Bestow Curse

3rd-level necromancy

Casting Time:1 action
Components:V, S
Duration:Concentration, up to 1 minute

You touch a creature, and that creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become cursed for the duration of the spell. When you cast this spell, choose the nature of the curse from the following options:

  • Choose one ability score: While cursed, the target has disadvantage on ability checks and saving throws made with that ability score.
  • While cursed, the target has disadvantage on attack rolls against you.
  • While cursed, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw at the start of each of its turns. If it fails, it wastes its action that turn doing nothing.
  • While the target is cursed, your attacks and spells deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target.

3rd Party Options At your GM’s discretion, you or the GM may want to consider some specific curses found here.

A remove curse spell ends this effect. At the GM’s option, you may choose an alternative curse effect, but it should be no more powerful than those described above. The GM has final say on such a curse’s effect.

At Higher Levels: If you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the duration is concentration, up to 10 minutes. If you use a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the duration is 8 hours. If you use a spell slot of 7th level or higher, the duration is 24 hours. If you use a 9th level spell slot, the spell lasts until it is dispelled. Using a spell slot of 5th level or higher grants a duration that doesn’t require concentration.

New Curse Spell Effects [Source]

When you cast this spell, the following options may be selected instead of the options presented above with your GM’s approval.

  • Curse of Animal Anathema: While cursed, animals will not approach within 5 feet of the target, unless in an attempt to attack, and will not listen to commands or requests.
  • Curse of Being too Close: While cursed, anytime the target is adjacent to the area of a damaging or detrimental spell or effect, they are included in the area of effect.
  • Curse of the Broken Bell: While cursed, the target is wracked by the sound of a loud clangor of sounds and flashing lights only they can perceive. They have disadvantage on Perception checks. Anytime the target attempts to cast a spell or use a check that requires a tool or a skill requiring precise movement like Acrobatics or Sleight of Hand, they must make a Concentration check or fail the attempt.
  • Curse of Bungling: While cursed and trying to use the Help action, the target must roll a d20. On an 11 or above, they provide the normal benefit of the Help action. On a 10 or below, they cause some sort of mishap instead of helping and cause disadvantage instead.
  • Curse of Enemies Made: While cursed, the next person introduced to the target for the first time will be immediately hostile. This hostile attitude cannot be changed while the target is cursed but, once they are no longer cursed, it may be improved as normal.
  • Curse of Flesh Hunger: While cursed, anytime the target is exposed to dead flesh, whether in a butcher shop, battlefield, or tomb, they must roll a d20. On a 11 or above, they resist the urge and act normally. On a 10 or below, they must use their turn to move toward and attempt to eat the dead flesh. This eating requires an action that provokes an opportunity attack. The target is not protected from any diseases carried by rotting or otherwise diseased meat and undead with flesh are considered ‘dead flesh’ for the purpose of this curse.
  • Curse of Glazed Eyes: While cursed the target is unable to see a certain type of creature. The creatures are treated as being under the effect of a Greater Invisibility spell but only to the target of the curse. Spells that attempt to remove the invisibility from these creatures do not work but spells that allow you to see invisible creatures, like See Invisibility work normally for the curse’s target. The source of the curse determines the kind of creature. The kind of creature must be specific, like humans, spiders or goblins, and not humanoids, dragons, etc.
  • Curse of Mistaken Identity: While cursed, each time the target meets someone for the first time, they must roll a d20. On an 11 or above, the interaction goes as normal. On a 10 or below, the new individual will confuse the target with a hated enemy, a well-known criminal, raving lunatic or some other individual antithetical to their beliefs.
  • Curse of Open Wounds: While cursed, all healing that the target receives is halved and they do not heal naturally from a short or long rest.
  • Curse of Senselessness: While cursed, the target is struck blind and deaf.
  • Curse of Sterility: While cursed, the target is rendered sterile and is unable to procreate.
  • Curse of Victory Denied: While cursed, every time the target makes a d20 roll, a roll of a natural 20 counts is changed to a 1.
  • Curse of Violence: While cursed, each round in combat, the target must roll a d20. On a 6 or higher, they may act normally in combat. On a 5 or below, they are compelled by a powerful bloodlust to attack the nearest target, regardless of whether they are friend or foe.
  • Curse of Wracking Pain: While cursed, if the target performs a physical action, e.g. any skill check, ability check, attack roll, or physical class ability, or if they use their full movement for the round, they are wracked with pain. In the following round they may only use their movement or perform their action for the turn, not both.

New Advanced Curse Spell Effects [Source]

The following curses are able to be chosen if using a spell slot of 5th or above:

  • Curse of Antimagic: While cursed, the target is unable to cast spells or use magic items.
  • Curse of Animal Hostility: While cursed, all animals and magical beasts with animal intelligence are automatically hostile toward the target and will attack them, flee, or negatively impact them in any way possible.
  • Curse of Sensory Deprivation: While cursed, the target loses all of their senses like sight, hearing, smell, tremorsense, blindsense, etc.
  • Curse of Dull Metal: While cursed, valuable metals (such as platinum, gold, silver, and copper) turn to lead in the target’s possession, even if they are in a bag of holding or stored away from the target. The target’s touch transmutes valuable metals (including coins) into lead as well.
  • Curse of Friendly Virulence: While cursed, a random ally or loved one of the target contracts a disease. If the disease is magically cured or runs its course (regardless of the outcome) while the target is still cursed, another qualifying individual contracts a new disease.
  • Curse of Interminable Bungling: While cursed, anytime the target attempts the Help action, it automatically fails and causes the ally to fail their check.
  • Curse of Memory Blotting: While cursed, no one can remember the target of the curse and they cannot make new memories about them. They are a permanent stranger to everyone. It manifests in interesting ways, for example, the target could give a task to another, that person would remember the task but not who gave them it or who to return to when it is done.
  • Curse of Knowing You: While cursed, 1d4+1 of the target’s loved ones or allies are affected by a curse chosen from the basic bestow curse effects. The affected loved ones can be chosen randomly or, if known by the creator of the curse, directed.
  • Curse of Shunning: While cursed, all of the target’s loved ones and allies suddenly despise him and are considered to have unfriendly attitudes. Once the curse is lifted, the unfriendly attitude remains but may be improved as normal.

New Lesser Curse Spell Effects [Source]

The following curses are able to be chosen if the Lesser Curse spell:

  • Curse of Blandness: All food and drink the target consumes is tasteless and bland. They are unable to benefit from spells or effects that grant effects based on the consumption of food and drink, and they do not gain any of the benefits of being drunk, only the penalties.
  • Curse of Broken Mirrors: When coming in contact with an object made of a glass or similar material material, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw (equal to the DC of the original curse) or be compelled to attempt to destroy the object.
  • Curse of Distraction: The target has disadvantage on concentration saving throws.
  • Curse of the Forgotten Fact: The target has disadvantage on any skill check to recall a piece of information or lore.
  • Curse of the Offensive Smell: The target always smells a bit off to whomever they are close to. They have disadvantage on Bluff and Diplomacy skill checks with creatures who can smell.
  • Curse of the Unfocused Technique: The target suffers from disadvantage on saving throws against abilities that trip, disarm or grapple them.
  • Curse of the Unfortunate Step: The target has disadvantage on Stealth checks that rely on sound. They manage to step on every creaky board, twig, or loose stone they possibly can.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Breath of Life: The Lathspell (5e), © 2023, Orphaned Bookworm Productions, LLC, Authors: Connor Bates and Norman Mitchell Jr.

System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

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