Curse of Unexpected Death

More fun from Numeria, Zyphus (patron deity of accidental death) has gotten some wonderful love, details and support. He got a spell, a herald (that guy is tons of fun!) and a few other things. Sadly, the spell is woefully awful.

Curse of Unexpected Death

Range touch, fortitude partial

You curse one living creature with a chance of instant and unexpected death. When you cast this spell, your hand seethes with eerie gray fire. You must succeed at a melee touch attack to touch the target, at which time the fire buries itself within the target’s body and disappears. On the round you touch the creature and once per minute thereafter, roll 1d100. On a result of 01–05, the spell is triggered and the creature takes 8d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level; the creature can attempt a saving throw to reduce the damage to 2d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level. On a result of 06–100, nothing happens.

Once the spell is triggered or if the duration expires before it triggers, the magic ends and no further 1d100 rolls are made. If the target has spell resistance, a caster level check is made when you succeed at the touch attack. A creature can be affected by only one instance of this spell at a time. The untriggered spell can be removed with dispel magic, remove curse, or similar effects.

I want to like this spell, I do! I really want to! But I don’t. Mainly, I think that this spell needs a little patching. A little analysis, this spell procs once a round, every round, checking a 5% chance to proc a chunk of damage. On average, this spell procs once every 2 minutes (you’re fishing for a 1 on a d20). Once it procs, the target gets a fort save to reduce the damage and the spell ends. Now, if Paizo didn’t hate Save or Die spells, this would be a fine spell BUT this only deals some damage when it procs. Now here are my proposed changes:

  • A proc does not end the spell.

That’s it. This makes the spell much more Zyphus-like, a long duration random chance of getting slapped with damage. The touch range of the spell pulls it into line with other curse spells, and the fact that on average it’s 2 minutes per proc or 2.45 damage per round.


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