I was looking at the contingency spell, and besides being a very versatile spell, I noticed a couple things about it that really stand out:

  • It does not have a method to cancel it other than removing the material (a 1500GP ivory statue) from my person. (Besides counterspell or casting contingency a second time)

  • It has a 10-day duration.

  • It does not require a reaction (or ANY kind of action) for the spell charged into it.

  • Automatically makes ME the target of the charged spell, regardless of who it can normally target.

With this information, could I be DEAD for several days and have my power activate after a trigger, such as "9.5 days from casting this spell, trigger if I am dead"? Or does killing the caster prevent the contingent spell from triggering?


Contingency doesn't end when the caster dies.

Nothing in the spell description for contingency indicates that it ends if the caster dies, as long as the duration isn't up and they still have the material component on their person. A DM might argue that a corpse can't have anything "on their person", but that seems overly picky to me.

Nor do the general rules for spell duration state that all spells end when the caster dies.

Dispel Magic cast on the caster (or their body) would end a contingency early. Other than that, a wizard can certainly arrange to have a 1-action spell of 5th level or less cast on their body up to ten days after they die.

(Note, for any wizards who have multiclassed into cleric, that raise dead takes an hour to cast, so is off the table).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ A very relevant question brought up Revivify as an option, but only if you've been dead for 1 minute. A few things you COULD do after several days would be to write a message, set off a bomb, or teleport your corpse 500 feet away. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12 '18 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ What if their body is chewed up, burned, digested, or otherwise destroyed and there's no person left for the object to be on? \$\endgroup\$
    – jpmc26
    Jul 12 '18 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jpmc26 That is among the many, many, many nuances present in the interpretation of all spells (and, indeed, all D&D rules) that are adjudicated by the DM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Jul 13 '18 at 10:48

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