Monday, August 13, 2018

DIY 30 #10: Six Ways to Redeem Cursed Items

(I'm behind on my DIY 30 thing because I went on a short vacation, so I'm going to try to post a couple a day to catch up ...)

It's been my impression that cursed items--e.g. that sword -2 that your character picked up in the dungeon, and now won't part with barring a cleric's remove curse spell--were originally intended to be redeemed through quests, and to gain a magic bonus commensurate to the penalty of the curse (so that sword -2 would become a sword +2, if only you could figure out how to redeem it!)

I've introduced one item with a clear means of redeeming its curse into my game notes (the players haven't found it yet). I figured I'd share that means, and a few other ideas here, both for myself and for whoever wants to use them (and I intend to come up with more in the future ...):

1) wash the item in the waters of Lethe (the River of Forgetfulness), so that it forgets whatever evil caused it to be cursed, and then have it blessed by a cleric of a reasonable alignment along with a sacrifice of not less than 1000 gold per its magic bonus, i.e. a sword +2 would need a 2000 gp sacrifice

2) (for those of Evil alignment) the item has not yet been finally and completely corrupted. It must be used in the course of three murders (or other serious crimes, like betrayals, or human sacrifices) and then sealed in its new alignment by the "blessing" of an Evil cleric, naturally including a donation of 1000+ gold to the cult of Evil ...

3) the item must receive the Kiss of Peace from the Queen of Elves (or some other magical prince), who cursed the item to begin with. Perhaps it was a sword that stood bare between her and her would-be lover--the wielder--preventing consummation of their affair; or a magical cloak worn by a rival-in-love; regardless, the item will not now return to its former power until "forgiven" by her (or his) kiss

4) a weapon used for evil, armor that shielded a murderer, or an item that aided in some crime--the item must be formally broken and its original purpose renounced, esp. by breaking a sword-blade or spear-shaft. Then the item must be reconsecrated by a Good or Lawful or Clannish cleric with a bless spell and a sacrifice of 1000-6000 gold, and it gains a new and different function. Perhaps the broken sword becomes a virtual staff of healing, or the broken links of a murderer's mail become capable of turning undead and detecting evil

5) the curse is a test of humility, per faerie-story or Arthurian legend. Suffering it out with the item for a year and a day will prove the wielder's character, and the item will reveal itself in its full glory--a glory likely better than a mere reversal of its former penalty!

6) a demon or other spirit dwells within the item. This spirit can be exorcised by the correct cleric or magic-user for the right price, and so becomes a normal item +1 (whatever it may be), OR if the spirit is properly appeased on a regular basis, it may grant some extra power beyond a mere bonus, e.g. a fire spirit may allow the sword's blade to be sheathed in flame, causing 1-6 extra damage per a flaming sword, but only if appeased with burnt offerings of 500 gold per month (and otherwise, the sword functions as a sword -1 which automatically comes to hand in melee, as cursed swords do ...). Even better variations on powers and their costs should be easy to develop per the item and its situation ...

No comments:

Post a Comment