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    Canonfire :: View topic - Spells upon death of caster
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 2nd Edition
    Spells upon death of caster
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 21, 2013
    Posts: 328
    From: Minnesota

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    Tue May 13, 2014 4:30 pm  
    Spells upon death of caster

    In the event one casts a spell and then perishes, does the spell end? I know some spells are permanent, etc. I am more interested in temporary spells (i.e. sleep or charm person, etc).

    In the same light, how about innate spell abilities. I am inclined to think they would end upon the death of the creature that used the innate ability.

    Any thoughts?

    I looked in player's handbook quickly but though y'all would be a much faster answer.
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2531
    From: LG Dyvers

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    Tue May 13, 2014 7:31 pm  

    First, I'll just say that I think that it is open for you, as the DM, to decide how to play that. Discuss it with your players and come to a decision that seems fun for all, expecting the rules to work the same for the PCs and their opponents.

    Now, I'll suggest that, barring explicit language in the spells' description, a spell does not end with the death of its caster. (Generally, if the spell requires the concentration of the caster to continue, it certainly ends upon the caster's death.) When the caster completes the spell, all of its requirements are complete and it should last until its time is up, regardless of the condition of the original caster. This reasoning also applies to spells cast by items.

    I think it does seem reasonable to rule differently when it comes to innate spell-like abilities, since they rarely require any components beyond a mere thought. Thus, they may be very dependent upon the life and consciousness of the caster.

    Again, this is just my speculation. Wink

    SirXaris
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Wed May 14, 2014 12:22 am  

    There are some specific background features that allow for certain individuals to gain benefits to counter specific hindrances, one of which is magic that is tied to the caster's existence (one of many classic villainous conventions). There is at least one book that covers this (might be the 2e Complete Villains Handbook, but maybe its a 3.X book), though you really don't need a book to write something like this in- just do it! Unless such a hindrance has been built into a character though, spells last for their duration after the death of the caster- such spells just might not be all that effective is all.
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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Wed May 14, 2014 10:20 am  

    This is a good question, and one that I have run into many a time while DMing. For instance, what happens to a dead mage who has enacted a Fly spell? Does the mage remain aerial, hanging lifeless, or does the corpse fall with a KER-SPLAT?!

    As was mentioned earlier, it depends on whether or not the spell requires mental concentration for the effect. For Charm spells and the like, or Illusions (unless permanent), they should cease upon death of the caster. Others with fixed durations should not, barring the aforementioned case.

    Just my two coppers,

    -Lanthorn
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 21, 2013
    Posts: 328
    From: Minnesota

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    Wed May 14, 2014 5:01 pm  

    Thanks as always. The incident that brought this up was innate abilities and I also feel they should end on the death of the creature using the ability.

    I can see that spells are going to be more case by case depending on the type of spell, concentration requirement and whatnot.

    Thanks for the input. Your collective wisdom is always appreciated.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Wed May 14, 2014 11:03 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    This is a good question, and one that I have run into many a time while DMing. For instance, what happens to a dead mage who has enacted a Fly spell? Does the mage remain aerial, hanging lifeless, or does the corpse fall with a KER-SPLAT?!

    They just float around at the last directed speed/direction until the spell ends, then ker-SPLAT! This has happened a few times in the 2E campaign I played in back in the day.

    Lanthorn wrote:
    As was mentioned earlier, it depends on whether or not the spell requires mental concentration for the effect. For Charm spells and the like, or Illusions (unless permanent), they should cease upon death of the caster.

    A charm will still remain, but as the caster is dead no directive can be given. This applies only to charms that don't say that they are broken with the death of the creature/caster who enacted them though. As to illusions, many non-permanent illusions continue to function without concentration (two very commonly encountered examples are improved phantasmal force and spectral force), and so will continue to function after the caster's death until their duration runs out. This goes for other types of spells with similarly special durations.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 05, 2007
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    From: The Pomarj

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    Fri May 16, 2014 11:42 am  

    As Cebrion said: "A charm will still remain, but as the caster is dead no directive can be given."

    Quoting the Charm Person spell description: "If the spell recipient fails his saving throw, he regards the caster as a trusted friend and ally to be heeded and protected."

    So, to continue this line of thought, in a situation where a spell caster is slain, but had previously charmed some person or persons (or creatures, if the charm Monster spell was used), these charmed individuals would see the situation as if one of their closest friends had just been killed, and would respond accordingly. (At least, until the spell duration runs out)


    Well, that's just my opinion.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 09, 2001
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    Sun May 18, 2014 10:47 am  

    I run things my own way, and I guess as DM that's ok. It's good to be the king! I have spells end upon death. It's actually a way that people can tell if somebody is actually dead.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 22, 2012
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    From: luseland, sask

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    Thu May 29, 2014 5:52 am  

    in the module N1 i think the charm is erased after the spirit Naga is killed but i could be wrong.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Thu May 29, 2014 10:04 pm  

    Many innate ability creature charms end upon death.

    ragnar wrote:
    I run things my own way, and I guess as DM that's ok. It's good to be the king! I have spells end upon death. It's actually a way that people can tell if somebody is actually dead.

    So you would have something like a Melf's Acid Arrow spell that would continue to do damage simply fizzle out if the caster is killed?
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 21, 2013
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    From: Minnesota

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    Sat May 31, 2014 9:11 pm  

    I like the innate abilities ending at death.

    As for the spells, I decided to give players an additional saving throw upon the death of the caster for such things as fear or charm person, etc. If failed, the spell continues on as cast.

    Until I play this out more, I am going to take each spell caster death as a learning experience. I still think it is going to depend on the spell and the situation.
    Novice

    Joined: Jun 26, 2015
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    Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:14 am  

    As a PC I like the idea of innate abilities disappearing at the creature's death, but spells carrying on to the end of the spell duration. I think it adds flavor...Picture a dwarf is bawling his eyes out over the death of a necromancer that had him charmed, while everyone else stands around and says, "now what?" You can't loot the necromancer for any "goodies" because the dwarf will hit you in the face with his war hammer...

    On a logical note, when the casting of the spell is finished the magic has been released and is "out there" to do what it will. With an innate ability...mind control, or something, when the brain is dead, the effect would stop.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 227
    From: Montgomery, Alabama

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    Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:32 pm  

    In some instances the Contingency spell if worded properly still functions after the death (or at least at the moment of death) of the caster. For instance, teleport the wizard's dead body to someplace. I think the Geas spell would also continue upon the death of the caster. There are probably several more spells that would continue after the death of the caster.
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