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Crafting Cursed Items

Source Horror Adventures pg. 142
A creature can intentionally craft a cursed item—except unique cursed items and items with opposite effects—in the same manner as the item it resembles in most respects. Crafting a cursed item has the same requirements and calls for the same skill checks as for the normal item, but in addition, intentionally cursed items require bestow curse or major curse. Crafting cursed items that pervert normal items usually has the same cost as for the fully functional versions, though with the exceptions below. However, as with all magic item price guidelines, the discounts below should be used only as a starting point for determining a cursed item’s final price, and the particulars of a given situation will likely require ad hoc adjustments beyond the advice below.

Delusion: Items that merely delude the user into thinking they function cost 90% less than normal, or possibly even less (for instance, an item that deludes the user into thinking it’s a mirror of life trapping probably doesn’t need to cost 20,000 gp).

Drawbacks and Requirements: Drawbacks and requirements typically don’t reduce the cost of a cursed item in any way (and might increase it). Since the crafter of an intentionally cursed item is setting these requirements, it is expected that she does so with a particular agenda, such as choosing a requirement that doesn’t affect her very much but would make the item painful for her enemies to use should they steal it, or choosing a requirement that she wants someone to perform anyway and then offering the item as a gift.

That said, these curses typically affect the price when selling the cursed items to a merchant. The price may be reduced by 10% for minor drawbacks or requirements such as minimum skill ranks or the worship of a specific deity; by 30% for harmful or costly drawbacks or requirements such as an alignment change, ability damage, sacrificing wealth, or performing a quest to activate the item; or by 50% for severe drawbacks or requirements such as negative levels that cannot be removed or needing to routinely sacrifice sentient creatures to the item.

Opposite Effect on Target: These items are rarely appropriate for a character to intentionally craft, as they might lead to weird situations where a reverse attack or a dispelling of certain spells is actually beneficial when used on allies, or vice versa. For effects where the opposite is not a new effect (such as inflict light wounds instead of cure light wounds), the crafter might as well just craft the opposite item to begin with unless she plans on tricking the owner of the item.

Stained Items: A creature’s death can potentially stain a magic item that’s used to kill it, that’s in close proximity at the moment of death, or that’s crafted using material gained by its death. A stained item is permanently converted into a cursed item of the appropriate type. A stained item functions as normal for a cursed item of its type except that the DCs of checks for remove curse or similar magic to suppress or remove the item’s curse from any creature responsible for the curse-layer’s death increases by 5.

Unique Items: These items should be priced and their crafting requirements assigned on a case-by-case basis as new items with the effects they produce rather than the items they appear to be.