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ID: 5997


March 5, 2010, 5:45 pm

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30 Bad Effects from touching Evil Artifacts


"No, don't touch...that. Too late."

Notes...the basic idea is from valadaar and he came up with the first twelve ideas, I expanded them into a 30. Here is the link.

This table is intended to be used when unprepared mortals tamper with things of truely dark and horrid origins. Most effects are fatal, and it is assumed that powerful magic would be required to reverse these.

1.Horrid Rotting.- At first, the flesh - starting with the area that made contact - will be subject to discoloration, psorasis, and eventually full blow rotting. Rotting moves inwards after affecting the limbs, eventually killing the victim.  Severing affected parts does not help - the contamination is supernature, and rules of biology do not apply.

2. Petrification - Starts out as minor stiffening and inflammation, with arthritic effects on joints.  As time goes by, nodes of stone begin forming in the being’s flesh, starting at the hands and moving to to core.  These are very painful and grow in size, eventually petrifying the limb and moving inwards.  Eventually, vital organs will be effected and begin failing. Cancer-like symptoms will take, causing death unless checked by powerful magic.

3. Combustion - Users flesh bursts into flame, causing damage until extinguished.  Willpower may allow the wielder to employ the Item that caused this effect for a short interval before pain forces them to drop it, or the hand fails due to muscle or tendon damage.  It is possible that the fire may not be extingished by conventional means. The fire will start at the point of contact and spread. Interestingly, nothing carried or worn is subjected to the fire.  Optionally, any other living flesh touched will also alight.

4. Transformation - User is morphed slowly into a demonic entity, and if the item is held too long, the transformation will be complete and the user lost.  Letting go of the item causes the effect to gradually reverse, but at 1/10th the rate of the inital transformation. Other possible forms may be substituted at the whim of the GM.

5. Freezing - User slowly freezes - starts as painful cold, progresses to frostbite and complete freezing. This will start at the point where the Item was touched, and then moves inwards as with the other effects, eventually killing the victim. The effect will continue indefinately, enshrouding the (dead) victim in ice. 

6. Crumbling - User’s flesh turns to sand-like granules, falling away and leaving bare bones.  Eventually unless magically countered, the victim will be completely skeletonized, and of course will die as major organs are consumed. This effect will only start after a delay upon handling the item, allowing for some use before the user begins their disintegration.

7. Phasing - User begins to fade away into nothingness, though a merciful GM might instead translocate the victim somewhere awful.  As they fade, their weight and strength decrease (see Ring of Disappearance for details.)

8. Shrinking - User reduces in size gradually, eventually becoming smaller then the smallest insect. This is not fatal directly, but since the process continues indefinately, they will eventually reach a size where it is irrelevent if they are alive or dead, or they are eaten by a microbe.

9. Encorpulation - User begins to grow fatter and fatter, regardless of food consumption.  This process continues until either stopped magically, or the victim dies of complications of their tremendous size.

10. Spiderspawn - Victim has bulbous growths similar to bubonic plague, but once they reach a couple of inches in size, they burst releasing a poisonous spider.  This continues even after the victim's death.  Each eruption causes a minor injury and may subject the victim to a poisonous bite if the spider is disturbed.

11. Bone Spurs - Victim begins growing sharp bony spurs in random locations, usually starting near the contact with the item was made.  These will first appear as lumps and then eventually pierce the skin.  If not reversed, Death will eventually follow from blood loss and infection.  Those with the ability to regenerate may eventually resemble pincusions.

12. Possession - Victim has a beacon placed on them in the underworld.  They will receive constant attempts at possession, and these attempts are at much higher rates of success then normal.

***From here on I added new ideas***

13-Midas Touch

Everything the person touches turns to gold. At first a boon-copper and silver coins, buttons, sword hilts and the like turning to gold means more money, this rapidly becomes a bane, as food becomes inedible and drink becomes undrinkable. Unless countered with magic, the affected person will soon die of thirst, surrounded by gold.

14-Touch of Decay

The person's touch rots. Human skin decays in seconds, food goes bad, leather and metal rusts and corrodes over time. The affected person's weapons may end up as rusted pieces of metal and the person wil find it hard to feed themselves as the food he or she touches rots between being touched and reaching the mouth.


Starting at the point of contact with the item and moving in, the person ages, becomeing a doddering old person within days with all the problems of old age. Rather then killing them directly the effect then stops,leaving them without very long to live.

16-Aura of Evil

A bit of the evil aura on the item lingers. Civilians will be scared of the person, law enforcement will be more likely to stop and question him or her, and dark villians may think he or she is one of them.

17-Attract Trouble

The toucher becomes a magnet for trouble, from wolves and bears in wild areas to guards in dungeons to theives or unpleasent city guards in towns. And customs people will allways search the toucher at any international border.


First, the toucher's fingers and then the rest of their body becomes immaterial, which lasts until the toucher tries to pass through a wall-when the toucher becomes promptly solid with fatal and very messy results.


Starting at the point of touch and moving on, the toucher slowly changes into the villian from which the object was taken. The very last thing to change is the brain, which leaves the PCs with a horrible choice-kill their fellow PC quickly or end up fighting the villian all over again.


The toucher has nightmares that prevent them getting much sleep. Should he/she take sleeping pills or try using a sleep spell then he or she will end up in a fight in a dream, losing this fight will kill the toucher in the real world.

21-Red Handed

The toucher's hands go the colour of blood, meaning that gloves are needed to avoid misunderstandings.

22-Urge to Steal

The toucher has an urge to steal and it is a constant hassle to keep it under control, as the majority of times it would be a very bad thing to steal and maybe attract trouble from law enforcement/vigilantes.

23-I See Dead People

The toucher can see and hear ghosts, which whilst they can't hurt him or her, can and do constantly pester him or her for favours.

24-Random Magic

Spells that are meant to harm people that the toucher casts (fireballs, lightning bolts and the like) have a 50% chance of either hitting a fellow PC or an innocent NPC. Healing spells are unaffected.


Every full moon the toucher turns into either the classic wolf or some other creature (see the 30 Lycanthorpes submission for details.) The PC depending on the GM can be in control of his/her were form or just an animal.

26-Long fingers

The fingers of the toucher grow an inch per hour and become many jointed. Not a problem at first until they get ridiculously long.


The toucher is plauged by insect swams, rats, vultures, ect. Whilst not outright attacking the toucher or the PCs they are a pain in the neck and might spread disease.

28-Theme Music

An effect for one of the less serious games only. The toucher is bothered by loud theme music, which ruins ambushes, makes sleeping hard, and causes people to stare at him/her and the rest of the PCs. Bouncers will bar or at least try to bar the affected PC from clubs that play music.

29-Can I buy your soul please?

The PC is approched by a powerful demonic being trying to get him to sell his soul. If attacked, depending on the GM it will either fight back (and be a major menace, plus any PCs it kills ends up in Hell) or vanish in a puff of smelly brimstone. It can offer one big piece of help, but only in exchange for the PC's soul when the PC dies.

30-No fingers left

The PC's fingers drop off magically, leaving the PC with no fingers and unable to do anything that fingers are needed for, (holding weapons, scratching itches ect) but otherwise unharmed.

Additional Ideas (1)

31-Chattering Teeth

The effect is not instantaneous, rather a gradual event that reaches it's summit at the end of the week. Voices begin to haunt the PC, they often hear questions about life and the general purpose of existance. The PC's teeth are gradually gaining sentience, and are going quite mad. With the inability to do anything but grind up food, every single tooth incessantly voices out it's despair. Magic can solve this, as can pulling out all of your teeth.

32-Not Of My Own

Involuntarily, the PC will speak the deepest darkest secret of another character in the room at random intervals. These are often horrible secrets that will distress the character. Though excellent for PCs who enjoy blackmail, other people may wish to silence him before he speaks out more.

33-Open Wide

This curse will not show until the PC is slashed or wounded. During battle or an accident when cut formed instead of a wound a mouth will appear. This mouth will belch out blood before it begins to mimic every action the original mouth does. Or it could also do as the curse in 32.

34-Dream Crusher

From then on, the PC will never have another dream or nightmare when he sleeps. Instead his subconcious forces visions from the dreams he would be having during his awakened state, the PC will have a difficult time discerning what is real, and what is fake.

2010-03-08 04:22 PM » Link: [5997#73480|text]
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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

March 4, 2010, 15:11
Why are half of these "dies horribly"? I'd prefer 29 to be "suffers a lot and then a lot more, and causes misery around him" and "unsettling and outright creepy"
March 4, 2010, 19:23
For those early on, these were intended as replacements for generic touch and die effects. Die horribly was the original intent. These were not for simple items or objects, but The One Ring level of power. They were essentially variations on a death spell.

March 5, 2010, 4:53
I still think this has more potential than "you die, lol" - all those effects could be summed up in one sentence under one number: "After touching it, you die horribly: either spiders spawn from your body, rocky growths spread through your flesh like cancer, ..."

I can think of a dozen more disturbing effects off the top of my head.
"Every midnight, the curse picks someone within a mile. You are transformed into that person's sexual fantasy."
"Your shadow comes alive, can move independently, and whispers you evil."

March 5, 2010, 19:08
Those are nice, and would fit well in the Curse collections.
Voted malisonxpert
March 4, 2010, 15:29
These are some badass effects. The theme music one is by far my favorite.
Voted tinypoisonousfish
March 4, 2010, 18:08
:) Very nice. I like the doppelganger effect.
Voted Redgre
March 4, 2010, 19:23
"Mum, Dad, it's evil, don't touch it!" - Last line of 'Time Bandits' (I think) My favorites are 11, 16, 23, & 29. Number 13, could have a variation like everything you touch turns to rock salt and you suddenly react to salt like a slug. I like this submission even though many of these curses are last minute flavors for someone's demise. This sort of flavor can be used most effectively to make the PCs fear something.
Voted VIM40
March 8, 2010, 15:42
Very cool, I would love to use some of these for my more horror oriented games. Have you ever tried any of these ideas on a poor player? I'd usually save an artifact of such power for the end, or use them as a warning for other PCs who watch their unexpecting friend suffer a horrible fate.
Michael Jotne Slayer
March 12, 2010, 9:27
"Bad effects" is a misdleading headline for this, mild headache after a night downtown is a bad effect. These are mostly "Kill you in a horrible way" versions of the same thing. I would re-name the sub to more fit the particular branch of effects from touching evil artifacts that you have chosen for this submission.

Voted Nobody
March 17, 2010, 21:47
I have to agree with echo mirage. These curses aren't very fun, and in my opinion, don't add much flavor, since many of them only ever happen once.

What I would like to see is a potentially fatal progression that can be stopped by releasing or letting go of the item. I understand that these are artifacts of great power, but even still, instant death is a bit harsh. I have enough ways to kill my players without having to resort to this kind of barbarism.

What this SHOULD be, is some sort of not-so-instant-death way of convincing players that they don't want to use that artifact anymore. Not to convince them never to touch anything ever again.

Wracking pain, Temporary blindness, Temporary insanity, glue secretion (they stick to everything), Morphing into a plant (can be uncursed). These are all interesting ways of saying, sure, you can pick it up, but you can't channel it's power without regretting it.

Alternatively, I could see this becoming a nice magical diseases and curses thread.Things that have to be cured or they result in death.

If you want ways to convince players not to run around in traffic, there are more graceful ways to do it.
March 17, 2010, 21:49
I wanted to add that some of these are really great. The theme music one is brilliant.
Voted ameli_h
March 20, 2010, 8:25
This is useful! Hahaha.... I´m gonna use some of these in my "wizards keep" (no enemies or monsters, just traps...) #13 could be even more funnier if everything/coins he/she touches turns to copper, and especially if the effect doesn't start immediately. Just think what problems it could cause when the PC goes to town to by some new fancy sword he/she has been saving gold for and when he/she open the pouch and take some goldcoins and they turn into copper... Haha! Lovely
Voted manfred
March 21, 2010, 11:02
Only voted
Voted Kassil
March 21, 2010, 20:16
If about 1/3 of a sub came directly from someone else, shouldn't they be listed as a direct contributor, not just given a credit at the top?
Cheka Man
March 22, 2010, 1:01
How do I do that?



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