What is the most ridiculous useful yet cursed item you have given your players?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


So one of my guilty pleasures as a GM is to give out powerful yet cursed items. Things that give a big negative to being ridiculous however it’s usefulness has the players keep it around.

My current group was given a meeSeeks box artifact that summons a bound contract devil. Each time it is activated it causes one point of Con damage to make the temporary link for the devil. There is will do what a Contractor Devil is able to do within its limits (other than contract wish, see below) it will mostly use its SLA to help with trivial requests like “we need a healers kit” only without clear precise instructions it will pervert the request while still carrying it out. Repeat presses of button do nothing if devil is already out.

The other negative is I made it addictive like the one ring.

After a 3rd press of the button the player is now obsessed with the box. Once the player is addicted with a contact devil offer 3 wishes to that player only via a contract.After the third wish they get turned into a devil and bound to box. (This is how you get multiple meeseeks). The players don’t know about this negative.


I haven't had too many chances as of yet, but I gave them a robe of useless items from 101 Cursed Items. Obviously most items will not work in the instances that a normal patch would help, but some of them can turn out to be used cleverly.

Other than that, my current campaign has given them the shield of wonder, though that isn't technically cursed. So far, it's turned one PC into a fire beetle (temporarily) and another just lost the need to breathe (but also can't talk or do anything requiring breath without effort).

Sovereign Court

That mirror / artifact that creates evil twins of them. Yeah... that can lead to no end of shenanigans. Don't! :)


Maniac Hand

Too bad the campaign ended before it went nasty on the pc. I did give some good hints though. :)


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One character aquired a "Restraining order" from a Erinye divorce lawyer (whom the party contracted to get the princess out of an arranged marriage). It worked as a silk snare shaman hex on steroids. As part of the contract, Justitia Worthedge the extremely fabulously dressed Erinye divorce lawyer required the PC to shout "OBJECTION" whenever casting an abjuration spell, also, the hex could only be used on targets more chaotic then the PC (which was a clever ploy by the Erinye to make the PC more lawful) or it would restrain the PC instead.

The party did not know that it enabled the Erinye to scry very easily, and the Erinye was also an information broker who was, by the fine print of the contract, fully entittled to make use of the information by selling it to interested third parties.

The party actually never found out. You see, the Erinye figured out that these mortals were ridiculously lucky, and really good at killing things outside of their weightclass so she used her transdimensional connections to make high stakes bets to the effect of "Big fat Demon X will be humiliatingly killed by a bunch of mortal murder hobos", won these bets and then graciously decided to "share" some of her winnings with the party in form of additional favors.

The party meanwhile suspected that several other NPCs were spying on them, they werent.

Scarab Sages

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Two items I've given to my players in the past.

Belt of the soundtrack.
Functions as a belt of strength +2 but causes the wearer to get their own personal soundtrack that plays for them. The paladin loved it because he didn't tend to sneak but he could listen to the music playing to get an idea of what was happening around him e.g. a horror movie score if some monster's hunting him.

Dwarf Throwing Hammer.
A warhammer that grants the wielder a ranged attack, only its the wielder that gets thrown not the hammer. Not as liked as the above one but the dwarven cleric kept it as he could use it to effectively super jump even if he then needed to heal himself on landing. The lore on this one was an elite group of dwarven warriors from a fallen kingdom who also had a spiked helmet that could be used to cure critical wounds once a day. Their solution to the slower speed issue of an armoured dwarf. When enemy gets in range they get several hundred pounds of dwarf to the face who then heals up and commence attacking them.

Liberty's Edge

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"The dwarf throwing hammer, a beautiful piece of elvish craftmanship." (Dragon, April number, ca. 1984)

Scarab Sages

I got a copy of the dungon/dragon magazine series off someone once but they got corrupted and I never did read them.


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Does an npc girlfriend count?


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mentally controlled telekinetic socks

and they say there's not good magical footwear slot items...

Liberty's Edge

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Senko wrote:
I got a copy of the dungon/dragon magazine series off someone once but they got corrupted and I never did read them.

I wasn't saying you copied it, the one in Dragon was different. Your creation simply reminded me of it. I am old enough that I have read from Dragon 72 onward when they were published.

The magic items and monsters in the April issues were generally fun and useful. Pupazilla, the teddy bear golem was an instant hit and I actually used it.
"A teddy bear created by a wizard to protect his niece. When she is threatened, it turns into a giant teddy bear." Totally immune to blunt weapons.
A few other April things crept into my games in the years. Not exactly cursed, but not exactly useful, like the three tables with a hundred entries each for the wand of wonder. When the player summoned a wholly blinking mammoth while boarding an enemy ship during a sea battle the results were fun.

Scarab Sages

Diego Rossi wrote:
Senko wrote:
I got a copy of the dungon/dragon magazine series off someone once but they got corrupted and I never did read them.

I wasn't saying you copied it, the one in Dragon was different. Your creation simply reminded me of it. I am old enough that I have read from Dragon 72 onward when they were published.

The magic items and monsters in the April issues were generally fun and useful. Pupazilla, the teddy bear golem was an instant hit and I actually used it.
"A teddy bear created by a wizard to protect his niece. When she is threatened, it turns into a giant teddy bear." Totally immune to blunt weapons.
A few other April things crept into my games in the years. Not exactly cursed, but not exactly useful, like the three tables with a hundred entries each for the wand of wonder. When the player summoned a wholly blinking mammoth while boarding an enemy ship during a sea battle the results were fun.

My post was more a lament I never got to read them as they sound like they have fun items.


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I’ve had a talking Teddy bear that acted like a type 2 bag of holding with the zipper being the opening. The curse portion was without a key word (please give me [insert item])it could refuse to give you the item, also if you are flat out rude around it it will give a childish warning of “thats not nice mister” before casting scorching rays from its eyes to purge the rudeness away.

The Exchange

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Old story time - Long ago (like 1985?), in a game...

DM says, "the magic item your PC just put on is cursed, but it is a minor curse."
Player: "Arg! What's the bad news?"
DM, "It makes your eyes glow red in the dark, and dogs and small children of all races are afraid of you."
Player: "Ok, got that. But what's the curse? what's the bad part?"
DM says, "It makes your eyes glow red in the dark, and dogs and small children of all races are afraid of you."
Player: "But, what's the curse?"
DM: "that's the curse"
Player: "Huh?"

In the example above the Player thought the curse was Cool. The DM thought it was ... well, a curse.

Was it useful? well... the PC got a LOT of use out of the item, many-many fun RP encounters...

Sometimes curses are all in the eyes of the viewer...


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I had a PC in a Dragonlance game (years ago) that was REALLY into the Dwarf stereotypes. He called everyone 'Laddie', sank a bunch of money into alcohol, and insisted on using only 'Dwarf Weapons.'

So, to mess with him, I had the group journey to an island that housed a clan of Dwarves cut off from the mainland during the cataclysm. They had adopted a subterranean/submarine lifestyle, ate a lot of fish and fruits, had blonde hair and sun tanned skin.

He hated them all so I made them their hero. They worshipped him.

He got a set of 'Sea-Dwarven' plate armor (+3, neutral buoyancy, breathe water cast at will) that wasn't cursed at all... it's just that when he tried a battle cry like "By Reorx's Hammer, I'll smite thee!" it would come out "pshaa righ... yer like, totally negative, er some junk, and, like, the ocean doesn't appreciate that, like, at all!"

He had to write up a random 'surfer Dwarf' battle-cry for every new battle or the armor wouldn't work.


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+3 intelligent longsword. Normally it didn't care if you used another weapon for some reason, but it had a special purpose to kill creatures that could drain levels--it would force itself into the owner's hand and force the owner into melee with any level-drainer it could detect.

The real problem is that it was so obsessed with level-drainers because it was so incompetent against them--it would be a -3 rather than a +3 weapon. Surprisingly, the owner decided to keep it. Back then I was using some critical fail tables--and being a -3 weapon there was a chance of a fumble on a 4 or lower. Lots of stupid things happened with that sword.

It finally ended up destroyed when they were fighting a succubus. (Level drainer even though she couldn't really use it in combat.) The sword ended up falling behind the succubus--she correctly realized it was a powerful weapon but didn't know the problem, she grabbed it before it teleported back to it's owner.

Now we have a level-drainer holding a weapon with a special purpose of attacking level-drainers and proceeds to roll a massive fumble. Normally the worst a fumble could do is minor damage to the wielder, but given the situation and the dice I decide she managed to crit against herself, the sword stuck in her. That was enough for her, she bugged out--but they dropped her immediately. Over a river of lava. I wasn't even intending to destroy it, but when they asked about the fate of the sword the dice decided it hit the river. I didn't even consider it destroyed, just sunk into the lava but they had no way to get it out.

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