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March 3, 2014, 11:54 pm

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7 Horrifying Curses


Often PCs get on the wrong side of powerful users of magic or break into enchanted tombs, either may get them on the wrong side of a curse.


A classic curse, the spell renders the cursed one unable to benefit from food no matter how much he or she eats. What at first may seem like a boon, at least to the obese, rapidly becomes a bane as the affected person begins to waste away, even if in the middle of plenty, until he or she ends up as thin and boney as a concentration camp victim and then starves to death. Eating lots of food only slows the inevitable slightly. If not lifted within a month or so, the cursed one will die.


This curse has the opposite effect, as the cursed one starts to balloon and become clinically obese. It's not quite as deadly as the Thinner curse-as if the target stops eating totally, he or she will slowly slim down, protected by all the excess fat from starvation but still feeling the pangs of hunger. As soon as food is eaten however, pounds will rapidly pile on. There have been cases where this curse was intentionally cast not to harm, but to enable survival during a famine, and lifted when the famine is over. For the weak willed with plenty of food, death follows within two to four weeks, the body so bloated that a heart attack follows.

3-Paranoia Blues

The target of this curse will start to think that everybody is against them, and the longer it lasts, until finally a belief grows that everyone is a would be murderer and that the food and drink is poisoned. If the cursed one does not lock himself or herself away and die of hunger and thirst, then an involuntary commitment to a lunatic asylum or a deadly fight with other people is likely, as the cursed one lashes out against imagined foes. If the cursed one really does have people out there who wants him or her dead, then the curse will take it's course and grow in strength much faster, even if he or she has bodyguards or is informally hiding or in formal witness protection.

4-Trust Everybody

This curse causes people to slowly become more trusting over a period of days, until they end up thinking everybody is good. This leaves them very vulnerable to everything from being ripped off whilst buying something, to being ambushed and knocked out or murdered, or joining some strange and dangerous religious cult. Women that are cursed in this way become far more likely to be raped. Only a direct physical attack on someone temporarily jolts them out of the curse and lets them fight back, if the first blow is not incapacitating. A more clever foe will befriend the target and get them to join a pyramid scheme or some other scam.


This curse causes people, be they law enforcement, customs officers, shopkeepers, or lovers, to deeply suspect the cursed one even when there is no genuine reason for it. Crossing a border means a wait of an hour or more as all the baggage is searched and researched again and again and intrusive questions are asked. If there are police or the equivalent, they will always pick the cursed one for a stop and search. Secret police and spies will mistake him or her for a foe, shopkeepers will think they are being cheated and lovers will think he or she is cheating with someone else. If the cursed one is indeed up to no good, the curse will be many times stronger.


Cast on a healthy person, the effects are more annoying then anything else. Food that is near them goes bad four times quicker then normal. Parchment yellows and armour rusts four times as fast as normal as well. If the person should get any wound that breaks the skin, if not treated almost at once it will go bad, and if nothing is done quickly, infection will spread rapidly and the person will start to rot whilst still alive, and dies a horribly painful death.

7-Typhoid Mary

Disease follows the person, affecting not them but everyone who stays near them for more then a short time. As more and more people start getting sick, sooner or later people will join up the dots and blame the cursed one. He or she may be thought of as a well-poisoner, a practitioner of black magic or worse. Lynch mobs will warn the person to get out of town, or may actually try and lynch him or her. Cities will close their gates to the affected one. Perhaps the law will get involved and haul the person into court facing very serious charges.

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Comments ( 3 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted eleclipse
March 7, 2014, 8:50

I would love to see some description on how one can remove the course. Having a mage / cleric remove it is boring, it's much more fun when you have to do specific things.
Voted Scrasamax
March 18, 2014, 0:49
Interesting idea, but somehow it feels weak.

I would imagine curses like:

Unable to Heal: natural healing is impossible, the character can only recover lost health via divine magics and healing potions. Potions only work at half strength, and divine magics are opposed by the curse, so weak healing charms will likely fail.
Voted axlerowes
March 24, 2014, 14:08
Well those are awful curses, 3,4 and 5 provide some good RPG fodder. I agree with Scras, a little weak. I don't think the editorializing adds anything to the description of the curses, the prose is a little simplistic and the voice and perspective unclear.
"until he or she ends up as thin and boney as a concentration camp victim and then starves to death"...not the most creative, world immersive or tasteful sentence ever.

But in all cases you get your point across clearly. So well done.

Link Backs


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Grendel

The Door

A nifty little encounter appropriate for any powerful sorcerer/magically adept monsters lair.

When the party have penetrated to an appropriatly impressive level/room they encounter The Door, this door is a vessel through which the Sorcerer/Monster can safely work against any intruders, the door is heavy duty iron bound studded oak wrought with craft skill and magic, set in the middle is a crystal orb, once the party get within a preset distance the orb flickers briefly as the door warns its "master" of the intruders, the master can then effectivly possess the door itself, this means that all movement the door is capable of (i.e. opening and closing) come under the control of the master, the master can also cast spells from the door as if he were there himself, all the while any damage that is inflicted in return merely damages the door, this will in effect ruin any of the parties chances of surprise, allow the master to assess the parties abilities while remaining safe and sound and finally will probably cause the party to waste some of their juicier items/spells on a chunk of wood and iron, and if the master happens to have a deadly spell or three it could also reduce the size of the party,

Of course if you wanted to be really nasty you could have the door open to admit one person and then slam shut on the second person (squish) whilst blasting away with every spell in the mastrs repetoir

Encounter  ( Cave/ Underground ) | August 20, 2004 | View | UpVote 2xp

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