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Lost Magic: Cone of Many Curses

Portrait of a Scholar - Domenico FettiDo you need some more magic in your game? Perhaps you want to make your foes less effective in combat and other areas of potential conflict. Take a look at what Lost Magic entrant Gary provided us with. Imagine how you could make this spell work in the story of the game, too, in terms of how to describe what the curse feels like to one affected by it.

Cone of Many Curses

School necromancy [curse]; Level antipaladin 5, sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range 30 ft.
Area cone-shaped burst
Duration permanent
Saving Throw Yes (See Text); Spell Resistance yes

You release a cone of a razorlike black needles from your hands that pierce into the very being of all targets in the area and places a curse on them. The targets take a –6 penalty to an ability score of your choice and –4 penalty to attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks.

The save DC is 10 + the spell level + the spellcaster’s modifier (Intelligence or Charisma).

Depending on the ability that is selected, the targets can attempt a Will save to negate the effects of Intelligence, Charisma, and Wisdom damage. The targets can attempt a Fortitude save for Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution damage. If the save fails, then the effects are permanent (see below for removal conditions). Also the cone can be split into two 15-ft. lines coming from each hand that can be aimed in different directions.

The curse bestowed by this spell cannot be dispelled, but it can be removed with a break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell.

3 Replies to "Lost Magic: Cone of Many Curses"

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November 26, 2013 at 1:14pm

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Rafilar

November 27, 2013 at 6:41pm

Is this intended to be a *penalty* to whatever ability score, or ability damage, or (as it says the duration is permanent) ability drain? The first paragraph says a penalty, but the third paragraph says damage.

Fizzygoo

November 30, 2013 at 12:54pm

I’d prefer the spell to be called “Bestow Curse, Mass” and then change Target and Range to:
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart

Good first pass, here’s what I would edit and why, in order as they appear on the spell.

1. Remove the “curse” subtype-descriptor. Not even Bestow Curse, which this spell is based on, has “curse” as a descriptor, and since there is no curse descriptor in the core book you’d have to separately define it, cross reference all other spells that you think would have this descriptor, etc. Better to just add text in the spell description along the lines of “Remove Curse also removes Cone of Many Curses” or “Remove Curse does not, but Greater Remove Curse [see next post] does…” etc.

2. There seems to be no justification for why cleric was dropped from the level entry, especially if anitpaladin is going to be included. Clerics should definitely be able to cast this spells.

3. Antipaladins can only cast up to 4th level spells. So remove antipaladin from the Level entry.

4. For various reasons (taking Bestow Curse touch range [requiring touch attack, chance to fail, along with saving throw] and making it an area spell, multiple creature-affecting, no attack roll required; merging two of Bestow Curse’s effect-options so that this spell is effectively like casting 2 Bestow Curses on each creature within the cone) the levels should be changed [increased by 1 level minimum], and should mirror Bestow Curse. So that would make it: cleric 5, sorcerer/wizard 6, witch 5 (all being +2 spell levels above Bestow Curse).

5. The Saving Throw should just be “Will negates.” While I understand your reasoning for splitting it up, it’s just as possible that a penalty to a physical ability is caused through mental manipulation as through some actual physical impairment. Add that the base spell, Bestow Curse, is Will base…there’s no great reason to split up the saves (it makes it more powerful as the caster can choose to target Wizards physical abilities to get to their weaker Fort saves, and the opposite for Fighters, etc.).

6. I’d personally remove the descriptive text of the spell, “You release a cone of a razorlike black needles from your hands that pierce into the very being of all targets in the area and places a curse on them.” And just use the Bestow Curse as the base, “You place a curse on the subjects within the cone.” And then let the DM/Player decide upon the flavor text for their particular NPC/PC.

7. Change “The targets take a –6 penalty to an ability score of your choice and –4 penalty to attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks.” to “The targets take a –6 decrease to an ability score (minimum 1) of your choice and –4 penalty to attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks.”

8. Add “You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than that described above.”

9. Remove the DC text in the description. This was posted under Pathfinder, so as a Pathfinder spell there’s no reason to add that text. It’s superfluous text.

10. Remove “Also the cone can be split into two 15-ft. lines coming from each hand that can be aimed in different directions.” I’m not aware of any other spells that can change their areas like this (though I could be wrong). But again, having the choice to do so greatly increases the versatility of this spell and feels likes like a tacked-on metamagic feat (and therefor should increase the spell’s level).

11. As per #1 above, remove “remove curse” from the list of spells that can remove Cone of Many Curses. Then make “greater remove curse, level 5 cleric.”

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