Again, multiple influences have congealed in my brain to inspire a blog post! Original content that isn't about Chanbara or Mentzer Basic or my latest game session. What a rarity!
Anyway, I've been reading some pseudo-science crap because it's interesting (but not believable), and reading about sprites and their curses, and not getting to do much for Halloween this year, and then I thought, curses are in the name of my blog. Why don't I blog more often about them? In fact, I don't think I've ever made a post dedicated to curses before. So this is the first of what may (or may not) become a series on interesting curses to inflict on your players.
Since I've been reading pseudo-science stuff, these two are of course based on those wacky, almost make sense ideas.
Curse of Spontaneous Combustion
The target of this curse has a percentage chance of bursting into flames each time they enter combat equal to the character's level (or hit dice, whichever is greater). Upon bursting into flames, the PC must Save vs. Spells or die instantly. If the save is made, the character burns for a number of rounds equal to the difference between the number rolled and the number needed (minimum one), suffering 1d6 fire damage per round, but being treated as an efreeti in its "pillar of fire" form while burning.
[Behind the scenes, I like this because the curse scales with level, becoming more likely to happen as you go up in levels, but less likely to kill you outright, and having some potential benefit, but with a risk of death still involved. Low level characters might feel the chances of it happening are low enough not to feel screwed over. High level characters might feel ballsy enough NOT to remove the curse, due to the potential for cool bonus fire damage, but at risk of draining more party resources to keep the PC alive. And really, the game could use more spontaneous combustion.]
Curse of Xavitna
The target of this curse suffers a loss of 1d6 points of Charisma any time they are the recipient of a cure disease spell, or similar magical effects, to a minimum of Charisma 3. As Charisma drops, the target becomes more withdrawn and easily annoyed, speaks in short, choppy bursts or rarely at all, does not react to others speaking to him or her, or shows other physical or verbal tics. The Charisma loss remains until the curse is removed, at which time lost Charisma returns at a rate of 1 point per day.
[Behind the scenes, your game may be different, but disease doesn't come into play often in games I've run or played in in the past. So, this curse is likely to be ignored as it's not such a common situation in which one gets diseased, unless you're commonly fighting rats and mummies, or the DM likes to keep things "real." And Cha is most players' favored dump stat, and draining it serves as a decent enough approximation of autism.]