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I keep scratching my head at the purpose of the Abyssal/Infernal Pact rituals from the playtest bestiary. I understand that these are present to detail how demons and devils in PF2E summon allies, and to illustrate how their summoning in 2E is different from 1E, but I don't quite understand why they are presented as rituals, rather than just as a special ability or even just as a textual description.
As they currently stand, they can only be used by NPCs ("must be demon/devil" respectively), which means that the mechanics involved- the critical success to critical failure spectrum- will never see use in-game. (Unless the GM feels like playing dice-rolling games by himself to throw some randomness into his own encounter building process for some reason.)
Am I missing something? Is there some reason the rituals might actually be useful in-game that I just can't conceive of?
I would guess they are leaving it open so that other villains may make use of them someday, even if not PC.
Maybe. I'd think you'd have the same problem if it is an NPC only ritual, though.
The only NPC scenario I could foresee this actually being used in is if there is a final encounter where the PCs stumble into the final stages of the ritual and have a chance to affect the summoning roll so that it turns into a critical fail and now the "Big Bad" has two enemies to worry about (PCs and demon/devil who didn't want to be summoned).
That seems like a really, really isolated possibility, and it seems easier to just adjudicate a possible scenario like that in text/encounter building, rather than leaving it up to a random roll, though.
Or perhaps at some point when they do a villain book there will be some high level PC options that allow their use.
This seems more likely; that they think at some point they might open it up to PCs, but even if so, it seems they might be better served by leaving the rituals for such a supplement, and free up some space in the Bestiary for other goodies.