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For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.


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Reckon that depends on the curse, but you'd probably get a pretty big limitation for "can only be cast seconds before death".

Specifically I build something like that as a HUGE Severe Transform with a certain counter-curse spell needed to be administered to undo. I limit with Incantations and Only Can Be Casted Right Before Death (-4)

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It seems like such a NPC thing for a villian to have so why does it actually NEED a write-up and if it's for a PC then let the GM take all the points in the character and apply it to a creative way to mess with the characters who get cursed.

Either way no special write-up is needed. If this is just being done as an exercise in game mechanics than that's a horse of a different color.

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Depending on how you want the curse itself to work, you just add Triggered by Dying, +1/4, followed by one hell of  Conditional Lim for "Only With Their Dying Breath."

 

A more interesting question: given how common Resurrection is in most high fantasy games, if the character is brought back to life, does that negate the curse?

 

One PC in my last game actually had "Only While Dead" as a Limitation on one of his Contacts (God of the Underworld.) But the character also had Resurrection, so it wasn't quite as limiting as it sounds.

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How would you build an NPC ability to curse someone with their dying breath?

Personally, I would treat a "Dying Breath Curse" as a Phenomenon as opposed to a Power an individual NPC must purchase. Such a phenomenon is simply something that occasionally happens when the appropriate conditions are met, making it more of a plot element than a game element.

If I wanted to define such a phenomenon as a Game Element I would write it as though the World (as a hypothetical Base) had purchased the effects of the curse as a Triggered Power. Of course, it is difficult to get into much detail regarding such a build without knowing what you want such a Curse to do...

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I generally like to stat out things like curses that affect the PCs just so I have a sense of how to quantify the effect. OK, so it gives them bad luck: are we talking 2d6 or 3d6? Depends on how many dice I'm willing to throw into the Transform. And what happens if he curses the Thief (ave Body, no/low Power Def) vs. the Brick (high Body & Power Def)? That sort of thing.

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Personally, I would treat a "Dying Breath Curse" as a Phenomenon as opposed to a Power an individual NPC must purchase. Such a phenomenon is simply something that occasionally happens when the appropriate conditions are met, making it more of a plot element than a game element.

If I wanted to define such a phenomenon as a Game Element I would write it as though the World (as a hypothetical Base) had purchased the effects of the curse as a Triggered Power. Of course, it is difficult to get into much detail regarding such a build without knowing what you want such a Curse to do...

 

Yeah, doing it as part of the rules of the world would work.  It's something that theoretically anyone can do, so you don't have to pay for it.  Making a dying curse basically assures that you're going to whatever the "bad afterlife" is.  Any kind of resurrection effect or whatever is going to have to take that into account.  All your life force and spirit or what have you is tied up in screwing over the guy you cursed.

 

Of course, a dying curse needs to be an important thing.  Every just normal Joe Orc shouldn't be able to do one to screw over the heroes.  It should be reserved for important characters who really feel like they were wronged by the players.  Or players who feel a particular animosity towards a particular NPC.

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It's something that theoretically anyone can do...

Depends on the setting of course. In some worlds it's something anyone can theoretically do, but only Truly Powerful Heroes/Villains have enough juice to really make it stick. In others, like the Dresden Files, it's something only wizards can do. Which kinda makes it sound more like a Perk than a Power per se...

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People in our group curse a lot.  Why would their dying words be any different than their regular ones?

 

Specifically I had in mind when Humbaba cursed Gilgamesh and Enkidu, but Marduk decreed that as Gilgamesh was a demigod the curse would fall on Enkidu alone.  But the dying curse seems to have been found in a variety of cultures

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Humbaba's Last Curse: (Total: 100 Active Cost, 8 Real Cost) Killing Attack - Ranged 2d6-1, Attack Versus Alternate Defense (CON; +0), Area Of Effect Accurate (4m Radius; +1/2), Line Of Sight (+1/2), Does BODY (+1), Invisible Power Effects (Fully Invisible; +1) (100 Active Points); 1 Charge which Never Recovers (-4), Damage Over Time, Target's defenses only apply once, Lock out (cannot be applied multiple times) (17-32 damage increments, damage occurs every 1 Month, -3), Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (Death; -2), Conditional Power Death is Immanent (-1 1/2), -2 Decreased STUN Multiplier (-1/2), Incantations (-1/4) (Real Cost: 8)

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says you get stuff like this when Lucius Alexander has insomnia

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Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (Death; -2), Conditional Power Death is Immanent (-1 1/2)...

In a different power, I might say that "Side Effect: Death" and "Condition: Already Dying" are duplicative. But in these circumstances, both are severe enough that it's probably not worth arguing over. ;) Tho this build does assume the dying character has time to take an Attack Action before expiring, which is why I like the Trigger idea.

 

That does beg an interesting question: what constitutes "dying" for these purposes? Technically any character at BODY <0 is "dying", but there's usually still the possibility of saving them, with Healing or just a Medic roll. Death itself, when it comes, is mechanically a binary state: above negative 2xBODY and you're alive, drop 1 point below that and you're dead. Narratively a lot of GMs will give dying characters a chance to utter some final words, but mechanically that typically happens retroactively after the character has actually been killed in game terms. (ie: "OK, Badman takes another 5 BODY, that's enough to finish him off. With his dying breath, he says...")

 

Normally that's not a big distinction, and letting major characters get in some good last words is always in genre. But if those last words can have major game impacts, then we'll probably need some sort of guidelines for when characters do or don't have time to utter a curse. In books/shows/movies, sometimes a character dies suddenly or in such a way that they don't have time to say anything: they get their heads cut off, or they're completely squished by something heavy, or whatever. But in Hero, like most RPGs, damage descriptions like that are largely subjective. And of course as soon as the PCs learn that the Bad Guy(s) can utter dying curses, you can bet they're going to do everything they can to prevent them from doing so. ("OK, Badman is finished. With his dying breath, he..." "Screw that - I chop off his head before he can say anything!")

 

Maybe if the killing blow is an Impairing or Disabling wound to the Head (and/or torso & vitals) is enough to prevent a dying curse; otherwise, they have enough time to mutter a few words before expiring?

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Humbaba's Last Curse: (Total: 100 Active Cost, 8 Real Cost) Killing Attack - Ranged 2d6-1, Attack Versus Alternate Defense (CON; +0), Area Of Effect Accurate (4m Radius; +1/2), Line Of Sight (+1/2), Does BODY (+1), Invisible Power Effects (Fully Invisible; +1) (100 Active Points); 1 Charge which Never Recovers (-4), Damage Over Time, Target's defenses only apply once, Lock out (cannot be applied multiple times) (17-32 damage increments, damage occurs every 1 Month, -3), Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (Death; -2), Conditional Power Death is Immanent (-1 1/2), -2 Decreased STUN Multiplier (-1/2), Incantations (-1/4) (Real Cost: 8)

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says you get stuff like this when Lucius Alexander has insomnia

 

Thank you very much!

 

In a different power, I might say that "Side Effect: Death" and "Condition: Already Dying" are duplicative. But in these circumstances, both are severe enough that it's probably not worth arguing over. ;) Tho this build does assume the dying character has time to take an Attack Action before expiring, which is why I like the Trigger idea.

 

That does beg an interesting question: what constitutes "dying" for these purposes? Technically any character at BODY <0 is "dying", but there's usually still the possibility of saving them, with Healing or just a Medic roll. Death itself, when it comes, is mechanically a binary state: above negative 2xBODY and you're alive, drop 1 point below that and you're dead. Narratively a lot of GMs will give dying characters a chance to utter some final words, but mechanically that typically happens retroactively after the character has actually been killed in game terms. (ie: "OK, Badman takes another 5 BODY, that's enough to finish him off. With his dying breath, he says...")

 

Normally that's not a big distinction, and letting major characters get in some good last words is always in genre. But if those last words can have major game impacts, then we'll probably need some sort of guidelines for when characters do or don't have time to utter a curse. In books/shows/movies, sometimes a character dies suddenly or in such a way that they don't have time to say anything: they get their heads cut off, or they're completely squished by something heavy, or whatever. But in Hero, like most RPGs, damage descriptions like that are largely subjective. And of course as soon as the PCs learn that the Bad Guy(s) can utter dying curses, you can bet they're going to do everything they can to prevent them from doing so. ("OK, Badman is finished. With his dying breath, he..." "Screw that - I chop off his head before he can say anything!")

 

Maybe if the killing blow is an Impairing or Disabling wound to the Head (and/or torso & vitals) is enough to prevent a dying curse; otherwise, they have enough time to mutter a few words before expiring?

 

I'm thinking they would have to be at positive BODY, at least one pip left somewhere, and they would have to deliver the curse on their own action, instead of in reaction to the fatal attack.

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In a different power, I might say that "Side Effect: Death" and "Condition: Already Dying" are duplicative.

I don't quite think so, because...

 

 

what constitutes "dying" for these purposes? Technically any character at BODY <0 is "dying", but there's usually still the possibility of saving them, with Healing or just a Medic roll. Death itself, when it comes, is mechanically a binary state:

To meet the Conditional, "Death is Immanent" the Cursor has to be in the "Oh Gods I'm gonna die!" state - maybe deep negative BOD, maybe about to get hit for massive damage that won't likely be survivable, but one way or another, likely to die barring the faint hope of some Deus ex Machina.

 

Actually uttering the curse is giving up that faint hope; death is now certain. The Deus can stay in His Machina unless He brought along a Resurrection.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Deus ex Palindromedaria?

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I don't quite think so, because...

 

 

To meet the Conditional, "Death is Immanent" the Cursor has to be in the "Oh Gods I'm gonna die!" state - maybe deep negative BOD, maybe about to get hit for massive damage that won't likely be survivable, but one way or another, likely to die barring the faint hope of some Deus ex Machina.

 

Actually uttering the curse is giving up that faint hope; death is now certain. The Deus can stay in His Machina unless He brought along a Resurrection.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Deus ex Palindromedaria?

 

I would say an additional +0 limitation, Dying Curse negates any possibility of regeneration, resurrection, raise dead or reincarnation.  "Last Breath" means LAST breath.  Perhaps the curse consumes the caster's soul for power.

 

 

Actually uttering the curse is giving up that faint hope; death is now certain.

 

 

Exactly!  Character has chosen Revenge over the possibility of survival, afterlife, or rebirth. 

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I would say an additional +0 limitation, Dying Curse negates any possibility of regeneration, resurrection, raise dead or reincarnation.  "Last Breath" means LAST breath.  Perhaps the curse consumes the caster's soul for power.

 

 

Exactly!  Character has chosen Revenge over the possibility of survival, afterlife, or rebirth.

You really want Humbaba to stay dead. Are you in for a share of the Radiances, or are you a lumberjack?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary tries animating Humbaba as a zombie. Still not breathing!

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