Finding A Curse

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losloris
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Finding A Curse

Post by losloris »

Let's say a piece of treasure had a curse on it. How could a party discover this without triggering the affect?

I am looking to provide a curse crown and would like to be comfortable in thinking the party has a chance of discovering this.

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Fenris Ulfhamr
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Re: Finding A Curse

Post by Fenris Ulfhamr »

I like local legends. Whether local folk, ancient writings, or the dying utterance of the horde's guardian, often the party could hear about the curse the same way they heard about the treasure. Don't forget not all legends are true or accurate!
Another good clue is the remains of others already taken by the curse...

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Raven_Crowking
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Re: Finding A Curse

Post by Raven_Crowking »

Detect evil, detect magic, and second sight might all reveal a curse (or at least give a hint of its presence).
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.
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Re: Finding A Curse

Post by GnomeBoy »

losloris wrote:Let's say a piece of treasure had a curse on it. How could a party discover this without triggering the affect?
Easiest to spitball ideas if the nature of the curse is known... but maybe you're avoiding that on the chance that one of your players might see it here...

Maybe there's something foreboding about the crown, so before anyone slaps it on their head, they think to research it themselves or with a local sage, etc.

But maybe the curse is only activated when they do a particular things while it's on their head... Perhaps the crown whispers to them beforehand, while they are wearing it. These whispers can be overt or subtle, but may give one the feeling that all is not well. Also, maybe there are those that will see the crown and immediately react negatively to it, either by a gut reaction or by some snippet of actual knowledge. "The town's people give you a wide berth..."

Maybe just having the crown in your possession is enough for the curse to kick in -- but maybe it doesn't just activate all in one swell foop. Maybe it slowly takes affect, with minor influences at first, that slowly become more serious. The characters may not even realize it comes from the crown ...until it is too late?
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Fenris Ulfhamr
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Re: Finding A Curse

Post by Fenris Ulfhamr »

GnomeBoy wrote:
losloris wrote:Let's say a piece of treasure had a curse on it. How could a party discover this without triggering the affect?
Easiest to spitball ideas if the nature of the curse is known... but maybe you're avoiding that on the chance that one of your players might see it here...
If they read even this far I wager they already know- at least enough to cast the above spells...IT'S A TRAP! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Black Kylessa (c) LV 2 Wizard (orphan)
Str7/8 (-1) Agi17(+2) Sta9(0) Per6(-1) Int15(+1) Luc15(+1) AC13 (padded armor, fumble d8) HP7 Sling+2 (1d4-1) or dagger+/-1 (1d4-1) Spd30 Init+2 R+3 F0 W0 Ragdoll (Mara), Pony, 48cp 602gp Common, Chaos, Halfling, Dwarven
Animal Summoning 64 Wealful/Woeful magic (erupts from the earth),Charm Person 83 Blue Star (black beam), Runic Alphabet, Mortal 43 no change, Spider Climb 53 no change (six extra eyes),Magic Missle 94 Fine Control (meteors),Chill Touch 50 no change (skeletal hands)
losloris
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Re: Finding A Curse

Post by losloris »

You have answered my needs perfectly. As a DM I always want to be clear of the rules so as to make a ruling that is consistent with our environment, and, had been troubled by whether there was something readily available to detect curses. Like most DMs I have played under I am very liberal with 'identify' spells yet feel giving up a curse would be too much.

Our game is much more into the "uneasy feeling" style. We found a carpet of flying that was cursed. The curse was supposed to be upon first use but that is too sudden for me. I had Embla roll percentiles with every use, and, the chance of getting trapped into the design of the carpet increased by 1 with each use. Took her to the giant size laboratory in the Vault of the Dragon Kings before the curse took affect.

There is the possibility of a 'local' revealing a potential problem with loot taken from the vault we will be entering, should the party ask. My party takes detailed notes and it has saved them many times = this may come up. Also, your answers make me think of being graphic in describing the poor souls guarding the item (a crown in the case).

Thanks for the feedback. We play on the 20th, with commentary available shortly thereafter.

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Raven_Crowking
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Re: Finding A Curse

Post by Raven_Crowking »

The best item curses are those that, even once you know about them, leave you tempted to still use the item.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.
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Ducaster
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Re: Finding A Curse

Post by Ducaster »

I have a rule in my campaign that ALL permanent Magic items have (ahem) Drawbacks...

This is probably too extreme for some, but sidestepped the need to caution the players about the possibility of a "curse".

Going by the guidelines about Magic items and especially weapons drawing the attention of the Gods (etc) it seemed a logical extension to the system. IE the longer a permanent item had walked the earth the more chance that if they could not destroy it - some angry deity would have added a "Gotcha" to its use.

The trigger is the items actual use in most cases. You mention a crown; well surely carrying it has minimal or zero effect but putting it on..? Oh boy...!

My question is: How paranoid do you want to make your players about getting magical goodies? is this a one off or are you teaching a lesson here about Magical artefacts in your game?
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Re: Finding A Curse

Post by DavetheLost »

Sometimes I will put a subtle clue into the description of a cursed object. For a crown, maybe carvings of thorns. Something a little disturbing and off-putting. Or else something really, really, seductive and alluring, too good to be true. But definitely something to show that this is not an ordinary object and that special qualities should be expected.
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