D20 Table: Heinous Magical Curses

This is an old one from The Eiglophian Press blog, exhumed, dusted off and revised for display.

Oh, shiiii--
Use this table when a magic-user has botched a casting so badly that he's managed to disrupt the torpor of an arch-daemon in some remote corner of the Astral Plane. The scaly horror had been dreaming things into existence peacefully for a good 3d8 aeons and is irked by this interruption, to say the least. It responds by sending down one of the curses below. The magic-user can attempt to save vs spell to avoid the  dweomer and take 3d6 arcane fire damage instead. A remove curse performed by a 15+ level cleric may (4-in-6) put an end to the magical affliction.

(1) Absurd speech
Though nothing he says appears amiss to the magic-user, everything that comes out of his mouth is pure nonsense for 1d6 months. This makes casting spells with verbal components utterly impossible.

(2) Malignant obsession
The next object that is given to the mage [and this can be done by any character in the game, be it PC or NPC] becomes the focus of a new, life-altering obsession. He will be compelled to spend 50% of all his acquired wealth obtaining, cataloging, protecting, and otherwise experiencing the object(s) of his obsession.

(3) Schizoid fantasy
The magic-user becomes enthralled by a profound and sinister delusion. He is convinced that he is just a character in a game being controlled by an intelligence from another reality. He will whittle himself a set of dice as soon as the opportunity presents itself and use them to make all his decisions [even if the results contradict the decisions of the player].

(4) Mental break
Once per day [the time determined secretly by the DM each day] the magic-user will becoming a frothing, raving lunatic for 1d6 hours. During this period he is outside the control of the player and will be totally deranged. Roll 1d4. 
  1. Attempts to eat random party member. Will try to get him/her alone first.
  2. Sews eyelids shut.
  3. Talks to invisible friend. 50% chance this is an evil being from the Elemental Plane of Xyux (something like Water and Fire but dusty rather than wet and cold enough to burn). Being fondled by a being of Xyux causes vitality leak: Decrease in max total HP by one point per day; victim loses weight and becomes gaunt and grayish; 10+ level cleric to cure.
  4. Believes he is dead. No evidence will convince him otherwise. Thinks no one can see him.
(5) Parts switch
Two parts of the magic-user's body exchange places. They continue to function normally. Roll 1d8 twice.
  1. Eye
  2. Toe nail
  3. Finger
  4. Tongue
  5. Liver
  6. Anus
  7. Medulla
  8. Ear canal
(6) Good/Evil twin
An exact duplicate of the magic-user appears 1d3 miles away. This copy possesses all the clothing, cash and items of the original, looks and sounds exactly the same, but is of the opposite alignment. He/she wants nothing more than to destroy the original.

(7) Obscene budding
To the magic-user's horror, 1d6 small and grotesque heads begin budding from his body at random locations. In several hours these heads will develop the ability to speak. They know everything the magic-user knows, including his spells -- which they are able to cast from his own memory. While they are not intrinsically evil, they live to torment the magic-user's allies. Each head may attempt to make a CON check once per day. If a head is successful, it will be able to control the mage’s body (excluding the other budded heads, if any, and the magic-user's original head) for 1d3 hours.

(8) Cranial occupant
A small extradimensional space has spontaneously erupted inside the magic-user’s skull. He takes 1d6 damage. This space is not uninhabited. A minute goblinoid creature about 3” tall lives inside it. While the magic-user sleeps the thing ventures forth from his skull, exiting through the right or left ear. It lives to steal food and small items in the vicinity of the sleeping magic-user which it brings back to its lair. The thing never wanders more than twenty feet away from its host. Only a lead box can contain it perpetually. Otherwise, if it is somehow trapped outside its lair, it will vanish and reappear inside the magic-user’s skull the next day.

(9) Phantom limb
One of the magic-user's limbs is rendered permanently incorporeal. It is visible in daylight but only dimly. The limb loses its ability to support the magic-user or hold material objects. The loss of a hand is detrimental to spellcasting, naturally, and all spells that require somatic components will be impossible to cast. On the plus side, the affected limb gains +2 to attacks against ethereal creatures. Roll 1d4.
  1. Dominant arm
  2. Opposite arm
  3. Right leg
  4. Left leg
(10) Vapor-skull
The magic-user’s skull is instantly transmuted to organic vapor. This isn't lethal but makes combat very dangerous. Any blow from a melee attack has a 10% chance of causing the mage’s head to burst like a balloon, killing him instantly. Missile attacks follow the same protocol, but have a 5% chance.

(11) Intestinal infestation
Hungry, magical parasitic worms have invaded the magic-user’s intestines. He must consume a meal’s worth of rations every three hours or take 2d6 damage as the worms feed on his body.

(12) Fungal reversion
The magic-user’s body becomes host to a peculiar fungal colony which roots in his gray matter. Every time he exhales invisible spores enter the air. They are loaded with bits of the magic-user’s consciousness. As the fungus grows inside his body and the spores are continuously exhaled into the air, the mage loses one point of INT per week. These points are permanently lost unless the magic-user carefully collects the exhaled spores into a flask or other air-tight repository. Any INT stored this way will be regained when the curse is removed.

(13) Cronization
The magic-user is transformed into a grumbling old hag with no memory of who she once was.

(14) Eldritch attraction
The magic-user becomes irresistible to a particular type of farm animal [determine below]. These beasts will be aware of his presence in a 30 mile radius and will seek him out at all costs, crowding each other in order to nuzzle against him. Roll 1d6.
  1. Chickens
  2. Swine
  3. Sheep
  4. Mules
  5. Horses
  6. Cows
(15) Unholy mark
An invisible change has come over the magic-user that makes him repellent to the priests and clerics of lawful deities. Until/unless the curse is removed, these clergymen will seek to destroy him.

(16) Necromantic plume
The magic-user constantly exudes an invisible energy that invigorates the dead with unholy life. Anything dead within 20’ of the mage has a 50% chance of coming back to life in zombie-form in 1d3 hours.

(17) Anti-magical touch
All magical items that are touched by the magic-user have a 50% chance to lose their enchantment instantly. Success signifies that the item is immune to the magic-user's antipathetic aura.

(18) Alternate reality
While at first nothing appears to have changed, three factors -- a person, a place and a thing, as determined by the DM -- in the magic-user’s life are noticeably different from the way they were before. No one else is aware of these changes. In fact, everyone (including party members) believes that these things have always been the way they currently are. 

(19) Weird geas
The arch-daemon sends the magic-user and his companions on an involuntary mission to obtain something strange. Roll 1d4.
  1. Beard of the Mega-Sphinx
  2. Breast-milk of the Mother of Gorgons
  3. Dream of the Stair Stalker
  4. Appendix of the Elder Serpent
The magic-user ceases to exist. Indeed, he ceases to have ever existed. No one can resurrect him. No one even remembers him, because there is nothing to remember.


  1. The Eiglophian Press blog?

  2. @-C: Yeah, the predecessor of this blog. Nuked it last year, but some of the material is still kicking around.

  3. Some of those are really nasty. I think my favorite is #18.

  4. Those are both harsh and ammusing. Guess that MU should have been a little more careful!