There’s only so many cursed magic items to tempt and torment characters with in our fantasy roleplaying games. Game Masters can have a lot of fun seeding our campaign settings with powerful magic for the heroes that come with a price. For those GMs who enjoy presenting players with a little risk vs. reward treasure — or just straight up risky magic items — Cursed Collective is a Kickstarter campaign promising over 50 new unique and creative cursed items suitable for all your tabletop roleplaying game campaigns.
Cursed magic items are a blessing
Session Zero Games checks all my boxes with the Cursed Collective Kickstarter. New magic items for 5th Edition or any fantasy tabletop RPG win me over any time. But these cursed magic items have a lot going for them to make games more interesting. First off, they’re not all bad — at least not completely. Bog standard cursed magic items are often deceptive enough to appear beneficial, until used. Once the curse kicks in though, there’s no question: your character is definitely better off without the item than with.
Not so with the Cursed Collective! Items included in the Cursed Collective aren’t strictly evil. Some are mischievious, some for laughs, and some are downright weird. The portable troll for example works like a portable hole. Except instead of drawing forth your item at a crucial moment, your hand emerges from the space holding…grass clippings?! But even something silly like this gets my imagination working and that brings me to my next point.
Cursed magic items like these are terrific storytelling tools. The portable troll might be an odd example but it’s previewed on the Kickstarter page and frankly it looks cool and fun to me. Where are the grass clippings from? What about any of the other things a creature might pull from the interdimensional space? I like magic items and if I’m honest anything that intrigues players enough to engage them. Great storytelling is sure to follow.
Cursed magic items make perfect sense in a fantasy world too, and create thought provoking moments for characters. There’s all sorts of magic in our game worlds, so there’s every reason to believe there’s objects imbued with dark energy that cause misfortune. Any treasure hoard or magic item collection has a good chance of containing a cursed magic item.
The Cursed Collective comes in a card format! Card accessories for any game are a win for me. There’s both print and play and printed deck options through the Kickstarter. Even if you only enjoy your tabletop roleplaying game time online, these cards make a great reference with terrific art on one side and mechanics and story elements on the other. I recommended the extra $5 to back the printed deck level. It says it right there on the Cursed Collective Kickstarter page: “There’s nothing better than holding cursed magic item cards in your grip.”
But if cards aren’t your thing (why?!) there’s an option for you too — a softcover pocket book. While you’re searching out the perfect curse in the glossary, enjoy some extra story the creators slipped in for good measure.
There is one pledge level surpassing all the others in both value and razzle dazzle — the Tricks & Treats Sack. The ultimate pledge level (duh) could not be better timed, with Halloween coming up in just a few weeks. This is your MOAR STUFF level themed for the spooky season. You get a limited edition squishy stress eyeball to ease your tension from all these wonderful cursed magic items, a custom gem filled with candy, a printed deck, and the book (PDF is included in this level too) and if that isn’t enough — a set of real metal Pumpkin Spice Dice! All those treats come inside a burlap goodie sack. Then the Cursed Collective Kickstarter takes it a step further: each prop can be used at your table and matches one of the item cards in the deck so when your players encounter it you can physically hand it to them!
The Cursed Collective is the 12th Kickstarter for creator Ralph Levi Clark, and Session Zero Games enlisted top notch guests to contribute to the product too. Olle “Skaggeth” Larsson is a long time streamer and creator of tabletop role-playing game content, Boogie Moustache is a fun and crazy party of close friends who are starting to break out in the streaming world, and there’s a couple of people named Nerdachist Dave and Nerdarchist Ted contributing to the cursed magic item content too. That’s right! Our very own Nerdarchy family are guest creators for the project.
I love the idea of having this deck in my collection, and pulling it out here and there when characters find treasure somewhere like a private collection of a cultist (or unaware art lover?), or in the hoard of a dark beast or evil entity. There can be all sorts of reasons for cursed magic items to pop up anywhere, and they can grab player’s attention and maybe lead to fun stories driven by character curiosity.
Each of the cursed magic items is designed to bring a new challenge to players and make them think long and hard about snatching up everything they can. A wise wizard once said…
“Not all magic is good magic and some items carry a grudge!”
Head over to the Cursed Collective Kickstarter page and take a look for yourself. Discover the pledge level that best fits your needs (looking at you Tricks & Treats) and give players a little dose of paranoia and excitement about their amazing treasure finds for the rest of their adventuring careers!