How to Use the Detect Thoughts Spell – Baldur’s Gate 3

There are many ways to handle any given situation in Baldur’s Gate 3. Often you can talk your way out of trouble by using Persuasion, Intimidation, or any number of other skills or abilities. The Detect Thoughts spell adds another approach, creating new options in dialogue that you wouldn’t otherwise see. There’s also an achievement for successfully using the spell: No Penny Required.

baldurs gate 3 detect thoughts achievement no penny required

Detect Thoughts is a level 2 Divination spell. It can be learned by the following classes:

  • Bard
  • Sorcerer
  • Warlock (The Great Old One subclass)
  • Wizard
  • Druid (Circle of Spores subclass)

Most characters must reach level three before they can learn second-level spells. This means that Detect Thoughts is not available in character creation.

There is also a Potion of Detect Thoughts and Scroll of Detect Thoughts for characters who can’t learn the spell. Keep in mind that each of these items can only be used once.

baldurs gate 3 detect thoughts spell tooltip

The Detect Thoughts spell is not useful outside of dialogue, so don’t waste your spell slots casting it while you run around. You don’t need to worry about having it up before talking to someone, either. If you have an opportunity to use the spell, you will be prompted to cast it as part of the conversation. You just need to have it available on the character who is doing the talking. That means having it prepared if you’re a class that prepares spells. (See our guide How to Prepare and Change Spells).

Whenever Detect Thoughts becomes available in your dialogue options, it’s a good idea to use it. The outcome of a successful Detect Thoughts is always going to be a good one. You may also gain unique insight into a situation that you wouldn’t otherwise. The only downside is if you fail your ability check. When you fail, the person will know you were trying to read their mind, and they will not be happy about it!

Detect Thoughts will appear as a dialogue option in certain conversations. Not every conversation will have an opportunity to use this spell, so keep an eye out. The option will have the [DETECT THOUGHTS] tag.

baldurs gate 3 detect thoughts dialogue

Clicking this option will automatically cast the spell, either by using one of your spell slots or by using up the scroll or potion in your inventory. It will then bring you to the dice window for an ability check. This ability check will use your Intelligence modifier. You’ll also be able to use any buffs you have access to for enhancing your roll.

If you’re successful, you’ll get a special line or two of dialogue from the mind of the character you’re talking to. If you fail, they’ll know that you were invading their thoughts and they will be pretty upset about it. You’ll very likely be in for a fight.

Succeeding on your ability check will open up new dialogue options based on what you learned from reading the person’s thoughts. These will usually be the top one or two options in the menu. You’ve already succeeded in your roll so you’re pretty much guaranteed a good outcome from this line at this point.

baldurs gate 3 detect thoughts dialogue success

Once you’ve cast Detect Thoughts, it will remain active until you take a Long Rest, so you won’t need to use another spell slot if you encounter another opportunity to use it.

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I love RPGs, sandboxes, survival, and sim games. Anything that lets me build and decorate or just has a really good story. I've spent hundreds of hours in Bethesda games and even more time modding them. I also play a lot of World of Warcraft.

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