Some NPCs were under the influence of the geas spell cast by a pair of Lamias. The NPCs were commanded (1) to rebuild some buildings in a town to further the Lamias' evil goals and (2) to protect the Lamias. As a DM, I had set the clock at day 9 out of 30 when the PCs showed up.

The Geas spell has duration of 30 days, and its description says:

You place a magical command on a creature that you can see within range, forcing it to carry out some service or refrain from some action or course of activity as you decide. {snip} While the creature is charmed by you, it takes 5d10 psychic damage each time it acts in a manner directly counter to your instructions, but no more than once each day. {snip} You can end the spell early by using an action to dismiss it. A remove curse, greater restoration, or wish spell also ends it.

Close to the town is a set of graves of NPCs who tried to flee and died from 5d10 for not obeying the Lamia's command under geas. (They can each cast it once per day; they built up a small work force quickly).

The party slew the Lamias in a battle (despite a lot of misses due to mirror image on the Lamia) and also slew some of those who were under its effects.

But one of them survived, with 1 HP. The party also knocked out five other NPC's who will recover soon. The rest of the NPCs protection the Lamia died during the battle. The lone survivor is aware of the "if you disobey the Lamia, you die" problem.

  • I do not think that being knocked out ends the geas: it's not a wish, remove curse, or greater restoration.

    If the party offers to take the NPCs away from the town and return them to their kinfolk, and the NPCs go with the party but does not first complete the task of rebuilding the buildings in the town, do the NPCs take 5d10 damage?

Geas does not require concentration; I am unsure if the death of whomever cast the geas on a creature ends the spell, or, if the compulsion continues until the spell's duration runs out regardless of whether the caster is alive or dead. I suspect it's the latter (the answer to the question that this is a dupe of confirms this).

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Molot I searched under geas, but that covers it. Thanks! ;-) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Glad I could help. Just my two cents, if in this specific situation Lamias said "rebuild this and that so we can progress with our plan" I would qualify geas as ended as soon as it is pointless and aimless. If all they said was "rebuild this and that", he'd be out of luck. But that's very, very much DM's fiat territory :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot It was the latter. They did not share their plans and purposes with the charmed labor force ... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 13:22


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