OSR: Cursed Items: Curse as Gamble

This is part 2 to a series on Cursed Items.  Reading Part 1 is not required, but it is recommended. 

This post is about the second type of Cursed item, the type that while powerful, present obvious risks.  They are the magical equivalent of nitroglycerin; they present an obvious danger, but they can do what nothing else can do. 

For these items, I recommend informing the players up front about the dangers of using such an item.  Hopefully the potential reward of using such an item will present the players with an interesting choice.

Risky Cursed Items
1d6

1- Ring of the Undead Master
2- Cauldron of Restoration
3- Hat of Disguise
4- Robe of Stars
5- Butcher's Nails
6- Sceptor of Thralldom

                                            from Fantasy Biker Store

Ring of the Undead Master.

This ring is a band of silver studded with dozens of amethyst stones, all sloppily inserted with little regard for aesthetics.  The worksmanship of the ring itself is quite poor, in fact.  However, the ring clearly wasn't meant to be a piece of jewelry.  The ring radiates magic, making the hair of anyone who approaches it stand on end.  It is the magical equivalent of carrying around a fuel rod from a nuclear fission reactor.  The ring oozes power and danger in equal amounts, because make no mistake, this ring is powerful.

The ring contains 1d20 Charges.  The player should not be told how many charges there are.  However, they should be told this: if the ring exceeds 20 charges, it will release all of its charges at once.  Once the players find out what the ring can do, they will realize what a terrible thing this is.  The players should also be told that if the ring ever hits zero charges, it will stop working permanently.

While wearing the ring, the wearer can burn as many charges as he likes and make an attack roll.  The ring will then fire a ray at the target, doing Xd6 necrotic damage, where X is the amount of charges burned.  If this reduces a the target to zero HP, there is a X-in-6 chance that the creature's corpse rises as an X HD Undead that is not under the wearer's control.  If the wearer fires a similar ray at a corpse, the corpse will automatically rise as an X HD Undead not under the wearer's control.

The wearer will learn this shortly after donning the ring, but the way that the ring regains charges is through the death of sapient creatures with souls at least as strong as a human's.  The creature must be sacrificed and its blood poured into a glass.  The ring must then be removed and placed in the hot blood.  The ring will devour the person's life force and store it within one of the ring's gems, gaining X charges, where X is the sacrificed creature's HD.

If the number of charges in the ring ever falls to 0, the ring breaks and loses its magic permanently.

If the number of charges in the ring ever rises above 20, the ring vents energy, releasing 1d20 charges in a wave of necrotic energy.  Everyone within 1d20*10' of the ring must save, including the ring wearer.  On a successful save, they take 1d20 necrotic damage.  On a failed save, they instantly die and their bodies are raised as Undead hostile the last wearer of the ring, as well as all living things.  This is secret knowledge because no one has yet survived it.

                                                source unknown

Cauldron of Restoration.

It's a large, heavy pot, made of solid cast iron.  It is slightly damaged, but the construction is clearly solid.  In fact, if you touch it, you find it to be much heavier than you would have expected, the metal even more solid than you would have imagined.  The Cauldron almost seems to be more "real" than you or anything else.  Compared to it, all other pots almost feel soft, though that's probably just you imagining things.  Surprisingly, the Cauldron will float like a cork if dropped into water.

The Cauldron will either include with it, or have stenciled on the side, a recipe for potions of vitality.  The recipe for this potion is this: fill the Cauldron with a mixture of 1 part blood, 2 parts water, 1 part liquor, along with a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of pepper.  Add honey or sugar for taste (the potions taste awful either way, but honey or sugar helps).  Then light a fire under the Cauldron and bring to a boil.  This whole process takes about half an hour.  As you boil the ingredients, the mixture within will begin to froth and bubble, glowing and convulsing, spraying drops of warm, glowing fluid across the ceilings and walls.  Then, once the majority of the fluid has boiled away in a cloud of invigorating vapor, the bottom of the Cauldron will be full of a sweet tasting, cinnamon-scented liquid that radiates magical power.  The liquid produced will only enough for 1 person to drink and they must drink the whole thing to cause any anything to activate.  Anyone who drinks one of these potions heals Xd8 HP, with the rest rolling over into FS.  In this, X is the HD of the creature who's blood was used in the mixture.  If it was a PC, use class levels instead of HD, but otherwise everything is unchanged.

But there is a catch.  The Cauldron of Restoration is cursed.  It once belonged to a powerful Orzanian Witch-Warrior named Ryzia [Rye-za] of Uahin [Wa-hin].  Ryzia commanded both great magical abilities and impressive martial skill, a feat which made him a great hero to the burgeoning Empire.  Ryzia was also the one who originally created the Cauldron, with the help of his city's patron deity, Numox the Divine Genius, God of Poetry, Dancing, Cooking, Healing and Masculinity.  Ryzia used the Cauldron only for noble purposes in those days, but as he was called further and further afield, asked to accomplish what he had once done with fewer resources and farther from home, Ryzia grew desperate.  He thought (not inaccurately) that his forces were the only one keeping the fledgling Empire's Southwestern provinces from being exposed to the kingdoms and barbarians of that same region.

He would not turn back or retire from the field, but he had to do something.  So as Ryzia's wars continued, he grew more and more vicious, fighting with a fervor and zeal that inspired his men and terrified his foes in equal amounts.  Ryzia eventually abandoned traditional ways of making war, instead using guerrilla and terror tactics to harass his enemies.  He ordered atrocities designed to dissuade the enemy from fighting, leaving whole nations scattered to the wind, displacing whole tribes and slaughtering those who did not submit to Imperial rule.  This worked for a while, until finally, God Numox caught wind of what he was doing.  Numox saw what Ryzia was doing and was immensely displeased by what he saw.  A prophet came and rebuked the Witch-Warrior, cursing him to do to his own people what he did to the foreign tribes he crushed.  The prophet also cursed the Cauldron, commanding it to become an "everlasting monument to Ryzia's crimes". 

The curse made the Cauldron all but indestructible and caused it to occasionally produce Potions of Cancerous Growths instead of Potions of Restoration.  Potions of Cancerous Growths always look and smell exactly like Potions of Restoration.  To determine which one was brewed, roll on the table below.

What kind of potion is produced?
1d20 

1: Potion of Cancerous Growths.  Cause a creature who drinks it to have their body become infested with thousands of fast growing tumors that grow expontentially, plundering the body of resources and deforming the drinker's body into a forest of hideous growths.  The actual cause of death is usually heart failure, suffocation, organ failure or brain death.  Unless the creature who drinks it has some astounding ability to quickly change the shape of their body, such as an Outsider's shapeshifting or has access to miraculous healing, such as from a God or a Lich-level Biomancer, the drinker dies.
2-20: Potion of Restoration.  Cause a creature to regain Xd8 HP, then FS, where X is the HD/Class level of the creature whose's blood was used in the mixture. 

There are, of course, also modifiers that can be attributed to this roll.

Modifiers:

- If the creature who whose blood was used gave it up willingly, then the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths is not increased.
- If the creature whose blood was used had their blood stolen or taken from their corpse, then the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths is increased by +X, where X is his HD/Class level.  For example, a 3 HD creature whose blood was used nonconsentually would increase the chance to where a roll of 1-4 would brew a Potion of Cancerous Growths instead.
- If the creature brewing the Potion is a wicked creature, then the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths is increased by +X, where X is the number of unjustified evil actions that creature committed.  For this, only count the especially notable acts though.  Jaywalking may violate the law, but it's not evil for our purposes though.  Killing a helpless prisoner or sacrificing a baby or something like that would definitely be evil, though.  For example, if the creature brewing the potion sold a baby to an evil cult and killed a helpless prisoner, the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths increases to 1-3.
- If a Unicorn horn or Unicorn horn shavings are added to the mixture and you were involved in the killing or hunting of the Unicorn in some way, add +2x to the chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths, where X is the Unicorn's HD, you sicko.

All of the details about how this Cauldron works, its history and the like, except for the curse and the fact that it produces Potions of Cancerous Growths can be found in the Imperial Archives and various collections of historical volumes. 

The fact that it occasionally produces Potions of Cancerous Growths should be revealed by the party's enemies.  I recommend dispatching them on a routine mission to hunt down some bandits or cultists and have the enemies have access to brewed Potions of Restoration.  The Potions make them hard to kill, but make sure you show one of the enemies drink his Potion, only for it to actually be a Potion of Cancerous Growths and kill him.  Have this happen multiple times, until the players realize what you're trying to tell them.  If they ask, be sure to tell them there is a chance of brewing a Potion of Cancerous Growths.

As for Ryzia's fate, it is shrouded in mystery.  The official, Imperial histories say he accidentally attacked a village of loyal Orzane that he thought were traitors and when this fact was revealed, he killed himself out of shame, ensuring justice was done with his last breath.  And despite this ignimonious end, the Cult of Glory still venerates him as one of the soldiers who followed God Marzan's example of service, valor and heroic self-sacrifice. 

This hasn't stopped many ghost stories circulating about Ryzia, especially in the Southwestern regions of the Empire.  Mothers often scare their children with stories of Ryzia the Witch-Warrior, who is said to still walk the streets late at night, having used black magicks to extend his life.  He is said to kidnap naughty children who stay out past their bed times.  Similar stories are told by cadets and initiates into many of the Empire's military academies, with the seniors telling their juniors that Ryzia was once a cadet here and still haunts the dark corners of the academy.  But there's probably no truth to these stories.  Right?

                                                           by Nika

Hat of Disguise.

It is a hat, always slightly battered, but otherwise in good condition.  It changes it various types of hats, depending on who wears it.  These changes always occur when no one is looking at the hat.  The hat is usually brown or black, but it can be other colors.  The hat also radiates magic, warming the head of anyone who wears it, making all of that person's hair stand on end.  Anyone who puts it on will feel a surge of power flow through them and learn the Hat's power.

The Hat of Disguise grants the power to anyone who wears it to disguise themselves.  The Hat can alter someone's appearance, smell, the sound of the person's voice voice, even the way he smells.  But it does much more than that- it is not merely an item that changes the body, but it also changes someone's mannerisms, subtly guiding the person's behavior so that they are are all but indistinguishable from the real thing.

Here's how the power works.  When the user wants to activate the Hat's power, the Referee should ask the user a list of questions.  This list of questions includes most basic personal information, but is not limited to this alone. 

Here are some example questions the Referee can and should ask:

What does the person you want to alter your appearance look like?
What type of clothing does he wear?
What does this person sound like?
What does he smell like?
Does this person bathe often?  Does he wear perfume?
Does he wear make-up?  Paint his face? 
How does he treat people?
Is he married?  Does he have any children?  How does he treat them?  Does he act like he loves his wife(s)?
Does he practice the ways of violence?  Or is he a man of peace?
What are his mannerisms?
Does he have any habits, good or bad?
What virtues does he have?  What vices mar his character?

If the user is pretending to be someone who the user has encountered in-game, the Referee should compare the answers the user gives to what the Referee knows about this NPC and record the number of correct answers.  For each correct answer, the user gets +1 (max: +6) to his disguise check.  Each incorrect answer does not grant a +1, obviously.

For example: If the user say Dozaine of Melchis loves his wife but the Referee knows that he was forced into the marriage to avoid scandal and resents the woman for it, then that is incorrect.  If the user answers that Dozaine is stiffly formal with his wife, but seems to show her no affection, then that would be correct.

If the user is using the Hat to instead disguise themselves as someone who he has invented as an alter-ego or suitable disguise, the Referee should ask the questions of the user, who should answer them.  Then, once finished, the Referee should have the user make a disguise check, as above.  In this case, as the person who the user is being doesn't exist, there is no chance of the user being recognized as an imposter.  However, if someone rolls low on a disguise check in this situation, then the user will be thought of as suspicious or a liar, as the questioner sees through their flimsy persona. 

There is just one more thing you should be aware of.  The power of the Hat of Disguise is so great that it even fools the wearer.  For every hour that the Hat is worn, it does 1d6 WIS damage to the user.  If the WIS damage taken like this ever equals or exceeds the user's WIS score, the user becomes convinced that he actually is the person he is disguised as.  He will continue to act as that person and will ignore, evade or deny any attempt to convince him that his false persona is not his real one.  He will also resist all attempts to remove the Hat, though he will only use the abilities that his false persona grants him.  If he is ordinarily a Wizard but he is disguised as a non-caster, he will not be able to cast magic, as he doesn't believe he can.  

If the Hat is removed before the user's WIS score is reduced to 0, the user will not mistake his false persona for his real one. 

If the Hat is removed at any point, the disguise effect ends and the user is returned to his normal appearance and persona. However, if his WIS had been reduced to zero, he takes 1d6 trauma points and gains the Conviction, "I do not want to wear that Hat ever again."  He must also make a save to gain an additional Conviction based off of the disguise he was just inhabiting.  This varies, but is usually based on the other person's habits, such as, "I refuse to stay at any room in an inn that is not divisible by 3."

                                             by u/jay_bleu

The Robe of Stars.

A robe made of fabric so dark, words like "black" fail to describe it.  It is stygian and looks like it was made from the ocean of Night itself.  And in a way, it was.  However, the robe isn't just impossibly dark, but it is crowded with stars.  These stars shine and twinkle, glowing like the night's sky in a place with no light pollution.  These stars also move, the robe mimicking the movements of the stars across the sky.  Anyone who can navigate by the Heavens can use the Robe of Stars to find his way, even on cloudy nights.

Note that above only describes' the Robe's appearance at Night.  The robe looks different during the Day.  During the day the Robe mimics the sky, being a beautiful azure blue, with fluffy white clouds floating across it, as well as a huge blob of light on it for the sun.  During the day, the Robe illuminates a 30' area, assuming you are in a place not already illuminated by the sun.  In sunlight, this light isn't noticeable, but it obviously would be underground or in a dark place. 

The Robe has two powers.  First, at any time, the user may pull the Robe's hood down over his eyes and he will find his position seemingly altered.  He will see himself high above the planet of Acreage, the planet upon which Nukaria exists, and be able to gaze freely out into Deep Heaven.  His motion will be somewhat random, but he will be able to determine, roughly, what will happen if he engages the Robe's primary power.

The primary power is that the user may, as an action, open a portal from Deep Heaven to the planet he is standing on.  To determine what happens, he should roll on the table below.  The user may close the portal as a free action, as long as it is his turn. 

1d12
1- Horror from the Darkness beyond the Stars.  You have accidentally opened a portal next to a petty Old God.  Immediately, 1d4 [1= 1d10 Tentacles; 2= 1d8 many-fingered Hands; 3= 1 enormous pink thing (a tongue), covered in cilia, sticky; 4= A half-mile long serpent-thing with glowing "eyes"] emerge from out of the Robe and begin causing damage.  This is one of the Horror's appendages, which it has stuck through the small portal that opened next to it.  It will try to use this portal to slip through the net around Nukaria and land on the planet.  If it manages to do so, it would cause a small, local apocalypse and maybe the end of the entire world.  To do this, the Horror imposes its will on the user to try and force them to keep the portal open and will use its appendages to try and grab people and pull them back through the portal, so hopefully the user will keep the portal open, to prevent the user from shutting the portal, as that would mean stranding his comrades in Deep Heaven, with it.  The user must succeed a WIL contest with the Horror to close the portal.  The appendages have 1d3 HD each, with an AC of 11 and make 1 attack each round at (+2, 1d8 crushing or piercing).  They can withdraw back through the portal as a full action.  Finally, if someone ends up on the other side of the portal, they will find themselves face to face with the Horror, which would most likely be too powerful to actually fight.
2- Sucking void.  The Robe of Stars' portal is designed to prefer more solid objects over lighter ones, letting them pass through.  However, when it comes across a space where there is nothing, opening it here creates a powerful suction.  All creatures within 30' of the user must save.  On a failure, the creature is dragged towards the user.  The creature has 1d3 chances to grab hold of something.  If he fails all of his chances, he is dragged into the Robe and flung out into Deep Heaven.  This suction effect obviously ends if the user chooses to shut the portal.
3- Light from a Dead Star.  When a Star dies, it can sometimes persist for a while, clinging to embodied existence, a sort of self-enforced Undeath.  These Stars are usually destroyed by other forces in Deep Heaven, but before this happens, these Stars begin firing on distant worlds, other Stars or creatures out in Deep Heaven, taking revenge on all that lives.  You just so happen to have caught and transmitted one of those blasts.  The light does 3d6 necrotic damage, 100000000' cone, save for half.  
4- Jet of Dust.  A jet of dust going 400 miles per hour.  Functions as a 30' line of piercing damage that does 3d6 piercing damage each round for up to 3 rounds or as long as the portal is open.  Does half damage if you succeed on an Armor save.  (Roll your AC like a save.) 
5- A cloud of frozen chlorine gas.  A block of some toxic gas, frozen into a huge lump.  It flies 1d6*10', then crashes and evaporates into a 30' cloud that does 2d6 damage per round to everyone within the cloud.
6- Call of the Void.  Nothing is visible.  But when the portal is opened, everyone within 50' must save.  On a failed save, they start feeling the urge to walk to the user and enter through the portal.  Even those who passed their saves take 1d6 WIL damage a round for as long as the portal is open.  If this WIL damage ever equals or exceeds the creature's WIL score, treat it as a failed save.  This process continues until the user closes the portal or everyone who wanted to
7- Strange Radiation.  Dazzling light and an odd, tingling sensation blankets everyone within 50'.  This radiation causes everyone within the affected area to either gain 1d3 points to a random attribute score (max 18) or lose 1d3 points of a random attribute score (min 3).  There is a 50% of one of these event happening.  Also, regardless of what happens, all within the affected should save vs mutation. 
8- Shooting Star.  Shooting Stars are not true Stars, but living weapons fired by the Gods at Demons to prevent them from entering the upper realms without permission.  Shooting Stars are simple creatures, living only to kill Monsters and explode. If one ends up on your planet and there are no Demons or Monsters to fight, it will try to immediately return to Deep Heaven and if you refuse to let it, it will try to destroy you.  There is also a 50% chance that a Shooting Star is pursuing some other Outsider.  Shooting Stars stat as Outsiders, with the Demonic Gift to explode.  This obviously kills it, of course. 
9- Starlight.  One random creature within 30' of the portal is exposed to wisdom of the Heavenly Spheres.  For a second, he hears the ticking cogwheels of Natural Law, the engines of fate rumbling behind space-time.  That creature must immediately make a WIS save as this knowledge rushes into his mind.  On a failure, that creature takes 3d6 WIS damage and gains a random insanity.  On a success, the creature may ask 1d3 questions to the Referee about the past or present.  The Referee may only provide answers that the Stars might know.  The Stars know much about the past and present, but they do not know the future. The Stars also do not make judgements- think of them as super fast divine computers, hyper-complex Constructs.  They do not think, they calculate.  
10- Sunlight.  A wave of pure solar energy radiates out from the user in a 30' radius sphere.  This sunlight damages Undead  and other creatures harmed by sunlight as per normal and restores 1d4 FS to every living creature who is not hated by the Sun.
11- Spaceship.  A spaceship suddenly flies out of the Robe.  The Spaceship has a 2-in-6 chance of being an abandoned hulk, otherwise it is being piloted and is currently in use.  If the spaceship is being piloted, the pilot must save or crash into the heavenly body the Robe's user is standing on.  Once it lands or crashes, you will find the spaceship full of 1d6 [1= Humans; 2= Animal-people, such as Froglings or Snakemen; 3= Robots- this ship is unmanned; 4= A mixed crew of humans, animal people and robots; 5= An alien race that you've never seen before; 6= Roll again, with whoever you rolled as the crew being tormented by some kind of Monster or Demon that slipped aboard and has been preying on the crew ever since.]
12- Constellation.  The Stars of this Constellation, an important Celestial Institution, file an injunction against this portal being opened for 1d100+10 seconds.  They warn the user that to summon this Constellation to his word would delay them and prevent them from carrying out their directives.  Instead, the user should belay his request to open a portal and in exchange, this Constellation will... (roll on sub-Table A, "What will this Constellation do?").  If you ignore the Constellation, the portal will open and 1d12 Stars will be stranded on Earth.  This is likely to attract a lot of attention, from locals, evil people who know how useful Stars can be, from the Celestial Bureaucrats who are going to be incredibly angry that you stole some of their servers and probably from the Celestial Security Forces.

sub-Table A:

What will this Constellation do?
1d12
1- The Royal.  It will grant you an opportunity to serve a Monarch.  If you succeed in your task, you will surely be rewarded.
2- The Noble.   If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will have you chastised by the local authorities.  If this happens, the user of the Robe will soon find themselves framed for a crime in the next city or town they visit. 
3- The Judge.   It will grant you or anyone you wish a Royal or Imperial Pardon for a crime already committed.
4- The Knight.  If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will give you a valiant death in battle.  If this happens, the user is cursed to die in the next (dramatically) important battle.  This curse is broken by surrendering to the foe in that important battle.  If the user somehow survives the battle, the curse also ends.
5- The Thief.  If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will curse you with poverty.  You will lose everything but the shirt off your back due to taxation, fines, theft and catastrophe.  This curse is broken by voluntarily giving away all your possessions and taking an oath of poverty for at least 3 months.
6- The Councilor.  If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will have someone file a lawsuit against you in the coming days or weeks.
7- The Custodian.  It will grant you an inheritance from one of your relatives who is likely to die soon.  So if Great-Uncle Simon suddenly dies, you will be named his heir.
8- The Hunter.  You will be given a chance to find one of the Questing Beasts.  Example: the Jabberwocky.
9- The Prophet.  You will be given the location of the one of the Secret Names of God.
10- The Shepherd.  You will be given a loyal beast.  This beast has a 50% of being some sort of domesticated animal, such as a horse or hound, or some kind of cool monster, such as a griffon or romper (dire otter).
11- The Artist    If you do not cancel your request to open the portal, the Constellation will curse you with madness.  You will immediately develop some kind of crippling insanity.  This curse is broken by doing a bunch of drugs and going on a vision quest.  Ask your local Priest or Oracle for help with that.
12- The Pariah.   It will grant you a chance to do a great and noble deed.  Evil will rise up soon in your area and you will be well positioned to crush it.  The Constellation trusts that you will make the right call.

                                                                 from polyvore.com

Like this, except all the spikes are on the inside.

Butcher's Nails.

A headband made of tightly coiled fabric interwoven with wires and large, metal plates.  the inside of these plates have small metal spines that prick the skin.  Putting on the headband and tying it on will cause discomfort, but also send vague emanations of power through the wearer's body.  At any point, the wearer may, as  free action, activate the butcher's nails.  This will cause one of the spikes to pierce the wearer's skin, digging into their flesh.  This does 1 HP and 1d4 WIS damage.  In exchange though, it grants a +1 damage bonus.  If the wearer activates more nails, they can give the wearer other abilities.  However, each Nail still does 1 HP and 1d4 WIS damage.


While the wearer is wearing the Butcher's Nails, he cannot regain WIS points.  If he removes the Nail's at any point before the WIS damage taken equals or exceeds his WIS score, he is fine.  While the Nails are off, any creature whose WIS was reduced by them recovers WIS at a rate of 1 point per day, back up to his maximum.

But if the Butcher's Nails ever reduce his WIS to 0, they permanently bond themselves to the wearer's body.  The wearer cannot remove the Nails.  If someone attempts to take them off forcefully, the wearer dies.  Additionally, if the Wearer's WIS was reduced to zero by the Butcher's Nails, he gains the Conviction: "If I can solve a problem with violence, I will."

<Referee's Note>  Convictions work somewhat like this in my setting: if you have a Conviction to do X and you see an opportunity to do X, you must save to resist.  On a successful save, you are able to resist.  But on a failed save, you gain 1d6 points of Stress as long as you still have the opportunity to do X.  You can avoid this temptation by getting away or rendering it impossible to do X.  For example: if your Conviction is "I am a Kleptomaniac" and you see an unguarded object that looks like it might be worth stealing, you will be tempted to steal it.  If you fail your save, you can still avoid the temptation by leaving the store or pointing it out to your compatriots, assuming they aren't enabling your bad behavior, of course.  </Referee's Note>

                                                      source unknown


The Sceptor of Thralldom.

The Scepter of Thralldom is a royal scepter, made of gilded wood, ornamented with three tiny chains of iron, bronze and copper wrapped tightly around the handle.  The end of the Rod is tipped with a ruby, which is encapsulated in a cage of silver wires, the cage itself tipped with a single point of impossible sharpness. 

If you stab someone with this sceptor, he must save.  On a failed save, he takes 1d6 WIL damage from your stab wound.  Anyone with their WIL reduced below its maximum by the Sceptor of Thralldom becomes a Thrall of the wielder.  If the wielder gives them an order, the Thrall will feel compelled to obey.  It may try to disobey, but must succeed a WIL saving throw to successfully do so.  Remember to include its newly reduced WIL for the saving throw.

If the creature instead passes his WIL save, he does not take WIL damage and need not obey you, though he will sense the Scepter's attempts to crush his will.  There is no visible difference between someone who has passed and someone who has failed their save against the scepter.  

Thralls with zero WIL cannot disobey your orders, though they will also be vulnerable to other mind-influencing effects, such as Fear or Charm.  Additionally, all creatures under your control regain X points of WIL per day, where X is their HD divided by 3, with a minimum of 1.  For example, a 12 HD creature regains 4 point of WIL per day.  If the creature instead has SHP and a Damage Threshold, double the the creature's Damage Threshold and use it as if it were HD.     


OSR: Cursed Items: Curse as Gamble