Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Major curses


When the curse is cast, this is how the cursed can know. The signs are cryptic, but the feeling of wrongness cannot be ignored.

Shadowed Whispers by Maik Beiersdorf

  1. Suddenly there are giant moths perched all around. Now that you notice them, you realize they were always there, blending into your surroundings somehow and waiting.
  2. The stranger's teeth are wrong. Almost like a human's, pale and square. But not quite the color of something living, and too square, more like chisel blades.
  3. Just as your companion rounds the corner and leaves your sight, you realize they stand before you. You watched them leave.
  4. At the edge of your light, you see a severed head with a malicious grin. As you look closer, it morphs into a discarded cloak.
  5. Everyone's eyes, noses, mouths are shifting about their faces, sliding around one another in a horrible flow.
  6. As you eat, something tiny feels too hard between your teeth, tastes metallic and glassy. You try to spit it out, but it slides down your throat with the next bite.
  7. Nearby clatter followed by a loud, low humming that nobody else seems to notice.
  8. When nobody is speaking, your ears pick up a voice speaking just too softly to understand. Listening for a moment, you recognize it as your voice just before it goes quiet.
  9. Cutting pain slides up through your gut and deep in your chest, stopping at your throat. It stings there for a moment before fading into a persistent tingling, then disappears.
  10. Something drips down your forehead and face. It feels thick and warm, and looks dark. When you touch it your hand comes away dry.
  11. Only you feel the ground lurch slightly beneath your feet, breaking apart to reveal a glimpse of a yawning abyss below.
  12. Suddenly you remember that you dreamed all this, the entire day exactly as it has happened so far. The dream ended with hands pulling you into darkness and cutting you open.
  13. A faint clicking noise, nearby and almost regular. Craning your ears you hear it coming from inside your chest, every time you move.
  14. A massive shadow passed through the night sky, covering a swatch of stars. It didn't make a sound, but somehow you know it was close by.
  15. When you reach into your pack, another hand grazes yours. Looking through your bag you find nothing out of place, and no holes.
  16. Something crawls along your teeth as you speak.
  17. Passing through town, you realize that everyone is staring directly at you. You feel something watching from above, and when you look back down all appears normal.
  18. Your shadow shows a reflection like a mirror. In it you can see a stranger, moving carefully.
  19. A shrieking, wailing cry from very close, so frenzied and wild that it cannot be discerned from insane laughter. Nobody else heard it.
  20. The sky is pitch black, not a cloud nor the sun visible for a moment.

Rotten Horse by Julian Bauer


The effect is not apparent at first, but will show itself in time
  1. Occasionally, the cursed wakes up alone in the middle of the night, to see an unnaturally tall and pale woman standing over them with a white lily in her hands. If they touch the flower, she will attack and devour them.
  2. Those who hate the cursed will see them in dreams, and always know where they are.
  3. The skin and flesh of the cursed tightens across their body, creaking with every movement and ready to tear open at the slightest puncture.
  4. Sunlight stings the skin of the cursed, which feels dry and ready to burst into flame with any spark.
  5. Waxen worms spill from the mouth of the cursed whenever they try to speak.
  6. Burdens feel unbearable, as the limbs of the cursed feel weakened and heavy.
  7. Sickly crows gather and follow, looking tense and ready to frenzy at a moment's notice.
  8. Food and drink taste like thick blood. Soft silks and velvets feel like barbed thorns. The gentle caress of another is only grit and scraping bristles.
  9. Hounds will not look away from the cursed, and often follow, growling and ready to pounce.
  10. An itching builds up deep beneath the skin of the cursed, driving them to scratch deep into their body. Any injury only feels like a brief alleviation.
  11. The bones of the cursed clatter and crackle with an abhorrent noise regardless of how carefully they move.
  12. The stomach of the cursed is encompassed by crushing hunger, and will never feel full.
  13. Strangers will always think they recognize the cursed as a troublemaker or wanted criminal.
  14. No animal will carry the cursed, and they will sink like a stone in water.
  15. Trapped in a monstrous form that polite society will refuse to accept.
  16. Any foe struck down by the cursed will rise again to seek vengeance.
  17. The stars watch intently at night, making it impossible to rest normally.
  18. All tools and arms that are taken up by the cursed will eagerly crumble and shatter in their hands.
  19. Trapped in a beastly form which is unable speak or write.
  20. Whenever the cursed draws near, unliving flesh will crawl away from them.

Army of my sins by PaweĊ‚ Latkowski


There may be only one way to become free of this affliction.
  1. Beseech the one who swore the curse, to lift it from you. If they die, this becomes impossible.
  2. Swallow a handful of silver dust. Can be mixed into a drink, but may poison you either way.
  3. Entreat the aid of a priest or god. If faith is unsure, the curse will remain and its swearer will know of the effort.
  4. Allow a ghost to possess your body. This will release a curse, but the spirit will have its way.
  5. Cleanse the curse with suffering, by self-flagellating and fasting until the curse is lifted.
  6. Give away half of your wealth to the poor, or your most valued possession if you are yourself poor.

Woodland Ghost by David Romero


  1. These curses and omens are quite ominous!

  2. This is a very solid entry, and it's particularly enhanced by both the omens and the releases.

    I think it would also work great in conjunction with Geas. The 5e version does 3d10 of damage per day if you aren't following the orders of the geas… which is horrifying at low level, but for high level characters is more of an annoyance than a true curse. These... work well at any level.