DMs Guild Review: Strangely Changed

Strangely Changed is a supplement by Gabriel Hatcher containing 99 new curses you can liberally sprinkle on your unfortunate players.

The supplement is divided into 3 parts. The first part contains curses that are applied to magic items, the second part is for curses applied to characters, and the third part contains curses applied to whole groups. Each curse has two aspects: how it works and what it entails, both mechanically and how you can roleplay it, and how it happened, giving one or more possible sources of this curse – both who first used it and who others learned the secrets behind it.

All of them are very well thought out, with several having advantages that people might consider worthwhile – though they tend to cause a lot of chaos around them. For example, my favorite curse is actually the very first given: The Breastplate of the Undying Flame gives you immunity to fire, but also causes you to constantly burn. Now, this might not affect you directly, but it does mildly inconvenience everyone and everything around you. You could use it offensively to burn your enemies, but you probably won’t be welcome in any place besides the elemental plane of fire.

There are plenty of curses that are fun or simply annoying, as well as others that are more grim and gloomy, so you have a lot of choices depending on the style and theme of your game. In addition to the other information you get, there is also a part on each curse that explains how it can be removed – sometimes you can destroy the cursed item in a certain way, some curses require a greater restoration, a wish, or some other spell, and some require direct divine intervention, but per the author himself, they can (and should, at some point) be removed. That being said, they are supposed to be a bit more difficult to get rid of than what a simple Bestow Curse spell would inflict you with, so it will take some work (well, if you’re not a level 210 wizard at least. Those guys can do anything they want so they don’t count). In fact, for several of these curses, you could base an entire campaign around getting them dispelled.

Overall, Strangely Changed is a supplement I was impressed with, both by the quality and quantity of its content, and I will certainly use some of the ideas within in my future games.

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