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    Default Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    A few words first: this is not really my idea, but I thought someone should start writing it down. There was a thread on it, there's 4Es ritual magic system, and there are Incantations. Still, I think it's a generally good idea, and should be done.
    Secondly, it does not fix magic on it's own. Far from it. A whole lot of spells take longer to cast, need a feat and are more widely available, yes, which probably means a lot of skill monkeys will start learning how to do them. But the spells themselves will, generally, still be just as powerful, just take longer and normally not be available in combat. To really fix anything, the spells themselves would have to be rewritten for balance, which I am too lazy to do.


    Rituals

    Rituals are great magical ceremonies of usually greater, or longer-lasting effects, than mere spells. They require complicated gestures and diagrams, long chants, focuses and rare ingredients, but promise great power to the user.
    Rituals come in nine levels, just as spells.

    Learning a ritual
    Rituals are normally learned from arcane libraries or great temples, found written down in ancient scriptures, but they can also be thought by wise masters or arcane entities, or found as inscriptions in ancient ruins.
    To learn a ritual, one needs a copy of the ritual, either written down, or thought by someone already knowing it. Next, before committing it to memory, it has to be practiced. This takes one day per level of the ritual, and during each of those days, at least 8 hours have to be spent studying without interruption. Furthermore, this costs an amount of gold equal to (3*level -1)*50 gold pieces, plus another five gold pieces per amount of experience point cost the ritual would have, if it has one, plus an amount of gold equal to it's material components, if it has any (this is the same cost as a scroll of a spell of the same level).
    Finally, to learn a ritual, one must have the Ritual Magic feat, and a number of ranks in a knowledge skill (Arcana, Nature, Religion or The Planes) equal to two times the rituals level plus two.

    {table=head]Level| Required ranks
    1| 4
    2| 6
    3| 8
    4| 10
    5| 12
    6| 14
    7| 16
    8| 18
    9| 20[/table]

    Casting a ritual

    Rituals can be cast by anyone who has studied them and meets the prerequisites for casting them, be they a spellcaster or not.
    Casting a ritual always requires a ten feet by ten feet square of free space, and it always involves verbal, somatic and material focus component. If the ritual is based on a spell, the focus of the spell has to be present and any XP cost and material component has to be paid.
    The casting time of any ritual is at least ten minutes per level of the ritual or the casting time of the spell it is based on, whichever is longer.
    If the caster is interrupted during the ritual, such as by restraining him, dealing damage to him or removing components, the ritual fails, but it's material and XP components are not consumed. Vigorous and violent motions, as well as weather effects, can be resisted by the use of the concentration skill.


    Optional rule: Ritual Failure (mere suggestions)

    The game master may wish for rituals to carry the potential of catastrophic failure, to make them more dangerous to the caster. In that case, he can add the requirement of a spellcraft check to the ritual. I recommend a DC of about 10+3*the ritual's level. While I have not completely run the math on this, it seems to about come out right, with a DC of 13 for level one (which a wizard with 18 intelligence and 4 ranks succeeds on on a 5+, and a non-intelligence based caster with 14 intelligence and 4 ranks on a 7+), and a DC of 37 for level 9 (which a caster with 24 intelligence and 20 ranks makes on a 10+, which can certainly be improved easily with feats and items, and a non-intelligence based caster with, say, 16 intelligence, 20 ranks and the skill focus feats will still make on an 11). I recommend not allowing items which give a bonus to spellcraft checks to be used, or to limit their boni to a small amount, like +2 or +4, at most.
    On a failure, the ritual fails and may, at the DM's discretion, also carry negative consequences, such as:

    Backlash damage: the caster suffers hit point or mental ability damage in proportion to the rituals level (this should not generally be enough to kill him).
    Dimensional rift: conjuration spells may open a rift to another plane, which may suck the caster through, allow interplanar travel, or even allow hostile creatures from other planes to invade.
    Scrambling or Off-course: similar to a teleport spell gone awry, a transportation spell could damage the caster and the teleported subjects, or leave them stranded in a distant location, or even on another plane.
    Creature breaking free: A called or summoned creature may, instead of being controlled or imprisoned by the caster, simply smile and step over the caster's protective circles. A creature of animal-like intelligence or less may instead fly into a mindless rage, attacking everything in sight, including the caster.
    Gone wrong: Instead of the creature to be summoned, a horrible monstrosity from the far realms steps through the created interplanar pathway.
    What have I done? A creature to be brought back from the dead instead rises as an undead monstrosity, or a magical or undead servant shakes off the control of it's caster and breaks free.
    (Temporary) Insanity: The caster's mind suffers terrible damage, making him suffer from confusion or a temporary mental illness of some kind. This may be purely a fluff effect, or cause sanity or other damage, if such rules are used.

    In general, the DM is advised not to make rituals too dangerous, as they would become too much of an all-or nothing affair otherwise.


    Ritual Magic (General)

    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, The Planes or Religion) 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks
    Benefit: You can cast rituals, based on the Knowledge skill you have used as a prerequisite for the Ritual Magic feat.
    Special: Archivists, Cloistered Clerics and Wizards can take this feat as a bonus feat on level one instead of Scribe Scroll.

    Circle Magic: (General)
    Prerequisites: Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, the Planes or Religion) 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks, Ritual Magic
    Benefit: when casting a ritual, you can cooperate with others to make the task simpler.
    To cast a ritual in circle magic, a number of other participants up to the spell's level can cooperate with you. They all must have the Ritual Magic feat, but they do not have to know the ritual you are attempting to cast, nor do they have to have the Circle Magic feat.
    A ritual cast as circle magic takes only half as much time to perform as it normally would. Furthermore, you may evenly share the XP cost of the spell among all participants, though no participant may spend an amount of XP that would cost him a level.
    If the Ritual Failure rule is used, you gain a +4 circumstance bonus on the spellcraft check.

    General Guideline: Which spells should, in my opinion, be rituals?

    -Spells that have an effect which lasts one day or more, especially permanent ones.
    -Spells that permanently change or create anything, like permanent magical servants or structures.
    -Spells that summon or call a creature for more than a short time. Generally, the entire (calling) subschool of conjuration.
    -Travel spells, especially those allowing instant travel over large distances, like Teleportation, but not those for combat mobility, like Dimension Door.
    -Spells that remove a long-lasting negative condition, such as reviving the dead, breaking a curse or curing ability damage.
    -Divination spells that give information about distant or future events.


    Spells (from the SRD) that should (in my opinion) be rituals (Coming later)
    Spoiler
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    Alarm
    Align weapon (ritualized below)
    Analyze Dweomer
    Animal Messenger
    Animal shapes
    Animate Dead
    Antilife shell
    Antipathy
    Arcane Eye
    Arcane Lock
    Augury

    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-11-27 at 10:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Interesting. Nice way of giving mundanes a little capacity for magic.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    The only problem I'd have with this (and I'll say it fast, since it has consequences) is the feat requirement. Incantations are meant to be used by the character that has the scroll with the incantation and the skills and prerequisites to use it. Making a feat that enables "ritual magic" or incantations is a problem because you're justifying that the character WILL have the rituals, something that (IMO) should be left to the DM to decide. While the DM may still have some say on the regard (you won't find the scroll for the Gate incantation lying so easily), it still makes it an imperative (the player will quite probably derail the quest to find the Gate scroll, instead of allowing the DM to provide it or make a scenario based on it, because the player has the feat). The other important thing is that you're placing a restriction that can be waived easily by spellcasters, which again leads (partly) to square one.

    Still, I do like what you did to Circle Magic. That kind of benefit when using the incantation does fit the concept of a feat (it enables options or assists existing ones), and it gives the right vibe to that kind of ability that otherwise would be exploited with regular spells. Consider that Red Wizards and Rashemi (the two classes I can recall with the Circle Magic feat) replace the class ability with the feat, and make Circle Magic harder to access (I'd say make it depend on having Int, Wis or Cha pretty high, probably 17 without stat boosting items) or else you'll find many people with "Ritual Magic" and "Circle Magic" on their feat lists (it will allow some feat tax, but for the power they provide, and considering the other classes will have some difficulty having both, it'll still make it too easy for spellcasters).

    This thread could serve as a good supplement to your idea (even if I was the one who made it; hence why I got wind of this idea and seek to support it). You don't have to take my recommendations to the letter, but there are some reasons why some spells should exist as incantations and why some should remain as spells. As a rule of thumb, all the usually powerful spells should be considered on a case-by-case basis, since you end up with Time Stop which is insanely powerful but won't work as an incantation (and if you boost it to become one, it works instead as an Epic spell), or Alter Self which is quite powerful but would be meaningless if Polymorph is made as an incantation because Polymorph is better in almost every regard (though Disguise Self still can exist as a spell because it's a glamer, and Alter Self could become some sort of spell-based Minor Change Shape).

    Also, I wouldn't make backlashes optional. Backlashes should fit the spell instead of being general guidelines, and should exist in most if not all of the powerful spells (otherwise, the only problem you'd have would be failing the skill check, something to which spellcasters have several bonuses and that would still shoot in the foot all martial warriors whom have poor skills). There is no problem with "all or nothing"; in something like Teleport, relying on certain death or escape makes the "nothing" part meaningless, since if you didn't do it you'd die anyways. Also, it gives more support to the DM: the DM may decide to provide a circumstance bonus to the feat or a circumstance penalty to make it harder. Not all spells should have it ingrained (Consecrate/Desecrate and Hallow/Unhallow are examples), but pretty risky ones do (Wish and Gate should have insanely brutal backlashes and I don't mean merely missing XP; Wish of course has its backlash ingrained, but Gate not quite so).

    Mechanically speaking, limiting the incantations to knowledge-based skill checks aids the Wizard instead of nulling him. Limiting it only to four skills is also pretty meh. I'd say use quite a lot of skills instead: Teleport, for example, requires Knowledge (geography) as well as another skill (maybe Knowledge [arcana] or Spellcraft) to use, since you need to know where you should land. Gate obviously requires Knowledge (the planes). Polymorph should require all knowledges that deal with creatures (Arcana, Dungeoneering, Local, Nature, Psionics, Religion, the Planes) in order to function, and it should require a good and reasonable skill check in order to keep stuff like Hydra and dragons quite out of reach (maybe use, even if people might bash me for it, the common/unusual/rare/legendary connotations to determine whether you've heard of it, with the DM allowing restricting a specific degree if desired). And so on. Also: does casting an incantation works as described in Unearthed Arcana, or does it work differently? (The original version implies making one skill check every 10 minutes, and succeeding on certain skill checks; failure on one delays the incantation, failure on two at a row makes the incantation fail).

    It's a hard work, that you've placed on your shoulders, but I hope this works. I'll see on what I can assist, and I hope others can assist you on it as well.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Your thread was actually what gave me the idea, along with what I read of 4E ritual magic, which was one of the few things about 4E I liked.


    Now, on availability: the way I am doing it is basically that they are learned similarly to how a wizard or archivist learns his spells, and even used similarly. They just take too long to use in combat. They shouldn't be too out of reach, I think, but still viable.

    On some incantations being much better than others: that's actually why I placed the skill rank requirement there: it keeps rituals available to characters of the same level as the spell would be. So Alter Self is still useful before Polymorph comes around, and it takes half as long to cast.

    As for Backlashes: yes, they are important, but many DMs would not be comfortable with them, I think. Now, the reason why I gave guidelines is this: they should be tailored to the spell, as you mentioned, but I simply don't have the time to go over every spell and rewrite it as a ritual, so I instead make some suggestions. If I ever get around to it, I'll probably rewrite some of the most problematic spells as proper incantations. Gate is a good example. I have generally placed the restriction of needing a unique creature's true name on it, though that alone won't fix it, of course. It should probably also be split in two parts, a travel gate and a powerful summoning (with restrictions).

    Mainly, these rituals should still be available to the spellcaster most easily, other characters would have to invest more resources in getting them, that part is intentional. Now, of course, the question is if that's balanced: spellcasters are strong already, why not give the ritual to a rogue as well? It's thematic, mostly, and not really about balance, I have to admit. It allows, say, the party rogue to summon a creature to spy for him, but he won't be as good at it as the wizard.

    If you want to help: what I mostly would need, right now, is suggestions or even full-blown attempts at rewriting spells into rituals. Take a spell you think would work better as a ritual, write down how long it takes, make a short fluff suggestion for a ceremony, write down an appropriate backlash.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-11-26 at 10:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Banishment is a must!

    I'd also go with Astral Projection, Planar Ally and variants, Planar Binding and variants, Create Undead and variants, Regenerate, and Magic Circle and variants.

    EDIT: I was actually working on a similar project. I never finished, but I could probably convert the differences in mine into the format you want, easily.
    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2010-11-26 at 10:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Of course, yes. I think now that I've actually got a little feedback, I might finally pull together and go over the SRD. Maybe the Spell Compendium, sometime, when I'm at home.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Oh, just one thing: The ones I had made already, not all were based on actual D&D spells. Is that okay? (You responded rather quickly, so if you don't know what I'm talking about, I edited my last post while you were posting yours).
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Started on A.

    Opinions on the following spells, please:

    Not rituals:
    Acid Arrow. Clearly a combat spell.
    Acid Fog. While powerful and annoying, it doesn't last long enough to be much use if you need over an hour to prepare it, and it's clearly intended for combat.
    Acid Splash: combat spell.
    Animate Rope: A magical servant, but only a short-term one.


    Quite certainly rituals:
    Air Walk. Long-lasting mobility buff.
    Alarm. Area defence spell that lasts for hours.
    Align weapon. Situational and long-term.
    Alter Self. Very versatile long-term buff.
    Analyze Dweomer. Powerful divination spell that gives detailed insight into how an item works. Can probably be moved to a lower level and only be applied to a single item, though.
    Animal Messenger. Very long duration, utility spell.
    Animal Shapes. All-party, day-long buff or utility spell, versatile.
    Animate Dead: creates permanent servants.
    Antilife shell: a long-term, powerful defence spell.
    Antipathy: all-day buff spell.
    Anti-plant shell as with antilife shell, long-lasting, if specialized buff.
    Arcane Eye: a classic, really. Though sending out the eye should probably happen during the ritual, not after half an hour of preparation.
    Arcane Lock. Permanent change. No contest.
    Augury. Divining the future in vague terms. The classic ritual.


    Unsure:
    Aid. It's a buff that lasts several minutes, but is neither gamebreakingly powerful as a normal spell, nor probably worth a 20 minute ritual.
    Animal Growth. Situational long-term buff, very useful for those with animal companions.
    Animal Trance: while interesting as a ritual, almost certainly useless to calm wild animals if it takes such a long time.
    Animate Objects. Creates magical servants, but they are short-term.
    Animate Plants: the entangle part is a sure candidate for ritualhood, the other is, again, short-term, if powerful.
    Antimagic field. If it becomes a ritual, it means that you enter combat without your own magic, instead of throwing it up on the spot when faced with enemy magic that is overwhelming. Also, making it less available removes one of the good checks on enemy casters.
    Arcane Sight and Greater Arcane Sight: good buffs, decent duration, but don't really seem ritual-worthy.

    LotRfan: not a problem at all. The more the merrier, and I love me a decent homebrew.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-11-26 at 10:24 AM.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    This one is not based off of a certain spell, and is mainly supposed to be used by enemies of the PCs (unless, of course, there is a Cleric of Merrshaulk in the party). I actually got this idea off of the Demon Snake from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    I decided to go with level 3, because this is a fiendish medium viper (which requires Summon Monster II, a 2nd level Spell, to summon) with a couple of added bonuses. If you think 3 is too high or too low, I'll make adjustments as neccesary.

    Hunting Snake of the Yuan-Ti Creation Ritual
    Transmutation
    Effective Level:
    3
    Minimum DC: 19 (For a Medium Fiendish Hunting Snake with 2 HD). For each increase to HD (maximum 6 HD), add 1 to the DC. For each increase to size (Large at 3 HD, Huge at 6 HD), add +2 to the DC.
    Components: V,S, M
    Range: Touch
    Target: Medium Viper
    Duration: Permanent
    Ritual Time: 30 minutes (plus 5 minutes per HD increase and 10 minutes per size increase)
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No
    Magic Type: Divine
    Failure Consequences: The snake is still transformed, but the monster attempts to kill the ritualist.

    This Ritual creates a demonic monster that serves its creator. The snake used to make this increases in size by the amount of categories the Ritualist intends, and gains the amount of HD equal to that of which the Ritualist intends. The snake also gains two arms, and is able use two slam attacks. In many respects, it looks like a Yuan-Ti. It also gains the Fiendish template, and continual detect magic as spell-like ability. Once the monster is made, the Ritualist makes the Ritual Check. If he fails, the monster goes berserk and attempts to eat its creator. If the Ritual Check succeeds, the monster is under the Creator’s control. This Hunting Snake is often used to track down magical beasts and enemy magic users for the Yuan-Ti. The Hunting Snake stays loyal to its master until death, and for all intents and purposes, this is the snakes new natural form.
    Material Component: An Unholy Symbol of a Yuan-Ti cult, a medium viper, a pot large enough to put the snake in (generally 60 gold pieces).
    Verbal Component: Requires reading from the Transformation section of the Book of Merrshaulk in Yuan-Ti.
    Somatic Component: The Unholy Symbol needs to be held above the pot while the ritual takes place, and dropped in at the end.

    Sample Hunting Snake of the Yuan-Ti
    Spoiler
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    Medium Magical Beast (Augmented Animal)
    Hit Dice:
    2d8 (9 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 2o ft. (4 squares), climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
    Armor Class: 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat footed 13
    Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+0
    Attack: Slam +4 melee (1d6-1 damage)
    Full Attack: 2 Slams +4 melee (1d6-1 damage) and Bite +4 melee (1d4-1 plus poison)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Smite Good 1/day (+2 damage), Poison
    Special Qualities: Scent, Darkvision 60 ft., Resistance to Cold and Fire 5, Spell Resistance 7, Detect Magic
    Saves: Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +1
    Abilities: Str 8, Dex 17, Con 11, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 2
    Skills: Balance +11, Climb +11, Hide +12, Listen +5, Spot +5, Swim +7
    Feats: Weapon Finesse
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary, or Hunting Group (1 plus Master)
    Challenge Rating: 1
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always Chaotic Evil

    Poison (Ex): DC 11, Initial Damage 1d6 Con, Secondary 1d6 Con.

    Detect Magic (Sp): Hunting Snakes can use Detect Magic continually, Caster Level 5th. It can suppress at restart this ability as a free action. If it is suppressed by an outside force (like an anti-magic field), it can switch the ability back on its next turn.
    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2010-11-26 at 07:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Started on A.

    Opinions on the following spells, please:

    Not rituals:
    Acid Arrow. Clearly a combat spell.
    Acid Fog. While powerful and annoying, it doesn't last long enough to be much use if you need over an hour to prepare it, and it's clearly intended for combat.
    Acid Splash: combat spell.
    Animate Rope: A magical servant, but only a short-term one.


    Quite certainly rituals:
    Air Walk. Long-lasting mobility buff.
    Alarm. Area defence spell that lasts for hours.
    Align weapon. Situational and long-term.
    Alter Self. Very versatile long-term buff.
    Analyze Dweomer. Powerful divination spell that gives detailed insight into how an item works. Can probably be moved to a lower level and only be applied to a single item, though.
    Animal Messenger. Very long duration, utility spell.
    Animal Shapes. All-party, day-long buff or utility spell, versatile.
    Animate Dead: creates permanent servants.
    Antilife shell: a long-term, powerful defence spell.
    Antipathy: all-day buff spell.
    Anti-plant shell as with antilife shell, long-lasting, if specialized buff.
    Arcane Eye: a classic, really. Though sending out the eye should probably happen during the ritual, not after half an hour of preparation.
    Arcane Lock. Permanent change. No contest.
    Augury. Divining the future in vague terms. The classic ritual.


    Unsure:
    Aid. It's a buff that lasts several minutes, but is neither gamebreakingly powerful as a normal spell, nor probably worth a 20 minute ritual.
    Animal Growth. Situational long-term buff, very useful for those with animal companions.
    Animal Trance: while interesting as a ritual, almost certainly useless to calm wild animals if it takes such a long time.
    Animate Objects. Creates magical servants, but they are short-term.
    Animate Plants: the entangle part is a sure candidate for ritualhood, the other is, again, short-term, if powerful.
    Antimagic field. If it becomes a ritual, it means that you enter combat without your own magic, instead of throwing it up on the spot when faced with enemy magic that is overwhelming. Also, making it less available removes one of the good checks on enemy casters.
    Arcane Sight and Greater Arcane Sight: good buffs, decent duration, but don't really seem ritual-worthy.
    I already stated my thoughts on Air Walk; while it is a long-term duration spell, it's mostly intended for combat and exploration. For long-term travels there's Wind Walk, and Wind Walk definitely could serve as an incantation/ritual spell.

    There are various reasons why I don't think Air Walk should be ritualized, but the most important refers to the use I gave to it on my Monk retooling; you walk on air, but you're still capped by your land speed, so you'd need a long-term mobility buff (such as Longstrider) to allow both to work. Same as Fly; it's powerful, sure, but mostly intended for battle in comparison to Overland Flight which is meant for long-range mobility. Fly has the peculiarity of being on the spell lists of many casters basically because it allows them to be away from the ground (and of grounded melee opponents), and then there's Mass Fly which basically brings your party to the skies to fight flying enemies. Air Walk is a bit less efficient because it has speed limitations and limitations in the way of walking. However, the duration is definitely a problem, and it could have some utility outside of battle.

    Another is Align Weapon, because it's extremely situational. Even if it's a long-term buff, the fact that only a fraction of the MM monsters has alignment based DR, and that you can find the spell to be easily and permanently replaced by an actually enchanted weapon. Another big no to ritualizing Align Weapon is that it'd threaten Bless Weapon, which is exclusive to the Paladin (and accessible to the Archivist, but that's because the Archivist is bizarre), which lasts the same amount of time and is actually better (since it also provides automatic critical hit confirmation). It's really an offensive spell, and taking a ritual to bless your weapon seems a bit off, considering that it's a temporary blessing at best.

    Animal Shapes, on the other hand, shouldn't exist at all. It's kinda silly, and if you work Polymorph, you can work Animal Shapes into it with no problem. It's a very specific, very limited and very bizarre spell that's given to Druids to reinforce their spellcasting abilities.

    Aside from that, the rest of the "quite possibly rituals" definitely are ritual-material.

    Going with the unsures: Aid (and by extension Mass Aid) shouldn't be rituals at all. They are like Bless, except it only works on one person and grants temporary HP; it would also guarantee that Bless would be a ritual and not a short-term buff. In fact, most "1 min. duration" spells aren't really ritual material, and "10 min. duration" spells probably aren't, but they are either best as short-term buffs or as long-term buffs (and the ones best suited for long term are better as incantations). Animal Growth (and by extension Enlarge/Reduce Person) are situational and pointless as buffs, even so more when you need to increase your size to fight or reduce your size to escape. Animate Objects and Animate Plants (along with Animate Dead) are suitable for both sides (a short-term, 1 min./CL duration as a spell, and a permanent duration incantation/ritual), which allows them to exist as ways to allow distractions to exist and create minions but also create more permanent things. Arcane Sight and Greater Arcane Sight can remain as normal spells, since they're mostly Detect Magic without concentration (which can be powerful on its own right), but otherwise not so interesting. Perhaps reduced duration?

    One big point should be made with Antimagic Field. This spell is a big unknown, since it's basically a very powerful buff but in practice mostly a superior version of Globe of Invulnerability. Even if it lasts 1 round/CL it's still powerful, and the idea is that the spellcaster is meant to be powerless while casting it. IMO, there should be two versions: a spell version which explicitly requires the caster to concentrate (hence it can't cast spells, unless it invests even more heavily into doing so) and a ritual version that extends upon a specific field. The conc.-duration spell version would be suitable for an 8th level spell, even though it would remove the spellcaster from combat (unless it had several feats and a massive Concentration skill bonus). I'd also like to see some more uses of Globe of Invulnerability, maybe a Greater (or even Superior) Globe of Invulnerability that lasts only for a number of rounds but that can block spells of a specific level (and a level higher than 4).

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Your thread was actually what gave me the idea, along with what I read of 4E ritual magic, which was one of the few things about 4E I liked.
    I suspected as much. I was also attracted by the idea of making rituals for most of the iconic spells of D&D as done in 4th Edition, even though I don't like 4E that much.

    Now, on availability: the way I am doing it is basically that they are learned similarly to how a wizard or archivist learns his spells, and even used similarly. They just take too long to use in combat. They shouldn't be too out of reach, I think, but still viable.
    I think of them better as one-shot abilities. Instead of learning them and having a "ritualbook", you have a permanent scroll describing the ritual which you can hold as much as you want, which you can copy (except you can't use Amanuensis on it; it'd require a much more difficult ability to copy), which can be forged and disrupted (and hence holding a forged scroll might end up as a false ritual, or a true ritual causing penalties to the attempt to use).

    You should also indicate that some of the items that depend on spells turned into rituals still exist AND use the ritual as part of their creation (so they are made harder to create but still make them exist).

    On some incantations being much better than others: that's actually why I placed the skill rank requirement there: it keeps rituals available to characters of the same level as the spell would be. So Alter Self is still useful before Polymorph comes around, and it takes half as long to cast.
    Thing is that once you get Polymorph Any Object, you essentially make all other rituals obsolete since even with the extended casting time (and the delay) you'll never use the old ritual scroll again because of the sheer amount of options of the newer one. I'd say that Polymorph should exist as a single ritual (maybe Polymorph Any Object as a ritual, or Shapechange), make it so that it has an easier access (since it's a ritual after all) but with a longer casting time and with an increasing DC based on the type of creature you're trying to assume form of. Also, it would require different skill checks for special options. Something like:

    Polymorphosis
    Transmutation
    Effective Level: 5th
    Skill Check: Spellcraft; see text
    Minimum DC: see text
    Components: V,S, M
    Ritual Time: 50 minutes
    Range: Touch
    Target: One creature or object
    Duration: Permanent until dismissed
    Saving Throw: Fortitude (object); see text
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless; see text)
    Failure Consequences: Mental transformation, reversal (see text).

    Upon finishing the ritual, you or any one creature or object you touched is instantly transformed into another creature or object.

    Transforming a creature or an object requires a great amount of skill. Transforming a creature or an object into another creature requires a Knowledge related to the target creature (such as Knowledge [arcana] to transform into a magical creature, or Knowledge [local] to transform into a humanoid), and the skill check DC to succeed is equal to 13 plus the creature's minimum racial Hit Dice (if the creature has no racial Hit Dice, the skill check is 14). You may determine the skin color, hair color, eye color and other physical appearance traits while using the ritual, but to transform a creature into an exact duplicate of another, you must also succeed on a Disguise check (with the same DC as if trying to impersonate a particular individual, including modifiers for race, gender, size or age category, as usual), and creatures familiar to that character still get their bonuses to Spot checks as usual. The DC to transform an object to a creature increases by +20, and modified by the following traits:

    {TABLE=head]Trait|DC Modifier
    Same size|+2
    Related (wood into plant, fur into animal)|+5
    Awakened (or object somehow has one mental score)|+2 (per score)[/TABLE]

    When you transform a creature or an object into another creature, the recipient of the ritual gains the creature's racial ability score modifiers (if available; the DM may determine suitable ability score modifiers) for all physical scores, but the creature retains its original mental ability score modifiers; if the recipient of the ritual is an object, the new creature gains Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores of 8 plus any ability modifier (or penalty). The recipient also receives the natural size, mundane movement capabilities (such as burrowing, climbing, walking, swimming, and flight with wings, to a maximum speed of 120 feet for flying or 60 feet for nonflying movement), natural armor bonus, natural weapons (such as claws, bite, and so on), racial skill bonuses for Strength or Dexterity-related abilities, racial bonus feats, and any gross physical qualities (presence or absence of wings, number of extremities, and so forth). A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal. The recipient also gains all extraordinary special attacks possessed by the form but does not gain the extraordinary special qualities possessed by the new form or any supernatural or spell-like abilities. The recipient is treated as a creature of the same type and subtype for spells, rituals and abilities that affect them (thus, a mannequin transformed into a human can be affected by Charm Person). Finally, the recipient cannot receive the benefit of this ritual, similar rituals or similar spells while under the benefit of this ritual (but the recipient is not immune to transmutation spells or effects; thus, while the recipient may receive the benefit of an Enlarge Person spell if transformed into a humanoid or monstrous humanoid, it cannot receive the benefit of another Polymorphosis ritual).

    Transforming a creature or an object into another object requires a Craft or Profession skill check related to the object at hand, and the skill check DC is equal to the amount required to craft an object of that kind (or 20 plus 2 per size difference between the recipient and the target object). The new object is treated as a normal object of its kind, gains hardness equal to the original object's material's hardness, and hit points equal to the recipient's hit points or the object's hit points, whichever is highest. You cannot transform recipients into magic items by this way, but you may create a magic item from the new object if you desire. If a creature is transformed into an object, the transformed creature retains its mental ability scores but has no possibility of contact with the outside world unless the object has some sort of trait that allows it; furthermore, the recipient has a chance of 25% (plus 1% per racial Hit Dice or class levels) of becoming an intelligent magic item. If used offensively (for example, attempting to transform a 10th level wizard into a quarterstaff), the recipient creature may make a Fortitude save equal to 15 plus the ritual caster's Intelligence modifier, plus a bonus based on the size and relation traits of the table above; creatures with spell resistance may apply this ability to the ritual's effect.

    Once the creature or object is transformed, the recipient remains under the new form until either the ritual caster or the recipient (the latter in the case of a creature that retains its own mental scores) dismisses the effect as a standard action. By increasing all skill checks by 10, the ritual caster denies the recipient the ability to transform back by its own; this can be reduced by 5 by allowing an action that enables the recipient to transform back, but not in a very complicated way (such as placing a duration of at least one day but no more than a year, or placing another object upon it; the DM decides if the intended action is allowed). Once the creature or object has the effect dismissed, the benefit ends and the recipient may not transform back until a new ritual is used on its behalf.

    Material Component: An empty cocoon (does not have to be the same size as the recipient). As well, if a ritual caster is trying to transform the recipient into the exact likeness of a particular individual or object, it gains a +5 bonus on the check if using a part of the actual item as an optional material component (such as a bit of hair from the individual, or a sliver of wood from the object).

    Failure Consequences: If the ritual caster fails the Knowledge skill check to transform the recipient into a creature, the recipient may actually be completely transformed into the intended creature. The ritual caster must make a d% check; on a result of 01-50, the recipient is transformed but its alignment, mental ability scores, extraordinary special qualities, supernatural and spell-like abilities, and other traits also manifest. The recipient keeps its own mental ability scores if they are worse than the new creature's mental ability scores, in a case-by-case basis (thus, a creature turned into an animal gains the latter's Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores, unless the creature's Wisdom or Charisma are actually lower than that of the animal's in which the former's scores would be retained). In a result of 51-100%, the ritual is interrupted and immediately fails.

    If the ritual caster fails the Spellcraft, Craft or Profession skill check to transform the recipient into an object, or fails the Spellcraft check to transform the recipient into another creature, the effects may rebound into the ritual caster instead. The ritual caster chooses the effect as if it affected the recipient, but instead it takes the effect itself; the DM is advised to reveal the results to the ritual caster once complete and the decision has been made.

    --

    That way, Polymorph, Alter Self, Animal Shapes, Shapechange, Baleful Polymorph and Polymorph Any Object are subsumed into a single, neat ritual that attempts to explain every single nuance and also nerfs some of the possible tricks that can be used. It also causes the spell to be quite more powerful than the original because it has no hard restrictions other than the skill checks; it also forces about 2 skill checks, one to generate the effect and another to determine the actual new form.

    As for Backlashes: yes, they are important, but many DMs would not be comfortable with them, I think. Now, the reason why I gave guidelines is this: they should be tailored to the spell, as you mentioned, but I simply don't have the time to go over every spell and rewrite it as a ritual, so I instead make some suggestions. If I ever get around to it, I'll probably rewrite some of the most problematic spells as proper incantations. Gate is a good example. I have generally placed the restriction of needing a unique creature's true name on it, though that alone won't fix it, of course. It should probably also be split in two parts, a travel gate and a powerful summoning (with restrictions).

    Mainly, these rituals should still be available to the spellcaster most easily, other characters would have to invest more resources in getting them, that part is intentional. Now, of course, the question is if that's balanced: spellcasters are strong already, why not give the ritual to a rogue as well? It's thematic, mostly, and not really about balance, I have to admit. It allows, say, the party rogue to summon a creature to spy for him, but he won't be as good at it as the wizard.
    Reasonable points about backlashes and availability, but the idea is that some of the spells should be kept for non-spellcasters to have an edge. For example: if you're gonna make a ritual out of Knock, it should be better on a Rogue whom knows how to actually deal with those devices. A spellcaster may have the right tools and mental acuity to use a ritual, but if the spellcaster still remains the best option to use rituals, it's a drawback to square two or three. It makes certain classes more fit to use certain rituals; in fact, some rituals may only be exclusive to certain classes because of their thematic feat (such as Consecrate and Desecrate, which may require the ability to cast divine spells of a certain level to use, so as to allow divine-related classes to use the ritual without problems)

    If you want to help: what I mostly would need, right now, is suggestions or even full-blown attempts at rewriting spells into rituals. Take a spell you think would work better as a ritual, write down how long it takes, make a short fluff suggestion for a ceremony, write down an appropriate backlash.
    See Polymorphosis above. That should be an example, though it would still require quite a bit more work to really nail it into a reasonable ritual. Then again, maybe minor versions of Alter Self or Polymorph as spells would work (and base them off Disguise Self, in which you can transform into a likeness of a creature but only temporarily and without gaining anything else other than the semblance, even if it's an actual transformation effect a la Minor Change Shape of the changeling).
    Now with a shiny new Homebrewer's Sig. See the magic! Use the retools in your campaign...today!
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    For Antiplant shell and Antilife shell, which really are quite similar anyway:

    Shell of Repulsion
    Abjuration
    Effective Level: 5th
    Skill Check: Spellcraft and Knowledge (see text)
    Minimum DC: 25
    Components: V,S, M
    Ritual Time: 50 minutes
    Range: 10 ft.
    Area: 10 ft. radius emanation, centered on the caster
    Duration: 2 hours
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes
    Failure Consequences: Reversal, Attraction (see text)

    As part of the ritual, the caster chooses one creature type and makes a Knowledge check (DC 20), as appropriate to identify creatures of that type.
    The ritual brings into existence an invisible, spherical field of force surrounding the caster. Creatures of the chosen type can not enter the force field, instead being trapped outside. The barrier can not be used aggressively: when forced against a creature of the chosen type, it instead collapses.

    If the caster fails his spell craft check, he must roll 1d100. On a 1-80, the field becomes anchored to the spot where it was first created, instead of being centred on the caster, and becomes reversed, holding creatures of the appropriate types (and the caster, if he falls under that type) inside the field, instead of warding them out. On a 81-100, creatures of the appropriate type are instead attracted. All creatures of the chosen type in a radius of 500 feet per point the check was failed by immediately become aware of the failed ritual and the point it took place, and must make a will save DC 15 or immediately try and seek it out.
    If the caster fails the knowledge check, the ritual simply fails: a field is created, but it does not ward off any creatures.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-11-27 at 11:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Alright, I changed the Hunting Snake ritual stat block to be identical to the ones you guys wrote.

    Also, I'm starting to write out calling rituals for fiends. The ritual entails permanent calling to the Material Plane (unless they have a way of transporting back), but making it so a separate diplomacy check must be made to control them. Is it fair to have the effective level one level higher than the summon monster spell necessary to merely summon them?
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Okay, let's go on with "B"; maybe "C", depending on how far I get in my lunch break.

    Probably rituals
    Binding. It pretty much already is a ritual.
    Bless Water. A mini-ritual to create a minor magic item.
    Bless weapon. Turns a weapon magical, though would probably need a buff, similar to anoint weapon above, to become truly viable as a ritual.
    Break Enchantment Already basically a ritual: long casting time, widely available.

    Certainly no rituals
    Bane. Combat debuff, as is it's opposite, Bless.
    Banishment. While a banishing ritual could be nice, this works better in combat.
    Black Tentacles. A combat spell.
    Blade Barrier Short-duration terrain control.
    Blasphemy. Very strong if optimized, but a combat spell nevertheless.
    Blight. Combat spell.
    Blink and Blur. Short term combat buffs.
    Burning Hand. Simple, blasty fun.

    Unsure
    Barkskin as with other mid-duration buffs, probably not. Same with Bear's endurance and Bull's strength and theirMass Versions.
    Bestow Curse. This version is a combat version, even though it has permanent effects. Would probably need modification to become a true ritual.
    Blindness/Deafness. Permanent Debuff, like Bestow curse.

    Gone
    Baleful Polymorph: probably part of the polymorphosis ritual, or an advanced version of it. Certainly needs a rewrite.
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Just a question: How will epic rituals be handled?
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    Default Re: Ritual Magic (Partial magic system rewrite, PEACH, WIP)

    Another ritual, loosely based off of the Dream Walking spell in the Manual of the Planes (I upped the level by one). PEACH away.

    Dreamkilling Ritual
    Illusion (Phantasm) [Mind Effecting]
    Effective Level:
    9
    Skill Check: Lucid Dreaming (see text)
    Minimum DC: 37
    Components: S, M
    Range: Unlimited
    Target: Sleeping Creature
    Duration: a number of hours equaling the ritualist result minus the minimum ritual DC (minimum 1 if successful)
    Ritual Time: 90 minutes
    Saving Throw: Will save*
    Spell Resistance: No
    Magic Type: Arcane
    Failure Consequences: The ritual fails, and the creature it was meant to effect learns the identity and alignment of the ritualist.
    *If the ritualist is using a possession or garment from the target, the target gets a -5 penalty to the save. If the ritualist is using a body part (like hair, toenail clippings, skin), they receive a -10 penalty.

    This ritual allows the ritualist and one additional creature per dose of dream root made to go into the dreamscape of a specific targeted creature. During the duration of the spell, the dreamer and the dreamwalkers can be killed within the dreamscape. The dreamwalker gets a +5 bonus to all lucid dreaming checks within the dreamscape and the dreamer takes a -10 to all will saves and wisdom checks to wake up. In addition, the dreamwalker gains new abilities that can be used with a successful lucid dreaming check. If either die during the ritual, the ritual ends. Any wound dealt to the dreamer or dreamwalker also appears on their material body. If the target of the ritual is not asleep when the ritual occurs, it fails and all materials are consumed.
    Material Component: A dose of liquefied dream root (50 gp per dose) mixed with a garment or body part of the target.
    Somatic Component: The ritualist must drink the dream root concoction and fall asleep within 1 hour of consumption.

    {table=head]New Skill Use | DC
    Create monster of CR 5 or less | 20
    Create monster of CR 5 or less | 30
    Create monster of CR 5 or less | 40
    Create monster of CR 5 or less | 50
    [/table]

    Create Monster: This ability, unusable by dreamwalkers not performing the ritual, this allows dreamwalkers to make manifest a nightmare version of a creature. Although not real, it can kill living creatures in the dreamscape and uses all statistics of the actual creature.
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