Witches are universally and rightly feared for their curses. Hail, impotence, and dead livestock are just some of the afflictions common folk dread from angered witches. Most witches cast curses to punish evil doers or to take revenge for injuries, either real or imagined. Curses take full effect after one day. Curses are only taught by witches to other witches, and they are considered spells in all other respects. Curses have an improvement cost of B.
The Way of Cursing
Normally, witches throw curses at their targets directly. Witches can receive bonuses for emotional casting, as with any other witch spell. Most curses have a casting time of 1 action. Curses have a range of no more than 64 yards, but if casting a curse immediately is not practical, witches can have their familiars deliver it instead. That ritual takes one hour, after which the familiar sets out to find the target. The familiar then transfers the curse using the familiar’s trick Curse Bringer (see page 279).
Witches can also cast curses over great distances without seeing their targets, but need a lock of hair, a drop of blood, or some other part of the target’s body to do so. This kind of curse can be cast only at midnight, when the target is sleeping. The target learns how to get rid of the curse via dreams.
No matter how a curse is cast, it takes effect after 24 hours.
Making the Check and Lifting the Curse
You cannot use modifications on curses like you can with spells. Also, Spirit and Toughness protect the target with only half their normal values. The casting time for curses is 1 action, but speaking a curse aloud can take more time. In such cases, the GM determines the casting time. Each curse has its own skill rating. All other basic rules for skills apply. A target can lift a curse by doing as the witch demands. Of course, this is possible only if the witch has made demands. If not, the curse can end prematurely if the witch spends 3 AE to revoke it, or if the witch dies. Liturgical chants and anti-magic could help, too.