One of my players recently acquired, and become attuned to, a cursed Sword of Vengeance (DMG, p. 206).
The descriptive text for this item says:
This sword is cursed and possessed by a vengeful spirit. Becoming attuned to it extends the curse to you.
You can break the curse in the usual ways [...] The sword then becomes a +1 weapon with no other properties.
One of the other PCs in my game is a Cleric, capable of casting the spell Remove Curse, which says:
At your touch, all curses affecting one creature or object end. If the object is a cursed magic item, its curse remains, but the spell breaks its owner’s attunement to the object so it can be removed or discarded.
The item text says that the curse can be broken 'in the usual ways', but the Remove Curse spell text says that it will only break a creature's attunement to a cursed item, not remove a curse from the item itself.
Does this mean that:
- The spell Remove Curse is not able to remove the curse from this Sword of Vengeance, only free unlucky PCs from its clutches?
- The curse can be removed if Remove Curse is cast twice? The first casting to break attunement and remove the curse from the PC, then a second casting to remove the curse from the weapon itself (while no one is attuned to it)?
- Or something else?
UPDATE: For anyone interested in how I ended up deciding to resolve this - the answer, as so often happens, is that the narrative took a surprising turn and the curse was sort of 'broken' by other means.
The PC in posession of the cursed sword was killed in combat. It had been previously established that the vengeful spirit possessing the sword was diabolical (as opposed to demonic) in nature and so when the PC died the devil's master appeared and offered the PC a dark pact in exchange for resurrection. When the PC woke up the curse had been broken and, by the player's choice they'd multiclassed into Warlock (Fiendish patron).