Curses of Golarion

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(Redirected from Lycanthropy)
See also: Cursed item

Curses are nasty, sometimes fatal, afflictions usually gained by invoking the wrath of a creature or trying to access a warded item.1 Some creatures can innately curse while others may learn how to do so, for instance, witches.2

Gods and curses

Kostchtchie, cursed by Baba Yaga.

Andirifkhu, Calistria and Desna may grant their followers access to curse-related powers.34[citation needed]

Pharasma, in aeons past, cursed the lamia matriarchs.5

Kostchtchie was cursed by Baba Yaga: Kostchtchie sought immortality by forcing a bargain with the Baba Yaga but Kostchtchie's wish for immortality was twisted by the evil crone, and he found himself transformed into the demonic form of the thing that he hated most: a giant.6

Creatures and curses

Ankana, a mummy whose touch carries an infamous curse.

Invoking the wrath of certain creatures on Golarion may release a curse from them. Here is a list of just some of the creatures that can curse their enemies:

Spells and curses

Certain spells function as curses, allowing any creature who learns them to curse their foes. Here is a list of some curse spells and an asterisk (*) denotes that there is more information below:

Disease and curses

See also: Diseases of Golarion

Some particularly baleful curses manifest as disease too. Often there is no chance of curing the disease until the curse is lifted. Mummy rot is among the most infamous of such curses.32

Removing curses

Curses can typically be removed only through magic, such as the cleanse affliction spell33 also known as remove curse or break enchantment,2 or by gathering in prayer or to perform occult rites.3334

List of curses

Below is a list of some of the curses that can be bestowed on Golarion. It is by no means an exhaustive list.

Adella curse

The Adella Necropolis in Taldor is warded by a powerful curse.35

Bestow curse spell

Spellcasters with access to the bestow curse spell may afflict an enemy mentally or physically with it.29

Birthing Death

Found probably only in the Valley of the Birthing Death in Icemark in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, the local Varki tribes named the curse within the valley as the 'Birthing Death' as it manifests as a rapid rejuvenation of the afflicted taking them back to childhood and oblivion.36

The Bleaching

The Bleaching is a specific curse of the gnomes, brought upon by lack of stimulation in a gnome's life.37

Coward's Curse

A curse that causes a creature to freeze in fear when confronted with danger, making them useless in combat or other tense circumstances.38

Creature curses

See above under Creatures and curses.

Creeping Senility

Creeping senility is a disease and a curse that attacks the mind over several days unless cured.39

Crow's curse

There is a belief in Irrisen that crows are harbingers of death. There is some truth to this fact as some crows carry a malevolent energy due to the supernatural cold of the country. Close proximity to such an infected murder of crows risks falling victim to a terrible curse causing panic and fear in its victims.40

Crypt Fever

Crypt fever is particularly nasty as, like mummy rot, it is a disease and a curse: the curse must be removed before effectual healing may be applied to the victim. This supernatural disease can be contracted through contact with a contagious entity or by inhaling. The disease wearies the victim: sapping their strength, confidence and self worth; victims are physically marked by the disease too.41

Cursed magic items

Cursed magic items can be terrible perversions of beneficial magic items such as a clumsy sword or a strangling necklace. Rarely made by choice, these items are cursed by sloppy workmanship in the creation of a normal magic item.42

Curse of Bestial Dreams

Victims of this necromantic curse suffer headaches and are more prone to anger. It can be caused by small doses of dream crystal toxin and is a precursor to id mutations.43

Curse of Nightmares

A curse that plagues the subject with terrible nightmares, preventing them from resting.38

Curse of Slumber

A legendary curse that sends a creature into a sleep indistinguishable from death.38

Curse of the Ages

Invoking this curse ages the afflicted by one year.32

Curse of the Drowning Gasp

The Curse of the Drowning Gasp afflicts any who kill a gare linnorm; the afflicted person can no longer drink liquids without the liquid filling their lungs and causing them to start drowning.44

Curse of the Ravenous

A curse that robs the victim of their ability to be sated by what they eat, gradually killing them through starvation.38

Werewolves under a full moon.

Curse of the werecreature

The curse of the werecreature is a supernatural curse that resembles a disease. It can be contracted two ways:4546

  • Afflicted werecreature: One who was bitten by a werecreature, such as a werewolf or wererat. The affliction remains dormant until the next full moon, whereupon the victim undergoes an involuntary transformation into an animal and becomes filled with an uncontrollable rage and bloodlust.47 The victim generally retains no memory of any events experienced while transformed and returns to their normal form upon sunrise, and as a result might not realize it is cursed.48
The affliction can be cured in the same manner as any other curse48 or by drinking a preparation made of wolfsbane before the first transformation.49
  • True werecreatures: The curse can also be passed on from a werecreature parent to their offspring. Also known as natural werecreatures, true werecreatures have greater control over their transformation except during a full moon and do not suffer from any memory loss during their transformation.48

Although it is a rare occurrence, a person can also become a werebear by drawing the "Bear" card from a harrow deck of many things.50


Some scholars label all werecreatures as "lycanthropes", but the term when correctly used applies only to werewolves, and other werecreatures are sometimes offended by being associated with lycanthropy.51

Some believe that it was the demon lord Jezelda who first brought lycanthropy to Golarion, although her faithful dispute this claim.52 Lycanthropy is known to be particularly common among the Ulfen of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings (where it is considered a sign of favor given by nature spirits),53 in the small Varisian village of Wolf's Ear,54 and in Darkmoon Vale in northeastern Andoran.55

Curse of the winterthorn

The curse of the winterthorn is a druidic ritual that creates a stag-horned forest avenger called a herne.5657

Curse water spell

Cursed metamorphosis spell

Powerful spellcasters may turn enemies into harmless rodents, frogs, or some other harmless creature by using the cursed metamorphosis spell,27 sometimes called baleful polymorph.58


Daybane causes the victim to take damage when exposed to sunlight or other bright illumination.39


Dayblind causes blindness in areas of sunlight or other bright lights.39


Dissolution is the curse of a wasting disease.39


Famine is a disgusting curse that transforms any food of the victim to putrescent mush that, if actually able to be eaten, then causes sickness.39

Fevered Dreams

Fevered dreams is a curse that brings on nightmares and consequently fatigue.39

Font of Truth

Font of Truth is a curse that forces the victim to be truthful.59

Grave Curse

A form of curse used to punish those who steal from graves and tombs. When an afflicted creature tries to rest, an incorporeal spirit manifests to harass them and prevent their sleep. When an afflicted creature enters a graveyard or other area containing corpses, zombies and skeletons will spontaneously manifest to attack them. THis curse can be undone by returning whatever was stolen.38

Half-Life Palsy

This disease is also a curse. Interestingly, this disease has extra potency against undead who feed off afflicted victims.60

Kassen's curse

It is rumoured that the tomb of Ekat Kassen, near the modern day town of Kassen in Nirmathas, holds a curse for defilers of his final resting place.61

Minotaur children

Most minotaurs are born to two minotaur parents (as might be expected) but a rare few are born to human parents as the result of a curse.62

Mummy rot

This supernatural affliction is both a disease and a curse. It is passed on via direct contact with an undead mummy. Symptoms appear within a single minute. It can only be cured if the curse is lifted first via magic. In addition, those infected are highly resistant to any form of healing magic until the curse is lifted. It quickly weakens and severely disfigures the infected person and can kill an average human in under four days. Those who perish from the disease crumble to dust, and cannot be raised from the dead by normal means.3263

Oath of the Flesh

A curse that binds a subject to follow their oath. When the cursed creature makes an oath, they become marked with an ornate symbol carved into their flesh. If they uphold their oaths they suffer no further consequences, but should they break an oath the mark immediately expands into a gaping wound that cannot be healed.38

Oracle's curse

Oracles, the servants of the gods, are always cursed in some way: perhaps by deafness or a rotting away of their body. Despite this curse, the gods' favour is shown in ways which help the oracles overcome their curse in some fashion.4

Parasitic soul

Parasitic soul is a curse and a disease acquired through opening a phylactery of the failed. Succumbing to the curse-disease means the soul of the failed lich contained in the phylactery begins to take over the cursed person's body, ultimately using the body to achieve the goal of lichdom.64


Parched causes an extreme thirst in the victim requiring gallons of water to quench or else dehydration sets in.59


Ravenous causes a debilitating hunger requiring a day's portion of food to be eaten up to every hour to avoid the onset of starvation symptoms.59

Reviled of Nature

A curse that makes a creature the enemy of nature, driving all animals to attack the cursed creature as soon as they are aware of its presence.38

Reviling Earth

A curse that falls over entire regions, causing its inhabitants to die more easily.38

Sellsword's Folly

A curse that robs a creature of its combat prowess, turning even the most hardened veteran into a fumbling and reckless rookie.38

Shadow blight

Shadow blight is a supernatural strength-sapping disease spread by plague shadows: shadows of disease-bearing animals. Being a supernatural disease, it requires magic to remove a curse in addition to removing the disease in order to effect a cure. If the disease is not cured, the sufferer will die and rise again as a plague shadow within days.65

Shattered self

Shattered self fractures the mind of the victim giving it a second, uncontrolled and particularly nasty personality.59

Slayer's Haunt

A curse that causes a creature to perceive others as those they have previously killed, still maimed and mangled from their death wounds.38

Spirit Anchor

A curse that prevents an afflicted creature from moving on to the afterlife should it die.38

Sword of Anathema

A curse a deity's followers can bestow through divine retribution. When cursed, followers of the deity who bestowed the curse find themselves supernaturally guided in dealing harm to the cursed creature.38

Theft of Thought

A curse used to protect books that affects a creature who steals it. The cursed creature suffers damage to its memories and finds its skills impaired.38

Thief's Retribution

A curse that punishes thieves. If a cursed creature steals something, they soon find themselves loosing something of equal or greater value, though the value may not be monetary. If a creature finds itself bereft of such valuable possessions, the cost will instead be paid with its body, cleaving away entire limbs as necessary.38

Unending Thirst

A curse that renders a creature unable to benefit from drinking, slowly killing them through dehydration.38

Unholy water

Clerics and other spellcasters with access to the spell curse water, who are usually evil, may use it to create unholy water.30


Being cursed with unluck makes the recipient of the curse incredibly unlucky.32


Some claim that vampirism is a curse, though some vampires would dispute this claim; Nosferatu vampires would not.66


This curse makes the victim hurt significantly more when damaged by energy, for instance, lightning or fire.59

Wendigo psychosis

This curse is also a disease.67

Witch's hex

A witch can use a hex to curse a creature or even the land itself.6869

Wizard's Ward

A curse used to protect books from nationalization, most commonly wizards' spellbooks. When a creature damages the book they suffer the same harm and can only be healed of it by repairing the book.38


Paizo published a major article about this subject titled "Curses of the Ancients" in Secrets of the Sphinx.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

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  3. Via the Curse subdomain as a consequence of its association with those gods' dominion of the Luck domain
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  46. Pathfinder First Edition werecreatures were generically referred to as lycanthropes and had different abilities and conditions for passing on their curse. For example, only true lycanthropes could spread the curse through a bite, and only lycanthrope mothers could pass the curse on to children. These traits, terms, and mechanics were broadly changed in Pathfinder Second Edition.
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