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On Star Trek: The Next Generation, counselor Deanna Troi can sense emotions from people on other ships or planets which are in contact with the ship. It always seemed to me that visual contact (and maybe a little cold reading?), emotional strength and/or power of the given entity, allowed her to sort the distance when reading emotions from people on screen, and that she needed some physical proximity to sense other beings, like when she senses the emotions of the ship's population, in a moment of danger. But in the Episode The Royale, she can -from the comfort of her chair- focus on Riker alone (who is stranded on a planet below), while the rest of the crew is trying to get through the interference just to get a reading on the away team's whereabouts. Though I don't remember her sensing a nearby cloaked ship, such ability could be a very useful asset in battle.

Is there a way to limit her ability and make a shielding device that she cannot pierce?

  • Troi has a connection to Riker that she doesn't have with any another person. And no, her ability isn't really useful in battle. At most all it could do is tell her "Someone feels like attacking someone." Which is usually pretty obvious anyway. – David Johnston Feb 26 at 1:38
  • There's like two things that happen. One, she senses something funny going on. Or two, she can't sense anything, which is equally funny. – Mazura Feb 27 at 0:43
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Is there a way to limit her ability and make a shielding device that she cannot pierce?

This happens in Eye of the Beholder (episode 18 of season 7). From Wikipedia:

The next day, Dr. Crusher provides Troi with a neural inhibitor to block Troi's empathic sense to allow her to safely visit the nacelle.

So, yes it's possible to block Troi's abilities.

But in the Episode The Royale, she can -from the comfort of her chair- focus on Riker alone (who is stranded on a planet below)

Troi has called Riker her imzadi, which means she has a deeper connection to him than to most other people.

See also: Why can't Deanna Troi sense cloaked ships?

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Yes it should definitely be possible to create a device that blocks Troi's abilities however I do not believe we ever see such a device in canon, we do see instances of her abilities being suppressed in various ways.

In S3E3 The Survivors the Douwd drowns out her empathic ability making her unable to focus on reading him

In S4E10 The Loss Troi loses her abilities due to two dimensional beings something something technobabble

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