Cursed (Rare Background)

Rare

About Rare Backgrounds

While most backgrounds are available to any character, some backgrounds are so unusual that just having them makes a character rare and extraordinary.

These rare backgrounds can give a player a significantly different roleplaying experience by setting their character up with a history or legacy beyond the norm. Whether a character with the royalty background is heir to the throne of the kingdom where your campaign takes place or to a distant but powerful nation in the same world, the character is situated in a special position within the narrative. Your character’s background is an intrinsic part of where they come from and not something they earn during the game. Rare backgrounds should be chosen only after a discussion between the GM and the other players as to whether one would apply for a particular character in your group’s game.

Backgrounds can also be unique, such that no other character can have them if your character does. To create unique backgrounds, you can adapt the rare backgrounds in this section by including more specific details.


You are the victim of a personal or hereditary curse. Through great effort and occult study, you have learned to fend off the curse’s worst effects and, by extension, you can protect yourself against other harmful magic. However, the curse still hangs over you and sometimes manifests in dangerous ways.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You are trained in Occultism and Curse Lore. You gain the Warding Sign reaction. You and the GM should determine the full effects of the curse, though you’ve staved most of them off for now. The GM determines the curse’s lingering manifestations on you, which usually include at least a constant or very frequent thematic effect and occasional more dangerous effects.

Warding Sign [reaction] (concentrate)

Frequency once per minute; Trigger You attempt a saving throw against a magical effect, but you haven’t rolled yet; Effect You call on the power of a personal, eldritch sign of protection, which flares brightly before slowly fading. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the triggering saving throw, or a +3 circumstance bonus if the effect is a curse.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide © 2020, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Amirali Attar Olyaee, Alexander Augunas, Kate Baker, Brian Bauman, Logan Bonner, Carlos Cabrera, James Case, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Jesse Decker, Fabby Garza Marroquín, Steven Hammond, Sasha Laranoa Harving, Joan Hong, Nicolas Hornyak, Vanessa Hoskins, James Jacobs, Erik Keith, Lyz Liddell, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Patchen Mortimer, Dennis Muldoon, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Jessica Redekop, Mikhail Rekun, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Jason Tondro, Clark Valentine, and Andrew White.