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Bestow curse

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Bestow curse was a necromancy or abjuration spell that handicapped a creature.[3][13][14][15] The reverse of this spell was remove curse.[7]


There were at least two versions of this spell that differed mainly in duration. The older version lasted a few hours at most,[13][14][15] whereas the newer version was permanent until removed.[3]

The caster had to successfully touch the victim in order to cast this spell. The caster could choose one of three standard curses, or perhaps exercise some creativity and modify one of the standard curses to something similarly debilitating but unique. The three standard curses were:[3][13][14][15]

  • Reduce one aspect of the victim's abilities or personality. The strong could be made weak, the hearty sickly, the nimble clumsy, the wise foolish, the smart ignorant, or the persuasive unimpressive.
  • Inflict horribly bad luck whenever a skill was attempted; combat skills, crafting skills, and professional skills all suffered.
  • Inflict randomly occurring blackouts where the victim suddenly stopped whatever he or she was doing and just stood there as the world went by.

The curse could be resisted, but if that failed it could not be dispelled. Removal required a break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish.[3] The fancy stone tremair, when worn next to the skin, was known to grant immunity to all magical curses.[16]

Post-Second SunderingEdit

After the Second Sundering, the curse changed in several ways. The curse had a one-minute duration if not used with more skill or force but a skilled caster could make the curse last for hours, or if very skilled make it permanent.

  • The spell still could still lower an ability or personality trait, but it also made attempts related to the lowered trait or ability become disadvantageous.
  • Attacks from the victim against the caster would be at a disadvantage.
  • As with the earlier versions, the victim could have blackouts every so often.
  • The caster would cause extra necrotic damage against the victim with either spells or weapons.

The spell could be dispelled with a remove curse spell.[17]


Only verbal and somatic components were required to cast this spell.


The Netherese arcanist Enollar was given the credit for the creation of this spell in -1561 DR.[18]


In the Mulan spellcasting tradition,[19] curse-type magic was well known and used frequently.[20]


See AlsoEdit


  1. This spell was originally in the Protection sphere but was moved to the All sphere by the Player's Option: Spells & Magic. See page 186.


  1. {{Cite book/Netheril: Empire of Magic/The Winds of Netheril|23}}
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211,218. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 205. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 63, 65. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  5. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 87, 91. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  6. Monte Cook (Oct 2002). Book of Vile Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 0-7869-0672-3.
  7. 7.0 7.1 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 28, 162, 213. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  8. David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 39, 270. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  9. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 154. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  10. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 180, 186. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  11. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  12. Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 24, 47. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 213. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 270. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 47. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  16. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  17. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 218. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  18. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  19. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  20. Scott Bennie (1990). Old Empires. (TSR, Inc), p. 171. ISBN 0-8803-8821-8.

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