I may be looking too much into this, but I'm having issues interpreting Removes Curse's effect on Bestow Curse. Bestow Curse reads:

You touch a creature, and that creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become cursed for the duration of the spell. When you cast this spell, choose the nature of the curse from the following options. [...]

A Remove Curse spell ends this effect. At the DM's option, you may choose an alternative curse effect, but it should be no more powerful than those described above. The DM has final say on such a curse's effect. [...]

So here's what I need help understanding:

Does Remove Curse dispel the spell as a whole, and if the caster wants to re-curse they must touch the target again? Or does it remove the specific curse the caster specified and they select a new effect to curse the target with without recasting? The mentioning of Remove Curse next to alternative curse effects is what's tripping me up. Plus, when it says "ends this effect" does it mean the spell or the specified curse?

Thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


It effectively ends the spell

In 5e, spells do what they say they do, nothing more:

  • You can choose an effect when you cast the spell.
  • The target is cursed for the duration of the spell.
  • Remove Curse ends the (curse's) effect.

Nothing says "for the duration of the spell, you can make melee spell attacks to touch and curse creatures," or similar. You choose one target and one effect when you cast the spell. Nothing also says you can reapply effects, so you can't reapply effects. This basically means the spell has no effect anymore after a casting of Remove Curse. If you want to reapply the curse, you'll have to cast the spell again.

Note: As always when the rules are ambiguous, the DM can and should make a decision. Your DM might decide that this interpretation is bollocks and that you can apply any effect you want to any number of targets, simply by touching them, as long as the spell lasts. In that case you will have to take it up with them. I believe, however, that the above interpretation makes the fewest assumptions and is therefore the safest/"most correct" one.

Admittedly, it doesn't say Remove Curse ends the spell, but you can stop concentrating at any time - no action required - and there is little sense in continuing concentrating on a spell that has no effect anymore.

The "you may choose an alternative curse effect" bit is for cases in which you want your target to, say, have constant ongoing diarrhea (for which Bestow Curse would be a prime candidate), or other creative uses.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, Ammut. That's what I was initially thinking. I suppose the more I looked for meaning the more I confused myself. Appreciate it. \$\endgroup\$
    – amox6
    Nov 30, 2019 at 18:18

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