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D&D 5E Cursed items and Identify in 5e

Zarithar

Adventurer
I'm just wondering if anyone has come across any official rulings regarding how the Identify spell works with cursed magic items in 5e? Currently I am using the "An identify spell only has a 1% chance per caster level to reveal a cursed item’s true properties, including the cursed aspect" from the D20 SRD, and will likely continue to do so in absence of an official ruling. Any thoughts on this?


 

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Crothian

First Post
Are we sure there will be cursed items? It just seems that items are so easy to identify and there is no mystery to magical items that it seems cursed items might not be in the game anymore.
 


Crothian

First Post
They're mentioned in the remove curse spell.

The curse attunes with the owner so I guess either they trick the PCs into thinking one needs to attune with the item to use it or what would be cool is during a short rest the cursed item picks a PC to attune with so it doesn't happen with the PCs knowledge and it sounds more insidious to do so.
 

Xodis

First Post
...what would be cool is during a short rest the cursed item picks a PC to attune with so it doesn't happen with the PCs knowledge

Now THIS is a cursed Item. What would be even better is if it removed something else you were attuned to as well in the case that you have your max allowance already. Bye bye Holy Avenger attunement, make room for Sword of Darkness attunement that you didnt want lol.

I would allow a Magical Knowledge check with every attempt to Identify, DC dependent on the power of the curse. Made in private though so the players dont catch on.
 

Agamon

Adventurer
I think Identify is actually useful for cursed items. Normally you just need a few minutes to study an item during a rest to figure it out. Identify might make for a good warning beacon if you used it instead. Otherwise, the only thing Identify is useful for is using an item without resting first.
 

Ichneumon

First Post
I doubt we'll see items where the curse is the entire reason for the item's existence. Instead, curses will sit atop attunements for otherwise useful gear. So I doubt there'll be a belt of gender-switching, but a belt of giant strength may have a curse that gives a cumulative 10% chance of changing the user's gender when they succeed on a Strength-based check of DC 20 or higher.

Identify is an easy way (and the only way) to reveal curses before they manifest. But it won't necessarily result in every cursed item being tossed aside like rubbish. If the item's good enough, PCs will be tempted to risk or put up with the curse in order to get the benefits.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
I doubt we'll see items where the curse is the entire reason for the item's existence. Instead, curses will sit atop attunements for otherwise useful gear. So I doubt there'll be a belt of gender-switching, but a belt of giant strength may have a curse that gives a cumulative 10% chance of changing the user's gender when they succeed on a Strength-based check of DC 20 or higher.

Identify is an easy way (and the only way) to reveal curses before they manifest. But it won't necessarily result in every cursed item being tossed aside like rubbish. If the item's good enough, PCs will be tempted to risk or put up with the curse in order to get the benefits.

I think in my games, all magic items will be cursed in this way.
 




Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I think Identify is actually useful for cursed items. Normally you just need a few minutes to study an item during a rest to figure it out. Identify might make for a good warning beacon if you used it instead. Otherwise, the only thing Identify is useful for is using an item without resting first.
Quite right, which is why if I ever run or adopt 5e I'll quickly do away with the idea of learning what an item does without actually field-testing it (and triggering curses) or casting Identify or Item Knowledge at it (and triggering curses).

I was a bit surprised not to see some mention of how Identify interacted with curses in the spell's write-up.

Lanefan
 

Psikerlord#

Explorer
Now THIS is a cursed Item. What would be even better is if it removed something else you were attuned to as well in the case that you have your max allowance already. Bye bye Holy Avenger attunement, make room for Sword of Darkness attunement that you didnt want lol.

I would allow a Magical Knowledge check with every attempt to Identify, DC dependent on the power of the curse. Made in private though so the players dont catch on.
yes devs if you're reading this, please put it in dmg!
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Yeah. I think [MENTION=6777265]Xodis[/MENTION] has the right of it. Great idea!

As for the "official 5e ruling" on the matter, I haven't seen or heard of one. The % to notice a curse on an item seems as good a way to go as any.

Personally, I might not have a chance to know if the item was cursed, at all, until after a second identify is used. The first one gives false information except for one of the most benign/common traits, of course. When they go back to the given diviner/mage/PC to say, "Hey buddy! This isn't doing any of the things you said it would." A second identify/inspection/maybe even just a Dt. Magic will turn up, "BOOYAH! I'M CURSED SUCKUHS! N' I'M GONNA BE STUCK ONNNNN...<select PC> YOU! LET THE SOUL SUCKIN' BEGIN!"

[I've often thought there ought to be some kind of "soul sucking/life ruining" involved in cursed items...other than just the DM needs to figure out how to mess with the PC's world/life "story-wise"...a slow Con. drain or something...random ability drain? Gradual Energy Drain/Level loss (for powerful items/artifacts)?! Hellish transformation resulting in loss of Str. or Dex.? Something besides just "you can't get rid of it and it gives you a minus on this or that roll." Most stories of cursed items result in at least one of the item's owner's -usually inexplicable/mysterious- deaths or near-death, destroying their lives bit by bit until there's nothing left for them...often leaving them living with nothing as a worse fate than leading them to/resulting in their doom.]
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
I think Identify is actually useful for cursed items. Normally you just need a few minutes to study an item during a rest to figure it out. Identify might make for a good warning beacon if you used it instead. Otherwise, the only thing Identify is useful for is using an item without resting first.
My understanding is that focusing on an item during a short rest only gives you the surface properties of the item. It does not reveal the attuned properties or any secrets. Curses would normally fall under attuned properties. So you can attune before you know what the properties are or use identify to warn of the curses. Check the "identify" section of the following L&L.

http://www.wizards.com/Dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140512
 

Agamon

Adventurer
My understanding is that focusing on an item during a short rest only gives you the surface properties of the item. It does not reveal the attuned properties or any secrets. Curses would normally fall under attuned properties. So you can attune before you know what the properties are or use identify to warn of the curses. Check the "identify" section of the following L&L.

http://www.wizards.com/Dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140512

I thought I'd read that somewhere, as that's how I was going to play it anyway.
 

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