I'm looking to add certain components to my magic system in D&D, to better get the feel of a world suffused with magic without having to put in lots of high-level casters. Drugs would be useable by anyone at any time, possibly even being of utility in battle at times, but have bad effects contingent on failing saves. These may imitate low-level class features or provide small bonuses.

Rituals are another matter. Rituals are simply long casting time spells. They may have gp costs but should not have xp costs in most cases, because xp costs are a pain and I would like a level 1 adept to be able to regularly perform rituals. GP costs should be what keep these rituals balanced. Certain spells, primarily long casting time or contingency spells, will be transformed into rituals.

Sample drugs:
Spoiler: Ashwater
Show
Crafting this potion successfully a DC 10 craft(alchemy) check. If you have not prepared this potion before, and are not being assisted by someone who has, you must also make a DC 20 knowledge (religion) check. The result is a potent combination of mead, herbs, and ash. Upon imbibing make a DC 15 fort save. If you succeed the drug has no effect. If you fail you are dazed for 10 rounds and must make a DC 10 will save. If you succeed on this save you may contact one ancestor, tribal patron, or other dead figure with whom you are personally affiliated and converse with them for 1 minute. You must be able to uniquely identify this spirit. The spirit is free in whether and how it responds and cannot be compelled to answer. The concoction is only potent for 24h after creation, rendering it useless as a saleable quantity.

Because of the magics involved in this, contact requires a DC 10 fort save, with failure resulting in being dazed for one round.

Notes: This is unsurprisingly designed primarily for ancestor worship and other such things. Note that the spirits do not necessarily know anything about current events.


Spoiler: Hellroot
Show
These brightly colored roots contain a powerful mind-altering drug. Upon chewing a piece of this root, the user becomes enraged as a barbarian. However he must make a DC 10 will save; upon failure he becomes confused and attacks the nearest creature to him. Possession of the rage class feature reduces this DC by 2 per level in a rage-granting class. A single dose of this root 30gp. Properly preparing requires a DC 15 craft (alchemy) or knowledge (nature) check. If the check fails by 5 or less, the root functions but is rendered poisonous, requiring a DC 15 fortitude save dealing 1d4 dex damage on failure.


Sample rituals

Spoiler: Sacrificial Augury
Show
This ritual requires the sacrifice of a living creature, which is slain and examined, while guardian spirits are invoked. The result allows the performer to determine a future state for their group - which may be as large as a tribe or even a race or religion. The augury reveals the presence or absence of danger within the next year and a rough guess as to the source of the danger. The source is very vague, something as simple as "outsiders" or "nature". The success of this ritual requires a DC 15 perform check to invoke the spirits and a DC 10 knowledge (religion) check to interpret the results. These checks must be made by two different people. A further minimum of 12 people are required, all of whom must consume some part of the creature sacrificed. If the perform check is failed the ritual may be retried, but once the spirits are invoked the same performer may not invoke them again for 1 year.

Notes: This is really designed to be an NPC ritual for the DM's use. I only statted it because I have terminally curious players.


Spoiler: Circle of Recall
Show
This spell inscribes a magic circle on the floor, linking it with magic symbols inscribed on the item in question. When invoked, these symbols instantly teleport the invoker back inside the circle. Up to 6 individuals may be linked to the circle at one time; this linkage forms a silver tattoo somewhere on the individual's body. Creation of the circle requires inscribing silver runes into some sort of permanent surface, typically rock or metal. Creating these runes requires 1000gp worth of silver and a DC 20 knowledge (arcana) check. Unlike most rituals, aid another checks are permitted for this process. The links are broken once used but may be creates for the cost of 5gp. If the creator has not worked with this particular circle before he must spend 1 hour studying it and make a DC 20 knowledge (arcana) check to link new individuals. Training by someone who has worked with the circle before eliminates the need for the check.

Notes: This is designed to replace word of recall in a game. It functions particularly well if the PC's have some sort of home base, allowing them to return at will before teleportation comes online.