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Intrinsic cursing is an adverse condition that may be inflicted on characters through a variety of sources. The most common means of becoming cursed are a result of pools, being cursed by a magic-using monster such as a green hag, black wizard, annis hag, or Keethrax, eating the corpses of monsters of daemonic (quasit, green hag, annis hag) or lawful (cute dog, dwarven child, priest, white unicorn, Yrruir, royal guardian) origin, or from equipping cursed equipment such as Executor or the black torc. Cursing can also be applied by reading a scroll of ill fate or striking a karmic monster.
The primary effect of cursing is to reduce the character's luck. The luck lost due to intrinsic cursing is approximately equal to the luck gained from Fate Smiles. Reduced luck can have a variety of undesirable effects ranging from increased monster critical hits, greater inventory damage, or the inability to resist special attacks such as Paralysis or Confusion. While these effects can be significant, cursing is not an extreme of concern as dooming, and consequently powerful artifacts that inflict the cursed status, most notably Executor are still considered worthwhile since the benefits of the artifact far outweigh the problems associated with cursing.
Cursing can be treated in several ways:
- Eating the corpse of a karmic monster (if the PC is not doomed)
- Reading a scroll of luck
- Sacrificing at an altar while the PC's piety is 'very close' or better.
- Drinking from a pool (though this method is generally inadvisable due to the associated risks of pools and the randomness of the method).
- Prayer provided that the PC's piety is high enough, though this prayer is quite expensive.