3
\$\begingroup\$

I am playing a neutral good cleric. I recently cast geas/quest on someone to have them lead the party to the groups lair. Another player has just raised valid concern that such an action, that is of taking over their mind or forcing their action, as an evil act.

Would this be an evil act or something else?

\$\endgroup\$
6
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you discussed this with your GM? This question is both opinion based and contingent upon how alignment works at your table to the extent that it does. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 21:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have not talked with the DM yet, it was just shown to me that it could be an issue. It just had not occurred to me until someone else pointed it out to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Saying "not an answer" doesn't stop answers in comments from being flagged and deleted... \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 22:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah. RAW it's not as I suspect you know, opinions on alignment of people or acts is off-topic as being opinion-based. meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/5357/… \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 2:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ After reading that post I can see why my question was being marked. Thankfully someone pointed me towards reading exalted deeds and it contained the answer(s) I was looking for \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 3:27

2 Answers 2

5
\$\begingroup\$

Short answer: No, not inherently. The only spells that are inherently evil are those with the Evil descriptor.

Long answer: It depends on what you are making the target do. An argument can certainly be made that geas is a form of coercement, which would count as evil (as your friend suggested). However, I think that the Pathfinder/D&D world very much follows an "ends justify the means" philosophy. If it did not, the Paladins could not attack or injure evil creatures, since assault and killing are also "evil" acts.

Given that, I would then say if you impose a geas on someone to perform evil acts, then the act of placing that geas is evil as well. If, as in your example above, you use the geas to aid the cause of the greater good, then the geas is not evil in itself. In the less clear cut area of using a geas to force an individual to do something that neither advances the cause of good or evil ("clean my house"), then I would lean towards it being an evil act, since it is a way of bullying them into doing something that is against their wishes (presumably, since there's no point in putting a geas on someone to do something they would willingly do anyway). More generally, the "goodness" of the geas is derived from the act or service you are forcing the target to perform.

That all said, I am assuming a default D&D/Pathfinder setting. I think if your cleric follows a deity of free will, then the act would certainly not be looked upon favourably. If your setting considers some acts (notably killing) to be inherently evil no matter who commits it or what the motive, then then answer may change.

The 3.5 edition D&D product "Book of Exalted Deeds" goes into depth on this topic (I believe), if you'd like some further reading on the subject.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didnt know that Exalted Deeds had a section like that, thanks for the info \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 22:01
4
\$\begingroup\$

No, Geas/Quest is not an act of evil.

The intention and orders of the Geas itself determine if it is an act of good and evil. For example if a cleric casts Geas on a thief to never steal again, with the intention that he/she would have to chose a better life path, then that would be a good action.

In your case it's a bit of a gray area. Are you doing this to protect an innocent village? Or are there more sinister reasons for going to their lair?

Lastly I leave you with a quote I've heard "The path to hell was paved with good intentions."

\$\endgroup\$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .