One of the standard cursed items is a longsword that causes the user to take a -2 penalty to attack and damage rolls, and is automatically drawn and fought with, even if the user intended to use another weapon. It also can't be "gotten rid of" except with limited wish, wish, or miracle.

This has some interesting properties that seem like they might be beneficial: for one, the sword doesn't say that it needs to be on your person in order for it to force itself into your hand, meaning you're always a move action away from having a sword to use, even if you left the weapon at home or on another plane. For two, the sword's specific ways of being "gotten rid of" implies that the sword is immune to damage (and possibly even much more powerful effects, like mage's disjunction)

However, the penalties in combat are annoying, as is the fact that you would be unable to, for example, wield a mace or bow for specific situations.

Issue 348 of Dragon Magazine offers a potential solution for the first issue, a special type of casting of the bestow curse spell:

The target's armor, shield, or one of his weapons (caster's choice) becomes cursed. Its enhancement bonus is reversed and it loses any other special abilities, so a +4 flaming longsword becomes a -4 longsword.

It's clear that the Cursed -2 Sword's combat penalties are those of a -2 magic weapon. In fact, "-2" is even in the name of the weapon, much like weapons with positive bonuses. However, it's a situational penalty. Is this still the same as a "negative enhancement bonus" for the purposes of remove curse, and therefore can be reversed to create a "Cursed +2 Sword"? (I'm assuming that it would retain the rest of the curse if so, because cursed item "properties" aren't "special abilities". This also means that the enhancement bonus wouldn't function against practice targets, but that isn't a big deal)

From there, we're left with a fairly potent, if narcissistic (considering it's not sentient) sword. Removing this particular aspect of the curse is where I'm at a bit of a loss.

The closest I can think of is the likes of a miracle, which is able to "Undo the harmful effects of certain spells, such as feeblemind or insanity.", or limited wish/wish, which are similar. Seeing as how the Cursed -2 Sword requires bestow curse and limited wish or miracle to craft, it seems like it may be the case that its curse is the result of a spell. But is it within those spells' power to undo only part of a "harmful" effect, rather than completely removing the curse? And even if so, it's not like the alteration is simply removing a block of text. It's changing

After one week in a character’s possession, the sword always forces that character to employ it rather than another weapon. The sword’s owner automatically draws it and fights with it even when she meant to draw or ready some other weapon.


After one week in a character’s possession, the sword can always be employed rather than another weapon. The sword’s owner automatically draws it and fights with it if she wants to.

(or something to that effect, probably worded in a way that flows better but keeps less of the original text) Effectively, it removes the "always" from the cursed behavior, and allows it to function more like any other item--that is, at the user's volition.

So, is it possible to make these two alterations to the Cursed -2 Sword? And if so, is it possible using the above methods, or are there some other rules/spells that must be used?

(This is proooooobably more of a thought experiment than anything I'd try to get with in an actual game--cursed items are pretty uncommon, and at the sword's caster level, limited wish, instant summons, and numerous weapons stronger than +2 are generally available. As such, I don't mind silly-but-functional solutions or those that involve substantial amounts of cheese)


1 Answer 1


The rules say:

A positive modifier is a bonus, and a negative modifier is a penalty.

so the longsword's -2 penalty is not an enhancement bonus and cannot be reversed by the spell you describe.

Note also that the longsword's -2 penalty is not described as an "enhancement" penalty, so even if it were a bonus it would not be an enhancement bonus.

If you wanted this weapon to be +2, one good choice might be to enchant it as a magic weapon using the Craft Magic Arms And Armor feat. You'd have to ask your DM to rule on how much this would cost: would you pay extra because the weapon already has powers? Would you pay money to reduce the -2 penalty, or would you apply a separate bonus so that you'd have a "+4 cursed -2 longsword"?

You've written:

the sword doesn't say that it needs to be on your person in order for it to force itself into your hand, meaning you're always a move action away from having a sword to use, even if you left the weapon at home or on another plane

but the sword says:

The sword can be gotten rid of only by means of limited wish, wish, or miracle.

This DM would interpret that text as meaning that you can't leave the weapon at home or on another plane, because that would constitute "getting rid of it" and you're not able to do that.

You've asked if it's possible to use a spell such as limited wish or wish or miracle to modify the way this ability works. That decision is up to your DM. This DM would probably rule that a wish or miracle would be powerful enough to modify this weapon ability as you're requesting.

It's not clear exactly what ability you're trying to get from this thought experiment. Do you want to look like you're unarmed when going through security checks? Do you want to not worry about pickpockets stealing your weapon off your belt? Do you want to be able to recover your weapon efficiently if disarmed? Or do you just want to spend less time when packing your stuff for a trip?

If your goal is those first three things, you might look at the glove of storing (or its inexplicably-cheaper-and-better cousin the glove of the master strategist):

This device is a simple leather glove. On command, one item held in the hand wearing the glove disappears. The item can weigh no more than 20 pounds and must be able to be held in one hand. While stored, the item has negligible weight. With a snap of the fingers wearing the glove, the item reappears. A glove can only store one item at a time. Storing or retrieving the item is a free action. The item is held in stasis and shrunk down so small within the palm of the glove that it cannot be seen. Spell durations are not suppressed, but continue to expire. If an effect is suppressed or dispelled, the stored item appears instantly.

With this, you could use a free action to retrieve your weapon at the start of your attack, and use another free action to store it at the end of your attack. This makes it quite difficult for other people to mess with your weapon.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, that's true about the "bonus/modifier/penalty" thing, that's pretty unfortunate. One of the potential benefits to this method would've been that this would be a very inexpensive way to produce +2 swords, such as if you had to arm a large group of creatures. Additional goals are indeed all of those that you mentioned, in addition to not needing to worry about the sword being sundered, disintegrated, disjoined, or what have you. I was hopeful, but I suppose it's to be expected that things won't go quite that easily! \$\endgroup\$
    – 47948201
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 0:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ With that said, even though I'd done something similar with two-handing a weapon while using a ring of force shield, I hadn't considered using a similar approach to weaponry via a glove of storing (or, preferably, glove of the master strategist). I quite like that idea! \$\endgroup\$
    – 47948201
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 0:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The glove of the master strategist’s pricing is quite explicable: it was created for 3e, when the glove of storing was quite a lot cheaper—at that time, glove of the master strategist was the more expensive item. The truly inexplicable bit is where 3.5e drastically increased the cost of the glove of storing for no apparent (or justifiable) reason. The glove of the master strategist, being a 3e item with no 3.5e update, is technically 3.5e-legal as-is, so its price is kind of “grandfathered” in. Obviously, the DM could “fix” things, but in that case, fix the glove of storing. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 25, 2020 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’ll respectfully disagree with you on the idea that leaving the sword somewhere gets rid of it. If it forces you to use it and does in fact teleport too you, which is somewhat reasonable considering it mysteriously appears in your hand no matter where on your body it was when you reach for another weapon, then it would just come back whenever you try to draw another weapon. If I were the DM I’d adjudicate it as replacing whatever weapon you try to draw, which could lead to some interesting situations where you have to run and find a stick to use as a weapon to teleport your sword too you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jervis
    Commented Oct 20, 2021 at 5:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ The idea is to make it impossible to be disarmed. If the guards confiscate your weapon, so what? It'll be back in your hand as soon as you need it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joshua
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 20:01

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