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Old 12-14-2022, 02:47 PM   #1
Shostak
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Talent/Spell of the Week: Curse

This incredibly powerful IQ 13 Thrown spell changes each of the subjectís rolls by 1 for each 2 ST powering the spell. The cursed character adds to all rolls they make for which they want a low result, and rolls for which a high result would be desirable are subtracted from. For example, a 2-ST Curse would add 1 to a to-hit roll and subtract 1 from a damage roll. Curses are permanent unless cancelled by Remove Thrown Spell.

Curse is ideal for taking a boss adversary or overconfident PC down a notch or two. But, unless a wizard who wants to use Curse enjoys the benefits of a high DX, they must get close to their target if they want good chances for a successful casting. A cunning sorcerer might try to obtain an audience or other social engagement with their intended victim and cast Curse surreptitiously from proximity. A wizard with IQ 15 or more can cast this spell silently by making a one-handed gesture, but it might not be unreasonable to assume that the gestures for Curse are well-known, even by those who have not studied the magical arts. It would take an IQ of 18 to be able to cast it completely silently. Curses are especially effective against figures using lower-damage weapons against armored opponents.

Despite Curseís ability to influence all of a victimís rolls, I donít see this spell chosen very often for PCs. And, althoughI have frequently given it to NPCs in my games, they have not often used it against the PCs. Perhaps its due to those range penalties; if a target is close enough to be Cursed, its close enough to be Frozen.

Conversation Starters
  • Is Curse most often used as a tactical spell or enchantment in your games?
  • How might Curse be combined with other spells to make it more effective?
  • Do the societies in your corners of Cidri accept Curse, or is it taboo?
  • How does Curse interact with critical successes and failures?
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Old 12-14-2022, 03:55 PM   #2
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Curse

ITL, p. 162 says that Charms are the reverse of curses. Have you used any of these? (Note also Charm at ITL, p. 150).
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Old 12-14-2022, 08:30 PM   #3
Bill_in_IN
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Curse

I have never seen Curse Spell used in any tactical way or during general game play. It has only been on items that PCs pick up.

It's interesting how you point out some ways in which it may be used in game play. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 12-14-2022, 11:34 PM   #4
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boston area
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Curse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
  • Is Curse most often used as a tactical spell or enchantment in your games?
  • How might Curse be combined with other spells to make it more effective?
  • Do the societies in your corners of Cidri accept Curse, or is it taboo?
  • How does Curse interact with critical successes and failures?
Curse is useful as a matter of vengeance without confrontation -- if, as you note, you can cast it surreptitiously. I don't think it's necessarily fun. A player eventually notices his rolls are going more poorly than they should and they have to hunt down someone with Remove Thrown, which isn't all that common in my world.

But I wouldn't be above using it if a PC got under the wrong mage's skin.
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Old 12-14-2022, 11:58 PM   #5
timm meyers
 
Join Date: May 2020
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Curse

Curse is a roleplay/world effect spell and only the desperate or dying would choose to use it in tactical combat.
It takes a truly mean or vindictive personality to even consider such a vile spell. The effects are long term and akin to casting a spell of eczema or IBS on a person. (Both of those spells are said to exist in the "Crone's Tome of Hateful Desires" written by the widows of wrath coven in the 2nd age.)

As for effects on critical success and failures, I say YES! of course. The only true joy experienced in the black hearts of curse casters is knowing that their victim will never roll double damage again and suffer from more frequent weapon fumbles.

I believe in the kingdom of Pherrion their code of laws dictates a curse instead of prison as punishment for stealing sheep. After 1 year the convicted wool rustler can petition the state for a Remove Thrown Spell to be cast on them.
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Old 12-15-2022, 01:35 AM   #6
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Curse

Never seen it used, and never expect to in tactical combat.

Certainly could be a useful plot device or story hook though. Remember that bar fight last night? Well your leader now has a 2 point Curse, and the only wizard in town who can remove it wants a little favor done first...

By all means it should count towards critical failures. What's so interesting here is that, because it adds to the roll result instead of subtracting from DX, it actually increases the chances of a 17 or 18. Makes sense in this case too -- it should be more likely to drop or break things while under a curse. And rolling triple damage becomes impossible with a 1 point curse, while a 2 pointer makes double damage unobtainable. In any one fight it may not matter, but if not corrected it will have a big impact over time.

Modifying rolls rather than attributes is a game design element TFT seems to avoid anywhere else, and that's rather a shame. There's lots of other ways the rules could take advantage of that, but they don't.
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