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Old 04-07-2021, 09:51 PM   #1
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Cursed objects

So, I'm thinking that my next adventure will be a fairly difficult labyrinth with a conventional and perhaps generous haul at the end -- if they can get there. The site will have a magic-heavy past, a redoubt of a powerful wizard or at least a powerful wizard as the late lieutenant of the head honcho, so I'm going to toss in some magical goodies. Not too much, but one or two bits of weapons or armor perhaps, maybe a useful item as well.

I'd also like to place a booby trap in there. I was thinking about a Broadsword of Clumsiness, with DX -2 and unremoveable, but boy is that a nasty thing to throw at a player. If I read it right, just picking it up to put in your stash would make it impossible to put down without a Remove Cursed Object spell, an IQ 17 spell. My party lives in the small town of Enkarr, where there's only one wizard with that high an IQ and he is incognito, selfish and secretive. It would take quite a journey to find a wizard who can do this. (In sum, my world is not much like Henry's!)

I could, of course, make it a bit of armor instead, which would give them a chance because the spell wouldn't kick in until it's worn. Or I could rule that the unremoveable aspect doesn't apply until wielded in battle (and hide the effects with Conceal). If you find a sword and discover that you can't analyze the magic, so you try it out anyway, that's really totally on you.

But I thought I'd ask whether anyone else has come up with lesser booby-trapped items that are fun. I like the stickiness of unremoveable items, but the penalty is a bit harsh for my taste. What else y'all got?

(Yes, I could just say that in my world, Remove Thrown would do the trick, but I really don't want to houserule it. I want imaginative booby prizes.)

Thanks. Lotsa good ideas on this forum. I really enjoy it.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:36 AM   #2
hcobb
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: Cursed objects

Staff of bling: 10 point powerstone and some other enchantment on the staff itself, which is made of $500 of silver. No need for any specific curse.

"Fnording wizard! He put everything he had into his staff!"
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:13 AM   #3
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Cursed objects

This treasure has been here too long for a staff to be dangerous. And I suppose it's easy to tell if a staff can be picked up. Even if you don't travel with Prootwaddles for precisely this task, a Summon Myrmidon spell would do it.

Somehow, it strikes me as crueller to use a Myrmidon than a Proot.

Powerstones in a staff are a great way to boost an NPC's mana without giving PCs too much power. I don't often do that, though, because powerstones should be rare for NPCs as well in my campaign.
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:47 AM   #4
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Cursed objects

I guess I came up with one fairly onerous magic item. A magic weapon which has a concealed sleep spell on it which is triggered only in combat. That would get a character in a pickle rather quickly.

Of course, it could be a different, not quite as onerous, spell.

Last edited by phiwum; 04-08-2021 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:23 AM   #5
Rolando
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Panama
Default Re: Cursed objects

What about a cursed sword, "Sword of the Daring", with a geas that make the owner/user to drop all armor and shields and never use the defend option.

Or a berserk axe

Noisy sandals/shoes/boots. These where supposed to be forest shoes or some such, and maybe give some bonus for forest or swamp movement, but they make noise, like walking over dry leaves and twigs (or swamp mud and slush) all the time, even over a palace floor.

Ring of the coward, is a ring of defense that help the wearer dodge better (bonus or extra penalty if using the defense option) but the wearer will try to drop any weapon (maybe with an IQ save). The ring was made to protect an adventurous daughter from herself.

These may be cursed as to not be able to be removed or just "flawed" and the characters can use them when needed, maybe using the flaws at an advantage if the circumstances work in their favor.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:24 AM   #6
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Cursed objects

My fix to keep dangerous staffs around:

ITL 18: "A dead wizardís staff eventually becomes safe to touch. You donít know when."
ITL 84: "Most ghosts are tied to a fairly limited place; some are tied to an object instead."
ITL 166: "especially in the world of a GM who believes that powerful wizards are often driven mad by their knowledge"

So you have the most precious possessions of a group of madmen that they then haunt forever. Should ghosts retain their Mana rating, or at least be able to cast from attached powerstones they will have a trickle of energy and a very long time to cast without the need for food or sleep.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:07 AM   #7
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Cursed objects

One of my favorites: a cursed ring that once put on can't be removed so long as the wearer is alive (or Remove Cursed Object is cast on them). In addition to conferring +2 MA, the ring has bad stuff hidden by Conceal spells, so it also makes the wearer unlucky--but only at the extremes! Rolls of 3 and 4 are read instead as 5 and +2 is added to rolls of 14 and up (so 14 becomes 16, and 16 becomes 18).
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:44 AM   #8
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Cursed objects

Good ideas. I've been thinking about a berserker weapon and I like that. It's only a disadvantage for low IQ fighters, of course, but make the weapon high ST and you'll probably find a dumb grunt wielding it.

I guess going with the axe is good. An axe is a good berserker weapon. Shame none of the PCs use axes though. Go with theme or maximum effect? I guess I feel wrong if I tailor the booby traps to the particular characters....

That ring, Shostak, isn't bad. It gives a real bonus and the drawback is hard to notice. The bonus probably outweighs the drawback, but the drawback is deadly in the right situation. Quite clever. And it kinda fits in RAW okay, as a limiting spell on a curse.

These are better than my sleep spell which is pretty damned mean, depending on when you discover it.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:18 PM   #9
Kieddicus
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Default Re: Cursed objects

You could make it so they can put down the sword, but if they do they loss 1 DX everyday until they pick it back up. That way they can physically set it down if they need to put they have to keep it with them, otherwise they loss all their DX.
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Old 04-08-2021, 03:21 PM   #10
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Cursed objects

So they're just stuck lugging an extra weapon with them wherever they go? That's a little light punishment for my tastes.
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