Content of the article: "Advice on ”beneficial” curses?"
I'm aiming to run a sandbox adventure in the future. The idea is the characters travel around the sword coast accepting quests and finishing small story arcs. The larger narrative is always present, but is more of a background thing. The players will brush by the main narrative, and clues with be here and there, but rather than go too much into details on that, one of the things I'm thinking of implementing is a ''beneficial'' curse to each player. This ties into the story to some degree. These curses are special and cannot be removed by normal means. Very powerful spells might do it. But I haven't figured that out yet. But that isn't really what I am asking, so anyway, to the crux of this post.
A beneficial curse is something a player is randomly given or can roll for at character creation. They basically work like a magical item. They can use these abilities at any point during the day as a free action, but doing so invokes the curse. They don't need to use the curse, and suffer no disadvantage from not using it. But if they do, the effect is very powerful, but so is the downside of the ability. In addition, once the ability is used X times, the beneficial property is removed, and they gain a permanent debuff – more like a traditional curse. These abilities also can't be stacked or manipulated with other abilities. For example, the example below couldn't be negated in anyway, with something like potent or diamond soul.
Beneficial: Once a day, you can roll a natural 20 on a death saving throw and gain 1d20+level in hp.
Negative: Until you finish a long rest, if you make further death saving throws, they are at disadvantage.
Additional Negative: Once you use this ability X times, the beneficial property is removed, and you are continually under the effects of the negative property. In addition, if you die cannot be resurrected under any circumstances.
I'm writing up a few. But obviously I'm taking a great deal of time to make sure this is something that will add to the game, and isn't too powerful, but also isn't unwelcoming. How and what would you do with something like this. Would you include it? have you used anything like this? If you have any fun curses, I'd be interested in looking at them.
Edit: Some minor spelling and punctuation errors.
- Hiding poison, disease and curses behind checks
- Interaction between player curse limit and animate guardian curse limit
- Impending doom and multiple curses
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