Please help me come up with a curse for my character

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Hi! In an online campaign that's hopefully starting soon i'll be playing a changeling rogue. He is a thief, and before the campaign starts he stole something from someone he shouldn't have stolen from. He triggered a trap, and was cursed. My idea is that lifting this curse will be one of the main motivations for my character. The only problem is that i'm having a hard time deciding what kind of curse it could be.

I want it to be something that actually affects me in a negative way so much that it makes my character want to get this curse lifted asap, and that lifting the curse should warrant my character risking his life. On the other hand, i don't want it to become such a liability that i severely cripples me. I would also like the curse to affect me most of the time, not only in combat.

I have had some ideas, but none of them seems really appealing. I've thought something along the lines of not being able to lie, but hey, i'm a changeling and lying/bluffing seems like too fun to give up

So i turn to you, and wonder if you guys have any ideas for what the nature of my curse could be like?  
Easy: You can't shapeshift. You are stuck in whatever guise you were in when you were cursed, OR you are stuck in your natural form. Either way, you lose out on one of the core identities of our race, but it's not so crippling that your character will die from it.
Easy: You can't shapeshift. You are stuck in whatever guise you were in when you were cursed, OR you are stuck in your natural form. Either way, you lose out on one of the core identities of our race, but it's not so crippling that your character will die from it.



Hmm, I would prefer something else to be honest, the reason I went for a changeling was so that I could have fun changing shape and infiltrating things, not to mention toying around with several aliases. Apart from that, it's a good idea. 

I've also been thinking about some sort of were-wolf/vampire thing. The were-wolf part might fit especially well, considering that i take druid MC as my lvl 1 feat so that i can change shape to animals as well What do you guys think about that? 

 Cursed by an ancient vampiric bloodline for stealing some artifact of the vampires', your Rogue was turned into a dhamphyr. In your neutral form, you appear  corpse-like; in others you take on similiar vampiric traits (fangs, pale skin, any traditional vampiric symptoms).

Take the Dhamphyr Heritage feat and make the Curse last until either the Artifact is a. returned, b. destroyed, or c. you die. However, death will risk turning you into  a full creature of the night (aka Revenant w/ Dhamphyr feat and Death's Blessing, which makes you completely undead).
Spiteful Wizard and Voice of Reason of the House of Trolls The Silent God of the House of Trolls Unfrozen OTTer Arbiter of the House of Trolls Yes, I have many titles. Deal with it.
How about, instead of loosing your ability to shapeshift, you loose some of the control you have over it? Colours shiftsover your skin without thinking, one arm and one leg grow longer than the others unexpectedly, tripping you, thick hair coats your body then dissapears.

This would mean that, while able to shapeshift into different forms, your character is never sure if his disguise will hold.
@WolfLordBran: That is actually quite cool! However, I feel that it would make my character a tad bit darker than I has planned, but no way you could know that of course. Thanks for the great idea.

@Alankin: I just thought of something similar, but instead not really having control of my shape-shifting all the time, I'm thinking about loosing it wildly sometimes (say, full moon or every midnight), much like a were-wolf, only that i change rapidly and uncontrollably between animal and humans alike, and end up like a real nasty beast. It would be up to the rest of the party to control my forced "changings".  This way I can also play infiltrator for my party without having to worry about it failing, but thanks for the input! I'll have to come up with some gruesome description each time i am affected of this curse.  
not sure if it is too late to suggest, but every time you roll a 1 for skill or attack you transform into a new form for 5 min.
0) Not being able to lie is a good one, OP.  You can still make use of Bluff.  You just have to be creative with half-truths, omissions, and double speak.
     Investigator:  Did you steal the McGuffin.
     Rogue:  (Bluff) I assure you, I did not steal the McGuffin officer (I merely picked the locks and disarmed the traps...)
     0a) Or an slight inversion.  Every outright lie you tell becomes truth, but in the worst possible way for you.
          Investigator:  So you had nothing to do with the theft?
          Rogue:  Of course not.  *As the McGuffin, stashed miles away, falls out of your pocket*
1) Gender swap.  You become the opposite gender and can't shapeshift into your original gender.
2) Alternate natural form.  Your natural form is that of a different race besides changling.  One that is despised by either the character himself or civilized races in general (kobold, goblins, etc).  
3) Cursed with horrific nightmares.  Weeks/Months of sleepless nights are taking a toll on your character's mental health
     3a) The dreams of prophetic
4) Your character is now "allergic" to anything resembling the item he was trying to steal.  If the item was, for example, a golden dog statuette on a jade pedestal, your character finds himself breaking out in rashes whenever he's near dogs, jade, pedestals, and gold.
5) Cursed with gluttony.  Your character has an urge to eat that cannot be sated, appetite that he cannot be appeased, and food gives no satisfaction despite his increasing waist line. 
6) Creature magnet.  A specific types is drawn to him.  It's hard to be inconspicuous with a herd of cats following you and incisively mewling.  Those that's not as bad as being constantly attacked by cougars, lions, leopards, fey panthers whenever you're out in the wild. 
7) At night, you occasionally transform into some sort of relatively harmless creature and sleepwalk.  You're sure you didn't fall asleep on this rooftop.  In the rain.  In your birthday suit...
8) You always fail at games of chance.  What ever result you want, you get the opposite of what you want.  If you flip a coin and call heads, it will always come up tails.
8) Your character feels the same pain he causes his targets.  If you stab a guy in the shin, it feels like you got stab in the shin.  If you kill a creature, it always feels like you died as well.  And considering a standard D&D character can count on facing alot of combat, that's a lot of last breaths to witness.
9) The stolen item is intelligent as well as cursed.  Not only will it not leave your possession, it has an completely insufferable personality.
10)  The cursed as robbed you of a single memory.  You don't remember what it is or why that memory is important, only that it is vital that you remember.  And soon, because someone's gunning for your head over it.
11)  The curse has started a slow transformation.  While you're not sure what you're turning into, you do know that eyes are not supposed to grow there...
12)  You can understand animals as if they were speaking common, though animals still can't understand you.  Since most animals aren't very smart, most of what they say is rather inane.  Every morning chorus sounds less like a melody of bird songs and more like cacophony youtube comments.
13)  You sometimes break out into song whenever it would be appropriate for one to happen if your life was a musical.
14)  The item has granted you a dangerous power - a living spell now infused into your very being.  It grows as you do, but it has a mind of its own and attacks who, what, and when it wants.  You are find it harder and harder to keep the parasitic spell it from lashing out against your friends and family.   
15)  You curse has blessed you with something terrible.  The TRUTH.  You now know the true nature of things both here and beyond, and that overwhelming knowledge frightens and confuses you.  Ignorance, however, is bliss, and you would rather be ignorant than enlightened.  The far realm may or may not be involved (but probably is).
16)  Thou must now speaketh in ye old, broken archaic accent of thy ancestors, which verily makes thou hard to understandeth. 
17)  Flammable.  You catch on fire.  Alot.  Fire seems to be attracted to you like a moth to a flame.  Expect sparks to jump from fires, grease to pop into stoves, candles to mysteriously flare up when no one's looking, and dragons to prefer you as their target.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
@Fireclave: Wow, that's a lot of great ideas! Hmm, I might reconsider my were-wolf idea and go for one of yours instead! Especially idea number 4 seems really cool, I think I'll use some variation of that instead. Thanks a lot! 
Was the somebody whom you stole from Lawful?  If so, the "curse" might be ...

You Can't Steal.  You are the most incompetent thief the world has ever known.  Anything you take from others will come out of your possession at the most inopportune time.  You make noise when you want to be silent, get "butter fingers" when holding fragile items, discover the expensive goods you were looking at are actually cheap imitations, gold coins just drop out of your hand (anti-Prestidigitation), walk directly into line-of-sight of the guards, trigger the biggest over-the-top Grimtooth Trap in the dungeon, when you try to bribe the judge to let you get away with it the bribe is phoney coin!
     However, you are sharp as a tack in a fight, and nobody notices anything unusual if your friends do the stealing while you keep watch.

The idea is that after messing with his stuff, there will be one less thief in the world, and no worries about breaking the law against killing people.

Best complements I have yet received:

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Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

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Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

@Fireclave: Wow, that's a lot of great ideas!


I agree !
Fireclave, you ought to post that list in its own thread so everybody can enjoy it.

Best complements I have yet received:

Show

Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

Show

Active:

LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

AoA Dwarf Guardian Druid8 Narvik from House Wavir

Character Ready-to-go:

Neverwinter Dwarven Invoker / Heir of Delzoun, worships Silvanus (!) "Truenamer" - speaks Words of Creation

Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

Wanted:


Every time you shape change, the form you change into is wanted for one crime or another.  You and the DM can work together to think up a crime for each race.

Hi guys, just want to let you know that I have finally decided on a curse and that I have know fleshed it out, thanks to your help (that has been awesome!). 

The idea is that i got the curse from stealing an artifact, so i thought that the curse could be something that prevents me from doing something like it again. I found out that my earlier heist included four things: lying, shape-changing, sneaking/stealthing and (obviously) stealing. So, the curse prevents me doing any of those things (I am physically unable to tell a lie, I cannot shape-change, cannot sneak and when i try to steal things it burns my skin). However, I decided that it would cripple me too much, and that wouldn't be any fun at all. So, every time i go to sleep (extended rest) I roll a d4 and I am affected by one part of the curse for the next day. That way, I am still affected by something quite serious, but I am able to do what i want and it encourages me to work in different ways!

if you have a great suggestion for a curse, post it! even though I have decided on mine, this thread could be used as a resource for others who might want a drawback/curse for their own character. (this thread should almost get stickied just for Fireclaves great list!)     
I agree !
Fireclave, you ought to post that list in its own thread so everybody can enjoy it.


That's not a bad idea.  So I've done so here.  Feel free to contribute everybody.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
That's funny, if I was the powerful caster/god who placed a curse on an item I would want the curse to be useful to me.  I would have the curse operate in two manners.  First it would allow the previous owner of the item stolen to track the thief through magical means.  There is nothing like a persistantly reoccuring powerful nemesis to ruin your day, especially one whose lackys show up at the least opportune times. 

Second whenever the nemesis' minions got close to your character (within 1 mile perhaps) giant brightly glowing letters in common would appear on their forehead spelling "THIEF" in the local language.  That is certain to make for some uncomfortable social situations in large communities, without severely hampering the way the class plays mechanically in any manner.  It also warns your character that trouble is on the way and they need to get out of town fast. 

Also each time this happens (after your character has left town) the minons talk to the people who may have witnessed your character with the "thief" glowing on his head to get a description.  Since the description keeps changing each time your character is seen, the nemesis has figured out that your character is a changling, and will presumably take appropriate steps to deal with that difficulty as well.

I can't think of a rogue character who wouldn't want to get rid of such a curse as quickly as feasible as it makes working or staying in sizable communities nearly impossible.