a wish on that?

Short answer: No. It's a good effect for an 8th-freaking-level spell.

Long answer: Hoo boy, ain't nobody got time for that. Suffice it to say that you're reading way too much into the spell description. MB is protected. The receipts, MB's memoirs, MB's dinner companions, and so on are not, and divining or otherwise acquiring information about a subject that can be used to deduce or infer information about MB is still fine--you just can't divine information about MB directly.

While the description of the spell does not directly specify it only protects from direct divination, the target of the spell is one creature. The opening sentence of the spell then states that “The subject is protected”. It does not state anywhere that it blocks divination spell from affecting any other target.

The other thing to consider is that if secondary divinations are blocked they actually reveal information about the subject. Your example scrying on the restaurant does not work, because if the receipt of the subject is blocked it can confirm that the target did in fact eat at the restaurant because only his receipt is blocked. Since Mind Blank prevents divination magic from revealing information about the subject this does not happen.

The reason Mind Blank seems over powered to you is that you are giving it too much credit. What Mind Blank doe is to block any divination spells targeting the subject of the spell. It does not block divination spells affecting other targets.

Dark Archive

Don't let RAW get in the way of what makes sense, or ease of play. If you're going to let a little bit of ambiguity in the text of single spell cripple your game to that degree while you hash out the infinite ramifications of what such an interpretation would allow among your players then you're going to have problems.
Just take the more sensible interpretation and don't overthink it so much.

mjmeans wrote:

So basically the spell creates a two step test:

1. Would the result of the spell allow the caster to gain any information about the target protected by Mind Blank?

2. Was the magic or item used a divination (school), wish, limited wish, miracle, etc.?

You're step 1 is faulty. Mind Blank specifies "used in such a way as to gain information about the target."

That means if someone casts a spell to "see where MB ate dinner last night" the spell would fail because it directly involves MB. On the other hand if someone used a crystal ball to scry Gary, who happens to be next to MB they would see Gary, and they wouldn't see MB because this is a divination. If they watched long enough they might see some objects moving strangely because MB interacts with them, and if there was a place card in front of MB they could read his name off of it because the place card isn't protected by mind blank. Also if they had the telepathy option on the crystal ball they could contact Gary and ask Gary who is moving around the plate next to them and Gary could answer "MB" because MB isn't being targeted by a spell at all.

+1 to what everyone is saying. The interpretation gives too much power to what Mind Blank can accomplish. The best interpretation involves direct vs indirect obtaining of information. If it is direct then Mind Blank probably protects. If it is indirect most likely this will get around Mind Blank protection.

Read the description of the following spells and the responses in this thread to Mind Blank then think on it again.

Discern Location, Screen, Sequester.

The first two are 8th level. The last is 7th. Are these more or less powerful for their level than Mind Blank?

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Mind Blank is absolutely a powerful spell, but as other posters have said, it doesn't stop the adjacent people/places/objects from being targeted. If the target is the receipt, it's not MB. Locating that specific receipt is its own problem, though.

I say this as someone who kept an entire party under Mind Blank for several levels in PFS on the path to 20 and specifically called it out as foiling the trollish writing of an AP villain that used divination throughout his lair to prepare for the arrival of our party. He couldn't see us, but he could see arrows from his minions' corpses, acid burns, electric scorches, blade wounds, his minions becoming dominated, etc.

Didn't stop us from messing with him, though.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Is Mind Blank OP? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.