Careless rogues plundering a tomb, drunken heroes insulting a powerful wizard, and foolhardy adventurers who pick up ancient swords all might suffer from curses. These magic afflictions can have a wide variety of effects, from a simple penalty to certain checks to transforming the victim into a toad. Some even cause the afflicted to slowly rot away, leaving nothing behind but dust.
Unlike other afflictions, most curses cannot be cured through a number of successful saving throws. Curses can be cured through magic, however, usually via spells such as remove curse and break enchantment. While some curses cause a progressive deterioration, others inflict a static penalty from the moment they are contracted, neither fading over time nor growing worse. In addition, there are a number of magic items that act like curses.
See Magic Items for a description of these cursed items.
The following samples present just some of the possibilities when creating curses.