This review has been sponsored by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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Designed by: Patrick Rehse

In our Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign, I expanded the use of chardalyn. It’s a mysteriously powerful material that was used to construct Ythryn, and is rarely found in Icewind Dale. One of my party members, an artificer, unlocked the ability to craft magic items from found pieces of chardalyn, but each of these items came with a drawback, a curse if you will.

I’m a big fan of magic items that feature an element of risk/reward, push-your-luck, or a bit of a gamble. Fhamzax Presents: Cursed Items adds fun new curses to over 150 items found in the Dungeon Masters Guide.

There are over 250 magic items in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and they remain one of my most valued resources when running D&D 5e campaigns. Fhamzax Presents takes over 150 of them and adds optional curse effects, each of which is tailored specifically for that item.

Some curses cruelly do the opposite of what you’d expect, the equivalent of a grenade blowing up in your face (hello cursed Necklace of Fireballs, Wand of Fireballs, and Circlet of Blasting!). While others are a real Monkey’s Paw of granting their gifts at a cost: Goggles of Night bestow sunlight sensitivity, a Mace of Terror can frighten you, and a Ring of Jumping doubles your fall damage.

But my favorite cursed items add entirely new ideas that could fundamentally change an item into something entirely different. Every day spent attuned to the Cloak of Arachnida forces saving throws to transform into a drow, then a drider. The Dragon Slayer sword causes all dragons within a 10-mile radius to know your exact location. The Gloves of Missile Snaring inflict you with kleptomania, which could be hilariously memorable in a shop.

A cursed Sword of Answering puppets your body when you reach zero hit points, stabilizing and preventing death saves but forcing you to attack the nearest creature every round. Any damage suffered while in this zombie-like state permanently reduces your max hit points. Wow!

curse items

All these curse options are worth the price of admission alone, but the designer goes a step further with several new “trick” items. Trick items are magic items that look like a familiar magic item, such as a Bag of Tricks, Alchemy Jug, or Sending Stone, but are something else entirely. Like cursed items, the players aren’t meant to know their true effects until they’re used.

For example, the Bag of Trick could actually be a Bag of Flies, summoning a cloud of flies that obscure and poison everyone in a 10-ft radius. The Oozy Jug summons oozes, such as ochre jellies and black puddings — a far cry from pouring out mayonnaise from an Alchemy Jug!

The Lantern of Concealing could act as a mass disguise self if everyone stays in the light, while the Portable Tunnel puts the Portable Hole to shame, sucking up nearby creatures inside its endlessly falling dimension them shunting them out to its paired half — which the DM could delightfully put literally anywhere.

Over a dozen trick items are provided. They’re delightful, but I would caution any DM from abusing these — nothing would suck worse for a player than excitingly getting a Back of Tricks that they’ve always wanted, only to have it explode into a bunch of flies while the DM cackles. The same prudence should go for all the cursed items, though many of them grant interesting side effects, and could help balance the playing field when the PCs become laden with powerful gear.

Fhamzax also provides some helpful ideas and options for removing curses, beyond the literal Remove Curse spell. The designer correctly points out that once the PCs can reliably cast that 3rd level spell, cursed items aren’t quite as intriguing. We’re not necessarily going to make you cast it into the fires of Mt. Doom, but perhaps needing to perform a certain ritual, or collect certain ingredients, or seek out a certain creature or NPC (or all three!) could be necessary to life a curse.

Fhamzax himself is a sassy lich who pops up with in a foreword and throughout the book via fun little sidebars. It’s a fun addition, though I wouldn’t mind even more little anecdotes and descriptions. The book looks great — love the purple color scheme and the new item artwork, though I know AI generated art is highly controversial.

Fhamzax Presents: Cursed Items is to the Dungeon Master’s Guide as Monster Weaknesses or Home-Field Advantage is to the Monster Manual, an excellent expansion for the experienced DM looking to mix it up for equally experienced players.


  • New curses for over 150 items in the Dungeon Master’s Guild.
  • Over a dozen “trick” items that appear as familiar magic items, but with unexpected results.
  • Optional rules for breaking curses.
  • Professional layout and design — including new artwork (note: some of the artwork is AI generated)!


  • None!

The Verdict: With compelling new curses and fun item variants for dozens of items in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, Fhamzax Presents: Cursed Items is the perfect supplement for the diabolical DM who loves loot with a twist.

A review copy of “Fhamzax Presents: Cursed Items” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.