Cursed Classes feels like exactly the expansion to D&D I need right now. I mean this in the nicest way – I want to rewrite Curse Of Strahd and basically turn it into the fight scene at the end of Breaking Dawn (yes that Breaking Dawn of Twilight fame).
And this is the expansion to do it – balanced werewolves and fun vampires? I am HERE for this.
I’m going to start by talking about the vampires. Your players just finished fighting an evil vampire and suddenly want to be one. With suitable negatives (like the inability to regain hit points from rest and the fact you have to drink blood) but with powerful positives (the ability to wipe someone’s memory of you, a base AC of 16) it honestly sounds like an incredibly fun class – with a medium level of difficulty. It’s got a lot of flexibility but it feels very intuitive to what we know about vampires in lore. Unfortunately, they don’t sparkle. I’ll just have to house-rule it.
Bound Spirits seem interesting – making animated armour canon always sounds fun! The class feels like it takes a lot from the base barbarian, but pulling in parts of monk with “essence points” that can manipulate the enemies rolls and berserk, which operates almost identically to rage.
The research done/inspiration from nature of the Floraspawn is fantastic. This particular section feels very inspired and perfect to place inside a more countryside adventure – my brain is already spinning with ideas of how to make a full mini adventure where in the first session everyone is infected with a subclass of floraspawn and then the following sessions have them deal with big evil corporation whilst also partially turning into mushrooms!
Twists on the more traditional magical classes, Liches feel very comfortable for more enthusiastic spellcasters to adopt. I feel like they would need careful DM/player planning to include within the game –needing to consume the souls of mortals to survive – but it seem utterly wonderful to play with. I’m personally thinking like a Paladin/Lich combo would be a fun challenge for a stronger player – balancing a bond of charity with taking souls from NPC’s to survive would be a “fun” way to challenge a (consenting!) player
The were-classes seem the most unbalanced from this book – with classes like the were-raven & were-rat being relatively weak early game with very niche bonus’ (the were-rat not having darkvision till level 6 feels a bit forced) however the concept of this class is just so much fun to make up for it! The semi-forced changes also seem very fun – however again requires a lot of consent from a player (how do they react; do they work in precautions for when they change etc – I feel like required watching might have to be a few episodes of Being Human)
Finally, the Revenant class sounds inspired. Sometimes a player is leaving a game for real-life reasons and a revenant vengeance gives a nice plot for a finite storyline. I can totally see having a player from a previous campaign who can only turn up for 5 or 6 sessions to kill a big boss brought back as a revenant to help give a party a bit, especially with that 5th level extra attack and inability to die (like ever!)
Overall, I’d say that these new classes & sub-classes would be a great addition to any campaign that is looking to take a more supernatural look at classes – and I’ve not even mentioned the lovely backgrounds that finish this book that I wont spoil! At just under £10 honestly its worth it purely for being able to play out those battles from teenage fantasy novels. What do you mean that’s my fantasy not yours?!
Cursed Classes retailes for £9.41 at https://www.dmsguild.com/product/301138/Cursed-Classes