Lying to Telepaths

Posted: 29 June 2012 in Rules

For all those who think the SW Mind Reading power is too powerful: How do you lie to a telepath?

You don’t. You lie to someone else, and let the telepath read their mind.

This is a variant on what Sun Tsu refers to as "doomed spies" in his Art of War. You pass the false information to someone expendable, and betray them to the enemy. The enemy then interrogates them, and finds out what you wanted them to know; almost everyone breaks eventually. (There are some historical instances of people who didn’t, but they are very much the exception.)

Whether the interrogation is by seduction, bribery, torture or telepathy is irrelevant, and telepathy requires no special considerations.

PCs enmeshed in intrigue must always allow for the possibility that they are themselves "doomed spies". PCs reading an NPC’s mind must always be aware that they can only find out what the NPC believes to be the truth; the NPC may be mistaken, or may have been deliberately misled, but a truthful answer is not always an accurate one.

  1. The first thing I thought about when I say the post title was Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man.

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