GM use of Geas and Quest in Morgansfort game

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Cryanhall
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GM use of Geas and Quest in Morgansfort game

Post Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:16 pm

I just watched a live play on IvanMike1968’s YouTube channel (great channel btw) where an NPC used Quest on a PC to crusade for a religious cause. It was organic, made sense in the context of the game, made the character and story develop in an interesting way, and was just an all-around cool use of an iconic, but often underused, spell.

It got me thinking about possibly having my big bad use it against a party member in order to get something he wants from a dangerous place. Basically, an evil archbishop of Ravenstone wants them to retrieve a magical miter of immense power from a tomb of an ancient death cult in the Demonfrost Mtns.

My concern is that it will end up railroading the adventure based on a failed saving throw. If the targeted character fails the Save and is successfully Geased, the players are basically forced into doing the NPCs bidding. If they make the Save, then I’ll need to have some contingencies planned out.

I feel it would better for the NPC to offer them a deal where the NPC agrees to stop his meddling in the Western Lands, as well as gold, if they retrieve the artifact. Maybe he could put a Geas on top of it.

What do you guys think? Am I stripping the players of their agency?
Snarkythekobold
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Re: GM use of Geas and Quest in Morgansfort game

Post Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:13 pm

I personally do not see how that you make your players do something through a spell. I mean, I get the whole charm thing for a couple of rounds . . . but compelling them to go on a quest.

But on further thought, I guess it could work. They would be compelled to do it but have to make choices of their own as they went on the quest that they were compelled to do. It also might be interesting for players who made their Save. They would understand that the other PC's are compelled but would be unable to do anything else about it . . . except go along with it and try to keep them from getting killed.

I think a lot of this being successful would depend on your players. Are they the kind of contrary players who rebel against everything or would they be open to going along and doing their role. Only you know your players.

Also, I think that I would add in a powerful NPC along the way who could undo the spell. Heck, maybe the item of power has the affect of canceling out the spell on the player. Maybe the item of power compels them to do something else. Who knows? I think it sounds pretty cool. I might try it sometime.
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Solomoriah
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Re: GM use of Geas and Quest in Morgansfort game

Post Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:29 pm

Charm makes you want to comply. It's the carrot.

Quest or Geas makes you comply by causing you harm if you don't. It's the stick.

Totally different results... and like a wish from a djinni, sometimes you can fulfill the letter of the command while subverting the intent. Bonus XP, IMO, for those who do that.
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