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Altair_the_Vexed
2006-05-18, 07:30 AM
The talk about the gritty game made me think of my plans for druids in my game. I see them as ancient pagan priests, leading ceremonial magic, rather than nature guardians... Of course, in my game of inquisitions and wich-hunts, the druid is ripe for a dark make-over.

I don't use druids in my game in the way they are listed in the PHB. It's always been my intent to have a secret cult of druids who ritually cast spells. I looked over the optional ritual magic system, but I didn't like it too much... This is my riposte.
This is not intended to be an adventuring class / option / build. Characters taking the Druid feat will most likely be commoners, experts or (rarely) aristocrats. Casting higher level spells requires many participants, all with decent Concentration skills.
Yes, I will be modifying the Druid Spell list.
Please check it over and see how it might get abused as written.

New Feat: Druid
Requirement: Wis 14+, Knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks.
Benefit: Character gains the ability to lead druidic rituals.
Normal: Character is unable to cast druid spells or lead druidic rituals.

Druidic Ritual
Druidic spells cannot be cast by individuals, they are rituals. Rituals require a leader with the Druid feat, *Minimum Caster Level [from RAW] x 1 person to cast as a ritual (minimum of 1 person), and a sacrifice of 12 Con points of blood per spell level (not the ritualists’ blood, necessarily). Each 24 Con points of sacrificed blood above the required amount increases the caster level of the effect by 1 character level. Beginning a ritual takes 1 hour and a concentration check (DC10), and each spell cast during a ritual takes 1 hour per spell level, minus half an hour for each additional participant over the minimum required (to a minimum of half an hour). Further, all the ritualists must make a Concentration check for each effect (DC 10 + spell level, once per effect). Each ritualist is considered to be using the Aid Another skill option to assist in the Concentration of his neighbour during the ritual. Any or all ritualists involved may take 10 on any or all Concentration checks during the ritual. 0 Level spells count as 0 levels. The number of ritual participants counts as the caster level for effect determination.
On completion of each spell effect in the ritual, the leading druid makes a Spellcraft roll (DC 10 + spell’s minimum caster level) to see if the spell has worked. He may not take 10 on this check. Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Nature) provides a +2 synergy bonus to the Spellcraft roll. Up to three ritualists can help the leading druid with the Aid Another skill check option. Blood is used up regardless of the success or failure of the ritual.

Example: Ioghuan the druid gathers his followers to create an Earthquake. This is an 8th Level spell, so the minimum caster level is 15th. The minimum number of participants and sacrifice that Ioghuan needs is 15 ritualists, and 96 Con points of blood (equivalent to 6 bison, 10 cats, 7 dogs, or 8 donkeys, etc). The ritual will take 1 hour to set up, and 8 to complete. Ioghuan’s gathers 18 ritualists, 3 more than minimum, so the 9 hour duration is reduced to 7 ˝ hours. As sacrifice, Ioghuan brings 14 cats, 4 more the minimum; equivalent to 40 Con points more. All 18 ritualists make Concentration checks, and as no one is disturbing their chanting, they are all able to take 10. All 18 ritualists make Concentration checks (DC18 for the spell level), each getting a +4 circumstantial bonus as they aided by their two neighbours. Three ritualists assist Ioghuan, taking 10 on their Spellcraft checks (as they are undisturbed), giving the leader a +6 circumstantial bonus. Ioghuan needs to make a DC 25 Spellcraft check to cast the Earthquake. He has 5 ranks in both Knowledge (Nature) and Spellcraft, and an Int of 14 (totaling bonuses of 2 [Int], 2[synergy], 5[ranks], 6[aid another] = 15), so Ioghuan’s player needs to roll a 10 or more.

Falrin
2006-05-18, 08:03 AM
Generaly I like it. It's weak compared to normal casting, but that's the point and makes it oh so flavourfull.
But you shouldn't stick with the druid spellist. I'd go for big, usefull spells. Controll weather, Hallow, ...
But also Ressurection, Regenerate, Miracle...

Last note : I don't like the idea that 10 cats give the same amount of enrgy as 6 bisons. Maybe if you put a minimum con, say 10+LvL, the sacrifices become more important.

Altair_the_Vexed
2006-05-18, 08:28 AM
Generaly I like it. It's weak compared to normal casting, but that's the point and makes it oh so flavourfull.
But you shouldn't stick with the druid spellist. I'd go for big, usefull spells. Controll weather, Hallow, ...
But also Ressurection, Regenerate, Miracle...

Last note : I don't like the idea that 10 cats give the same amount of enrgy as 6 bisons. Maybe if you put a minimum con, say 10+LvL, the sacrifices become more important.
Yeah, I'm going to add in a bunch of other spells too... and work out how to apply this to Epic spells, too...

The thing with the sacrificed Con is that I don't want to make it absolutely necessary to kill the animals for their blood, or to use large animals for bigger effects, or to use humans / elves / dwarves / etc. The druids get more options if I leave it open.

Another factor I may add in is that the time of year affects the ritual. I might make certain animals connect with types of spell, and times of year too, so that they get bonuses, or reduced DCs, etc. I know this will get complicated, but I want it to be suitably esoteric and strange...