Geas / Quest, am I understanding this wrong, or is it completely broken?


Rules Questions


Geas/Quest has caught my eye recently. It's a Level 6.

Spoiler:

This spell functions similarly to lesser geas, except that it affects a creature of any HD and allows no saving throw.
If the subject is prevented from obeying the geas/quest for 24 hours, it takes a -3 penalty to each of its ability scores. Each day, another -3 penalty accumulates, up to a total of -12. No ability score can be reduced to less than 1 by this effect. The ability score penalties are removed 24 hours after the subject resumes obeying the geas/quest.
A remove curse spell ends a geas/quest spell only if its caster level is at least two higher than your caster level. Break enchantment does not end a geas/quest, but limited wish, miracle, and wish do.
Bards, sorcerers, and wizards usually refer to this spell as geas, while clerics call the same spell quest.

Lesser Geas is here.

Spoiler:

A lesser geas places a magical command on a creature to carry out some service or to refrain from some action or course of activity, as desired by you. The creature must have 7 or fewer HD and be able to understand you. While a geas cannot compel a creature to kill itself or perform acts that would result in certain death, it can cause almost any other course of activity.
The geased creature must follow the given instructions until the geas is completed, no matter how long it takes.
If the instructions involve some open-ended task that the recipient cannot complete through his own actions, the spell remains in effect for a maximum of 1 day per caster level. A clever recipient can subvert some instructions.
If the subject is prevented from obeying the lesser geas for 24 hours, it takes a -2 penalty to each of its ability scores. Each day, another -2 penalty accumulates, up to a total of -8. No ability score can be reduced to less than 1 by this effect. The ability score penalties are removed 24 hours after the subject resumes obeying the lesser geas.
A lesser geas (and all ability score penalties) can be ended by break enchantment, limited wish, remove curse, miracle, or wish. Dispel magic does not affect a lesser geas.

Here we have a spell that can force any character to do whatever the caster wants, at Level 6, with no saving throw.

Party gets to the boss of the dungeon. Evil Wizard casts Geas/Quest. Now the party leader must kill the rest of the party. WIPE.

Is there something I'm missing that balances this? It's way worse than Dominate Monster because there's no saving throw. If I'm not missing a limit, this is likely the most broken spell in Pathfinder.


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DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:

Geas/Quest has caught my eye recently. It's a Level 6.

** spoiler omitted **

Lesser Geas is here.

** spoiler omitted **...

Geas/Quest wrote:
Casting Time 10 minutes
Lesser Geas wrote:
Saving Throw Will negates...The creature must have 7 or fewer HD and be able to understand you.


you mean level 11 or 12

Geas is a 6th level spell...meaning prepared casters get it at 11th level and spontaneous casters get it at 12th


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DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:

Here we have a spell that can force any character to do whatever the caster wants, at Level 6, with no saving throw.

Party gets to the boss of the dungeon. Evil Wizard casts Geas/Quest. Now the party leader must kill the rest of the party. WIPE.

Is there something I'm missing that balances this? It's way worse than Dominate Monster because there's no saving throw. If I'm not missing a limit, this is likely the most broken spell in Pathfinder.

10 minutes of casting time is very annoying for such a spell.

Moreover, your order (kill the party) wouldn't work, because it would mean certain death for the target.


When I said Level 6, I meant Spell Level 6. Like I said above it, "It's a Level 6."

Second, how would that mean certain death? Either way, the Geas could just as easily be "Travel around the world by foot, by horse, or by boat."

Lastly, what about enemies that have Geas as a spell-like ability? It's a standard action for them.


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DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:


Lastly, what about enemies that have Geas as a spell-like ability? It's a standard action for them.

Which ones are those?


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Geas doesn't remove free will the way Dominate Person does. An affected target of this spell can choose not to obey and take the penalties to stats over time. The penalties cannot directly kill you, and don't kick in quickly, so the spell is useless in combat except against the most selfish of PCs in situations in which a geas is not likely to be removed.


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Zog of Deadwood wrote:
Geas doesn't remove free will the way Dominate Person does. An affected target of this spell can choose not to obey and take the penalties to stats over time.

Untrue.

Geas wrote:
The geased creature must follow the given instructions until the geas is completed, no matter how long it takes.

Only if you are prevented from doing your task will you begin to accrue penalties.


So it's broken then?


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Sure, if your party stands around for 10 whole minutes while the BBEG casts it on them I guess.

But if they're that dumb they kinda deserve to die.


Zog of Deadwood wrote:
Geas doesn't remove free will the way Dominate Person does. An affected target of this spell can choose not to obey and take the penalties to stats over time. The penalties cannot directly kill you, and don't kick in quickly, so the spell is useless in combat except against the most selfish of PCs in situations in which a geas is not likely to be removed.

It shoudl but it doesn't because magic.


The miracle + Geas (if posible) is horribly broken. Geas is broken when taking into account planar binding.


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Scavion wrote:
Zog of Deadwood wrote:
Geas doesn't remove free will the way Dominate Person does. An affected target of this spell can choose not to obey and take the penalties to stats over time.

Untrue.

Geas wrote:
The geased creature must follow the given instructions until the geas is completed, no matter how long it takes.
Only if you are prevented from doing your task will you begin to accrue penalties.

And if the command would result in the target's death, then this phrase kicks in:

Quote:
While a geas cannot compel a creature to kill itself or perform acts that would result in certain death, it can cause almost any other course of activity.

Pretty sure that a "1 on 4" fight is pretty much going to result in the death of the 1.


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Lesser Geas is unreliable and not that great.

Geas has a long casting time, but has use for the creative player.

Limited Wish replicating Geas as a standard action is horrifying.


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Stark_ wrote:

Lesser Geas is unreliable and not that great.

Geas has a long casting time, but has use for the creative player.

Limited Wish replicating Geas as a standard action is horrifying.

Yeah, it's much better. Bu you still have to make a geas that can actually work.

Geas used with called outsiders makes wonders, but against a party it's not such a great spell. I guess you could order someone to stand out of the combat...


Alexandros Satorum wrote:
The miracle + Geas (if posible) is horribly broken.

The RAW on that is doubtful, and it's certain that's not the RAI.


Avh wrote:
Stark_ wrote:

Lesser Geas is unreliable and not that great.

Geas has a long casting time, but has use for the creative player.

Limited Wish replicating Geas as a standard action is horrifying.

Yeah, it's much better. Bu you still have to make a geas that can actually work.

Geas used with called outsiders makes wonders, but against a party it's not such a great spell. I guess you could order someone to stand out of the combat...

Oh, of course, but even something as simple as "do not cast spells", "stand in place" or "do not touch a weapon" can render useless a large number of opponents as an incredibly potent debuff.


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IF someone had Geas as spell-like ability:

Quote:
Using all other spell-like abilities is a standard action unless noted otherwise, and doing so provokes attacks of opportunity.

Thats on the universal monster rules and i believe is the cause.

But here is the text of spell-like abilities on the Magic Chapter

Quote:
A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.

So if the spell description says 10 minutes, the SLA will take 10 minutes.

But if the ability said otherwise (IE: "Cast Geas as a standard action"), then it would prevail whatever the ability text said.


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Soooo,
What about having a Protection from Evil up and running? Geas/Quest is an Enchantment (compulsion) effect. If currently under a Geas/Quest, those effects would be suppressed during the spell duration. If NOT under a Geas/Quest - I'd go with what is written: "While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target" - so, Geas/Quest goes "poof" when you try it on a target with Prot Evil running (assuming source was evil, in this case).

The long casting time doesn't make the spell very combat effective, unless you're facing the Miracle -> Geas thing, at which point, you've probably got bigger problems anyways...


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DrDeth wrote:
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
The miracle + Geas (if posible) is horribly broken.
The RAW on that is doubtful, and it's certain that's not the RAI.

Certain to you.

Some people look at the game with as unbiased an opinion as possible and try to see it from both ways.


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Geas/Quest is no more broken than any other such spell, such as Charm Person or Dominate Person. All three such spells are blocked by the same spell at level 1 (Protection from Evil) and on top of that, Geas/Quest has a 10 minute casting time unless you spend a lot of money and higher spell slots to cast it as a standard action.

If a part goes into a BBEG fight without some sort of Protection from Evil up, then they kind of deserve to be Charmed/Dominated/Geased.


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DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:
If I'm not missing a limit, this is likely the most broken spell in Pathfinder.

The Gease spell does say "no saving throw" however it does have a spell resistance that must be overcome.

I don't know much about spell resistances, but it's there.


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SR is to caster lvl checks as AC is to melee attack rolls


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And it's almost a 2 year old thread.


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Sigh, missed that. They should make the date tag strobe if it has a year marker other than the current year. Or grow 4 font sizes for every year behind that it is


Ridiculon wrote:
Sigh, missed that. They should make the date tag strobe if it has a year marker other than the current year. Or grow 4 font sizes for every year behind that it is

Eh, it was Shadowtide what brought this beast back - you responded to a thread that popped up. It happens. :)

That said, the OP is quite mistaken: the most OP spell is not this geas spell she so fears, and never has been. That distinction belongs to simulacra.

(Literally no other spell in the book gives you so much power for so little.)

Geas/Quest is powerful, sure, but it's not that powerful, as others have already pointed out, as it has casting limits and wealth limits and is easily blocked.

Aaaaand this has been your needless addition to this conversation!
(It's like I can't help myself.)


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Whoa, is this a necroparty? I need to grab my onyx, don't go anywhere!


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Scry & Geas strategy: Start casting Geas. Nine minutes and fifty four seconds later, an ally teleports you to where the enemy is.


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just have to pass the concentration check and youre golden

Grand Lodge

What about casting geas from a scroll? Would that not reduce the casting time to a standard action?


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Paladin of Gorum wrote:
Whoa, is this a necroparty? I need to grab my onyx, don't go anywhere!

Here, have some of mine. *Tries to not question why two paladins have supplies of onyx*

Quote:
What about casting geas from a scroll? Would that not reduce the casting time to a standard action?

Scroll rules say "Activating a scroll is a standard action (or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer)". So it would take 10 minutes.

Grand Lodge

Hmmm I must remember 3 or 3,5 rules.


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Necromancer Paladin wrote:
Paladin of Gorum wrote:
Whoa, is this a necroparty? I need to grab my onyx, don't go anywhere!
Here, have some of mine. *Tries to not question why two paladins have supplies of onyx*

Everyone says I'm not a 'real Paladin', but I'm gonna go to Elysium when I die to join my lord in eternal combat. It doesn't really matter that I'm Chaotic Evil, right?


I have returned form the dead to take over the worl- oh, holy craaaaaap! *its head rolls off the side of the screen*


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DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:

Geas/Quest has caught my eye recently. It's a Level 6.

** spoiler omitted **

Lesser Geas is here.

** spoiler omitted **...

If the party is stupid or incompetent enough to let the wizard cast for 60 rounds, they deserve whatever happens to them.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:

Geas/Quest has caught my eye recently. It's a Level 6.

** spoiler omitted **

Lesser Geas is here.

** spoiler omitted **...

If the party is stupid or incompetent enough to let the wizard cast for 60 rounds, they deserve whatever happens to them.

Or use lesser wish --> geas?


Matthew Downie wrote:
Scry & Geas strategy: Start casting Geas. Nine minutes and fifty four seconds later, an ally teleports you to where the enemy is.

This is a decent strategy, if permissible. It's questionable because the target may have to be present. Aiming a spell doesn't indicate this, but the Line of Effect entry makes it unclear (to me) if the target needs to be present or not. Still an interesting idea, however, and possibly quite successful.

It does add an extra hour to the casting time, though, and allows a relatively low will save to negate. (Greater Scrying would be better, but that, too, still suddenly allows a will save and spell resistance.)

EDIT:

Covent wrote:
Or use lesser wish --> geas?

This is a good point, but this points more to a flaw with lesser wish (or just wish or miracle) than with geas itself.

... aaaaaaaaaaaaaand it still doesn't hold a candle to simulacrum due to that spell allowing you to get all the spells. :)


I see Geas as more of a story spell and less of a big bad uses it on the party. An example I have seen is the party accidently killed a cleric of a good god and unleashed an ancient evil back into the world. The god knowing the party did so not out of evil intentions places a geas on them to attone for their actions. You either accept the geas or you go to prison for life kind of thing. You can substitue any highly ranked good npc for the deity.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Geas is a problem spell only when used in conjunction with limited wish. If that happens duration gets reduced to standard and it can very well end most encounters. To solve this simply tell your players such spell interaction is forbidden. Personally I do this at the start of every campaign I GM.

Shadow Lodge

DOUBLE NECRO.


Tacticslion wrote:
This is a decent strategy, if permissible. It's questionable because the target may have to be present.

I wonder if language-dependent means you have to bore them with chanting in language they can understand for 10 minutes tho.

Also, i once used Vision of Doom with Geas/Quest attached, giving them saving throw sucks but unlimited range is nice, and if you managed to snap lock of their hair they get -10.

P.S.: Necro continues.


How about if instead of reducing the cast time you just hide for 9 minutes and 54 seconds. I'm thinking zone of silence and invisibility. Or do you actually tell them what to do for 9 minutes and 54 seconds and then at ten minutes they go "ok fine"

Dark Archive

One of these days I will go and find the very first thread then necro it.

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