Giving out magic items is fun. It's great for martial classes who will struggle to scale, and it's fun to see players lay waste with the power at their hands. But give out too many and suddenly nothing is a threat anymore. How do we fix this problem? Curses. Make a player decide if they should keep using the useful items despite the curse. Or, just limit their power a little bit so you can give out more. So with no further ado, here are six more minor curses to impose upon your players in your DnD 5e games.
1. Curse of Never Letting Go (one handed items, requires attunement)
Whenever a creature picks up this item, their other hand locks onto whatever they're holding and cannot release it. If they are holding nothing their hand curls into a fist and they cannot open it. This persists as long as the creature remains attuned to the item.
2. Lesser Health (Requires attunement)
Once attuned to this item, the user has their Max HP reduced by 5 (1d4 + 2). This effect persists as long as the user remains attuned to the item.
3. Curse of Sharp Edges
Due to worker/employer conflict at the plant where this was made, this item was poorly constructed. It's sharp bits and annoying edges cut its user. Whenever the item is used, the user must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw, taking 1d4 damage on a failure.
4. Curse of Uncertainty
Every time someone uses this item have them roll a d20. The next time they make an attack roll, saving throw or skill check they replace it with what they just rolled, without any modifiers or proficiency.
5. Lingering Poison
Any time this item is used the creature using it must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the creature becomes poisoned for the next hour. The poison is cured if the target is healed or rests.
6. Curse of Squeakiness (any boots)
Any time the wearer of these boots attempts a Dexterity (Stealth) check their final roll is reduced by 2 as the boots let out an incredibly loud squeal.
These curses obviously vary in severity and ways in which they can be used. They are not tied to specific items so that you can apply the curses in different ways, perhaps mitigating the effect of an overpowered item or simply making the players consider their equipment more closely. Either way, hopefully they are of some use.
If you have idea for other curses or want help with something, feel free to reach out!