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D&D 5E Ending geas

Snoring Rock

Explorer
Ok so dispell magic will end geas. You would need to overcome a check with D.C. 10+2 however. Here is my question: can you cast dispell magic on yourself to end a geas spell cast on you?
 
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Croesus

Adventurer
Geas doesn't prevent the target from acting against the geas, it just says "each time the target acts in a manner directly counter to the geas", the target takes 5d10 psychic damage. It takes such damage only once per day. I would rule that attempting to remove the geas qualifies, so the target would take the damage, whether or not it successfully removed the geas.

One note - geas lists four specific actions that can remove it prior to completion: 1) the caster cancels the spell early, 2) a remove curse, greater restoration, or wish spell. Dispel magic is not listed, so dispel magic shouldn't work. Others may interpret it differently.
 

Phazonfish

B-Rank Agent
One note - geas lists four specific actions that can remove it prior to completion: 1) the caster cancels the spell early, 2) a remove curse, greater restoration, or wish spell. Dispel magic is not listed, so dispel magic shouldn't work. Others may interpret it differently.

The reason I would interpret it differently is because dispel magic didn't need to be listed, getting rid of effects like geas is the kind of thing dispel magic does. Meanwhile remove curse, greater restoration, and wish have descriptions that do not already explicitly include the ability to remove such spell effects.
 


jgsugden

Legend
As Geas does not say that ONLY those methods can end a Geas, any normal process that ends spells, such as Dispel Magic, will still work. Those methods of ending Geas are in addition to Dispel Magic.

Note that if you cast it as a 9th level spell, by RAW, the Geas ends if dismissed by remove curse, greater restoration or wish. While a Dispel Magic would still work on it, it does not end if you give them a suicidal command (that is not going to end in *certain* death). You can geas them to do something that will result in probable death. However, all that does is 5d10 per day.
 


jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
As Geas does not say that ONLY those methods can end a Geas, any normal process that ends spells, such as Dispel Magic, will still work. Those methods of ending Geas are in addition to Dispel Magic.

Note that if you cast it as a 9th level spell, by RAW, the Geas ends if dismissed by remove curse, greater restoration or wish. While a Dispel Magic would still work on it, it does not end if you give them a suicidal command (that is not going to end in *certain* death). You can geas them to do something that will result in probable death. However, all that does is 5d10 per day.

Just to back this up, the Sage agrees
http://www.sageadvice.eu/2017/01/26/geas-vs-dispel-magic/
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
I see both sides of this. Anyone out there have an opinion or further insight?

Dispel Magic only works because of the At Higher Levels section that indicates that the only way to end it if cast in a 9th level slot is one of the methods in the spell description. This means that other ways, like Dispel Magic, are possible if it is not cast in a 9th level slot.

The intent of that sentence is probably meant to mean that it has infinite duration, but the side effect of that sentence is an implication that other methods work with lower level slots.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Strange focus.

That dispel magic works, but is hard since it's a level 9 spell, is completely uncontroversial in my book.

What's really boggling my mind is how lame it is for a level 9 spell be automatically defeated by a mere remove curse.

And that the geas effect itself is peanuts against a high level character.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
Strange focus.

That dispel magic works, but is hard since it's a level 9 spell, is completely uncontroversial in my book.

What's really boggling my mind is how lame it is for a level 9 spell be automatically defeated by a mere remove curse.

And that the geas effect itself is peanuts against a high level character.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app

Agreed. I use the dispel magic math for all spells that target other spells.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Strange focus.

That dispel magic works, but is hard since it's a level 9 spell, is completely uncontroversial in my book.

What's really boggling my mind is how lame it is for a level 9 spell be automatically defeated by a mere remove curse.

And that the geas effect itself is peanuts against a high level character.
I think this is more of a spell to use on NPCs than PCs. I think I'm happy with that, I don't need the DM to geas me to make me go on a quest :)
 

For things like this, I like to house rule in a rule similar to how light and dark spells counter each other. Basically, you need a spell of equal or higher level to cancel out an opposing spell or you are going to have major negative modifiers for making a successful roll when using a lower level spell. No way a dinky low-level dispel magic is going to counter a high-level, powerful spell without serious effort or luck from the dispel magic caster.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I think this is more of a spell to use on NPCs than PCs. I think I'm happy with that, I don't need the DM to geas me to make me go on a quest :)
I think this spell is there to allow the "Zeus tells Hercules to go on a quest" archetype.

With Zeus as a 20th level caster, and Hercules barely breaking 3rd. And Hercules is definitely a player character, not a NPC.

I just wish the spell worked in a more general application, but it doesn't.

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CapnZapp

Legend
I just wish the spell worked in a more general application, but it doesn't.
It simply ignores the fact it isn't the only spell in the book. And the fact that not everybody you want to geas is a low-level hero.

At high levels you have no use for low-level beginners (except if you're a "hero enabler" like Zeus). You want to Geas medium-level heroes.

But the consequence of disobeying the Geas is inconsequential except perhaps at the very lowest levels where it can kill you using instant death; just a healing potion away. And medium-level heroes have access to Remove Curse, sometimes even trivially so (their fellow party member is a spellcaster with that spell prepared).

At the very least the spell needs to lower maximum hit points (which is an inconvenience no matter your level) and it needs to specifically say attempts to dispel the geas or break its curse fail automatically if a lower-levelled slot than the one used to cast Geas was used.

This way Geas cast as a 9th level spell lowers your maximum hp by 27 hp on average, and only a spell cast using a level 9 slot has a chance of breaking the Geas.

This is important since the expectation is that you're normally geased by a spellcaster of higher level than yourself.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
It simply ignores the fact it isn't the only spell in the book. And the fact that not everybody you want to geas is a low-level hero.

At high levels you have no use for low-level beginners (except if you're a "hero enabler" like Zeus). You want to Geas medium-level heroes.

But the consequence of disobeying the Geas is inconsequential except perhaps at the very lowest levels where it can kill you using instant death; just a healing potion away. And medium-level heroes have access to Remove Curse, sometimes even trivially so (their fellow party member is a spellcaster with that spell prepared).

At the very least the spell needs to lower maximum hit points (which is an inconvenience no matter your level) and it needs to specifically say attempts to dispel the geas or break its curse fail automatically if a lower-levelled slot than the one used to cast Geas was used.

This way Geas cast as a 9th level spell lowers your maximum hp by 27 hp on average, and only a spell cast using a level 9 slot has a chance of breaking the Geas.

This is important since the expectation is that you're normally geased by a spellcaster of higher level than yourself.

It's like many undesirable effects in the game. Most of them have become trivial to remove. Curses, disease, poison, etc. and magical ones in particular. In part because it used to be the difference between caster level, not spell slot level.


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Kalshane

First Post
I like the "Spell slot used must equal or exceed the slot used to cast the Geas" idea. I'd also be tempted to just change the Psychic damage to occur every time you attempt to disobey the Geas, not just once per day.
 

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