One particular dungeon level was swarming with floating eyes. Now, I don't like being watched, so I felt there was only one recourse. A few bits of flying magic later, I ate a floating eye corpse.

Now, I'm told this conveys telepathy, which is supported by the "You feel a strange mental acuity" message I got.

Now I wonder. I got intrinsic telepathy, which I can find nothing about online. What does it do?

  • Looks like you don't know about the nethack wiki if you couldn't find anything online. Here's the entry for telepathy: nethackwiki.com/wiki/Telepathy
    – Frank
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 14:00
  • @Frank I do. That article only discusses extrinsic telepathy, not intrinsic.
    – user56
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 14:04
  • 4
    I count 9 occurrences of the word "intrinsic" on that page. It discusses what it is, how to get it, and how to lose it. Maybe you forgot taking off that blindfold of yours before reading the page?
    – Frank
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 14:08
  • @Frank - Only one sentence discusses the difference though, and I must have read over that part.
    – user56
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


Telepathy is a property that allows you to detect thinking creatures. Unlike most properties, there is actually a difference between when you have intrinsic telepathy (always active as a property such as by eating the right kind of corpse) and extrinsic telepathy (active from wearing a piece of equipment, like an amulet of ESP or helm of telepathy).

Intrinsic telepathy allows you to see every thinking creature on the current level if you are blind. You'll be able to see their locations and examine them just as if they were in your normal field of vision. Many people carry a blindfold to blind themselves when needed just for telepathy. One very common strategy is to blind yourself every time you enter a new dungeon level, in order to get a sneak peak at what is waiting to kill you.

Extrinsic telepathy gives you the same benefits as intrinsic, but also gives you vision of thinking creatures that are within 5 or so spaces from you, even when you aren't blind. Because it is superior, extrinsic telepathy will supercede intrinsic telepathy if you have it.

The monsters you can't see are creatures that lack minds. Put some thought into it if you'd like, but I've included a list for convenience here.

This includes jellies, puddings, fungi, lesser undead like zombies and mummies, golems, lights, vortices, and elementals.

As a warning, telepathy also gives you increased vulnerability to the mind blast attack of a mind flayer. Noted by a message of it locking into your telepathy, it can use this ranged damage attack at a much greater range if you have telepathy. So, be mindful of this.

The benefits of detection far outweigh the negatives. As such, most adventurers will seek to try and eat a corpse of floating eye as early as they can.

  • 1
    Ah, so you need to be blinded. That's the part I didn't quite catch.
    – user56
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 14:05

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