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Old 02-27-2024, 01:16 AM   #11
Inky
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: UK
Default Re: Divine Curses

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
2, Heartless: Removes the victim's heart without killing them. This has the beneficial side effect of removing the damage multiplier from strikes to the vitals, but removes the victim's ability to feel love. Additionally any attack on their heart will damage them as if it was an attack to the vitals, no matter how far away they are and any spell cast upon the heart will affect them at any range.
This is heavily dependent on the whereabouts of the heart. If somebody else who doesn't wish them well has got it, they have Low Empathy or whatever, No Vitals, and Duty (Involuntary), and rolled in with the Duty as a special effect the additional task of making sure the person who has the heart doesn't get it stolen from them - unless it's by them.

If the character has the heart, but cannot readily put it back (if they can, it's not really a curse), they have Low Empathy or whatever, No Vitals, and something representing needing the heart not to be damaged.
It seems like, logically, the latter can't actually have a value of less than [-5] - enough to cancel out No Vitals. If they keep it on their person and keep it packed up well enough to be no easier to damage than if it was inside their chest, then it's effectively the same as if they didn't have that but also didn't have No Vitals. Maybe a tiny bit easier to damage since there's the possibility of stealing it, but then somebody who could get close enough to do that could probably get close enough to stab them. And since they can always do at least that well, [-5] is the maximum the disadvantage for needing the heart not to be damaged can be worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
5. Bullet Magnet: Any bullet that misses its intended target will hit the Bullet Magnet.
To make this more playable, it might be useful to make it only one bullet per combat, or cap how many. Otherwise, if a machine gun is fired in their vicinity, they're pretty much guaranteed dead.

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
6. Rapunzel's Gift: The Rapunzel's hair grows to up to 30 feet long, with unnatural speed and has DR 12 as long as it is attached to her head.
One way of doing this might be to make it work like a lesser version of Bad Back, actually (say [-10]) - whenever they roll 17 or 18 on an attack or defense roll in melee combat, or on a roll for an “athletic” skill such as Acrobatics, make a DX roll as well, or perhaps a roll against whatever skill they used to do up their hair, on a failure their hair comes loose and they are at -3 to DX until they have a chance to get it rolled up again - heck, if you wanted to be silly, you might just make the entire 2-hex area around them Bad Footing, 30 feet is a lot of hair.
They also have the effect of a few pounds of extra Encumbrance.
As Pursuivant said, they also have Distinctive Feature.
However, all of that has a sizeable Mitigator in that they can cut off the hair. Maybe -55%, if it grows to full length or at least awkward length in a day, since it's a 'requires special methods' thing owing to the DR.
They also have a rather unusual piece of Signature Gear that it's not obvious how to price, and, as Pursuivant said, possibly also a little bit of Independent Income. It seems like, the whole thing might well break even, or at least only [-5].
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Last edited by Inky; 02-27-2024 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 02-27-2024, 09:02 AM   #12
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Divine Curses

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Most of the curses I remember seem to have been the type of story that C.S. Lewis used to define a "myth": a sort of freeze-frame story whose effect comes from the idea rather than the narrative. For instance Sisyphus doesn't do any thing but push a boulder forever. There are no actual stories of him interacting with anyone that I know of.
Sisyphus has a whole backstory that sometimes ties into other stories (Wikipedia notes that at least one version has him as the true father of Odysseus) and even has one of those "Death is imprisoned and nobody can die, and boy does it suck" stories related to him (he's supposed to be chained to a rock in the underworld, but he tricks his executioner - Thanatos in some versions, Hades in others - and winds up chaining him up instead, escaping that punishment), but once he was stuck pushing the boulder, that was it - that's all he did for the rest of eternity, because that was his punishment.

A narratively-nasty (one of the worst I've come across) Divine Curse that would probably ultimately be beneficial in a campaign (unless using the stress and derangement rules from Horror) would be Exvulnerum, from the webcomic of the same name. During the day, the one cursed by it - known as the King of Pain - is largely normal, but has an impressive healing factor and cannot die. Between sunset and sunrise, however, they suffer an amplified version (depending on distance) of the pain of every living thing within a certain radius (I don't think it was ever stated, but seems to cover several city blocks at a minimum), and the curse forces them to stay awake for every second of it. The most insidious bit is that it's actually really easy to get rid of - you simply need to touch the one person who means the most to you (and the curse - and its invisible-to-everyone-else guardian, Dzuna* - makes certain you know exactly who that is) after suffering through at least one night with the curse, and you'll be free. Because they have it now. So the only way to get rid of the curse is to inflict not just on somebody else, but on the single person in all the world who means the most to you.

Not really something that would work for a campaign, I think, but something like that could make for an interesting superhero. They won't be able to function at night, however, and you'd want to give them Less Sleep or Doesn't Sleep if you can, as otherwise they're either working rather sleep deprived or you can only get around 4 hours out of them a day (12 hours of torturous pain, 8 hours of sleep, 4 hours active).

*If you fail to entertain her, she's basically a curse herself - she can alter your perceptions to make you see and experience whatever she wants you to. And getting rid of the curse doesn't necessarily get rid of her, as you can continue to perceive (and be mislead by) her.
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