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I love a good curse. But I often have issues coming up with one on the fly. So I started compiling lists of curses for when I roll up random magic items to avoid the classic “cursed sword” where the only curse is that you can’t get rid of it. Once you have a standardized curse list, curses seem to start popping up in play more often. Evil witchdoctor? Throws a curse on the party. Killed the sage? Curse baby! Random spell scroll? Oh no, curses!

Some curses are lifted straight from the Basic rulebook in the description of the Cursed Scroll. Others are adapted from the Remove Curse spell and other descriptions in other supplements. The reverse of the spell Remove Curse is typically a minor curse according to these tables. At the caster’s option, he may instead roll 1d6-2 on the “level of curse” table. Obviously, Remove Curse will reverse any of these curses. Feeble curses are often one-shot curses and won’t need to be removed as they cease doing anything after the first instance.

Level of Curse (d4)

  1. Feeble Curse
  2. Minor Curse
  3. Major Curse
  4. Holy Crap Curse

Feeble Curses (d12)

  1. Hair falls out
  2. Next reaction roll is at a +2 penalty
  3. -4 penalty on your next saving throw
  4. Lose one prepared spell
  5. Itchiness means you suffer -2 on attack rolls while wearing armour
  6. Miss next attack
  7. Next spell cast will fail
  8. Roll 1d20 under Dex whenever trying to run to avoid falling
  9. Become convinced that one minor item is a very important magic item and will not part with it
  10. Gradually change race to a random race (no game effects, just cosmetic)
  11. Automatically surprised next combat
  12. Reduce movement speed by half

Minor Curses (d12)

  1. -3 penalty on all saving throws
  2. -4 on all attack rolls
  3. Prime requisite is reduced by half
  4. +2 penalty on all reaction rolls
  5. 50% chance to be unable to act each combat round
  6. +/- 1 on all rolls (whatever makes it worse)
  7. Drop whatever you are holding whenever you roll the minimum result on any die
  8. Must always tell the truth
  9. Must never tell the truth
  10. Double normal chance of wandering monsters
  11. 50% chance that each spell cast will have an unwanted effect (wrong target, opposite effect, whatever works)
  12. -2 damage per die on all attacks and spells

Major Curses (d12)

  1. Polymorph into a frog or other harmless animal
  2. Wandering monster of the target’s level appears in proximity and attacks
  3. One magic item disappears
  4. Lose one level (as if struck by a wight)
  5. Re-roll your prime requisite
  6. Wounds take twice as long to heal, healing spells are only half as effective
  7. +/- 3 on all rolls (whatever makes it worse)
  8. Cannot sleep – therefore cannot heal naturally, nor prepare spells
  9. Lose all spellcasting ability
  10. Double vision – all targets are treated as having the benefit of displacement
  11. Save versus death, or die!
  12. Struck deaf, blind and mute

Holy Crap Curses (d12)

  1. Every time you kill a target, save versus death or join him and die
  2. Battle Death for your soul
  3. Automatically fail all saving throws
  4. +/- 6 on all rolls (whatever makes it worse)
  5. Lose d4+1 levels
  6. Can not wear armour or clothing or use weapons or any devices
  7. Can only breathe in water, or only breathe air for aquatic targets
  8. Triple damage received from all sources
  9. Character ages 1d6 years per combat round
  10. All valuables owned by the character are turned to lead and paste
  11. d6+1 companions or friends & family are subjected to Major Curses (above)
  12. Target rolls for additional curses (starting with level of curse) 6 times