Nothing gets me like the classics. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but it isn’t just well-known narrative elements. I love folklore, mythology, and what not. I’ve said that before, but it bears repeating here, because when it comes to today’s D&D challenge subject, curses, nothing beats lycanthropy.
Werewolves are cool. They might be my one of my all time favorite supernatural creature. I like vampires and zombies, but werewolves are a different kind of fun. Lycanthropy is also a different kind of curse. It’s not the kind of thing that is inflicted on other people, like a mummy’s curse. Becoming a werewolf is purely personal. However a person gets it, it’s really just them. It could be bestowed, but most folklore I’ve seen (and there could be more I’m not familiar with) has it passed to just one person.
What I love about something like lycanthropy is the sense of drama, tragedy, and horror that can be stuck right inside of any game. It’s not often to see PCs play as lycanthropes, but it can be interesting. It is very common to see lycanthropes as NPCs. Not just villains, or anonymous monsters, but real people your characters can speak and interact with. This is part of what makes lycanthropy so interesting. It creates ethical problems for the players, even though there’s a clear threat.
Mummy’s are great. Break open tombs at your own risk. The curse can follow you home, and that in and of itself is pretty cool. Notice that I didn’t discuss what curses are? That can be a post for another day. However, for now, let’s just say that lycanthropy is a personal favorite. if you haven’t added it to your game, you should give it a try.