Come across something dangerously tempting in the wilderness? We let you know what to investigate and what to leave undisturbed.

Darkest Dungeon Curios Guide

Come across something dangerously tempting in the wilderness? We let you know what to investigate and what to leave undisturbed.

The mythos-scourged areas in Darkest Dungeon aren’t just filled with twisted pig creatures, insane cultists, and dangerous traps. You will also come across a wide range of objects called curios that are just begging to be investigated.

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There’s no re-loading to an early save if opening a curio goes horribly wrong (as it is known to do quite frequently), so you want to make sure of what’s going to happen and what your chances of a good outcome really are before you interact with anything.

Some curios you obviously shouldn’t be messing with – who thinks it’s a good idea to play around with horrible fish god statues or delve into those obviously evil esoteric writings? Others have the strong possibility of negative consequences, but also have a chance for excellent loot or even gaining a positive trait.

It’s a gamble, but in some cases one that can potentially be very lucrative for your inevitably doomed band of dungeon delvers. In most cases you can open any curio without using an item, but if you have the correct item to “cleanse” the curio prior to investigating, you’ll usually get an extra positive result (with a few exceptions noted below).

Keep in mind some of this info is subject to change as patches are released and balance tweaks are made between the early access and full release versions. If you’ve found any of these curios offer up different positive/negative results or take different items, be sure to let us know if the comments section!

Before delving any further into the game, you may also want to check out these other guides:

General Curios

These ones can be found in any location and aren’t specific to any particular area or dungeon.


Item: None

The sconce simply provides you with an extra torch, although there’s a small chance of also salvaging extra loot.


Item: None

In most cases you’ll get a small amount of money or heirlooms, but there’s a small chance of getting nothing.

Discarded Pack

Item: None

Dive into these as soon as you see them. While there’s a chance they’ve already been looted, you may find a map revealing nearby dangers or instead get either gold or extra provisions.

Stack Of Books

Item: None (Torch)

Although you can use a Torch on this, absolutely don’t under any circumstances, as it instantly raises your stress to a level where you will have to do a resolve test!

Opening the stack without an item is dicey and has a wide range of options – you can gain a moderate amount of stress, contract a debilitating disease, gain a negative quirk, lower the light level, or potentially gain a free positive quirk.


Item: None

These frequently have nothing, but you can also luck out and get either food or an heirloom.

Heirloom Chest

Item: Skeleton Key or Antivenom

Without an item you are likely to get a handful of heirlooms, but there’s also a chance of gaining bleed or blight. If you cleanse with an item, you are guaranteed to get extra heirlooms with no chance of injury.

Unlocked Strongbox

Item: None

This one doesn’t require any items and will usually offer up loot, but there’s also a small chance of getting blight instead.

Eldritch Altar

Item: Holy Water

This one’s a gamble, as you can either get nothing, gain a large amount of stress, or gain either a positive or negative quirk. If you use Holy Water though, instead you will lose a random negative quirk.

Shambler’s Altar

Item: Torch

This curio does nothing — unless you use a torch, in which case it summons the Shambler boss! Don’t try this one if you have all 0-level new heroes, as his high health and stun resistance will mean you are likely to lose the whole party.

Warrens Curios

While prosecuting your genocidal war against the pig men, you might as well stop to root through their junk and find a useful item or two!

Dinner Cart

Item: Medicinal Herbs

Uh, are you seriously going to try to find something in there? Gross. Without an item you are likely to only end up with either blight or a random disease (and it serves you right), but you can occasionally get usable food. By using Herbs, you are guaranteed to get either food or loot.

Bone Altar

Item: None

One of the few items to always give a good result, the Bone Altar increases your damage and accuracy for a short time, and has a chance of removing negative effects like blight or bleed.

Makeshift Dining Table

Item: Medicinal Herbs

This curio is essentially the exact same as the Dinner Cart – you might get food, but are more likely to contract blight or a disease. Using Herbs increases the chance of a good result to 100%.

Moonshine Barrel

Item: Medicinal Herbs

I again question the sanity of anyone who drinks pig-men moonshine — but hey, whatever floats your boat. This curio will either do nothing, give you blight, make your character acquire the alcoholism quirk, or in some cases offer up food or gold. By using Herbs first, you instead get a bonus to damage for a few rounds.

Pile Of Bones

Item: Holy Water

If someone else couldn’t survive the Warrens, you might as well take what they left behind. It’s possible to find loot here, but you are equally likely to contract a disease or gain the Bloodthirsty quirk. Using Holy Water first gives you extra loot with no drawbacks.

Occult Scrawlings

Item: None (Holy Water)

Using Holy Water actually gives a negative result, as it lowers your Dodge skill temporarily. Examining the Scrawlings without an item can either grant a positive OR negative quirk, or increase your stress level.

Rack Of Blades

Item: Bandage

You’d think you’d find some blades on a rack of blades, but no such luck. You are most likely to gain the bleeding effect, but its possible to find gold or gems instead. Using a bandage guarantees a larger amount of loot with no bleeding.

Pile Of Scrolls

Item: Torch

This can be a very useful curio, as using a torch automatically purges one negative quirk from the investigating character! Reading the Scrolls without an item can increase your scouting ability, give you a small amount of extra stress, or bestow a random positive or negative quirk.

Sacrificial Stone

Item: None

This one is a real gamble, as you are most likely to gain a large amount of stress. If you are lucky though, you can either purge a negative quirk, or gain either the Warrens Explorer or Warrens Scrounger quirks.

Ruins Curios

The ruins of your family’s estate has plenty of loot to be discovered if you can overcome all the undead shambling around within.


Item: None

Investigating the Bookshelf results in any of the following: increased scouting, a moderate amount of stress increase, or either a positive or negative quirk.

Altar Of Light

Item: Holy Water

A rare positive-only curio, the Altar Of Light either gives a small damage boost, or a larger damage boost if you use some Holy Water.

Alchemy Table

Item: Torch or Medicinal Herbs

This dangerous curio is most likely to give you the blight effect, but it’s possible to salvage some gold instead. Using a Torch increases the light level to 100% instantly, while Medicinal Herbs instead give you extra loot.

Decorative Urn

Item: Holy Water or Shovel

Loot is frequently found in these curios, but they may instead give you blight or a random disease. If you root around in the ashes of the deceased with a Shovel you’ll gain a negative quirk, while using Holy Water instead ensures you’ll find bonus loot.

Confession Booth

Item: Holy Water

This one is worth investigating, as you may gain a small amount of stress, but its also possible to purge a negative quirk or find loot. Using Holy Water instead significantly lowers your current stress level.

Holy Fountain

Item: Holy Water

Another only-positive curio, the Fountain either heals stress, damage, and debuffs, or instead offers up some loot. Using Holy Water increases the amount of stress and health recovered.

Iron Maiden

Item: Medicinal Herbs

Loot is often found inside this torture device, but be careful, you may instead gain the Claustrophobia quirk or a random disease. Using Medicinal Herbs ensures a nice loot haul instead.

Suit Of Armor

Item: None

Checking out the Suit Of Armor either gives you a big bonus to your Protection and Dodge skills or bestows positive quirks.

Locked Display Cabinet

Item: Skeleton Key or Shovel

Trying to open this cabinet without an item ensures you will either get bleed or blight, while either a Skeleton Key or a good old whack with the Shovel offers up a nice selection of loot, with the possibility of heirlooms.


Item: None

Cracking open the Sarcophagus either grants some heirlooms, a negative quirk, or nothing at all.

Locked Sarcophagus

Item: Skeleton Key or Shovel

Exactly like the Locked Display Cabinet, this one only gives negative effects if you don’t use an item. Either a Key or Shovel will offer up some loot, however.

Cove Curios

Fish that walk on two legs and want to breed with our women can’t be tolerated. While trekking through the damp caverns, these are the strange and terrifying things you are most likely to come across.

Brackish Tide Pool

Item: Antivenom

Diving in without an item will either give you a random disease or give you resistance to negative effects temporarily. Using antivenom, however, will provide you with minor stress and health healing.

Barnacle Crusted Chest

Item: Shovel

Your options here are either gain the bleeding effect, get nothing, or find a small amount of treasure. Employing a shovel gives you bonus loot with no ill effects.

Bas Relief

Item: None (Shovel)

Destroying the Bas Relief with a Shovel will significantly raise your stress and make you take a resolve test. Examining the Relief without an item results most often in a positive quirk, but can occasionally grant a negative quirk or random disease instead.

Fish Idol

Item: Holy Water

Without an item, this Idol always gives you a random debuff. Using Holy Water will give a random damage or accuracy bonus.

Eerie Coral

Item: Medicinal Herbs

This is another incredibly useful curio, as using Medicinal Herbs ensures the character will automatically lose a negative quirk. Going in without an item will either raise or lower your stress level instead.

Fish Carcass

Item: Medicinal Herbs

This curio just isn’t worth investigating. There’s a small chance of loot, but most likely you’ll get a disease, blight, bleed, or nothing at all. Using Medicinal Herbs first ensures you’ll get extra loot instead.

Giant Oyster

Item: Shovel

Going in blind has about equal chances of causing bleed or finding some loot, but cracking this massive curio open with a shovel will instead result in lots of loot or a temporary bonus to your Dodge skill.

Weald Curios

An evil forest filled with brigands and insidious sentient fungi, this place is best put to the torch. But before cleansing it, you should probably do some scrounging around for more loot!

Beast Carcass

Item: Medicinal Herbs

Finding some food is the most likely outcome here, but you may instead contract Rabies or get the Zoophobia quirk. Apply some Medicinal Herbs first to ensure you get more usable food instead.

Ancient Coffin

Item: None

There’s a good chance of finding heirlooms or other loot in these, along with a slight possibility of gaining either the Weald Adventurer or Weald Explorer quirks.

Mummified Remains

Item: Bandage

There’s about equal chance of getting either blight or random loot if you accost this ancient body. For some reason applying additional Bandages gives you extra loot and no chance of blight.

Eerie Spiderweb

Item: Bandage

You’ll most likely find nothing or a handful of gold here, but its also possible to gain a negative quirk. Using Bandages first gives you extra loot.

Left Luggage

Item: Skeleton Key or Antivenom

It’s 50/50 as to whether you’ll get loot or blight when opening this discarded Luggage blindly. Using a Key or some Antivenom instead provides bonus loot and no chance of blight.

Old Tree

Item: Antivenom

Like many of the curios found throughout the weald, this one will either give you loot or blight. If you have spare Antivenom, you’ll get extra loot to carry home.

Shallow Grave

Item: Shovel

Don’t dig this one up by hand, as you’ll only end up with blight or a random disease. Using a shovel will instead reveal either gems or heirlooms.

Pristine Fountain

Item: Holy Water

Just like the Holy Fountain in the Ruins, this curio reduces or stress, or offers a large amount of stress reduction if you pour in some Holy Water first.

Troubling Effigy

Item: Holy Water

It’s generally not a good idea to be messing around with strange effigies to evil gods. There’s a slim chance you’ll get a positive quirk, but more likely you will instead get a negative quirk, bleed, blight, or increased stress. Using Holy Water instead always gives a random positive quirk.

Traveler’s Tent

Item: None

Rooting around in somebody else’s tent will either give you increased scouting, some nice loot, or increased stress.

These are all the curios we’ve come across so far – tell us if you’ve come across any others while exploring the Darkest Dungeon!

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Ty Arthur
Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.