Athenaeum Arcane: Cursed Items

Athenaeum Arcane: Cursed Items

From: Ronin Arts

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

Athenaeum Arcane: Cursed Itemsis a new d20 fantasy source book PDF from Ronin Arts. It should be noted that it uses references to Mongoose Publishing’s Classic Play – Book of Planes as well as Ronin Arts’ A DM’s Dictionary of Demiplanesby Philip Reed and Michael Hammes for one of its items.

From page #1: “Many adventurers go through their careers without ever encountering a cursed magic item.”

With the unending assault of books and PDFs containing new d20 fantasy equipment and magic items, it is hard for any one to stand out. Cursed items is one area I have not seen as often as normal magic items. The items in this PDF include The Handaxes of Beautiful Loneliness, sickening Bracelet Of Weakness, animal “slaying” Druid’s Vengeance, the mystifying and quite evil Harp Of Heroes, the sinister Keeper’s Toolbelt, the beast controlling Rod Of Bestial Fury, and the seven cursed ingots Winterscarred Silver. All are reasonably inspiring and some are downright sinister.

Also in the PDF are several psionic powers and spells referenced in the items, as well as one creature and two templates. The creature is the Keeper associated to the Keeper’s Toolbelt. The PDF provides the power Bestow Cursefor Psionics. Spells found in the PDF are Detect Disease, Guilt, Jealousy, and Vacate Bowles(yuck!).

From page # 1: “Sages speculate that the appearance of cursed magic items is the result of random chance or a misstep in the delicate creation of a magic item.”

The templates are two interesting creations – Questing Beastand Reverberant. The Questing Beast is a template for any creature and represents a creature of legend or story, having corporeal form in the Questing Grounds. It is a storybook foe of some great hero and has several plane-shifting and teleporting abilities. The Reverberant is actually the psychic essence of a creature left over from a traumatic event. It is born of the hatred to the person that caused that traumatic event and wields psionic powers.

In conclusion, Athenaeum Arcane: Cursed Items covers an area that is rarely covered because it takes a bold GM to give his players a cursed item. It has some interesting concepts, some pretty imaginative items and is overall a well-written PDF. Although it does not stand out too much in the onslaught of d20 fantasy PDFs, it does have its moments.

For more details on Ronin Arts and their new d20 fantasy source book PDF “Athenaeum Arcane: Cursed Items” check them out at their website

Athenaeum Arcane: Cursed Items

From:Ronin Arts

Type of Game:d20 fantasy source book PDF

Written by:Mark Gedak

Number of Pages:15

Game Components Included:One PDF File

Game Components NotIncluded:Core d20 Fantasy books

Retail Price:$ Type Dollar Value (US)

Retail Price:$ Type Dollar Value (Can)

Reviewed by: Ron McClung