Kobold Press

The Magic Circle: Lesser Curse (Part 1)

witchWith a fling of spittle and a forbidden gesture of the hand, the victim receives a subtle and annoying minor curse. Effects vary and are not terribly debilitating, but the effect on the superstitious and those in the public eye can be devastating.

Everyone’s heard of “the gypsy curse” or the “evil eye.” Country folk have blamed “the curse” for all kinds of misfortunes: poor harvest, cows not milking, acne, bad luck, unrequited love, diseases, and more. While not seriously debilitating, a minor curse is annoying and frustrating for the subject and any companions. So what exactly happens when a character falls victim to the “evil eye” of a resentful adept or village wise woman? Pick from the table below, roll randomly, or devise your own!

Perhaps, offer a roleplaying bonus of 50 XP times the victim’s character level for a top performance during the game session. A lesser restoration spell will remove the minor curse…

Lesser Curse

School necromancy; Level cleric 2, sorcerer/wizard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range touch
Target creature touched
Duration permanent (D)
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

You curse the target with one of the following:

  • -2 decrease to an ability score (minimum 1)
  • -2 penalty on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks
  • -4 penalty on one particular category of saving throw, ability check, or skill check (e.g. -4 penalty to Will saves, -4 penalty to Strength checks, -4 penalty to Perception checks)

Effects vary depending on the manifestation of the lesser curse. You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than the examples below.

The lesser curse cannot be dispelled, but it can be removed with a lesser restoration, break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell. It can be dispelled at will by the caster—usually after some restitution.

One of the following befalls the PC:

  1. Character convinced of being a different class
  2. Laughs uncontrollably at anything another person says
  3. Excessive flatulence (-2 charisma)
  4. Itching all over (-1 Dexterity)
  5. Very bad breath (-1 charisma to anyone within 10 ft.)
  6. Very bad body odor (-1 charisma to anyone within 10 ft.)
  7. Attracts insects
  8. Attracts animals (specific type: mice, birds, cats, skunks, etc.)
  9. Makes bad jokes incessantly
  10. Has no inner dialogue
  11. Says everything twice
  12. Says everything twice
  13. Whenever anyone makes a successful skill check, character brags, “I can do better than that…” (or the equivalent)
  14. Always eating/drinking
  15. Shouts whenever speaking

(Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible)

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Come back next Wednesday for more than 40 additional minor curses!

9 Replies to "The Magic Circle: Lesser Curse (Part 1)"

Tim Connors

February 18, 2010 at 7:52am

Hey James, nice job! I can’t wait to see the other 40!

Providing game mechanics for Old World superstitions like the “evil eye” is exactly the kind of thing we’re talking about in the Tales of the Old Margreve project. Love to see you there if you’re interested.

Lee

February 18, 2010 at 10:15am

Very nice job. Well thought out and it could easily be a great tool to help the story along.

Stefen

February 18, 2010 at 12:22pm

The fifteen effects are quite clever and amusing.

Mike

February 18, 2010 at 4:28pm

I really like 11 and 12.

Mike

February 18, 2010 at 4:29pm

I really like 11 and 12.

Joe G

February 18, 2010 at 9:00pm

I love it. Definitely something that really helps to flesh out some nice mechanics driven role play. Solid stuff, can’t wait to see the rest.

Gary

February 23, 2010 at 3:00pm

I love stuff like this that I can drop into my own campaign without a lot of revision. Simple, effective, and so entertaining!

doubleplusgood

February 24, 2010 at 2:22pm

This seems like it could be too powerful for a 2 or 3 level spell. How do you determine which of the 15 effects? Is it chosen by the DM, the spellcaster or randomly? And when you say if effects the PC do you mean the target of the spell (which I guess will most likely be an npc) or the spellcaster? Why is it a touch spell? Isn’t the whole point of the evil eye is that it can be given with just a look?

On a more positive note I’ve always wanted to play a gypsy fortune teller type who could give the evil eye so it is good that other people are thinking along the same lines.