Arcane Rituals

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Rituals are magic spells that require greater time or a larger number of participants to complete than spells that would be cast in combat. In order to lead a Ritual, a character must have the Ritual Arcana minor talent. A character may lead or perform any ritual that they have acquired at any time so long as they can meet all of the requirements of the ritual and beat the requisite casting difficulty. Participants in a ritual need not have any magical ability, they must simply be capable of reciting incantations correctly or otherwise participating in some fashion to keep the arcane energies flowing.

Using and Learning Rituals

Magic rituals are stored in a spellbook that many magic users carry around.  These spellbooks list the requirements and incantations that must be invoked to successfully perform a ritual.  Attempting to perform a ritual without a spellbook detailing its nuances increases the casting difficulty by half-again the normal DC (x1.5) and takes half-again as much time as normal.

Anyone capable of leading or performing rituals may at any time copy into their personal spellbook any ritual they can get access to provided they can decipher it.  Alternatively, if they have the ability to do so, the caster may simply take the spellbook the ritual is in with him, but in order to use it, he or she must still decipher it.

Deciphering a Ritual

Deciphering a ritual requires the caster to read over all the requirements and understand the words to the incantations.  As a general rule, all magic rituals created by humans are written in High Arkane, the universal language of magic although many demonic rituals are written in various different demonic tongues and being able to read the the language the ritual is written in.  Simply knowing how to read the language is not enough however, as the languages rituals are written in are complicated as magic itself and requires some study even by the most powerful of mages.

Once the language has been determined and the caster can read it, they must then decipher exactly how the ritual is performed.  Doing so is an extended Arcana test with a time increment of 1 hour. The Incremental and Total DCs will be the same as if the caster was performing the ritual, divided by the number of casters required.  Assuming the caster passes, they will understand how to perform the ritual and may copy it into their own spellbook should they so choose.

If the caster learning the ritual has access to another caster willing to teach them the ritual, the caster learning the ritual may bypass the deciphering process altogether. This typically involves the teacher guiding the student through the ritual, commonly performing it in the process.

Creating Rituals

Creating a new ritual based on a current spell is simple.  Creating a ritual based on some spell that doesn’t currently exist isn’t nearly as simple and depends mostly on the GM’s approval, more so than rituals based on current spells.

Rituals based on current spells use the normal spell’s DC as the total DC.  The Incremental DC is equal to the DC for the spell, minus additions.  The exception to this is when the DC for the spell is greater than 5, in which case the Incremental DC is half the Spell DC, or 5, whichever is higher.  The time increment for the ritual is three times the Spell Point (SP) cost for the spell.  Finally, the various other aspects of the spell and any effects they have on said spell is up the GM.

Example Rituals

Bone Armor
  • Total DC: 8
  • Incremental DC: 2
  • Time Increment: 10 minutes
  • Number of Casters Required: 1
  • Number of additional participants required: 0
  • Components: Enough bones to cover the caster.
  • Expended Materials: 25n worth of oils and unguents used to prepare the bones
  • Additional Requirements: None
  • Description: Transforms the selected bones into a suit of armor providing 2 armor to the Arms, Body, and Legs locations.
  • Other Notes:
    • This armor counts as Heavy for purposes of penalties to dodge.
    • This armor lasts for 10 hits before disintegrating.
    • You may not stack the armor created by this ritual.
    • This armor doesn’t stack with any other armor worn by the caster.
  • Boost:
    • For each increase of 1 Incremental DC and 2 Total DC, you may add 1 more armor to each location.
  • Results of Failure: Roll a d10 and consult the following chart
    • 1-4: The ritual failed and all materials are wasted and used up.  The bones are unusable in future rituals.
    • 5-8: The ritual failed but the bones are unspoiled and can be used again.
    • 9-10: The ritual creates the armor, however it slowly constricts the user.  Each round that the user wears the armor they take one point of damage that can’t be soaked.
Create Lesser Zombie
  • Total DC: 6
  • Incremental DC: 3
  • Time Increment: 15 minutes
  • Number of Casters Required: 1
  • Number of additional participants required: 0
  • Components: One intact Corpse
  • Expended Materials: 50n worth of oils and unguents used to prepare the body while chanting
  • Additional Requirements: The ritual must be performed at night when all the suns have set or in a crypt with no natural sunlight
  • Description: Creates a 2 Strength, Toughness, Agility, 1 Perception, and 0 Intelligence, Willpower, and Charisma zombie from an available corpse.  Zombies possess Might, Block 2, and Intimidate 1 skills; as well as 7 Wounds and 2 Armor in all locations.  Slam attack that does 1d5+Str, AP 0 (using the Might skill).  These baseline stats may be edited depending on the corpse used (up to GM).  This undead is friendly towards you and will do it's best to follow simple, verbal commands.  The undead lasts for one week after the ritual is complete.  As long as the zombie remains relatively intact (up to GM) you may continue to use it for this ritual.
  • Other Notes:
    • A caster may only have one zombie that was created by this ritual at a time.  Creating a new zombie will cause the old zombie to collapse into a useless heap.
    • Additional casters beyond the first will cause this ritual to fail.
  • Boost:
    • For each 4 you increase the Total DC by, you may have the created zombie last one additional day before collapsing.
    • If you increase the incremental DC by 4 and the Total DC by 6, a single zombie previously created by this ritual will not collapse allowing a single caster to have up to 2 total zombies created by this ritual.
    • For each increase to the incremental DC by 2 and the Total DC by 3, you may increase any one base stat of the created zombie.  You may not increase any one stat by more than one in this way.
  • Results of Failure: Roll a d10 and consult the following chart
    • 1-3: The ritual failed and all materials are wasted and used up.  The body is unusable in future rituals.
    • 4-6: The ritual failed but the body is unspoiled and can be used again.
    • 7-8: The ritual failed to bind the Zombie to your will, but it is not immediately hostile and will wait 1d5 rounds before attacking unless attacked first.
    • 9-10: The ritual failed to bind the Zombie to your will and it is immediately hostile and attacks the caster immediately.
Warded Missive
  • Total DC: 4
  • Incremental DC: 2
  • Time Increment: 5 minutes
  • Number of Casters required: 1
  • Number of Additional Participants Required: 0
  • Components:
    • Ink, parchment, lamp oil, a piece of flint
    • The real name of the intended recipient
  • Expended Materials: 10n worth of oil, ink, and flint
  • Additional Requirements: None
  • Description:
    • Creates a letter which if opened by the anyone other than the intended recipient
  • Other Notes:
  • Boost: None
  • Results of Failure:
Trap

Magically trap an item or area.

Meta

Rituals still need a lot of work. At the moment, they are not easy to design or use. A list of ritual components similar to the Inventions system would probably make things a lot easier.