I have a few specific questions, but I think they can all be sufficiently generalized as follows:
Do cursed items which activate upon being worn, held or seen affect creatures that do not willingly wear, hold or look at such cursed items?
Normally I try to avoid playing rules lawyer, but I'm somewhat curious about this. Specific examples follow.
- Necklace of strangulation: an assassin sneaks up behind you and successfully executes a melee touch attack, combat maneuver, etc. to place the necklace around your neck. You then die in HP/6 rounds, unless somebody comes up with a way to get it off, of which there don't appear to be many.
- Poisonous cloak and/or robe of powerlessness: a hero rushes into the evil arch mage's lair, upon which the mage cackles, raises his hand, and causes the vestment to fly up from behind the hero, giving a reflex save to avoid being robed/cloaked.
- Scarab of death: the grand hero is sleeping, paralyzed, unconscious, or otherwise sufficiently weakened that the BBEG is able to put the little guy into the palm of the hero's hand. Happy saving throw!