D&D 5e Spell Guide: Bestow Curse

With this spell, you possibly can set free your interior witch through the use of unhealthy phrases and cursing a creature to deliver it solely unhealthy luck.

Bestow Curse Spell Particulars

Discovered In: The Participant’s Handbook (p.218)
Obtainable to: Bard/Cleric/Wizard
Faculty: Third-level Necromancy
Casting time: 1 motion
Vary: Contact
Length: 1 minute (focus)
Elements: verbal, somatic

You possibly can curse a creature in one among a number of methods by touching it as your motion. To keep away from being affected by the curse, the creature should cross a Knowledge saving throw.

While you solid the spell, you possibly can select one of many curses listed under, or you possibly can work together with your DM to give you a distinct impact, so long as it isn’t stronger than the choices listed (your DM has the ultimate say).

The curse impact lasts so long as the spell does or till the goal is hit with a spell to take away curses.

Curse choices:

  1. You can also make the creature you’re focusing on have a drawback on capacity checks and saving throws made with any one among its capacity scores once you solid.
  2. You can also make the creature roll at a drawback when it assaults you.
  3. You do an additional 1d8 necrotic injury to the goal for each assault or spell that hits it.
  4. You can also make the goal fail a Knowledge saving throw earlier than it may act in the beginning of every of its turns. If it doesn’t make the save, it may’t do something.

When this spell is solid at a better degree, the next issues occur:

Spell Slot Stage Spell Length
4th 10 minutes
Fifth or sixth 8 hours
seventh or eighth 24 hours
Ninth Till dispelled

Additionally, if this spell is solid with a spell slot of Fifth degree or greater, the particular person casting it doesn’t should maintain concentrating on it.

What Does All This Imply?

As a result of completely different spell results you possibly can select when casting Bestow Curse, it may assist a spellcaster in many various sorts of fights.

The impact can’t be modified as soon as it has been chosen. And some other spells solid on the identical goal, even by one other spellcaster, would cancel out the primary one.

The very last thing on the listing is crucial.

This spell may be solid with out requiring focus, which is a large profit that spellcasters ought to all the time take into consideration if they’ve a Fifth-level spell slot open.

However the enjoyable a part of the spell is that you just and your dungeon grasp can work collectively to make a customized curse.

Customized Curses

A great way to determine between completely different curse results is to take a look at what different spells of the identical degree or decrease can do.

If a spell’s impact was like that of a higher-level spell, it might change the best way the spell works and will set a nasty instance.

Some methods the goal could possibly be damage by a curse are:

  1. Incapacity to talk (or making a constitution-saving throw every flip to have the ability to)
  2. slowed right down to half their regular pace.
  3. Not having the ability to sleep for the entire time (helpful because the length is prolonged with greater degree casting)
  4. Change the way you look (possibly get a pig’s head like in A Midsummer Night time’s Dream).
  5. To see different individuals as one thing completely different.
  6. Add 1d4+10 years to the creature’s age.
  7. A degree of fatigue
  8. A flaw from the desk within the Dungeon Grasp’s Guide causes insanity.

Who Will get It?

This spell is for bards, clerics, wizards, warlocks, Oathbreaker paladins, and Conquest paladins (through the Signal of Sick Omen invocation).

However a Divine Soul sorcerer, Eldritch Knight fighter, or Arcane Trickster rogue may additionally decide it up.

Bestow Curse is an effective spell to decide on when you have got slots for Third-level spells or Fifth-level spells.

Bestow Curse: Execs?

This is among the few spells within the recreation that may take away a buff.

So, when you prefer to play by debuffing, it’s a must-have.

Placing a saving throw at a drawback for multiple spherical may be very highly effective and laborious to do in different methods. However the impact that stops a creature from doing something if it fails iin ts Knowledge save could possibly be even stronger.

If a boss creature has a low knowledge rating, this spell could possibly be used to finish the battle.

As a contact spell, it additionally meets the necessities to be solid by a well-known through the use of its response.

It is a good strategy to maintain you from getting damage.

One other necessary factor is that the impact that makes the character weak may be chosen to have probably the most impact at the moment, particularly in case your DM helps you to make a customized curse impact.

The most effective factor about that is that you just don’t have to pay attention when you solid the spell on the Fifth degree.

So many strategic strikes are actually attainable that wouldn’t be attainable with out extra casters and good teamwork (see additional on this article for some concepts).


Bestow Curse’s greatest downside can also be its greatest profit: to get probably the most out of the spell, it’s important to dissipate a Fifth-level spell slot.

Which is usually higher used on a Fifth-level spell like Animate Objects, Contagion, or Wall of Drive.

Additionally, when you’re a gentle wizard or bard and also you don’t have a well-known, stepping into the vary of contact may not be the place you need to be.


We have now a protracted historical past of cursing individuals, so we now have so much to study from.

You possibly can add taste to the consequences of a spell in some ways, resembling by making the creature give off a nasty scent that makes Charisma checks and saves tougher.

You might additionally give a creature unhealthy luck by giving it a drawback when it assaults, making it slip each time it swings.

As a part of the contact a part of the spell, you possibly can give it a witchy really feel by pulling out a hair or getting a drop of blood from the particular person.

Calling down a curse through the use of the facility of a warlock’s patron god is one other nice strategy to make the spell match with its theme. There are numerous decisions!

How To Use Bestow Curse?

There are numerous good methods to make use of it. And the truth that it stops a creature from appearing is a really interesting impact.

However when attainable, it’s greatest to make use of it with one other spell from an ally that makes the goal weak (or from your self when you solid on the Fifth degree to keep away from focus).

I’ll listing a couple of good combos right here, however the focus shall be on lower-level spells as a result of they’re used extra usually within the recreation.

One good technique is to make use of Knowledge checks and saves because the spell impact and a further spell that requires an everyday Knowledge saving throw, resembling:

  1. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter (1st degree spell that leaves the creature susceptible and unable to take motion)
  2. Crown of Insanity (2nd degree spell which helps you to decide who the creature assaults on its flip)
  3. Maintain Particular person (2nd degree spell that paralyzes a creature, which means free essential hits).

Alternately, you could deal with Structure checks and saves to make sure failure in focus exams and render them susceptible to potent spells like Blindness/deafness (2nd degree spell that type of accomplishes what it says) and Contagion (Fifth degree spell that inflicts a grim illness).

A creature that enjoys grappling is an effective candidate for Energy checks and saves, or for establishing an assault with a spell-like Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp (2nd degree spell that may restrain and crush a goal).

Bane, a level-1 spell, makes a pleasant complement to this merchandise.

It will make sure that the goal creature not solely has a drawback on a selected saving throw but in addition has to take away a d4 from its roll and its assaults, tremendously decreasing its possibilities of succeeding.

Concepts For DMs

Bestow Curse is a superb spell to ascertain a plot hook for a celebration.

Put a Ninth-level curse on one among your get together members early on by having the large scary boss do it. And thus, the search is on for somebody who can break the curse.

It is also helpful for growing the historical past of a playable character or non-player character.

The opposing creatures, notably the hags and people together with them, get pleasure from this one as properly.

The storytelling potential with this spell is nice. Talk about concepts together with your DM as you undergo the marketing campaign, and even earlier than beginning.

The Massive Image

As a result of it opens up so many prospects for each technique and roleplay, bestow curse is one among my favourite spells.

As if that weren’t sufficient, you possibly can solid it with out focusing your thoughts, which will increase its energy even additional. However as soon as you set it to make use of, you’ll perceive why it’s so great.

Due to this fact, depart the home and begin swearing.

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