Curse Magic

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Curse Magic is probably the most generally useful of the 4 Realms in the small Black Category, and also the one that can most easily be used in ways that are not - very - morally offensive, e.g. as defence and revenge, although it can also be used to attack and threaten people.

Curse Magic makes extensive use of Build Points, making it versatile but also non-trivial to use, especially for inexperienced players and GMs. It is also a prerequisite Realms for the hostile usage of Shapechange Magic, i.e. against unwilling targets. See also Horror Magic for a selection of Spells that are not curse-like.


The Realm of Curse Magic

Curse Magic can create a wide variety of effects on enemy targets, but cannot be used on friends, allies and relatives without in-character justification. Justification can come in the form of a Flaw, or an action perpetrated by the target on the character, that would lead the character to wish to cast harmful or otherwise unpleasant magic on the target.

The GM must be lenient here, and willing to accept almost any kind of in-character justification, except that of "none".

Simple Spells

Put all Spells here that do not utilize Build Points at all, sorted according to sub-Realms or themes into sub-sections.



Build Spells

Put all Spells here that use Build Points

Build Point Usage

Define here all the things that Build Points may be spent on

Related Item Abilities

Item Abilities that are classified as belonging to this Realm for the purpose of avoiding the out-of-Realm tax on Investments.

Pertinent Enchantments

Alternate sub-Realms

Other sub-Realms that are legal choices, e.g. "horizontal" sub-Realms for Necromancy



The world

World impact

The Ärth setting

Design Notes

The requirment of in-character justification is a necessary one, as some Curse effects, especially barrenness, can be desirable for some characters, and/or for some players. For instance, the Ärth setting character Asbrand the Stuttering could have just asked his friend and mentor, Fionn Mac Dougal, to curse him with permanent sterility, in order to alleviate Asbrand's morbid fear of passing on his disability in a more concentrated form. Fionn Mac Dougal would obviously have been willing to do that, paying a small amount of Essence to help his friend.

Except there's no in-character justification of anger, wrath or resentment, nor even a wish to make Asbrand fear Fionn, or make him respect Fionn more than he already does. And you don't go around sterilizing people just because they ask for it. Hence Asbrand instead had to jump through all kinds of hoops to get another NPC to cast the Curse on him, including the risk that she'd make him Impotent intead of Sterile!

That's the real purpose of the justification requirement. To increase the probability of interesting conflicts emerging.

Other averted uses can also be imagined, such as temporary Blindness on all ally who needs to fight a monster with a petrifying gaze, e.g. a Gorgon. But you just don't do that. You do not Curse your friends. It's not normal. It is not within the scope of choices available to the norman Human psyche. You do not Curse your friends!

Log of important changes

A small but important change: The requirement for in-character justification was not originally a part of the rules, and so made Asbrand's Scottish antics completely implausible.

Quick mini-glossary

See also


Table for Spells:

SL Spell
Effect CTI R. Dur. Res. Notes
Normal Strong
Very Str.
1 sn effect SM VSM cti r d no xyz

Table for Greater Spells:

GSL Spell
Effect CTI R. Dur. Res. Notes
Normal Strong
Very Str.
3 sn effect SM VSM cti r d no xyz
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