Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review: 100 Calamitous Curses

Look, if you spend your time looting ancient dungeons for magic items and pissing off evil wizards, chances are as an adventurer, you're going to end up with a curse bestowed upon you at some point.

As a Game Master, it can often be difficult to come up with different or original curses. James Mishler's and Adventure Games Publishing's 100 Calamitous Curses solves that problem by delivering precisely what the title suggests: 100 curses to entertain, hinder, and cause mayhem for your campaign.

The curses are ostensibly designed to be used with Castles & Crusades, but like other AGP products, they are easily usable with any number of both d20-related, older D&D versions, and retro-clone titles. Mishler's characteristic entertaining writing style (with a decided swords n' sorcery bent) shines through, and he does an excellent job of making each curse unique and engaging. Here's just one example:

64. Curse of the Life Leech: Whenever the accursed one heals damage, the nearest friend, ally, or neutral being suffers a like amount of damage. If cured by a spell, usually the friendly caster suffers the damage; if healing through bed rest, the nearest person loses a similar number of hit points regardless of distance!

Ouch! Most curses are appropriate for a general-audience sort of group, but there are a few that have to do with childbirth and sexuality that GMs who run younger folks through their games want to specifically consider before using. Still, I believe the product will be quite helpful to a wide range of gaming groups.

Coming in at 12 pages, this pdf normally retails for $2.50, but at the time I write this, It is on sale for only $2. Either way, if, like me, you have a GM's Binder or use a laptop for some of your pdfs, you'll want to make sure this great value finds its way into your collection. It's the sort of short, handy pdf I love as a GM, and so long as James Mishler keeps making 'em like this, I'll keep buying 'em.


sirlarkins said...

I discovered another handy use for this guy a couple weeks ago when my girlfriend was feeling pissed about a client who sent her shoddy work. I suggested she roll up a few good curses to wish upon him, and she happily obliged--and felt much better afterwards!

Zachary The First said...

Hey, there you go! Good value for your money, then! :)