Goofer Dust

18Oct11

Goofer Dust is one of the most famous charms use in the African-American magical tradition of Hoodoo.

Goofer Dust

Goofer Dust is a deadly magical powder used to curse or kill enemies. It can be employed in a number of ways.

If Goofer Dust is poured into a footprint, the user can choose a catastrophe to inflict upon the print’s maker. By stating the desired outcome, the user of Goofer Dust can Bestow Curse (as the reverse of Remove Curse), Cause Disease (as per the reverse of the spell Remove Disease), or Cause Critical Wounds (as per the reverse of Cure Critical Wounds). Distance is not a factor.

A second way to use Goofer Dust is to first completely gather the soil of a footprint, then mix it with the Goofer Dust in a jar or other container. The user then states the desired outcome, as if she had poured the powder on the footprint in situ.

A third way to employ Goofer Dust is to pour it on the ground as a trap, referred to a “laying a trick”. The user “charges” the Goofer Dust by stating the desired catastrophe, which will then befall the first person who thereafter steps on, or otherwise contacts the Dust. Contact with worn clothing or shoes counts as personal contact. Variations on “laying tricks” include pouring Goofer Dust on a bed, or putting it in an enemy’s shoes.

The fourth potential way to employ Goofer Dust is to mix it in food or drink. The range of effects is the same as for the other uses. It is very easy to notice Goofer Dust in all but the thickest drinks and most strongly-flavored foods, however.

However it is used, the victim of Goofer Dust receives an appropriate Saving Throw to resist the Dust’s effect. The Challenge Level is always the same as the Level of the person who employed the Dust. Naturally, a quantity of Goofer Dust can only be used once.

Goofer Dust appears to be a a quantity of yellowish or reddish soil, which often smells noticeably of sulfur. It is usually found contained in a small bag or paper packet. The recipe is known to include the dirt from a grave, the skins of venomous snakes, brimstone, and powdered bones, as well as certain spices and herbs. The raw materials are not expensive, although they can require courage, a strong stomach, and some bribery to acquire.

The knowledge of making proper Goofer Dust is often taught by Pact Devils to their supplicants.

Value: 700 gp

Experience: 500

If the CK uses the Magician class, Create Goofer Dust is a 5th Level Ceremony. Only one dose can be created at a time.

Adventure Seed: A famous traveling musician has wandered into town, singing sad songs about his former lover who cursed him with Goofer Dust. The young woman in question is the wife of a bigoted politician in a nearby city. If the adventurers investigate, they will learn that the young woman did actually curse the musician, but only because he inexplicably tried to kill her first.  Further investigation will reveal that the musician had bargained with a Pact Devil, and is trying to get out of the deal by providing the fiend with a replacement soul. The replacement must, of course, be someone the musician loves. Of course, the Root Doctor that the young woman purchased the Goofer Dust from is also bound to the same Pact Devil that made the musician famous!

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One Response to “Goofer Dust”


  1. 1 Hot Foot Powder – A Magic Item From African-American Lore « The Engine of Oracles

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