Living Curse (5e Class)
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The living curse is a composite character. You do not select a separate race and class combination, nor a background. You begin play with one level of the living curse class, which also includes all your racial features. You cannot multiclass: when your level increases, you must take a level of the living curse class. This is because, as a living curse, your lack of a physical form is unsuitable for many features granted by other classes.
The Living Curse
Living curses are exactly that: powerful curses that have developed a sentience and mind of their own. They exist as patterns in the Weave, with no centralized mind or body. Keeping them anchored to this world are various bindings and marks- circumstances that manifested them and now dictate how they must act, and creatures, objects, and locations that form attachment points for them from which they can exert their will over their surroundings.
Living curses are often insidious and subtle in their influence, acquiring marks and spreading as they grow in presence and power. They piggyback off of the movement and actions of others, hopping from item to person to place and using magical trickery to sway events into their own designs.
Examples of Living Curses from Media
The concept of a living curse draws heavily from horror media. Many features of the living curse class, including archetypes and curse effects, are inspired heavily from tropes in horror movies. The following are some examples of entities in said media that the living curse class is based off of and seeks to emulate in spirit.
Candyman is an apparition-type curse that came into being from the anguish and torment endured by Daniel Robitaille, an African-American artist and slave born in the American South of the late 1800s who was tortured to death after having relations with the daughter of a wealthy white landowner. Candyman is summoned by repeating his nickname five times into a mirror, and possesses the powers of entomancy (bees), posession, hallucination/vision induction, and enhanced strength. Candyman's existence is linked to the mirror of the landowner's daughter, his surviving paintings, his descendants, and to a degree, anyone who possesses the collective cultural belief in him.
Samara Morgan was a troubled young girl with psychic powers who was murdered by her mother, who pushed her down a well where she proceeded to slowly waste away over 7 days. She arose as an apparition-type curse tied to a VHS tape that when watched, causes the viewer's death to occur within 7 days. When the time period is up, Samara will manifest inside a nearby electronic screen and crawl out of the screen to murder the viewer. The only known way to survive her is to make a copy of the tape and to show it to someone else before the time period is up. Samara possesses the powers of water generation and manipulation, entomancy (flies and centipedes), possession, electronics manipulation, induction of heightened aggression in animals, and hallucination/vision induction.
The curse of the wendigo comes from Native American folklore, and has been adapted into quite a few media pieces since. It is a transformation-type curse that is inflicted on humans who commit acts of cannibalism. The curse slowly transforms the human into a beast that has an insatiable appetite for flesh.
The Entity is a persistent apparition-type curse, relentlessly pursuing its victims at a walking pace. The curse itself is transmitted via sexual intercourse- the entity only pursues and kills the last person to receive the curse, working its way backward in a line. The Entity is only visible to those that have the curse, and possesses enhanced strength and durability, as well as a differing appearance each encounter.
Death curse or trickster curse?
The Shadow is a curse-like entity that is bound to powerful artifacts known as Orbs, serving as a guardian that relentlessly hunts down those who misuse the power of the Orbs. It has no physical form on this plane, but it has a presence that can be thoroughly felt by those it hunts. It commonly manifests as dangerous masses of pulsating red flesh that grow over every surface, but more rarely it can manifest as a glowing scarlet mist. It is capable of great destructive power, as throughout the first game it causes large sections of Castle Brennenburg to collapse into rubble each time it manifests in its pursuit of the player.
A living curse character will typically play a strong support role with the suite of abilities they've been given. There is a degree of flexibility and customizability when it comes to their capabilities, however. A great deal of the nuance and gameplay surrounding them involves managing marks, which are what allows the living curse to exert influence over the world.
The living curse's abilities in combat are highly limited but strong. Living curses rarely deal direct damage in combat, rather there is an emphasis on debuffing single targets with effects such as bane, manipulating elements of the environment with effects such as cursecraft or poltergeist, and setting up combos with other player characters, capabilities which expand in scope as the living curse increases in level.
The living curse acts as a second set of eyes and ears for a party of adventurers within a short radius. It's ability to communicate between marked creatures allows it to act as a sort of middleman hub for the party's communications. However, a living curse's lack of direct mobility requires it to rely on others to traverse meaningful distances.
The living curse can assist in social situations with bridging some language barriers by communicating concepts and images through their marks. Their subtle method of spreading their influence through their curse marks makes them powerful for intelligence gathering, while curse abilities such as intrusive thought and, at 5th level, possession make them excellent manipulators.
- Progression Through the Tiers of Play
At 1st and 2nd level, a living curse's presence is barely felt. The player can get used to how marks function and spread, and enjoy the safety of being a quasi-omnipresent entity with no body. They can't deal significant damage in combat, but creative application of low-cost curse effects can still lead them to have a meaningful impact during other situations throughout the game.
At 3rd and 4th level, a living curse player can begin to experiment with living curse abilities that debilitate enemies and empower allies. Their significant role during combat comes online during this time.
At 5th level, the true scope of the living curse begins to unfold as hard counters to their abilities, namely remove curse become available. Possession of a marked creature is a powerful tool, as it gives a living curse avenue to finally affect things with a physical form.
A sentient supernatural force that requires a host to survive.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution increases by 1 and your Charisma increases by 2.
Age. Like normal curses, living curses can have an indefinite lifespan. Hundreds and thousands of years may weaken the magic that sustains them, however.
Alignment. Living curses can be of any alignment, but typically tend towards Law.
Size. Living curses have no physical form and thus no definite size. You are sizeless.
Speed. As you are sizeless, you have no speed.
Extremely Unusual Nature. As you have no physical form, this confers upon you the following properties:
- You are immune to poisons, diseases, and other curses.
- You have no Strength or Dexterity score.
- You are immune to all damage except radiant, necrotic, psychic, and force.
- You do not take damage or make saving throws unless an attack, spell, or effect is specifically stated to affect you.
- You do not need to breathe, eat, drink, or sleep, and, in fact, are unable do any of those things.
- You are immune to the exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, poisoned, petrified, prone, and restrained conditions.
- You are unable to pick up and manipulate objects or wear equipment.
Supernatural Senses. You have no physical sensory organs like eyes or ears, yet can perceive things around your marks through magical means. You have blindsight out to 60 feet, but outside of that range you are considered blinded and deafened. Using these senses, the area of an antimagic field is considered highly obscured to you.
Antimagic Susceptibility. You cannot act or percieve through a mark while it is in the radius of an antimagic field.
Creature Type. Your creature type is Entity.
Languages. You know two languages of your choice, one of which may be Common.
Rule Alterations for Playing a Living Curse
- Ability Scores
- Combat and Actions
Since you have no Dexterity score, you do not roll for initiative. Rather, you may choose to act during the turn of any creature you have marked, or on initiative count 20. You have one omni-action, regained at the start of initiative count 20, that can be utilized as-needed as an action, bonus action, or reaction.
- Hit Points and Death
When you reach 0 hit points, you are rendered unconscious and dying. Each round on initiative order 20, you must make a death saving throw. As per normal rules, if you fail three death saving throws, you die. If you succeed and become stable, you remain unconscious for 8d4 x 4 hours.
Each time you fail a death saving throw, each of your lesser marks has a 50% chance to fade, and your greater marks have a 50% chance to turn into lesser marks. Once you die, all your marks fade.
- Resting and Resource Regain
If you spend 24 hours without expending more curse points than your curse point limit, you regain all expended curse points and can expend hit dice to regain hit points at the end of the 24-hour period.
- Downtime Activities
As a living curse, you are unable to partake in and benefit from most downtime activities. However, you do have access to a few unique downtime activities, detailed in the Downtime Activities section under Expanded Options and Features at the bottom of this page
Creating and Playing a Living Curse
Since a living curse does not possess a Strength or Dexterity score, you have only four ability scores. Roll for 6 ability scores as normal, but discard two. If you are using point buy, you have 21 points instead of 27 to spend.
Work with your DM to find the best ways to implement you into their campaign. If you do not wish to be housed inside an object, then you will have to work with your DM to create an NPC that can serve as an initial host for you. Alternatively if you can, work with another player to have their character serve as a host for you.
For the role-playing side of things, think about why you were created. What purpose did you serve?
- Quick Build
As a Living Curse you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
|Features||Curse Effects Known||Curse Points||Curse Point Limit||Evolutions|
|1st||+2||Curse Manifest, Initial Host, Curse Mark, Curse Effect||2 + Intelligence modifier (min. 2)||3||2||—|
|2nd||+2||Supernatural Evolutions, Channeled Aspect||3 + Intelligence modifier (min. 3)||4||2||2|
|3rd||+2||Curse Archetype||4 + Intelligence modifier (min. 4)||5||3||2|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement, Monstrous Versatility, Supernatural Versatility||5 + Intelligence modifier (min. 5)||7||4||2|
|5th||+3||Possession||6 + Intelligence modifier (min. 6)||8||5||3|
|6th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||7 + Intelligence modifier (min. 7)||9||5||3|
|7th||+3||Archetype feature||8 + Intelligence modifier (min. 8)||10||6||4|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||9 + Intelligence modifier (min. 9)||12||6||4|
|9th||+4||Secondary Action||10 + Intelligence modifier (min. 10)||13||7||5|
|10th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||11 + Intelligence modifier (min. 11)||14||8||5|
|11th||+4||Persistent Mark||12 + Intelligence modifier (min. 12)||15||9||5|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||12 + Intelligence modifier (min. 12)||17||9||6|
|13th||+5||—||13 + Intelligence modifier (min. 13)||18||10||6|
|14th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||13 + Intelligence modifier (min. 13)||19||10||6|
|15th||+5||Archetype feature||14 + Intelligence modifier (min. 14)||20||11||7|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||14 + Intelligence modifier (min. 14)||22||12||7|
|17th||+6||—||15 + Intelligence modifier (min. 15)||23||13||7|
|18th||+6||Tertiary Action||15 + Intelligence modifier (min. 15)||25||14||8|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||15 + Intelligence modifier (min. 15)||26||14||8|
|20th||+6||Ascendant Curse||15 + Intelligence modifier (min. 15)||27||15||8|
Like regular curses, living curses are manifested by the union of magic and will. The manifestation of a curse can be done as a deliberate act by a creator, such as a powerful magic user or a deity, by imbuing a portion of their will into the Weave, but it can also occur as a spontaneous phenomenon — a malediction carried on the dying breath of the last victim of a massacre might meld with the unchecked conflux of negative energy such a site would emanate, giving it direction and a will. Thus, the behavior of a curse is always determined by the circumstances of its manifestation, and living curses are no different, at least initially.
As a living curse, you are subject to bindings and wards that inform and restrict your behavior. These can be found in the Bindings and Wards section at the bottom of this page. When you first make your character, you can choose up to three, having at least one binding and one ward. You are unaffected by bindings while unconscious.
At first level, you are granted an initial host or vessel for you to anchor your presence to the world. This vessel can be one of the following options, and has your mark placed upon it:
- A trinket or other object worth no greater than 250 gp and no larger than 5 feet in any dimension.
- An uncommon or lower rarity magic item.
- A humanoid with a challenge rating of no greater than 1/4, controlled by the DM.
- The character of another willing player.
Alternatively, you can work with your DM to start with a more suitable initial host.
As a curse, your primary method of enacting your will upon the world is through your marks. A mark is a metaphysical indication of your influence over a creature or object, as well as what anchors you to the world. You can have a maximum amount of marks equal to your level + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).
The two types of mark you have access to are lesser marks and greater marks. Most of your abilities inflict lesser marks, while greater marks can be created or graduated from lesser marks when specific circumstances are met.
A mark leaves a physical indication on a creature, with a lesser mark leaving something subtle such as small symbol, or a strange scar or blemish. A greater mark is much more obvious, something like a wound that never seems to heal, unusually colored or textured skin, a large symbol, or unusual eyes. Lesser marks are naturally hard to spot and require a successful Investigation check against your curse save DC, while greater marks are obvious to all and can only be hidden by great active effort of the creature.
If you have no active marks, you die. Once you die, you can only be brought back into existence by means of a wish spell or a bestow curse spell cast with the following alterations: At 5th level or higher with a casting time of 8 hours and 2500 gp worth of incense and powdered diamonds (consumed), with the target being an object or creature that can accept your mark. Your mark is placed on the target for the duration of the spell.
You have various actions tied to your marks and how they interact with the world.
Perceiving the World through your Marks
You perceive the world through your marks, treating each marked object or creature as a source of your blindsight and hearing from your Supernatural Senses trait. If a creature is marked by you, you can "borrow" their senses to enhance your own, seeing through their eyes and hearing through their ears. An unwilling creature can attempt a Charisma saving throw to block you out, preventing you from accessing their senses for 8 hours.
Additionally, you become aware of certain properties of creatures, objects, and locations that you have marked. For creatures, you learn their alignment and if any other curses are affecting them. For objects and locations, you learn if they have been consecrated or desecrated, and if they harbor any other curses.
Placing your Mark upon a Creature
When a creature marked by you deals damage to another unmarked creature, is in physical contact with it for 1 minute or more, or if a curse effect deals damage to an unmarked creature, as a reaction you can force the unmarked creature to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the unmarked creature becomes marked with a lesser mark by you.
You may also attempt to place a lesser mark upon an unmarked creature if that creature uses an object marked by you. The creature must either attune to the object, expend a charge from it, use it to deal damage, attempt to damage or destroy it, or have it in their possession for longer than 8 hours for you to do so.
Unless stated otherwise, a creature that succeeds the saving throw against your mark becomes immune to your mark for 24 hours. A creature under the effects of the spell protection from evil and good automatically succeeds the saving throw against being marked, while a willing creature can always choose to fail.
If a creature dies while marked, you can choose to either remove the mark or transfer it to its corpse. Choosing to transfer a greater mark causes you to lose an amount of hit points equal to your level. A Funeral Rite done with the ceremony spell cast on the corpse removes the mark from the corpse and prevents it from being remarked for 7 days.
Placing your Mark upon an Object
When a creature marked by is in contact with a object no larger than 5 feet in any dimension and worth more than 1 sp for 1 minute, you can place your mark upon said object.
You can also place a mark upon such an object if an object marked by you has been within 30 feet of it for 24 hours or longer.
If you attempt to mark a sentient magic item, you must succeed on a curse ability contest against the item's Charisma if it is unwilling. If you fail, the item is not marked and you cannot attempt to mark it again for 24 hours.
Your mark ends on an object if it is destroyed.
You can also mark a location in specific circumstances, such as a structure, cave, or forest clearing. To do so, a creature marked by you must either die in the location, whereupon you can use a reaction to transfer the mark to the location, or an object marked by you must be left in the location for 24 hours, allowing you to mark it.
The affected area of the location can no greater than 60 feet in any dimension. Your Supernatural Senses are suffused throughout the location, allowing you to be aware of everything going on inside of it, and your curse abilities and effects can originate from any point within it.
If the hallow spell is successfully cast so that it overlaps with the origin of a marked location, the caster can choose to end your mark on that location. You take 5d8 force damage as your mark is forcibly ended.
Graduating a Mark
A lesser mark can be graduated, that is, turned into a greater mark under specific circumstances.
If a creature has been marked by you for 24 hours or longer, you can expend 2 curse points as an action to force it to make a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the mark placed upon it becomes a greater mark. On a success, the creature is unaffected by this feature for the next 24 hours. A willing creature can fail this saving throw.
If a creature marked by you reaches 0 hit points and is dying, you can expend 3 curse points as an action to graduate the mark, turning it into a greater mark.
Creatures marked with a greater mark have disadvantage on all saving throws made against your living curse features and curse effects.
Removing a Mark
You can begin the process of removing a mark at any time as an action. A lesser mark requires 1 minute to fade from a creature, while a greater mark requires 24 hours. While the mark is fading, you cannot act through it, but you can still perceive through it and be harmed through it. All marks fade once you die.
Marks can be forcibly removed or thwarted by certain spells. If a lesser mark is targeted by dispel magic, you must a succeed on a Charisma saving throw against the spellcaster's save DC, taking 1d8 psychic damage for each level of the spell on a failure and half as much on a success. Additionally on a failure, you lose the ability to perceive and act through that mark for 1 minute, or until you can use an action to repeat and succeed on the saving throw. dispel magic has no effect on greater marks.
If remove curse is cast on a lesser mark you must make a Constitution saving throw against the spellcaster's save DC, taking 1d8 force damage for each level of the spell on a failure and half as much on a success. Additionally on a failure, the mark ends. If remove curse is cast on a greater mark, you instead take 2d8 force damage for each level of the spell, and on a failure, the greater mark transforms into a lesser mark.
While your power over a target with a greater mark may be gone, the physical remnant of the mark will never fade completely. A wound that never heals will heal with a nasty scar. Unusual skin will take on a more natural complexion.
Influencing Creatures through your Marks
You can telepathically communicate through your marks, either with a marked creature or with a creature that is touching the marked target. You must share a language with the recipient creature, otherwise you are only able to communicate simple concepts, images, and emotions. The recipient creature can mentally reply.
Other Mark Actions
If you have spellcasting, you may cast spells through your marks, not requiring verbal or somatic components. The marked target is treated as the caster of the spell. If a spell requires concentration, you must concentrate on it.
As a curse, you can expend curse points to create a curse effect originating from a target you have marked. You know a number of curse effects equal to 2 + your Intelligence modifier at first level and gain access to more as you level up in this class, as shown on the Curse Effects Known table. When you gain a level in this class, you can replace one curse effect you know with another curse effect you meet the prerequisites for.
When you select the curse effects you know at first level, you must have at least one curse effect that costs 0 curse points.
A creature can only be under one non-instantaneous curse effect at a time, unless stated otherwise. A curse effect ends once the duration expires or the mark it originated from ends. Once a curse effect affecting the marked creature has ended, the marked creature can repeat the saving throw against your curse mark if it is a lesser mark, ending the mark on a success.
- Enhancing Curse Effects with Curse Points
Some curse effects can be enhanced by expending more curse points when creating them. The maximum amount of curse points you can expend to apply a single curse effect is determined by the Curse Point Limit table. In addition, all curse effects with a duration of 1 round or greater can have their duration enhanced by expending additional curse points to do so, increasing by one step for every additional curse point expended. The durations are as follows: 1 round → 1 minute → 10 minutes → 1 hour → 8 hours → 24 hours → 7 days → 30 days → 1 year → Until broken.
At 2nd level, you gain the access to Supernatural Evolutions, unique enhancements made to your nature and abilities as you develop as a living curse. You gain two of your choice, and you gain more as you level in this class as shown on the Supernatural Evolutions table.
At 2nd level, you gain the ability to temporarily bestow knowledge and capabilities upon creatures you have marked. As an action, you can choose a willing creature you have marked and expend a specific number of curse points (up to your Curse Point Limit) for each instance of the following:
- (1 point) You grant the marked creature proficiency in up to any combination of three languages, tools, or skills that you are proficient in.
- (1 point) You grant the marked creature proficiency in any weapons of your choice that you are proficient in.
- (1 point) You grant the marked creature proficiency in any armor or shields of your choice that you are proficient in.
- (2 points) You grant the marked creature the benefits of a feat you have.
- (3 points + 2 points for each level of the class beyond 1st) You grant the marked creature features available at class levels that you have gained from Monstrous Versatility.
The marked creature gains this benefit for 12 hours. However, while they benefit from this feature, you can force them to have disadvantage on saving throws made against your curse abilities.
At 3rd level, you chose an archetype that you as a living curse are developing into. Your choice grants you features at 3rd, 7th and 15th level.
Apparition curses develop the ability to take physical form in the world, often in the form of an entity with immense durability and physical strength.
Death curses focus on enhancing the spread and power of their marks. They are near-unstoppable in that regard.
Transformation curses utilize the ability of a living curse to bestow abilities to its fullest, able to transform marked creatures into terrifying and powerful new forms.
Trickster curses take an enhanced interest in curse effects, supplementing them with the ability to cast spells that allow them to physically affect the enviroment around their marks.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
4th-level optional feature (replaces Ability Score Improvement)
Instead of taking an Ability Score Improvement, you may instead choose a feat or a level of a class. You do not need to meet the requirements for the feat. The level of the class must be at least half of your living curse level, and you gain access to all features at that level as well as the proficiencies of that class. Even if you are unable to use them directly, when you use Channeled Aspect, you can grant your target the benefit of these features.
4th-level optional feature
Whenever you reach a level in this class that grants the Ability Score Improvement feature, you can replace a supernatural evolution with another supernatural evolution you meet the requirements for.
You attempt to overtake the mind and body of a marked creature as an action, expending a number of curse points equal to the level or half the CR (whichever is higher) of the target creature (minimum 1 curse point). The target must make a Charisma saving throw against your curse save DC. A willing creature can choose to fail this saving throw. If the creature fails, you gain partial control over it. If a creature with a CR or level equal to your level or lower fails by 5 or more, you can choose to gain full control of that creature.
While under your possession, the host creature is incapacitated and you have control over its body. The possesed body retains its game statistics, but it uses your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, as well as your proficiencies. You gain no access to the host creature's knowledge or class features, and if the body takes psychic damage, it is instead dealt directly to you.
The possession ends early if the body drops to 0 hit points, if it falls unconscious, if you end it early as a bonus action, or if you are forced out by an effect such as dispel evil and good. Once the possession ends, the target creature can repeat its saving throw against your mark if it is a lesser mark, potentially ending your mark on a success.
The amount of curse points expended to possess a creature counts against your curse point limit as long as you continue to possess them. If you would spend more curse points than your curse point limit to possess a creature, the possession fails.
- Partial Control
While under partial control, the host creature is conscious and aware of the fact that it is not in control of its body. Once per round when you make the possessed body take an action that runs counter to the host creature's nature, the host creature can attempt to fight you for control with a contested Charisma check against your curse ability modifier. On a success, the creature causes the action to not occur and regains control of its body until the end of the current turn. Three cumulative successes by the creature causes the possession to end, while three cumulative failures allows you to gain full control of the target.
- Full Control
While under full control, the host creature is completely unaware and unable to resist. It can repeat the saving throw against your possession once every 24 hours.
Fully possessing a creature allows you to override its mortal limits. Choose from one of the following (no action required):
- When the possessed creature fails an ability check or saving throw using Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution, or misses an attack roll, you can choose to treat the number on the d20 as your Curse Save DC.
- The possessed creature gains an amount of temporary hit points equal to twice your level. These temporary hit points are special, in that damage is first deducted from the creature's normal hit points, then from its temporary hit points. While these temporary hit points exist, the possessed creature doesn't suffer the effects of exhaustion.
Each time you use one of these options, the possessed creature gains a level of exhaustion.
At 9th level, you gain a second omni-action, also regained at the start of initiative 20. You can't take the same action to try to affect the same creature with the same ability or effect twice in a turn.
At 11th level, your curse power becomes more persistent. When a creature succeeds its saving throw against your mark, you can expend 1 curse point as a reaction to force it to roll again and take the new roll.
At 18th level, you gain a third and final omni-action, regained at the start of initiative 20. As before, you can't take the same action to affect the same creature twice in a turn.
There is no longer a limit to the amount of marks you can have.
Apparition curses are able to take physical form for brief periods of time.
A statted creature with its own initiative. It being killed hurts you big.
Death curses channel the energy of life and death to maximize the spread and power of their marks.
At 3rd level, you no longer lose hit points when a creature marked with a greater mark by you dies and you transfer the mark to its corpse.
Additionally, at 3rd level you have the ability to drain energy from creatures you have marked to reinvigorate yourself. As an action, choose any creatures you have marked. Each creature marked with a lesser mark loses one hit die if they have at least one available, while a greater marked creature loses two. You can then expend these hit dice, choosing either to grant yourself temporary hit points equal to the hit dice expended or regain 1 curse point for every 10 hit points resulting from the total.
Once you use this feature, you must finish a long rest to use it again.
Starting at 15th level, whenever a humanoid marked by you dies, you can choose for one of the following effects to occur:
- The humanoid rises as an undead skeleton or zombie that follows your commands. The undead retains your mark, but does not count against the maximum amount of marks you can have.
- You may attempt to mark another creature within 60 feet, ignoring any previous immunity to your marks.
You can transform your hosts into stronger versions of themselves.
Partial Transformation (incomplete)
Curse Enhancement Bonus = 1/2 (your curse ability modifier + your proficiency bonus) rounded down
- Strong Transformation
While transformed, the creature adds your curse enhancement bonus to its Strength modifier. It also counts as one size larger for the purposes of how much it can carry, push, drag, or lift.
- Agile Transformation
While transformed, the creature adds your curse enhancement bonus to its Dexterity modifier.
Trickster curses are unseen presences that definitely do not go unfelt. They specialize in curse effects, being nuisances at best and deadly menaces at worst.
Bonus Curse Effects
At 3rd level, you know the cursecraft curse effect if you didn't already, and it doesn't count against the number of curse effects you know.
You gain an additional bonus curse effect known when you reach 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level in this class.
Bindings and Wards
A binding is an intrinsic part of a curse's manifest. It is the will that directs the magic of the curse, its purpose and source of animation. It other terms, it is a set of rules that defines the parameters in which a living curse is permitted to work.
Driven by a longing for justice, a lust for vengeance, or a zealous desire to correct wrongdoing, your manifest is bound to punish those who do evil.
You gain a new way to use your curse mark: when you witness a creature performing an evil act, you may use your reaction to attempt to mark it. The target creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your curse save DC or become marked with a lesser mark by you.
However, if you witness a unmarked creature performing an evil act and you do not attempt to mark it, you receive an amount of psychic damage equal to your level.
Cursebreak. If a creature marked by you performs an act of good, they may repeat the saving throw, ending the mark if it is a lesser mark and transforming a greater mark into a lesser mark on a success.
Bound by a responsibility to protect, your manifest is intrinsically linked to the security of an item, location, or, less commonly, a living being.
The mark placed upon your Initial Host becomes permanent and irremovable, and does not count against your total amount of marks. However, if it is ever destroyed or killed, you are immediately sent to 0 hit points.
You gain a new way to use your curse mark: when you witness a creature take or threaten harmful action against your initial host, you may use your reaction to attempt to mark it. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your curse save DC. On a failure, the target becomes marked by you with a lesser or, by expending 2 curse points, a greater mark. Using your curse mark in this way ignores and does not grant immunity to your curse mark from succeeding the saving throw against it.
If you somehow survive your initial host being destroyed, you shed this binding and do not need to replace it.
Born from the hatred and malice of a truly evil being, your manifest is to sow destruction far and wide. To that end, you piggyback on the evils and selfishness of others to spread.
A creature marked by you can perform a 1-hour ritual with another unmarked willing creature. Once they do so, you must use an action to mark the second creature with a lesser mark or greater mark. The first creature gains advantage on saving throws made against your curse abilities for 24 hours.
If you interrupt or interfere with this ritual, or fail to mark the second creature, you take an amount of psychic damage equal to four times your level.
Your manifest is intrinsically tied to a story of some kind, be it a legend, myth, or some other tale, that propagates through the collective consciousness of a group of people.
You gain a new way use your curse mark through a specific ritual tied to this story. This ritual takes 1 minute or longer, requires an object and a unique set of instructions to follow, and can be performed by any creature that can understand it. While a creature performs this ritual, you become aware of it and its immediate surroundings.
Once a creature completes this ritual, you must attempt to mark it. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your curse save DC, becoming marked with a greater mark by you on a failure, or a lesser mark on a success. The creature can willingly fail this saving throw. If you make no attempt to mark it, you receive an amount of psychic damage equal to your level as your presence in this world weakens.
Trim the Chain
You are bound to a strict order of operations: first in, last out.
When it comes to marked creatures, you are bound to only affect the last creature marked. That creature must either die or end your mark on their own. If you harm any other creature or manually end the last creature's mark, you take an amount of psychic damage equal to your level.
However, your marks are stronger as a result of your focused manifestation. Any mark you create on a creature can be a greater mark.
Around the Circle
You are bound to a strict order of operations: Work your way through the line, then start back again at the top.
When it comes to marked creatures, you are bound to only affect or harm one creature at a time, starting with the first creature that gained your mark. Once a curse effect used on that creature expires, that creature can no longer be affected by you and the next creature you marked becomes the creature you are allowed to affect. Once you reach the last creature you have marked, you start over with the first creature again.
If you act out of order by affecting any other creature with a curse effect, you take an amount of psychic damage equal to your level.
As a result of your focused manifestation, your marks are stronger. Any mark you create on a creature can be a greater mark.
Wards are weaknesses in the magical pattern that sustains the curse, diminishing its power and influence if not outright disabling it entirely.
Salt embodies both balance and purification, things highly disruptive to supernatural entities such as fiends, undead, and indeed, some living curses.
An unbroken line of salt creates a barrier of force that prevents any creature or effect you control from traveling over or under it.
If a creature marked by you enters the area of an unbroken circle of salt, any effects created by your mark are suppressed until it leaves the area. You are unable to mark creatures or objects within the area or affect them in any way.
Silver embodies purity and beauty, the same characteristics found in the light of the moon. Shapeshifters, lycanthropes, and other supernatural creatures whose forms are distorted fear this incorruptible metal.
When an object made of silver is within the line of sight of any source of your arcane senses, the spherical area that the object occupies is considered heavily obscured to you.
Creatures you control are considered vulnerable to the damage dealt by attacks made with silvered weapons.
invisible marks and effects you create are visible in the reflection of a silver mirror.
The power of the gods is nothing to be scoffed at. The divine energy of these beings, suffused through their sites, artifacts, and servants, serves as an effective and searing counter to those that are sustained by dark magic.
While a creature or object marked by you is within 5 feet of a holy symbol, you cease to be able to act through it until it the holy symbol is removed. Creatures you control have disadvantage on attack rolls made against a target within 5 feet of a holy symbol, and creatures within 5 feet of a holy symbol have advantage on saving throws made against your curse features. If a holy symbol belongs to a deity that shares at least one axis of alignment with your own, it is safe for you.
Effects and creatures you control cannot enter or extend into consecrated ground, such as that created by the hallow spell. Creatures marked by you may enter the area of consecrated ground, but you have no influence over them while they are present there.
Creatures you control are considered valid targets for effects that turn undead.
Running water embodies purity, health, and the flow of life. To those that are an abomination to life, entering such waters can often guarantee complete destruction.
Creatures you control cannot cross running water. If a creature you control ends its turn in running water, it takes 20 acid damage.
You are incapacitated if a marked object is submerged in running water.
List of Supernatural Evolutions
Whenever you finish a long rest or spend 24 hours without expending more curse points than your curse point limit, you can replace one curse effect you know with a different curse effect you meet the prerequisites for.
You can tell whether or not an object, creature, or effect is magical or not within the radius of your supernatural senses.
As an action you can expend 1 curse point and reduce your curse point maximum by 1 to enhance your supernatural senses. While enhanced in this way, you can determine what spells or magical effects are affecting a creature or object within the radius, and what school of magic they belong to if any. This enhancement lasts until you use an action to end it, and upon doing so the reduction to your curse point maximum is ended as well.
You can tell whether or not a place or object has been consecrated or desecrated within the radius of your supernatural senses.
As an action you can expend 1 curse point and reduce your curse point maximum by 1 to enhance your supernatural senses. While enhanced in this way, you can determine the alignment and home plane of any creature within the radius, and whether it is an aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead. This enhancement lasts until you use an action to end it, and upon doing so the reduction to your curse point maximum is ended as well.
You become proficient with all armors and shields, and simple and martial weapons. Choose a fighting style when you select this evolution. Creatures you control benefit from that fighting style, and when you use Channeled Aspect to grant a creature weapon or armor proficiency, you can grant that creature the benefits of that fighting style for the duration at no additional cost.
Objects marked by you are counted as magical items for effects that would damage or destroy them. They have resistance to all damage. Objects marked with a greater mark are immune to all damage unless one of your wards is present when the object is dealt damage.
You can choose for any new marks you create to be invisible.
If a creature with more than 3 Intelligence sees an art object or trinket worth 50 gp or more that is marked by you, as a reaction you can force them to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, they are charmed by the object for 1 minute and feel compelled to interact with it or study it. At the end of this period, you may attempt to mark them. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw is immune to this effect for the next 24 hours.
Prerequisite: 5th level
If a creature succeeds on its saving throw against your mark and is now immune to being marked by you, you can expend 1 curse point (no action required) to ignore that creature's immunity until the next time you successfully mark it.
Prerequisite: 5th level, apparition curse
Prerequisite: 11th level
Your curse point limit is increased by 5 for the purpose of possession.
When you possess a creature, you can fully utilize any class features or proficiencies of that creature.
Prerequisite: 3rd level
You can sense the presence and general mood of any creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher within the radius of your supernatural senses. This ability to sense creatures penetrates most barriers, but you cannot detect a creature if the creature is protected by 2 feet of rock, 2 inches of any metal other than lead, or a thin sheet of lead.
As an action you can expend 1 curse point and reduce your curse point maximum by 1 to enhance your supernatural senses. While enhanced in this way, you are aware of the exact location of creatures you detect and can hear their surface thoughts and read their emotional state. This enhancement lasts until you use an action to end it, and upon doing so the reduction to your curse point maximum is ended as well.
Prerequisite: 5th level
If a creature spends at least one round marked with a lesser mark by you, you can expend 4 curse points as an action to graduate the mark to a greater mark.
When a creature you can see deals damage to a marked target, you can use a reaction to attempt to mark that creature.
Prerequisite: 5th level
You can choose for any effects you create or control, such as spells, curse effects, or summoned creatures to be selectively invisible, appearing only to creatures of your choosing. The effect must be visible to at least one creature. This evolution has no effect on the visibility of your marks.
Expanded Options and Features
Living curses are excluded from benefitting from most downtime activities due to their nature. However, they do have access to a few unique downtime activities.
This downtime activity is to assist a living curse that has become "stuck". That is, has arrived in a situation where it only has marked objects and locations and no marked creatures or any way to mark creatures, thus severely limiting its mobility.
Each day while you undergo this downtime activity, you can expend curse points to spread your awareness and influence temporarily from one of your marks. 1 curse point nets you expansion through 30 feet of air, 20 feet of water, 5 feet of stone, or 1 inch of common metal. You cannot expand your senses through lead or magical barriers. This awareness is not as precise as your Arcane Senses, but gives you a general idea of the layout and awareness of creatures within the area.
You can choose a creature within this expanded awareness and communicate telepathically with it. You either send a message of up to 7 words, a mental image, or a sensation. You may only do so once freely each day, otherwise you must expend a curse point to do so again.
The downtime activity and expanded awareness ends if the mark you gained the expanded awareness from is moved more than 30 feet from where you began the downtime activity.
Starting at Higher Levels
When you start at higher levels, you can use the following options for your Initial Host instead.
- 5th-10th level
- A rare magic item.
- An art object worth no greater than 500 gp and no larger than 5 feet in any dimension.
- A humanoid with a challenge rating no greater than 4, controlled by the DM.
- 11th-16th level
- A very rare magic item.
- An art object worth no greater than 1000 gp and no larger than 5 feet in any dimension.
- A humanoid with a challenge rating no greater than 8, controlled by the DM.
- 17th-20th level
- A legendary magic item.
- An art object worth no greater than 2000 gp and no larger than 5 feet in any dimension.
- A humanoid with a challenge rating no greater than 12, controlled by the DM.