Curses are negative effects found randomly on equipment. They may have a variety of effects, but are generally harmful to your character. Curses can also be inflicted on equipment by scrolls of curse, by sleeping, and other means. If a cursed item becomes cursed again, it becomes a doomed item. Doom is, for the most part, simply a more persistent version of Curse; however, wearing too many doomed items causes you to be assassinated by the unseen hand.
The following are universal to all cursed equipment, both those that are created cursed and those that become cursed after item creation:
- If worn, you cannot remove the item. Note that if it's being worn by an adventurer that you can still trade, and the adventurer will be able to remove it despite the cursed status.
- If worn, they cause the wearer to teleport randomly.
- Wearing cursed or doomed items for a long enough period of time eventually attracts unseen hand events, which occasionally kill NPCs in town. This occurs more quickly the more cursed items you have, and much more quickly when doomed. (Note: None of the last three effects actually apply to simply having cursed items in your inventory. You can have a full inventory of cursed equipment, potions, and scrolls with no negative consequences until used.)
- Digesting cursed food causes vomiting (but still gives stat bonuses), making you more hungry and causing you to lose weight. (This can mean you can eat more for more stat ups, but if you abuse it, anorexia may result.)
- Using other cursed consumables generally results in either the opposite of the intended positive effect, or a much weaker version. Potions and Scrolls especially have odd effects, and what cursed means for those items is detailed in those pages.
- Cursed items with negative effects often have even more virulent effects. For some items made for attacking enemies, this actually makes cursed items more desirable than blessed items. (For example, cursed sulfuric acid potions deal 20 points of damage, while normal potions only deal 10, and blessed does 7.)
- Cursed items that may fail or backfire, such as cursed spellbooks, have a greater chance of doing so.
- Identified cursed items are worth only 50% of their standard value. When selling items not identified as cursed, you get standard price (but penalties for partial identification may apply). This can be exploited by selling cursed cooked food for higher prices. (They will be identified when in the shopkeeper's inventory.) This includes purchasing prices as well as selling prices - you can get a discount on expensive items like deeds or rare potions that are cursed, and uncurse them yourself if you need to.
The following attributes may appear on equipment which were created cursed:
- May cause random damage to your character (blood sucking).
- May cause you to lose money to pickpockets more often.
- May "disturb your growth", which occasionally takes away some Exp, but will never lower your level. (This is one method of artificially keeping your level low in order to level up your skills and be stronger for your level. However, since little in the game is rubber-banded to your level, there is no particular reason to keep your level artificially low.)
- May attract monsters (one way of killing and looting NPCs with no problems, providing you can tank the monsters that you attract)
- May give negative versions of many positive enchantments, like penalties to skills, resistances, and attributes.
Note that these attributes won't suddenly appear on equipment cursed during play. Items that are not cursed can be created with negative enchantments as well; Being created cursed only increases the likelihood and number of them.
The following are known ways to remove curses on equipment
- Reading a scroll of uncurse or vanish curse (scrolls of uncurse rarely works on doomed items; you need vanish curse to stand any sort of chance of getting rid of doom).
- Mixing (B) a blessed bottle of water onto it (converts it to blessed status instead of simply uncursing it).
- Casting Uncurse or zapping a Rod of Uncurse. The likelihood that this will work is based upon the "power" of your spell, which is determined by spell level and Will for the spell uncurse, and Magic Device skill for the rod. Blessed rods are more powerful. Cursed rods of uncurse only make things worse.
Note that scrolls, spells, and rods (usually) only work on equipment, not your inventory items; if you want to uncurse your inventory (say, treasure maps or potions of potential) you will need a blessed scroll of uncurse or vanish curse. Blessed water can be mixed with anything directly.
Blessed water works on a whole stack of items at a time. You can bless a hundred items with a single blessed water if they are all in the same stack. Since blessed water is relatively rare, it can be worth saving scrolls and potions in large stacks for mass blessing.
To save money and blessed water, you can buy large amounts of uncurse scrolls (30+) and then bless them all at once using blessed water. A blessed uncurse scroll uncurses your entire inventory, even the items that you are carrying in your backpack. 30 blessed uncurse scrolls will last you a very long time.
Alternatively, if the equipment is not something that you want to keep, you can read "scrolls of inferior material" at the cursed / doomed equipment until it becomes made of "raw" and then eat the equipment; burning is also a possibility for disposal. In either case, be prepared to deal with the consequences (vomiting and stat loss, fire/acid damage, etc.).
Do note that cursed items will retain any and all negative attributes even after being uncursed; uncursing it simply stops the random teleportation and allows you to wear/remove it at will.