So does casting Curse on an item allow the creation of cursed items, like necklaces of strangulation?

If not how are they made?

If so how does the creator avoid the effects of their own cursed objects (in the case of items that curse upon touch)?

I have a player who wants to use curses… a lot.

In general, magic items in ACKS are embodiments of particular spells. If the curse on an item is within the powers of the Curse spell, using Curse would be fine. Some items have nasty effects which would not be possible for a Curse spell, though.

For example, a necklace of strangulation should probably be built using a custom Strangle spell. I would build that as a touch-range death spell.

For the creator:

  1. He could use a spell similar to Death Ward to make himself immune to curses while he handles the item
  2. The Judge could rule that the creator is immune to the curse of his own items
  3. A fully-informed creator could use appropriate measures to stay safe (such as tongs to pick up an item)

I like the Pathfinder approach for this (first time I’ve ever written that…) - failed magic item creation roll results in cursed item. Possibly just failure by a certain degree, or a natural 1, or somesuch like that, but I like them to be a natural and accidental byproduct of magic item creation.

Well I suppose that’s the problem. He’s been cursing coins with the intent of spreading them around the enemy base and letting the curse spread that way. I assume this is within the power of the spell. He keeps them in a bag after creation with the intent to eventually cut a hole in it and drop them around the enemy encampment.

I always thought that cursed items came from screw ups but wondered with the inclusion of this line how it worked in ACKS.

Oh, I misunderstood your intent Tywyll. You aren’t asking about creating magic items, you’re asking about the use of bestow curse to place a curse on an object within the context of the spell!

Let me address that.

FIRST, as an official rule/clarification: an object cursed with Bestow Curse is not the same as a permanent Cursed Magic Item created by a mage with Bestow Curse. A Remove Curse spell would remove a bestowed curse on an object permanently in the same way that a Dispel Magic removes a cast spell permanently. But a Remove Curse would not permanently remove the curse on a Cursed Magic Item.

It’s akin to the difference between a staff with Striking cast on it, and a Staff of Striking. Here are some parallel EXAMPLES (for clarity):

  1. I cast Invisibility on Marcus. An enemy mage casts Dispel Magic on Marcus. Marcus’s Invisibility ends.

  2. Marcus uses a Ring of Invisibility to become invisible. An enemy mage casts Dispel Magic on Marcus. Marcus becomes visible, but the ring itself remains magical.

  3. An enemy mage cast Bestow Curse on a gauntlets such that whoever wears the gauntlets has STR 3. Marcus puts on the gauntlets and is cursed. I cast Remove Curse. The curse on the gauntlets is removed, and Marcus regains his strength.

  4. An enemy mage creates Cursed Gauntlets of Weakness, spending (50gp x 500 x 4) 100,000gp and (50 x 4) 200 weeks to create them. Marcus puts on the gauntlets and is cursed. I cast Remove Curse. The curse on Marcus is removed, and he regains his strength. But the Gauntlets remain cursed.

SECOND, while there is nothing explicit in ACKS to stop a mage from creating a massive number of items with curses bestowed on them, in general the intent of the rules is that permanent magic requires either a Permanency ritual or a magic item. It is absolutely against the spirit of the rules and default setting to be mass-producing cursed items using Bestow Curse.

Therefore you should treat Bestow Curse the same way I treat Continual Light in the rules (and for the same reason): “Bestow Curse is not a permanent effect, but is instead an effect that is indefinitely sustained by the caster without need for concentration. A caster may indefinitely sustain one curse per level of experience. A truly permanent curse requires a permanency ritual or magic item.”

This has the very pleasant side-effect of allowing a curse to be removed if the spellcaster who bestowed the curse is slain, which is very much how it works in myth and fiction (except for death-curses, of course).

Mostly an unrelated thought, but a death-curse seems wonderfully easy to create in the ACKS rules - much easier than in other retroclones or the originals, thanks to spell repertoires:

Create a variant of bestow curse that is permanent (unless you are raised from the dead) and can be cast only as you die (and casting it means you do die, possibly with no chance of resurrection). So long as you have it in your repertoire, you can cast it before dying if you are brought to 0 hit points or otherwise killed. I don’t think I’d limit the target to your killer, but that’s an option.

Ooo. I like. I’d even allow it say as a 6th level ritual; a sort of Contigency Curse spell, with your own life force as the “item” you put the spell in.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Another question:
Can you stack multiple curses on the same object? I assume not…kind of like you couldn’t poison a weapon twice and force two saves.

If I’m wrong and you can…how does that work?

Also, I could sware I read in ACKS somewhere about spells not stacking. But I cannot find it. Did I dream that?