July 9th, 2014

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

                Forget the fire and lightning, and leave your summoned creatures and undead minions at home. Today is all about one of the subtler and (in some ways) more iconic types of magic: the curse. Generally when we think of curses, we think of petty, spiteful, and generally all-around nasty people inflicting magical malaise upon anyone that upsets them. Today’s spells work pretty well in that regard, as do most curses. Of course, curses can also serve as a non-lethal way to disable foes for spellcasters who are a bit squeamish about killing, and can sometimes even teach the cursed one a lesson or two, leaving them as a better person. Whatever your intention, the following curses may be of interest to you.


School necromancy [curse]; Level antipaladin 2, cleric/oracle 2, druid 2, witch 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Range touch
Target creature touched
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw none or Fortitude negates, see text; Spell Resistance yes

                You sap energy from the target’s immune system, making it difficult for him to fight off diseases. For the spell’s duration, he suffers a -4 penalty on saving throws made to resist diseases. If the target is already suffering from one or more diseases when this spell is cast, this penalty also applies to his next saving throw to resist that disease, even if it is after the spell’s duration ends.

                If the target is immune to diseases because of a class feature, special ability, spell, or magic item, he does not suffer this penalty, but loses his immunity to diseases for the spell’s duration, instead. Such characters are allowed a Fortitude save to negate the effect. If the target becomes diseased during the spell’s duration, he continues to suffer from the disease even after the spell’s effect ends and his immunity is regained, until the disease is cured. Creatures that are naturally immune to diseases due to their race or creature type are completely unaffected by this spell.


School necromancy [curse, emotion, fear, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 4, bard 4, cleric/oracle 7, inquisitor 4, witch 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one creature
Duration 1 day/level (D)
Saving Throw Will negates and Will partial, see text; Spell Resistance yes

                You fill the back of the target’s mind with doubts, worries, and fears, eroding his confidence and transforming him into a coward. For the spell’s duration, the subject suffers a -4 penalty on saving throws made to resist fear effects, as well as on any other saving throws made to resist the shaken, frightened, or panicked conditions. If the target is normally immune to fear effects, he does not suffer this penalty, but instead loses that immunity for the spell’s duration.

                Additionally, for the spell’s duration, any time the target is reduced to 50% or less of his maximum hit points, he must succeed on a Will save (the -4 penalty applies) or become frightened for 1d6 rounds. Whether he succeeds on this saving throw or not, the target is shaken any time that he is reduced to 50% or less of his maximum hit points while under the effects of this spell.


School necromancy [curse]; Level antipaladin 1, cleric/oracle 1, inquisitor 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one living creature
Duration 2 rounds/level (D)
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; Spell Resistance yes

                You instill in the subject an unbearable and overwhelming hunger. The subject immediately begins to starve, as though he had gone three days without consuming food. Further, each round, the subject must succeed on a Constitution check (DC 10 +1 per previous check) or suffer 1d6 points of nonlethal damage, as though an entire day had passed without consuming food. As with the normal rules for starvation, characters who suffer nonlethal damage in this way are fatigued, characters that suffer an amount of nonlethal damage equal to their current hit points begin to suffer lethal damage instead, and damage inflicted in this way cannot be healed by any means until the target consumes food.

                If sufficient food to sustain the target for an entire day is available, the target can consume it as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. If he does, he can ignore the effects of this spell for three rounds, after which he must begin making Constitution checks again (the DC is reset to 10 in this case). Additionally, once the target has consumed food in this fashion, damage inflicted by this spell can be healed magically. The ability to be healed in this way is lost as soon as the subject suffers more damage from the spell, however.