New ritual system. Suggestions welcome


Homebrew and House Rules

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I'm going to do a reworking of rituals. To be usable by monks, they would have to be usable by non-casters.
I'm thinking of starting with Knowledge Arcana. Add one other Knowledge skill, usually Knowledge religion or the planes. Add +1 for every faithful participant. 5 for a cultist. Usually the target number is 25, and the recipient rolls the D20. The cost is based on the magical effect desired. The cost is reflected in incense, candles, rare woods and herbs burned, and other consumables.

Example 1: The ritual of the dragon fist. The recipient gets the dragon brand or tattoo on one arm.
Cost 2000 GP of consumables.
Success: The recipient gets +1 to hit and damage on all unarmed attacks as if they were a magic weapon.
Failure: One arm is crippled till a heal or regeneration is applied.

Example 2: The Mark of the tiger. The recipient gets the tiger brand or tattoo on one arm.
Cost 5000 GP of consumables.
Success: The recipient can pounce like a tiger. It's like a flurry of blows after a charge and jump. All one action.
Failure: One arm is crippled till a heal or regeneration is applied.

Example 3: Seance. The recipient gets a speak with dead, using the medium to speak for the dead.
Cost: 1500 GP of consumables. The medium charges at least double.
Success: Minimum 3 questions. More if the medium has more than 5 levels.
Failure: Very bad. The spirit becomes an incorporeal undead. Possibly a ghost or poltergeist. A ghost will usually possess a weak willed target and seek revenge.


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Try checking the 3.5 book Unearthed Arcana for ideas.


I like it. As TCG said. Check Unearthed Arcana.


Thanks. I'm not sure I can find a copy of UA.
I think I can find the cleric spell rituals so I can convert marriage and funeral, or I can just covert from memory.
I think marriage should give some kind of seduction resistance vs anyone outside the marriage. Funeral would create Hallowed ground. I'm not sure about failure effects.


UA content is apparently available for free via d20 srd.


Dot.


Tacticslion wrote:
Dot.

[sarcasm]

Of course you come and dot but offer no aid... jeez...
[/sarcasm]

Hmm Mark of the Everflame adds flaming to their unarmed strike.

Question would they be limited to a +10 maximum total bonus?


There was one where you tell the story of a great hero inside of a sweat lodge. At the end of the story the sweat lodge burns down and everyone has been planeshifted to
"the norse plane of battle" whose name escapes me. It's the Nordic version of heaven.

I always liked the flavor of that one.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

There was one where you tell the story of a great hero inside of a sweat lodge. At the end of the story the sweat lodge burns down and everyone has been planeshifted to

"the norse plane of battle" whose name escapes me. It's the Nordic version of heaven.

I always liked the flavor of that one.

Valhalla? It is Odin's Hall were the Valkyrie brought the souls of Fallen Warriors deemed worthy of resting in Valhalla til Ragnarok.


http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/incantations.htm
Yeah it's kind of like incantations, but more game play oriented.

If you want description: Before spells were invented, witch doctors and shaman would conduct rituals to empower tribesmen to hunt and fight better. There was a lot of trial and error so shamans were often burned, scarred, and even haunted by multiple spirits. Exorcism was a ritual before it became a spell, but it retains many traits of the ritual. While the rituals used to create Golems are more controlled, the ones passed down through generations have terrible consequences if they fail. Failure usually means someone panicked, failed to follow instructions, the pronunciation was wrong, and or the magic circle was miss-drawn. Rituals take a long time so they are usually not used in mid combat. They take all day or night to set up and conduct.

Example 4: Funeral. A deity is invoked to accept the dearly departed. Friends and relatives speak as to why the departed will be remembered and should be rewarded for their deeds. Certain songs are included.
Cost: 2500 GP of consumables. The Preacher, gravedigger, and funeral director split an equal amount.
Modifiers: Remains, as in a viewing, add 5 to the roll. This can take the form of ashes in an urn. A bard, paladin, or cleric count as a cultist for the roll.
Success: The remains and where they are buried or scattered become hallowed ground. The deity invoked will select the spell. A sun god will cause the grave to glow with a light spell.
Failure: This will result in an unhallow spell, with the opposite spell effect. If you get invited to a funeral, in game of course, you should go just so the ritual works. A funeral with no mourners could result in undead.

Lantern Lodge

I think there should be two levels of rituals, one is like you describe which results in a semi-permenant effect, ther other type would be more like casting certain spells without a spellcaster. Mostly long term ones like Polymorph or Overland Flight. It would be interesting way to have an adveturer with support magic but that can't use in combat.

Hmm, barbarian shamen. Fights with rage (he can't cast spells anyway) but uses spell effects before or after the battle.


There is an overlap area. Like how telekinesis is a spell but also a monstrous/Psionic power. The core rulebook has no exorcism, so I can write that up. I also notice all rituals with lasting effects have an anchor. The monk rituals have brands/tatoos. Funerals are focused on the final resting place, even if it's an urn. The Seance, if done right, has no lasting aftereffects.
Overland flight will probably involve calling down the white bird(A dire Roc), which would shed some feathers, then fly away. The magic recipients would wear or hold the feathers(One each) for the entire journey.


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Cultist: You have studied rituals, inherited, witnessed, or read about. Any fool can unleash supernatural power, but you are well aware of the price of failure, and arm yourself with ornate robes, protective symbols, and practiced intonations. Cultists can wear armor when not performing a ritual. A sacred buffalo hide worn during rituals count as hide armor. They can use all simple weapons.

Role: While they provide flanking and supporting fire in combat, it is before and after the adventure they shine. They multiclass well with all non-spell using classes.
Alignment: Any
Hit Dice: D8
Class Skills: All Knowledge Skills, Use Magic Device, Linguistics (+4 dead languages), Profession, Craft, and spellcraft.
Skill ranks per level:8+ Int. modifier.
Class features
Sacred Implement: First Level: They have competence with one weapon they use in all rituals. It doesn't matter if it's martial, exotic. or even a racial weapon. They have studied it to the point they may as well have grown up with it.
Ritual competence: First level: All rituals you take part in are +5.
Specialty: Second Level: Only one ritual you add your level to because you practice it and always chant it under your breath.
Extra feat: 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level: They get an extra feat relating to the class.
Combat Sacrifice: 3rd level: The cultist anoints a weapon with their blood(1D4damage). The next crit. becomes a DC20 death attack. If the target makes the save, the next crit will also be a death attack. If the target fails, they crumble to dust and the next ritual the weapon adds their hit dice to the ritual. While lesser undead get no save they also add less to the next ritual. It's true death and only resurrection or reincarnation will bring them back.
Epic Rituals: 20th level: You can now perform rituals that will awaken the Terask or Ressurect a dead god.


Heh, given life and the amount of stuff I'm working on now, yeah, dotting's most of what I've got, buuuuuuuuut...

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

There was one where you tell the story of a great hero inside of a sweat lodge. At the end of the story the sweat lodge burns down and everyone has been planeshifted to

"the norse plane of battle" whose name escapes me. It's the Nordic version of heaven.

I always liked the flavor of that one.

... Ysgard. You're thinking of the chaotic (also somewhat good) plane of Ysgard (from the Great Wheel Cosmology and Greyhawk).

Still thinking about the OP Topic.


Example 5: Skindance. The recipient of the second form leads the dance. The music is more a pattern than a song. The flesh of the alternate form is not necessarily a skin. They say foxes will only gather for this ritual.
Modifiers: Every 5% of flesh adds 1 to the chance of success. A bard or druid involved adds 5. A perform check can be used in place of knowledge skills.
Success: The recipient becomes a shape-shifter with 2 forms. The human or humanoid form is basically first level. Some memories persist, but the soul or spirit of the flesh is set free.
Failure: They suffer lycanthrophy. They become a nasty hybrid thing under the full moon.


Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

There was one where you tell the story of a great hero inside of a sweat lodge. At the end of the story the sweat lodge burns down and everyone has been planeshifted to

"the norse plane of battle" whose name escapes me. It's the Nordic version of heaven.

I always liked the flavor of that one.

Valhalla? It is Odin's Hall were the Valkyrie brought the souls of Fallen Warriors deemed worthy of resting in Valhalla til Ragnarok.

Ysgard


Cost of skindance: 2500GP in rare materials. In the case of animals performing this, they have to use valuable herbs and spices they gather, or steal expensive materials.


Blood Ritual Feat: By bloodletting, the ritual can be made cheaper and easier.
Prerequisite: Cultist
Benefits: By doing slashing or piercing damage to a sacrifice, the chance of success is raised by 1 per point of damage, and the cost is lowered by 500, per point of damage. The sacrifice must have blood and can bleed. The sacrifice can lead the ritual, but if they pass out the ritual fails. It's evil if the sacrifice is unwilling.


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You might want to consider the item creation feats. The simple addition of another item crafting feat could potentially allow any effect that spells allow. For example:

Spoiler:

Ritual Magic [Item Creation]
Prerequisite: Spellcraft 3 ranks
Benefit: You can cast rituals spell that you know. Casting a ritual takes 2 hours if its base price is 250 gp or less, otherwise casting a ritual takes 1 day for each 1,000 gp in its base price. When you cast a ritual, you set the caster level, which must be sufficient to cast the spell in question and no higher than your own level. To cast a ritual, you must use up raw materials costing one half this base price.

Rituals are treated as use-activated one-use items that are immediately used upon completion of the creation. The cost of a ritual is equal to caster level * spell level * 50.

That's just a simple baseline, could easily be altered.

Lantern Lodge

Change two things, the casting time and make CL, ranks in K Arcana instead, so you don't have to be a spellcasting class to use, and since the ritual isn't an item that can be used in combat I suggest the casting of a ritual being 1 hour per 1000 gp of cost and no less than 15 minutes.


The problem is time. Ritual time does not include sleep and bathroom breaks. You would have to hire cultists to keep up the chant during the times you slept. Maybe get 2 other characters, and take turns. The roll for completion would be at the person with the least chance, and failure would give you the worst possible curse item.

Lantern Lodge

The point is you are making it cost the same for as a magic item that can be used in combat to do the same thing.

The major disadvantage is that it can't be done in combat, and out of combat it doesn't really matter whether you are a caster or not therefore it has a disadvantage over normal items so you need some advantage to make it viable and balanced vs. Magic items. Reducing the time required makes it more viable, useful and desirable.

If it costs the same in every way then it becomes a useless and pointless ability because of the inherent disadvantages of being cast at the end of the ritual and not usuable in combat unless you are defending and lure the enemy to it with just the right timing.


Example 6: The crafter's ritual. The crafter makes the item while others chant and pray.
Modifiers: Craft skill + Knowledge arcana + an appropriate skill.
Cost: Half the completed item, + 5% for licorice incense, candles, and such.
Time: 1 hour per 1000 gp of cost and no less than 30 minutes.
Success: The specified magic item or items are created. A batch of healing potions can be made at one time.
Failure: The worst cursed item possible.

I would like to continue to treat the rituals as events, not objects.

Lantern Lodge

I agree with rituals being events, but they should not create items, there is already a way for that. A ritual should be like a slow casting of spell that anyone with the knowledge (or a guidebook) can perform.

Having it cost the same as making a one time use spell completion item sounds right (or kits with all the needed mats can be bought like a magic item). So this can be used to make Leomund's Tiny Hut by the party with no caster. Though I would use K Arcana (K Religion for divine rituals) and spellcraft as the requisite skills to cast rituals.

--------
Feat
Ritual Caster
You can cast any spell that you know or for which you have a written reference, up to a level equal to half your ranks in spellcraft as a ritual. To learn a ritual for a spell (as a non-caster), you must study appropriate material for an hour and pass a Knowledge Arcana check(or a Knowledge Religion check for divine rituals) with a DC of (15 + Spell Level). Researching a new ritual is possible in the manner a wizard might research new spells, except the cost is doubled. To cast a ritual requires a 10 foot square clear workspace and materials worth half the base cost (25gp*Ritual Level*Caster Level) and 1 hour per 1000 gp of the cost of the ritual, minimum 15 minutes.
Special: Knowing the ritual for a spell does not allow you to cast the spell except as a ritual or as a requisite for using a magic item crafting feat.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would say that the Item Creation Feat is a very good indicator of the time. However the vast majority of that time is preparation, anointing materials, getting your symbols and circle straight, ritual materials just right, the materials themselves taking the most time, almost like making potions in this aspect.

Make the actual ritual about 10 minutes per day of preparation, with a minimum amount of 10 minutes. That makes the actual ritual long enough to do, but short enough to be useful.

Like item creation, the 'ritual' can be broken up and not required to be constant. That way you might have two 'rituals' going. Say, one for summoning, another for the ritual spell that threatens the summoned for leverage.


A ritual does not store the pattern for a spell, filled with energy, in the mind. That's how it's different from preparing a spell. Making the candles, incense, carving runes in firewood, and possibly rehearsals, could make up the rest of the time. I don't see how the ritual it'self could be broken up. You can add diplomacy, maybe bluff, but not intimidate. Watch Dr Who episode The Deamons. That's a ritual!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Goth Guru wrote:

A ritual does not store the pattern for a spell, filled with energy, in the mind. That's how it's different from preparing a spell. Making the candles, incense, carving runes in firewood, and possibly rehearsals, could make up the rest of the time. I don't see how the ritual it'self could be broken up. You can add diplomacy, maybe bluff, but not intimidate. Watch Dr Who episode The Deamons. That's a ritual!

Broken up as that you can prepare two rituals at the same time. Really, after the materials are prepared, you don't need to act like you are holding a spell, with all the work is done but the actual chanting/dancing/pouring of will into the magic. So, the materials/majority of the ritual can keep for a time while you also prepare a second ritual, something like a circle of force which will keep all outside influences from entering the ritual chamber, before actually doing a ritual of summoning.


Wards for the ritual place could be a separate ritual. something like a ring or amulet is needed to enter. Being hit with a personal silence spell or something else that prevents interruption. That would be good.


I use a system where you buy the feat Ritual Caster and gain a spellbook. You then have to copy spells to your spellbook, and when you want to cast it you have to make a number of Knowledge checks equal to the spell level, with a DC of 10 + 5 x spell level. If you don't have a number of ranks equal to the level the spell is gained (for example, 5 ranks for 3rd level spells, 11 ranks for 6th level, and so on) you receive -5 / difference in ranks. Each check takes one minute. You have to spend some money, and while I use a number that is ok for my games, every GM is different, and should use whatever he thinks is best. I use only 10gp x CL x spell level, but I could understand pricing it equal a potion at 50gp x CL x spell level.

It's quite simple, and it works very well in my games.


Diego Bastet wrote:

I use a system where you buy the feat Ritual Caster and gain a spellbook. You then have to copy spells to your spellbook, and when you want to cast it you have to make a number of Knowledge checks equal to the spell level, with a DC of 10 + 5 x spell level. If you don't have a number of ranks equal to the level the spell is gained (for example, 5 ranks for 3rd level spells, 11 ranks for 6th level, and so on) you receive -5 / difference in ranks. Each check takes one minute. You have to spend some money, and while I use a number that is ok for my games, every GM is different, and should use whatever he thinks is best. I use only 10gp x CL x spell level, but I could understand pricing it equal a potion at 50gp x CL x spell level.

It's quite simple, and it works very well in my games.

This is a good contrast. The warriors and craftsmen who have gone with my system would be enemies of the civilized types who use Diego's system. Adventurers could get caught up in this conflict, tracking down the things each side called up against each other.


Example 7: Exorcism. The exorcist tries to drive an invading spirit right into the afterlife.
Modifiers: Knowledge Arcana + Knowledge Religion. This is the DC of the attack wersus the possessor's will save. Relics add +5 each, including one holy book to read from.
Cost: 10,000 gold.
Time: 1 hour per monster's hit dice.
Success: The thing goes to whatever alignment plane it belongs in, or the entrance to that place. In the case of Lycantrophy, a beast spirit is cast out.
Failure: The thing moves into the Exorcists body.


Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Dot.

[sarcasm]

Of course you come and dot but offer no aid... jeez...
[/sarcasm]

Hmm Mark of the Everflame adds flaming to their unarmed strike.

Question would they be limited to a +10 maximum total bonus?

Sure, per limb affected. 2 hands, 2 feet, that's 40.

50 if they have a tail. :)
You can only anchor 1 ritual effect per affected limb, but if you upgrade the attacks to +5, that uses the same slot.
"Cool brand, is that a platinum inlay?"
"Yeah, but if the guy had botched it I would have suffered from metal poisoning. Want to get one for your animal companion? I have a guy who does rituals for a hobby."


Example 8: Melee Master. The recipient has proficiency with all hand held and thrown weapons.
Modifiers: Knowledge Arcana + Craft weapons and armor. DC 50.
Cost: 50,000 gold.
Time: Night of a blood red moon.
Success: They gain a brand on one arm of a throwing ax. They gain proficiency with all melee weapons including improvised weapons, and all thrown weapons. All bows, crossbows, and guns get the -4 non proficiency penalty. They probably despise guns anyway.
Failure: The arm becomes useless till fully regenerated.


Bump


Example 9: Bringing Down the Moon. 3 or more Witches set a fire under a big cauldron full of rain water. Eye of newt, mandrake root, and lots of other nasty stuff are stirred in. It must be a full moon. At midnight, a shaft of moon light will stab down into the cauldron. The potion will be transformed(if successful) into an elixer that turns a witch into a hag.
Modifiers: Knowledge Arcana and Nature + 5 for each monster part. DC 35.
Cost: 6,660 gold worth of materials.
Time: Full moon, midnight.
Success: The potion will turn a witch into a hag. A good witch will turn into the good version, known as a wise woman.
Failure: A poison that kills(Dc20, 1D6 con, repeat for secondary), then animates the corpse as a fast zombie.

Lantern Lodge

Never heard of wise women, will have to look up. Otherwise interesting.


The latest version of a wise woman, momma something, was in The Frog Prince. The blindness was a possible side effect.
Baba Yaga in Bartok the magnificent was a Wise Woman.


Mamma Hoodoo or Hooda I think was her name. And nice reference with Bartok the Magnificent and by extension Anastasia.

Hmm, maybe just make this an extension of the Craft Magic Tattoo feat when it comes to enhancing one's body.

For the Cultists I would just make it an Adept NPC and have every 2 non-Adept NPCs count as 1 Adept rounding up. So 3 adepts and 13 non-adepts count as 10 adepts/cultists.

And honestly seeing these now reminds me of a system my friend was working on. I might post it now that I have the rights to it.


I made cultist a new class because it should be available to both PCs and NPCs. If in your game world, you allow craft magic tattoo to Monks, then yes.


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Well Clerics fit the Cultist theme well.


Clerics, witches, bards and inquisitors all feel like they can fit the cultist role well.


^True...


Ilja wrote:
Clerics, witches, bards and inquisitors all feel like they can fit the cultist role well.

Ok, from now on their levels count as cultist levels.


Oh, and depending on the cult in question, some wizards, druids and even some rangers and qingong monks might work well.


Might as well make it a perk of belonging to a cult.
If you look at my original post, you will see that being a cultist is not absolutely necessary. The benefits, make you want to take one level. Either that, or find one to keep as a camp follower.


Example 10: Summoning of last resort. The subject drives all the evil in their being into one fingertip, then bleeds it out(1D4 damage). For this sacrifice, they summon a Celestial, who stays till the summoner dies, then takes the soul back with them, making resurrection impossible.
Modifiers: Knowledge Religion and the planes.
Cost: 5,000 gold worth of materials.
Success: The character becomes immune to all evil sourced mind control, possession, and even evil maladies such as lycantrophy. On the other hand, it has to be role played to the max. The summoned Celestial may try to keep the summoner in good health so they can continue to advance their agenda. If the outsider seems to die, they return after 24 hours as per the terms of the summoning. They may advance, by doing good, to keep up with the game.
Failure: A large demon(Possibly a Glabrezu) comes and tries to take the summoners soul by force.
This is reversible, meaning Diabolists will sacrifice their good tendencies to get a Devil ally. Failure is about the same.

Lantern Lodge

Lycanthropy isn't evil, just the evil ones are the most easily findable, well depending on world. Weretigers are LN for example.


After this ritual, when the moon drives them mad, they attack only evil targets. They sacrificed half their soul. Their is no dark side of their personality to be controlled. Anyone who uses this ritual to try to cure Werewolfism is only part right.

Lantern Lodge

I was referencing your immunity example. Though what you said is still something to think about.


I am easily misunderstood. My mind works faster than my fingers so some words get left out. The immunity is only to evil control.
The evil version of the spell leaves the subject immune to the compulsion of the Geas/quest, if such acts are good, but they will take the ability damage.

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