Bestow Curse DnD 5E Spell

Hello magic casters of all shapes and sizes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the fourth episode of our 3rd level spell series. Today we’re going to be taking a look at one of my all-time favorite spells, favorite amongst necromancy users as well and by dm’s alike. Today we’re gonna be taking a look at dnd 5e bestow curse spell.

This spell is usable by the bard, cleric and the wizard and it is found in the good old players handbook. Honestly i’m a little bit worried about the repercussions for this article just because i feel like a lot of DMs are going to kind of use this as a punishment, you can if you want i guess but i’d probably brought the command against it i’ll get into that a little bit later. But before i do it let’s take a quick look at the mechanics here so we can kind of discuss it a little bit.


So the effect at a glance is as followed: On a failed save, a creature can be affected one of the following ways:  Disadvantage on checks and saves regarding a chosen stat. Disadvantage on attack rolls against you. Force a target to make a wisdom save at the start of each turn and on a fail they waste their action. You can deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target. So you can only pick one of those, you don’t get all of them if you did i would consider the spell or range asleep broke and we get to pick one of those.

  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range: Touch
  • Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)
  • Save: Wis
  • At Higher Levels: 4:10min Con, 5:8hrs, 7:24hrs, 9:until dispelled.
  • Components: Verbal and Somatic
  • School: Necromancy

The cast time is one action, the range is touch which is really interesting. The duration is one minute and it is a concentration spell. At least kinda sorta we’ll talk about that in a bit here. The save is wisdom and the upcasting is really unique. So if you cast using the spell slot of fourth level it becomes a 10 minute duration and it’s still concentration.

However at 5th level it’s eight hours and you drop that concentration which is pretty cool, it’s very interesting, at seventh level is 24 hours of no concentration and at ninth level it is until dispelled. Isn’t that hilarious… man that is awesome, just awesome. The components are Verbal and Somatic and the school is necromancy which makes sense.

Pretty good honestly, i think a lot of them are situational and we’ll get into that in a little bit. Now let’s take a quick look at the full description here so we can better understand exactly what’s going on.


In this bestow curse dnd spell you are able to touch a creature and of course that specific creature must be succeeded on a wisdom saving throw or else it must become cursed for a reasonable duration of the spell. But whenever you do cast this spell and select the nature of the curse from the below mentioned options.

  1. Select one ability score. Because of cursed and the target has disadvantage on an ability checks and also saving throws which are made by that ability score.
  2. But while it has cursed, then the target has some disadvantage on an attack rolls against to you.
  3. Probably while it has cursed, the particular target should be able to make a wisdom saving throw at a starting point of each of its turns. But if it fails, then it wastes its action which turns doing nothing.
  4. However while the target has been cursed, and mainly your attacks and also the particular type of spells would deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target.

You can also read about clone 5e spell

Usually, a remove curse spell will end this effect. At your DM’s option, you might select an alternative curse effect, but of course it must be no longer powerful than above described ones. The DM also has the final say on such a curse’s Effect.

At Higher Levels:

  • Any how if you make to cast this spell by using the spell slot of 4th level or else more than the 4th level, then the duration is Concentration, almost up to 10 minutes.
  • Al though if you use one of the spell slots of 5th level or higher and then the duration is 8 hours.
  • Suppose, you do use the spell slot of 7th level or higher then the duration is 24 hours.
  • You can also use the 9th level, for an instance if you use this 9th level spell slot, then the spell will last until it is dispelled.
  • Normally, using a spell slot of 5th level or else higher grants the duration which does not require the concentration.

My goodness it is a wordy one but it is hella cool regardless. Needless to say it’s pretty apparent why a lot of people pick it. It’s just good the fact that it’s a spell that can do multiple different things and that has such a potent up cast make it very desirable for virtually every class that has access to it.

With a couple exceptions based on playstyle here and there. Now something i would like to point out that i haven’t really seen a lot of people talk about is how dm’s use this spell. So a great way to use it as a DM is to have the BBeg’s familiar caston. Since it’s a touch spell it can be cast through familiars early consequence-free.

So if you have let’s say the biggest damage dealer or someone who kind of did. So a lot of people use this as punishment and so getting an example let’s say you’re in a cursive start campaign and straat appears and the bard just starts insulting him and insulting him and insulting him.

Estrade will send a spider to him in the middle of the night, hit him with a bestowed curse and make it so all of his checks and saves regarding charisma for example are now made with disadvantage and it’s until dispelled because you know straud kind of runs the show in that particular campaign.

So i think that’s how i’ve seen it most commonly used, at least by GMs but player characters can do the same kind of thing the find familiar spell combos with this unbelievably well.

Especially if you pick like a less conspicuous familiar like a spider for example that’s probably the best one to use but it’s pretty neat, pretty good stuff. Something else i’d like to quickly point out here you can have additional effects other than the one stated.

It is worth having a conversation with your DM, you can try and reflavor some of these as well. Instead of having disadvantage of attack rolls against you they have disadvantage against attack rolls on one particular member of your party for example.

I think that’d be pretty fair or even reverse it where you have advantage on attack rolls against them as opposed to them having disadvantage against you. I think it is worth having that conversation but once again take that with a grain of salt. Individual DMs might want to play it individual ways. That being said lets take a quick look at some alternative uses here.

Alternative Uses

So, the best way that i’ve personally are the most common way for sure i’ve seen it used is when it comes to punching up. This usually happens in BBG fights or in boss fights or one for more fashion and it’s very effective because this spell doesn’t just say you up to be in a good position but it can say your party members up as well.

For example make F disadvantaged or choose the stat dexterity and just bombard them with fireballs for example is a kind of a good way to do it like be mindful of what the rest of your party can do at the same time and it combos are really well with spells like eldritch blast that deals separate attack rolls you deal an extra 1d8 per each attack right! So it can add up pretty dang quick. That being said! be sure not to abuse it or the DM might get a little bit upset.

Another great way to use this is using competitions that disadvantage own ability checks is super great if you’re in a sporting competition of it really any shape or kind and another great way to use this is to help a balance out the encounters better. This is especially relevant towards the wisdom save at the start of each of turn and if they fail that they waste their action, action economy very much a thing in 5e.

It’s been a thing in virtually every edition that i can think of but in 5e it’s especially important so if you can get them the waist in action just because that’s basically the equivalent of most NPCs wasting their entire turn. Not a lot of NPCs actually have a strong use for their bonus action especially towards the earlier levels but that being said your DM might make my homebrew a lot of stuff to make sure that’s not a huge issue but who knows ultimately.

Attributes Of Bestow Curse DnD 5E Spell

Casting Time1 action
ClassesBard, Cleric, Wizard
ComponentsV S
DurationUp to 1 minute
Higher Spell Slot DescIf you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the Duration is Concentration, up to 10 minutes. If you use a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the Duration is 8 hours. If you use a spell slot of 7th level or higher, the Duration is 24 hours. If you use a 9th level spell slot, the spell lasts until it is dispelled. Using a spell slot of 5th level or higher grants a Duration that doesn't require Concentration.
NameBestow Curse
TargetA creature

If you have any alternative uses, concepts, questions, concerns please let me know down beneath in the comment section. Also let me know what curses you would like to pitch to your DM. Try and make sure they are balanced enough where it’s still playable i think something involved movement would be kind of cool like target can only move at half of their normal speed.

That’d be a cool kind of curse, but let me know what you think down beneath in the comment section as always i really do appreciate it. I hope you guys all have a great day and as always a happy casting.

Leave a Comment