Can you purposefully make cursed items?


Rules Questions

Sczarni

If you have the requisite skills to make items, is there any RAW that says you can intentionally "flub" the roll and make a cursed item? Or if you substitute a different skill (if able to use various skills), can you sub in one that you have only 1 rank (or none?) to make the roll with?


The rules don't say how to do it on purpose because they assume the PC's will make something useful, and the GM can just curse anything without have to worry about rolling.

Basically there are no rules for how to do it so you have to get your GM's permission.

Out of curiosity: Why would you want to make a cursed item? It would still cost money.

Scarab Sages

Beguiling Gift, Necklace of Strangulation, and Decompose Corpse make for a pretty effective and subtle murder. Presumably you could do the inverse of a Steal maneuver to put the necklace on someone mundanely.

To the OP: DM's digression, it isn't covered by the rules. They just theoretically exist, no mention on how to create them. I would imagine it to be even harder than creating a normal magic item (an extra pre-req or two) because getting something to fail in a specific way is hard.


Use the appropriate Craft skill (which you should have few or no ranks in) rather than Spellcraft, willingly fail the save against crafter's curse, don't know or prepare the spell prerequisites, get a bestow curseif necessary, and you should fail the check by 5-10 or more easily.


Slipping a bag of Devouring over an enemy's head is pretty fun.

Ditto scattering breadcrumbs, then striking the Chime of Hunger. (After putting in earplugs, of course)

If you can overcome the -1 to hit and damage, having a sword that will always appear in your hands when you begin to fight can be pretty helpful.

If you fight alone, the Sword of Berserking isn't even a curse. "How could this happen, didn't you search him for weapons?" "Of course we did, we took his sword. Then, in the duke's presence the sword reappeared, and the murderer fought like a man possessed."

Edit: Almost forgot: have the rouge sneak into the evil wizard's lair and replace his scrying ball with a Hypnosis Ball. Could be fun.


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Actually, to make a specific cursed item, I'd probably make the player need to match the DC, if not exceed it by an amount. Of course, you could fail, but it's a crap shoot what you'll get.


To make a cursed item I would have just use the normal crafting rules. <--That does not mean use the original item's craft DC.

When you make a cursed(accidental) one it does not let the curse be chosen.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Making a cursed item on purpose ought to be possible, even if the rules don't anticipate one's wanting to do that. I agree, it could be a good assassination tool. Neclace of strangulation sent as a gift to some prominent noble... if it looks nice enough, the fool might just try it on.

+1 Cool idea.


GMs's discretion. I wouldn't allow it because if you are aware you've created a cursed item their effects are too powerful, especially since they don't have a save to avoid them.

I'm sorry, but they're simply not balanced around being intentionally created. If you can convince/trick someone into putting a necklace of strangulation on they're almost guaranteed to die without any further save. Power like that is just too much in my opinion.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A person who knows how to bake a cake likely also has a fair idea on how they could make said cake overly gooey, hard as a rock, or just taste awful if they wanted to.

I view the ability to deliberately craft cursed magical items in a similar fashion.

It's illogical that someone could learn how to make something without first knowing what NOT to do.


Ravingdork wrote:

A person who knows how to bake a cake likely also has a fair idea on how they could make said cake overly gooey, hard as a rock, or just taste awful if they wanted to.

I view the ability to deliberately craft cursed magical items in a similar fashion.

It's illogical that someone could learn how to make something without first knowing what NOT to do.

Perhaps. But I give a rats ass for logic. Balance is far more important to me.


Most cursed items aren't OP. Only the dust of strangulation springs to mind as grossly OP. Honestly that seems more like a need to house rule the dust to me.


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Cursed items aren't mistakes or errors. They're weapons. I would see no problem whatsoever with someone intentionally creating a 'cursed' item, though in this case 'cursed' is the wrong word. I presume that most 'cursed' items are intentionally crafted.


Zhayne wrote:
Cursed items aren't mistakes or errors. They're weapons. I would see no problem whatsoever with someone intentionally creating a 'cursed' item, though in this case 'cursed' is the wrong word. I presume that most 'cursed' items are intentionally crafted.

In Baldur's Gate, the gauntlets of fumbling were often made by drow to serve as backhanded "gifts" for allies that had run through their usefulness. Since they appeared to be gloves of weapon specialization, the unwary recipient would don them and be subsequently captured as they were nigh unable to defend themselves (as the gloves gave something like a -10 penalty to THAC0, -4 Dex, etc).


I am also going to throw out there that Beguiling Gift is a spell...

Oh and if you play as a Malefactor from TPK games you can use cursed items without suffering penalties...


If you make it cursed intentionally then it is not really cursed in the traditional sense. Just make an item that does X and price it accordingly.


wraithstrike wrote:
If you make it cursed intentionally then it is not really cursed in the traditional sense. Just make an item that does X and price it accordingly.

Perhaps price it at 1/2 the value of an equivalent bonus? So like if it gives you a -2 to Strength, it costs 2,000 gp (rather than 4,000 gp for a +2 Str)? Eh, still feels a bit high. Hmmm.


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Bestow curse should probably be added to the prerequisites of all intentionally cursed items.


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Well, if you are intentionally making it, it is probably going to serve some insidious purpose. I wouldn't change the price or DC, but I like the idea of bestow curse being a prerequisite.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Well, if you are intentionally making it, it is probably going to serve some insidious purpose. I wouldn't change the price or DC, but I like the idea of bestow curse being a prerequisite.

Well, the biggest reason I would change the price is because cursed items just aren't worth as much. It's harder to use them. Having a chance to give an enemy some penalties for a short time isn't as beneficial as having an item that makes you stronger pretty much forever.


For intentionally cursed items I'd just use the existing rules for making magic items. Example if you wanted to make Armour that gives a -4 to Strength it'd be Bonus(Penalty in this case) squared x 1,000 gp or 16,000.

If you wanted to constantly replicate a spell effect (say Hideous Laughter) you'd use the rules for continuous spell effect items: Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp

As far as making Bestow Curse a requirement I don't think it's necessary, though you could have an Amulet of Curse which applies the Curse to whoever wears it.

Wouldn't make it cheaper either. If you're intentionally investing the time and money into creating a cursed item you should be confident you're actually going to use it.


What about non-specific curses? Like making ring that grows your hair 1 inch every hour, than use it in my super-elite barber shop.


That would require Bestow Curse as it allows you to make stuff up as long as it's not worse than what's listed.

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I'd be very careful about allowing it. Dust of sneezing and choking is a 5d4 rounds no save AoE stun, that also does 3d6 Con damage if you fail your save. If you allow creation at the cost of the "non-cursed" version your crafter is making uses of this for 900 gp a pop.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ryric wrote:
I'd be very careful about allowing it. Dust of sneezing and choking is a 5d4 rounds no save AoE stun, that also does 3d6 Con damage if you fail your save. If you allow creation at the cost of the "non-cursed" version your crafter is making uses of this for 900 gp a pop.

As far as I can tell, that is the only cursed item that would cause balance issues for any game that allows the deliberate crafting of magic items.

Other items just don't offer enough benefit for their costs, or require the victim to be cursed to essentially be helpless, tricked, or magically compelled.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Let it be possible to intentionally create cursed items, but price the cursed items normally as though magic items with similar effects. That seems like the logical solution as cursed items are meant to be traps.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a couple posts. Edition war baiting isn't cool here.


Aw, my Futurama joke got swept up with the rest. XD


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I can see two errors one could make in attempting to craft a cursed item:

1) The item is underpowered so that it is ineffective rather than positively cursed, or

2) The features that hide the items cursed nature are not done right, so only an ordinary Spellcraft check is required to identify it as cursed.

On that basis, you would get the desired cursed item if you make the crafting check for the normal version of the item (unless the cursed item is deemed by the GM to be of greater utility than the standard item, in which case he might boost the DC a bit). Failure by a small margin would cause a type 2 error as described above, while failure by a larger margin would result in a type 1 error (i.e., a totally useless item that radiates magic for no particular reason).

Scarab Sages

When pricing do not forget cursed items appear to be something else. So not only do you have to cast the appropriate cursing ability, but then you have to cast additional anti-divination spells to mask it so that your -2 seem like it is actually a +2. Or a ring that forces people to tell the truth, should have a dwoemer that makes it appear that it protects the user from scrying spells. That is often where the real power of cursed items comes from.

I would make a player add that to the cost, otherwise you'll never get anyone to use the item except by force.

The Exchange

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To me the amusing notion is that somebody could deliberately set out to create a cursed item, and then unknowingly fail at the crafting DC.

Evil Vizier: Happy birthday, sire! Please accept this beautiful emerald brooch!
Clueless Ruler: Gosh, thanks!
(three years pass)
Evil Vizier: I don't understand! He should be my obedient slave by now! Stupid crafting rules... Oh, well, I'll just hire some adventurers to kill him and then double-cross them.


So...the real question is if your deliberately craft a cursed item...and fail by 5 or more...is the cursed item cursed? How does that work?


K177Y C47 wrote:
Oh and if you play as a Malefactor from TPK games you can use cursed items without suffering penalties...

I was going to mention the same thing. You don't have that immunity immediately, but still.


"Why are you letting the apprentice work on that belt?

"ermm...

"and whats with the 5 bottles of jaegermeister you let him drink on the job?


Absolutely.

Can you choose the curse?

Absolutely not.


Crafting a cursed item is easy. Getting one of the specific cursed items is not. The GM is perfectly in line for saying that you roll on the chart, which gives you a 10% chance at a specific cursed item. By contrast, there's a 15% chance that the item simply has a drawback, and some of those aren't even bad! For example, that includes a 5% chance of either growing or shrinking 6 inches in height one time, or a 1% chance of the item simply looking ridiculous, but functioning perfectly fine.

So, from a probability standpoint, it might be 900gp invested in that specific Dust of Coughing and Sneezing, but the statistical 9 that you failed to make into that specific cursed item cost you an additional 8100gp, and one of them just turned out to be glitter.


I simply would flat out not allow some to be crafted, since they're unquestionably overpowered.

If I recall correctly, one such item was dust of choking and sneezing or something.

I would allow them to craft something like a certain cursed item though, but it would just be a custom magic item using it's own rules to make sure it's fair. Sometimes it might be cheaper this way, other times not.


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I think my GM let us make helms of opposite alignment. That was the most peaceful game of Kingmaker I ever saw (all our enemies were essentially subdued via the party witch and then forced to wear the hats, which we had enough money to do an assembly line of)

The GM at one point said that forcing characters to change alignment against their will seemed evil, but we said if we ever became evil alignment, we'd just wear the hat.


E I wrote:
The GM at one point said that forcing characters to change alignment against their will seemed evil, but we said if we ever became evil alignment, we'd just wear the hat.

That's... Beautiful.

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