Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Curses for Mages

  1. Each syllable the scholar utters causes a hands-width of dark water to rise from under their feet.  This water fills an area as far as they can see and will only recede a turn after the last syllable spoken.
  2. Each new creature the scholar encounters must be documented in writing and they feel compelled to tell each new acquaintance about every creature on that list.
  3. The scholar feels compelled to make a list of actions to take in the next dangerous encounter and will abide by them when the time comes.
  4. If the scholar stops moving, anything they are touching, clothes, chairs, food, begin to get hotter and hotter until those things catch fire and burn.
  5. The scholar has acquired a great fear that they will read a forbidden book and, so, they read no books.
  6. The scholar will feel compelled to gather herbs for study and fill their pack full to overflowing, and be reluctant to discard a single herb, even to make room for food or gold.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Numberless Curses

 These are curses on weapons that are not about -2 to hit or damage, but more about limiting the fighter tactically.  It may even be interesting to have weapons that have a bonus to hit and one of these curses and then let the player decide whether using the weapon is worth the trouble.  This weapon is cursed so that you must always: 

1.     attack last, after all allies and foes. [Sloth]

2.     attack only once per battle. [Sloth]

3.     attack only until you wound a foe, then stop. [Sloth]

4.     attack a foe only after it has been wounded by an ally. [Sloth][Envy]

5.     attack only one foe until it is dead and keep beating the corpse until the battle has ended. [Wrath]

6.     attack a foe, switch targets and attack that foe, switch targets etc, until the battle has ended. [Wrath]

7.     attack only foes that are also being attacked by an ally. [Envy]

8.     attack only foes that have attacked you. [Vainglory]

9.     attack only foes that have attacked an ally. [Sloth]

10.  attack only foes that have wounded you. [Vainglory]

11.  attack only the last foe to have wounded you. [Vainglory][Wrath]

12.  attack only foes that have wounded an ally. [Sloth][Wrath]

13.  attack only when unarmored and shieldless. [Vainglory]

14.  attack only while allies fight alongside, otherwise you surrender. [Sloth]

15.  attack only alone, never with others. [Vainglory]

16.  attack only unaware targets. [Sloth][Cowardice]

17.  attack only after shouting your intended target. [Vainglory]

18.  attack only the most threatening foe—the largest, most experienced—then stop when they are dealt with. [Vainglory]

19.  attack only the weakest foe—the smallest, most frightened—then stop when they are dealt with. [Sloth][Cowardice]

20.  attack only when begged by an ally. [Vainglory]


For some reason I started thinking of these curses in a framework of traditional Christian sins, like the knight that wielded the magic sword last was an anti-saint that was reeking of pride.  Sorry if that's a distraction, there are other ways to frame curses as “bad” as I realized when I noticed that cowardice, which is often reviled, is not one of the seven deadly sins, nor selfishness.  Also, I like the term vainglory here better than pride for boastful, showy fighting.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Cave Carbuncles

 If you fail at reading a scroll, inscription, or magical tome, it is likely because decay has eroded some necessary words and the remaining, corrupted text has a chance of giving you Cave Carbuncles.  These terrible, boil-like growths emerge from the head and each (1d4) prevents the memorization of a spell.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Parasitic Plums

If you are wounded in the mysterious underworld you may become infected by a small parasitic tree.  These tree sprout from the back and shoulders like tiny bonsai.  They eventually bear fruit of many colors and flavors that look a bit like plums.  Each fruit is a secret of the host that is then lost to them.  Memorized spells, locations of buried treasures, magical passphrases, simply gone from the memory.  If someone other than the host eats one of the fruit, they gain one of those lost secrets.

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Coward's Cage

Simon the Coward fell in love with a Guildmaster's niece but was told he could not court her unless he brought the Guildmaster three cave pearls.  Cave pearls only being found in infested catacombs, this was an impossible task.  But, smitten, Simon acquired all the silver and mithril wire he could and wove it into a crude half-dome of mesh and had it blessed by 3 different holy men.  It was crafted so he could carry it over him with a stick and he went in and out of the caves unmolested and found three cave pearls and courted the fair niece.

It's impossible to climb a ladder while under this cage, impossible to swim, barely manageable to traverse stairs, but while under it, no one will notice you exist unless you hurt them (provides Sanctuary).