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Unfortunately my scheme to win an election using necromancy failed, not mind you because I created too few undead minions. The regions had an electoral system by which I had to win the majority of each town, village or city, and send the electors from those places to do the final count. Some places resisted my electoral strategy of converting the ignorant masses into compliant undead. After the election my undead tried to eat the rest of the populace, and now I'm charged with subverting the election.

The ignorant masses have conspired to have twelve of them judge me, with an old rival, and former roommate from wizard college as the presiding officer. As my undead ate the families of the jurors there may be some hard feelings at the trial. Obviously none of these people are fit to judge me, any magical means to enlighten them are fair.

With this in mind, what is the most amount of jury tampering I can commit using spells to ensure that I am acquittal at my trial?

  • All of my magical items were confiscated when I was imprisoned, and measures have been taken to prevent me obtaining any new magical items.
  • Undead jurors have been ruled unfit, and will be replaced by living jurors.
  • The judge is a cautious, prudent conjuror who could never best me in a mages dual, if I had my plethora of magic items. While inferior to me, he is a competent mage, and under current circumstances would best me.
  • Were I to try to influence the judge himself with magic, my rivals from the wizard college would deem my acquittal a sham. Thus to prove them wrong I will not use magical influence on my former roommate, no mater how much he deserves it.
  • My fellow necromancers should be able to slip me simple magical components or those that my ignorant guards will not recognize as valuable. Gems, diamond dust, and crystal balls, etc, are valuable enough anyone can spot them.
  • Wish may be used to duplicate a spell only.
  • I am a 20th level necromancer with a 20 in the only stat that matters.
  • My undead minions annoyed a large number of the local clergy, including from groups who are normally loath to work together. They have provided a large honor guard of high level clergy to repeal any undead I might direct at the courthouse.
  • The trial will take place over many days.
  • Given the limited intelligence of the jurors it will take them at least several days to deliberate.
  • If relevant most of my fortune is intact, I can call on 30,000 gold pieces for expenses.
  • Any official 5E sources are fine, but no UA or homebrew.
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    \$\begingroup\$ If 11 of the jurors are ignorant masses, should we use the Commoner stat block? What is the save of the foreman, who is a wizard? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 19 at 0:25

2 Answers 2

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Suggest a Unanimous Acquittal

There are probably several ways you can get a complete acquittal, but the one that comes to mind first is to cast Mass Suggestion on the jury. The scope of "reasonable" in the spell's description is ambiguous, but you could probably get away with "The defendant is a lookalike. You must acquit them, or else the real culprit will escape forever." The duration of Mass Suggestion when cast with an eighth level spell slot is 30 days, which should be long enough to last through the entire deliberation with a single cast.

To get this far, you'll need three things: a snake's tongue, a bit of honeycomb, and access to the jury.

Acquiring the Material Components

This should be easy, because:

My fellow necromancers should be able to slip me simple magical components or those that my ignorant guards will not recognize as valuable.

However, your fellow necromancers might betray you, so I propose an alternative.

To get the material component for Mass Suggestion, start by Wishing for a Mass Suggestion on the guards on your cell to coax them into sending you a live snake and a wasp nest for your meals. Let them think they're harassing you, when they're actually providing valuable components.

(This answer assumes that emulating a spell with Wish casts it at the lowest possible level, which makes it unsuitable for jury tampering. If Wish automatically upcasts to a level 9 spell slot, this step can be skipped.)

Preventing future harassment by the guards

If the guards outside your cell are a problem, Wish for another Mass Suggestion to get them to look away while you harvest them. Make them think you're too creepy to look at.

Access to the Jury

Physical access is easy: Teleport has only verbal components. You can simply appear in the jury room any time you like. (If you don't know where the jury room is, acquire a live bat for dinner using the method above, then harvest its eye for Arcane Eye, and/or Wish for a ).

However, being witnessed in the jury room will likely cause a mistrial, so you'll need to be invisible. Fortunately, Greater Invisibility also has no material components.

Putting it all together

Here is a day-by-day process which will have the jury charmed by day 4 at the latest.

Day 1

Wish for a Mass Suggestion on the guards around your cell, coaxing them to harass you by sending you live snakes, wasp nests, and bats as your meals for the next day. Kill the animals as they are delivered using whatever spells you like (other than Disintegrate).

Day 2

Wish for another Mass Suggestion on the guards again, coaxing them to not bother you (you're creepy and they can't stand to look at you) while you harvest their gifts for spell components: A bat's eye, a snake's tongue, and a bit of honeycomb.

Cast another Mass Suggestion on the guards, this time using the real spell so you can upcast it to level 8, convincing them to leave you alone for the remainder of the trial.

Cast Arcane Eye and scope out the jury room well enough to teleport to it. (If needed, you can wait another day and then Wish for Locate Creature to

Day 3 (or 4 if it took a day to find the jury room):

Pick up an item associated to your cell, as a teleport focus for later.
Cast Greater Invisibility with (1 4th level slot used)
Cast Teleport to the jury room. (1 7th level slot used)
If you landed off target, hopefully you're close enough to close the distance with another Dimension Door or two (potentially all 4th level slots used). If you land in a "similar area", Teleport again back to your cell immediately and try again the next day.
Cast Mass Suggestion on the jurors, upcast to 8th level (8th level slot used)
Cast Teleport back to your cell, using the item you picked up earlier as a focus. (Other 7th level slot used)

If they don't acquit you immediately, you can repeat the process again each day to catch any jurors who made their saves the first time.

Room for Improvement

I couldn't find any way to reach the jury room more reliably than teleportation. If anyone can think of such, please propose it in a comment.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Or maybe the defendant shouldn't be held accountable for what a bunch of undead did. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Jan 18 at 19:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Wish can emulate any spell of 8th level or less so it can emulate Mass Suggestion case with an 8th level slot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Jan 18 at 21:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM - That's one interpretation. Another interpretation is that Wish duplicates the spell, but does not use a spell slot to cast it, and therefore the spell is cast without any benefits for upcasting. This strategy works under both readings, but the looser reading would allow for some simplifications (and one day less of setup time). \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim C
    Jan 18 at 22:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ If 11 of the jurors are ignorant masses, should we use the Commoner stat block? If so, a DC19 on their save against mass suggestion suggests a reasonable chance that at least one of them will make the save. What is the save of the foreman, who is a wizard? Any precautions against a successful save? Mass suggestion does not alter their memories, and all of them will hear you cast the spell. Any who make the save might suggestion additional charges against you of jury tampering. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 19 at 0:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt: Technically, the spell only requires them to hear and understand you, but they don't have to know it's you. You could have an illusory bailiff suggest the course of action to the jurors, or incapacitate one of the jurors temporarily (a simple Sleep would reliably incapacitate any commoner who stepped out to go to the bathroom) and have an illusory version of them make this "argument" to the rest of the jury as you stand behind them invisibly. If a couple folks save against Mass Suggestion, just follow-up with Geas to achieve a similar effect on them (also 30 day duration). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 19 at 14:09
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Tim C's answer is efficient, but given how long you have to do this, you can really lock things down forever if you like, rather than worrying about jurors recanting their actions days or weeks later. Work a juror at a time, Geasing them, cast at 9th level, to act to keep you free by non-violent means. Oftentimes people think that people resent being the subject of Geas (it's a magical straightjacket on your actions), but 5th edition's Geas includes inflicting the Charmed condition, which effectively means they're friendly to you as long as the spell lasts, in addition to being forced to adhere to the Geas instructions. And for a 9th level Geas, it's permanent; no juror will recant unless subjected to Remove Curse, Greater Restoration, or Wish.

If a given 9th level Geas casting fails, you can substitute a lower level casting for a temporary fix until you can recast; even base level Geas lasts 30 days, and 7th-8th level castings last a year, so unless someone makes a lot of saves, you'll lock them down eventually.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like both answers, but can only give the checkmark to one. Geas works as well as suggestion, but the illusory bailiff gives plausible deniability to suggestion. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22 at 16:00

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