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Rituals and Ceremonies

Whereas instant spells and miracles are well known, tightly controlled methods for causing an effect, ritual magic taps into the more fundamental forces of the universe. Thus rituals can be used for casting spells and miracles beyond level 10 as well as the more usual single character casting a simple spell or miracle.

However, the greater flexibility and power of rituals comes with a price. Rituals take longer to cast than instant spells/miracles and also the extra power can harm the caster.

Ritualists and Ritual Groups

Anyone can attempt to perform a ritual or ceremony at any time, casting from any path or school they have the ability to cast from. Such casting is highly dangerous and likely to cause great peril to those who attempt it. By learning the Magic Ritual skill for spells and Religious Ceremony skill for miracles a caster can safely create and cast Rituals or Ceremonies equal to their level of skill.

Truly powerful effects involve casting far in excess of a caster’s Ritual or Ceremonial skill. In order to attempt these more safely, a caster can use several methods including the help of Assistants. These assistants require the Work with Cabal/Conclave skill.

Work with Cabal/Conclave
This general skill allows the character to be an Assistant in a ritual, providing the basic training required to work with ritualists. It does not need to be bought for a specific School/Path or Cabal/Conclave. Work with Cabal/Conclave allows the character to do their choice of one of the following when casting a ritual with a Cabal/Conclave.

A Ritual/Ceremony may have up to 3 Assistants.

Forming a Cabal

Any two or more characters can form a Cabal as long as at least one character has the Work with Cabal skill and both can cast from the relevant school of magic.

Forming a Conclave

Any two or more characters with at least one shared Principle can form a Conclave as long as one has learnt the Work with Conclave skill. Thus a Justice follower with Work with Conclave can be an Assistant to a character with Religious Ceremony (Life), but could not be an Assistant to character with Religious Ceremony (Death).

Creating Rituals

To create a ritual from the beginning requires (level + 1) weeks.

While creating a ritual a character cannot perform any other activity beyond the basics of living.

Example: Simkin has Magic Ritual (Water) 4 and wants to create the new Water ritual Condense, a spell that creates water. The Condense spell is deemed to be level 0 and thus takes him 1 week to create.

The maximum ritual level a character can create is equal to his level in the appropriate ritual skill (Magic Ritual (School) or Religious Ceremony (Path)).

Example: Simkin has Magic Ritual (Water) 3 and can create Water rituals up to level 3 or modify an existing Water ritual up to level 8.

When a ritual is created, the following details must be specified


The identities of the caster is integral to the ritual.

Example: Pilgrim has Magic Ritual (Earth) 5. Thus he can:
• Create Earth rituals up to level 5.
• Modify existing Earth rituals up to level 12.

Components are optional and are used to reduce the damage from the ritual. Only the quality needs to be specified. A ritual can have a maximum of 1 Component per Caster and Assistant. At the end of the ritual Components are irrevocably destroyed.
Focuses are optional and are used to reduce the damage from the ritual. Only the quality needs to be specified. A ritual can have a maximum of 1 Focus per Caster and Assistant.
Ritual Circles are optional and are used to reduce the damage from the ritual. Only the minimum level must be specified. (The Ritual Circle must match that of the School/Path of the ritual.)
Sacrifices are optional and are used to reduce the damage from the ritual. Sacrifices do not have to be killed as part of the ritual, but also refer to volunteers who join the ritual to help. Only the presence of Sacrifices needs to be specified, not their number or identities, but the ritual may specify these if they so wish. Sacrifices can only be used to absorb casting damage, they cannot contribute Mana or Standing to the ritual.

All rituals which do not cover a standard spell/miracle must be submitted to the Character Ref for approval, and the Character Ref is free to make changes. Creating or modifying a ritual is really a research project in which the character attempts to find a method to control and direct the magical power. In particular, what works for one character may not work for another.

Multiple characters can be involved in the creation of a ritual as long as the Assistants have the Work with Cabal/Conclave skill. This reduces the amount of time required to create the ritual by 1 week per Assistant.

Example: Gemdar needs to create a new level 6 ritual, which will take a total of 7 weeks. However, he needs the work completed sooner so he asks his friend Flake to help out. With the two of them working on the ritual, the time is reduced to 6 weeks.

Modifying Rituals

A character can modify an existing ritual that is up to twice his ritual skill level. Modifying an existing ritual is a far simpler process than creating one from scratch and takes(Level +1) Hours. In addition, if the level of the ritual is less than or equal to his ritual skill, then the time taken is halved (rounded up).

Usually, rituals based on instant spells or miracles can be treated as being modifications of an existing ritual. This is based on the assumption that all instant spells/miracles are refinements of ritual magic and thus a character with access to an instant spell/miracle also has access to the equivalent ritual.

For some characters, particularly those who do not belong to a Guild or similar organisation, this assumption may not be correct.

Example: Archibald has Magic Ritual (Water) 4 and wants to create a Clear Mind(T) ritual. To modify this ritual would normally take 2 hours, but as it has an instant spell equivalent and Archibald is deemed to have access to the underlying ritual, he can create a ritual in only 1 hour.

Modifying a ritual allows everything apart from the ritual level to be changed as long as the character has the skills to do so.

Example: Caffrey spends 2 hours modifying the Strength Justice Ceremony for his own use and creates a ritual requiring
• 1 Caster: himself.
• 1 Standard Component
• 1 Superior Focus
• A level 2 Ceremonial Circle of Justice.
As his Religious Ceremony(Justice) skill is 2, this will take 2 hours.

Example: Mayhew has decided to redo his Ice Blade 0 ritual as, with his higher level, he no longer needs as many components, focuses, etc. He spends a single hour and creates a new Ice Blade 0 requiring
• 1 Caster: himself
• 1 Superior Focus

Example: Nefar, a Priest of Death, has finally found the forbidden Ritual of Tek’anhut after years of searching. The ritual is level 24 and is too difficult for Nefar to understand with his Religious Ceremony(Death) skill level of 10.
After destroying a few infidels, he becomes sufficiently experienced to increase his Religious Ceremony(Death) skill to 12, which is high enough for him to begin modifying the ritual. The modification takes 25 hours and Nefar creates a new ritual requiring:
• 1 Caster: Nefar
• 1 Superior Component
• 1 Superior Focus
• A level 11 Ceremonial Circle of Death.
• Sacrifices.
The next step is for him to find a Superior Component and a Superior Focus suitable for a Ceremony of Death.

Casting a Ritual

A ritual is only guaranteed to succeed if all the specified Casters, Components, Focuses, Circle and Sacrifices are available. A caster can attempt to cast a ritual without a script, but success is not guaranteed.

When performing a ritual:

Rituals follow the same Casting Requirements as for casting a spell/miracle normally, except you can never run (and if using a Ritual Circle, you should remain within 20’ of it) and instead of using the standard vocals, you perform the ritual (but the name of the spell/miracle must still be said at the end of the ritual).

Concurrent Castings

You can cast multiple spells/miracles together that interact in some way (e.g. Extend/Extension and Spell Weave) with both Rituals and Instant-Cast as described below:

Ritual and Instant Cast

If the spells/miracles are cast by Ritual and Instant-Cast then the Instant-Cast must be done just before the end of the ritual.

Example: Winterlight rituals up Extension 2 (level 2, 3 minutes); just prior to it ending, Pilgrim casts Blade Sharp 1 on Winterlight’s sword and Winterlight finishes the ritual, targeting it on the sword.

All Ritual (same caster)

If all the spells/miracles are cast only by Ritual by the same caster then the final effect is only ready when the combined ritual ends.

Example: Iussis wishes to make himself strong for 1 hour. He rituals up a Strength (level 2, 3 minutes) and an Extend 2 (level 2, 3 minutes). After 6 minutes the ritual is complete and Iussis has Strength for 1 hour. If interrupted beforehand Iussis has nothing and is affected as per Ending a Ritual.

Example: Magma wishes to combine Blade Sharp and Flame Blade. He rituals up a Spell Weave 3 (level 3, 4 minutes), a Blade Sharp 3 (level 3, 4 minutes) and a Flame Blade (level 3, 4 minutes). After 12 minutes the ritual is complete and Iussis has a sharper, flamey sword. If interrupted beforehand Magma has nothing and is affected as per Ending a Ritual.

All Ritual (different casters)

The different Rituals should be timed so that they end at the same time. Note you can maintain one (Maintaining the Ritual) if necessary.

Example: Exhor rituals up an Extend 3 (level 3, 4 minutes) intending to cast it on Iussis’ Strength ritual. After 1 minute, Iussis begins his Strength ritual (level 2, 3 minutes). Both rituals complete at the same time and Iussis has Strength for 1 hour (Note the Extend +1 level adjustment for different caster).

Casting Damage

The amount of damage is based on the Level of the Spell and the Ritual Skill of the Caster. When casting a ritual with the same level as the ritualist’s skill, the amount of damage is 20 Life Points. This amount is reduced by 20 Life Point for every level higher that the ritualist’s skill level is higher than the ritual level (to a minimum of 0) and increased by 20 for every level lower. The Caster can distribute this damage amongst all Casters, Assistants and Sacrifices as he sees fit. For each level higher that the ritual is than the Caster’s skill level, a temporary death treshold loss is also caused. The Caster can assign each Death Treshold loss after the first to any of the Caster, Assistants and Sacrifices they see fit.

Skill Level – Ritual level Life Damage Temporary Death Threshold Loss
1+ 0 0
0 20 0
-1 40 1
-2 60 2
-3 80 3
-4 100 4
-5 120 5
-6 140 6
-7 160 7
-8 180 8
-9 200 9
-10 220 10

Example: Gemdar is casting a level 6 Earth ritual using his Magic Ritual (Earth) skill of 6. This will take 5 minutes and cause 20 Life Points of damage.

Components and Focuses

Components and Focuses can be used to reduce the damage, with the amount based on the quality of the item. At the end of the ritual Components are irrevocably destroyed, whereas Focuses are undamaged and can be used again.

Quality Damage Reduction
Standard 10
Superior 20
Master 30
Legendary 40
Standard 10
Superior 20
Master 30
Legendary 40

Example: When Gemdar created his level 6 Earth ritual, he specified the use of 1 Standard Component and a Standard Focus. These reduce the damage by 20, so Gemdar take no damage.


To create a circle of a particular level, the character must have learnt Magic Ritual/Religious Ceremony to at least the same level.

Drawing a circle takes as long as it physically takes the character to mark out their circle, with a minimum of 1 minute.

A circle does not have to be a ‘circle’ but can be any enclosed shape. The circle must be big enough to encompass the Caster, Assistants, Components, Focuses & Sacrifices. The physical circle must be created during the ‘drawing’ time, this can be by marking a circle in the earth, using rope/branches, pouring powder etc. It must also be relatively simple to destroy, by scuffing the ground, removing the rope etc. and cannot be hidden.

Once drawn, it must be empowered with Mana/Standing to be effective. Empowering requires the character to touch the circle and takes 10 seconds per point of Mana/Standing transferred. Any character or group of characters, can empower a circle. A circle can take up its level +1 Mana/Standing and any Mana/Standing beyond this limit is simply not transferred. The amount of casting damage that a circle protects against is equal to 5 times amount of Mana/Standing it has been empowered with.

Example: As well as the Components and Focuses, Gemdar also specified that his level 6 Earth Ritual requires a level 0 Earth Circle. This increases the amount of time to cast the ritual, as it takes him slightly more than 1 minute to prepare and empower the circle with 1 Mana. This further reduces the damage by 5 Life Points, so Gemdar is further protected in taking no casting damage when using this ritual.

Once drawn, a circle can be re-used provided it is undamaged (at the GM’s discretion), though it must be empowered again.

Talismans and Holy Symbols
Talismans and Holy Symbols reduce casting damage equal to their level for Rituals and Ceremonies respectively. Sacrifices are also protected by Talismans and Holy Symbols if they have one.

Example: Nefar has a Ceremonial level of 12.
Nefar casts the level 24 Ritual of Tek’anhut, which he has modified for the his cult’s use. Nefar is the Caster, and his skill minus the ritual level is (24 – 12 = 12), which equates to 260 Life Points of damage. 12 Temporary Death Threshold losses are also caused. He has a single Assistant, a local Death Cultist who has the Work with Conclave skill and has brought their own practice ritual set.
This is reduced by:
• 1 Superior Component (20)
• 1 Standard Component (10)
• 1 Superior Focus (20)
• 1 Standard Focus (10)
• Level 11 Circle of Death (60)
• A level 10 Unholy Symbol of Death (10)
• A level 1 Unholy Symbol of Death (1)
So the ritual will cause 129 Life Points of damage.
The ritual also requires Sacrifices, for which Nefar has captured 3 Human villagers (30 Life Points, 10 Death Threshold).
During the ritual Nefar assigns the damage to the Sacrifices equally, causing 30 Life Points them, marking each with the Unholy Mark of his God and making them suitable vessels to become Avatars of Despair. He also assigns them 3 Death Threshold losses each, losing the first himself and assigning the remaining 2 Death Threshold losses to his Assistant.

Default Casting Damage Distribution

In the event that casting damage from a ritual occurs for whatever reason and the Ritual leader is unable to decide how casting damage is distributed, use the following distribution. Damage is assigned to all participants of tiers 1,2 and 3 equally up to their ability to take such damage before being distributed to lower tiers. Damage from tiers 4 and above is distributed to the closest target to the Ritual Leader in turn. Casting damage is reduced by Components, Focii, Circles and Talismans/Holy Symbols as normal.

Tier Targets
1 Ritual Leader
2 Assistants (If Present)
3 Specified Sacrifices
4 All other targets within 20’ of the Ritual Leader
5 All other targets

Example: Nab McFeegle decaptiates a Drow Matriarch in the process of casting the ‘Ritual of Eternal Night’, a level 25 Darkness ritual which is 12 levels above the Matriarch’s ritual skill, and causing 260 Life Damage. For this purpose 3 Human Sacrifices had been acquired. This immediately ends the Ritual, and all casting damage is assigned by default.
• The Ritual Leader is dead. No damage is assigned to Tier 1.
• 1 Assistant remains alive, on 10 Life. 20 Damage is assigned to Tier 2, killing the remaining assistant. 240 Life damage remains.
• All 3 human sacrifices are alive and on full life. 40 Life Damage is assigned to each sacrifice, killing them, for a total of 120 Life Damage assigned to Tier 3. 120 Life Damage remains.
• The local plant life surrounding the Matriarch between them and Nab dies. The GM rules that this is effectively 20 Life Damage. As the next closest target, Nab takes 100 Life Damage. Nab survives. No futher damage is distributed.

Maintaining a Ritual

Once a ritual has been cast, it can be maintained by expending 1 Mana/Standing per minute. A Caster can assign this cost to any Assistant present.

Example: Mayhew spends 6 minutes casting Mass Rust in preparation for an attack by a tribe of Orcs. By the ritual has been completed the Orcs have not appeared, so Mayhew decides to extend the spell by spending 1 Mana/minute. Two minutes later the Orcs appear, and Mayhew releases the Mass Rust.

When maintaining a ritual you have to Concentrate.

Ending a Ritual

If a ritual is interrupted, you effectively loose everything as if the ritual had been completed, but nothing happens.

You can voluntarily end a ritual, which takes a full minute, and take no casting damage, consume no components and spend no power.

It is not possible to end a ritual early and cast a lower level spell/miracle.

Example: Archibald is performing a ritual to cast an Ice Blade 4 (5 minutes). He cannot end it after 3 minutes and cast an Ice Blade 2.

Performing Rituals and Ceremonies Unskilled

Anyone who attempts to cast a Ritual or Ceremony beyond their level of skill, including Casters with no skill at all, are treated as attempting to cast a Ritual or Ceremony unskilled. This is resolved using the casting rules above as normal with the following changes.

If the Caster has a valid ritual script for the ritual being cast (via being given one, finding it on a patrol, or purchasing one) then the ritual is guaranteed success and resolved using the rules above. A single component and focus may be used to reduce life damage. Additional components and focii may be used if Assistants are available.

If the Caster does not have a valid ritual script, then success is not guaranteed. The ritual is performed as normal, with all the associated life damage and Death Threshold loss. The performance is then evaluated by the powers that be (as played by the Monsters/GM) for effectiveness to decide if it succeeds as follows:

Scoring Criteria Rating Notes
Is the Component Relevant? +1/0/-1 Depending on level of relevance
Is the Focus Relevant? +1/0/-1 Depending on level of relevance
Did they try and inscribe a Circle? +1/0 Reward a successful circle
Is what’s being asked for appropriate to the circumstances? +1/0/-1 A Justice God will smile upon being asked to resurrect the innocent. Not so much giving Toughness to the murderous scout.
Has the attention of the gods/powers been brought to the area? +1/0/-1 Is it a ley line? Are relevant casters Casting the ritual? Are people calling out to the right powers? Penalise calling out to the wrong powers.
Is the area suitable to the casting? +1/0/-1 Water spells cast more easily in lakes than volcanoes.
Are lots of people actively participating? +1/-1 per person A unified plea will be answered more readily than an angry riot
Is the request frivolous? -1 Penalise characters who should know how to do what they’re asking already, or are just trying to show off.
Have the powers that be been insulted? -1 Gods talk, and respect shown to one is shown to many.
You again? -1 per attempt Penalise repeated unskilled casting attempts
Have they asked the GM beforehand? 0/-10 Yes/No

If the ritual succeeds or fails is up to the GM to decide. Results of 0 or below fail automatically. Results between 0-10 may succeed with consequences. Results above 10 may succeed without significant consequences. Potential consequences include:

• Causing additional Life Damage, Wounds Damage, or Temporary or Permanent Death Thresholds
• Imposing roleplay restrictions via Spiritual Influence for a year and a day (e.g. I shall always speak the truth or be slain)
• Temporary or Permanent loss of equipment
• Beneficial Path/School resistance to the Path/School called upon as the powers that be snub attempts to further cast on them. (e.g. Bounce the next Heal Wounds cast)

Ritual Only Spells and Miracles

Certain spells and miracles, for various reasons, are too powerful, too unique or too unpredictable to be refined into instant castings. The same rule as for unskilled rituals also applies. Despite a character’s best efforts in providing power, sacrifices, components and focii, more unique rituals or ceremonies may fail for any reason, including no reason at all, at the whims of the Gods or Spirits of the elements (As decided by the GM & Character Refs). Power remains lost in such attempts. These should not be used on game without prior GM and Character Ref approval, and are more intended as plot devices. These include, but are not limited to:

Summon Elemental/Planar Spirit

One of a wide variety of rituals for various paths and spirits, this ritual needs to be written for a specific elemental or spirit in question and performed in areas which have a strong connection to the element or plane in question, using a Ritual Circle to summon the creature into. It offers no way of controlling the spirit however, that is left to the summoner. Higher level rituals allow for the summoning of more powerful creatures.

Open Portal to Plane

Similar to summoning, opening portals to other planes needs to be performed in specific locations where the borders between planes are weaker, and use a Ritual Circle to create the portal within. The portal will remain open for as long as the caster holds the ritual (See Maintaining a Ritual). More powerful ritualists can open portals in more places. Of course there is no guarantee that the area on the other side of the portal is safe, or can be opened again from the other side…

Dispel Spiritual Influence

These rituals cannot be refined to instant castings for the simple reason that each casting is effectively unique and a different casting in it’s own right. For more detail see Spiritual Influences.

Greater Resurrection/Raise Dead (Minimum Level 5 (Life)/6 (Justice)

The Ceremony to bring a character back to life after being dead over an hour cannot be refined to an instant because it must be tailored specifically to the character who is being resurrected to guide their spirit back from the afterlife. Such resurrections are not straightforward and require lengthy negotiations with the powers that be to ensure success. More powerful Ceremonialists can bring back characters who have been dead longer.

Destroy Holy Symbol/Mystic Talisman (Minimum Level 25 (Fire/Chaos/Relevant counter-path/school)

The Ritual to destroy a Holy Symbol or Mystic Talisman cannot be refined into an instant casting because of the sheer level of power needed to destroy items protected by the soul held within them, and the wardings needed to contain the backlash from the powers that are unleashed. Ritual Circles are typically used to defend against this but some foolish Cabals attempt to without these.

Excommunication (Miracle Only)

The Ceremony of Excommunication is not one undertaken lightly. A Conclave of at least 3 Ceremonialists of the same path as the target (Who must also be present, but not willing or concious) call upon the Path to pass judgement on the charges presented by the 3 casters. If the case is found to be justified the target loses the ability to cast all of their miracles up to the level of the ceremony until some attonement is peformed, set by the Path. The Path can always impose lesser or different punishments if the powers that be (The GM & Character Refs) see fit. Spurious cases result in all 3 casters being excommunicated themselves for a number of days equal to the Ceremony Level. No magical variant is known to exist.

Create Warding Circle

The Warding Circle rituals are a technique to defend against forces counter to the element or path of the caster. It involves the creation of a Ritual Circle onto which the warding spell or ritual is cast. Once cast, the ward will prevent spells, miracles or creatures from crossing or affecting things inside the ritual circle until the mana or standing within the circle is exhausted. The circle consumes 1 mana/standing a minute until exhausted, at which point the warding circle loses all protective qualities. The circle can be empowered with power whilst active in the usual fashion. Dispel (Path/Magic) and Path/Mana Lace remove power from the circle (Equal to level for Dispel). Higher level warding circles protect against higher power spells/miracles/creatures.