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Occult Rituals

Occult Rituals

It’s a common belief that only those initiated in the rites and practices of arcane, divine, or psychic magic can cast spells, but this is not strictly true. Hidden within dusty libraries and amid the ramblings of lunatics lie the mysteries of another form of spellcasting—occult ritual magic. These spells are rare, coveted by both those eager to gain their power and those wishing to hide their existence. Most traditional spellcasters consider these rituals dangerous and uncontrollable, something to be avoided or used as a last resort. They fear the power these ceremonies grant to the uninitiated, as the rituals allow those with only a glimmering of understanding the ability to interact with the underlying fabric of magic.

While anyone can attempt to cast occult rituals, the process is fraught with peril. The strange and intricate incantations are often challenging to perform with precision, and failure can weaken the casters or even unleash horrors upon the world. Even when successfully performed, each occult ritual has a price—a backlash that affects at least the caster leading the ritual, and often those assisting in its performance.
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Atavistic Reversion

Source Villain Codex pg. 140
School transmutation; Level 5
Casting Time 5 hours
Components V, S, M (musky incense worth 500 gp), F (crown made of claws and fangs), SC (up to 8)
Skill Checks Bluff DC 33, 1 check; Knowledge (nature) DC 33, 1 check; Handle Animal DC 33, 1 check; Intimidate DC 33, 1 check; Survival DC 33, 1 check
Range touch
Area 1-mile radius/character level of the primary caster
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; SR yes
Backlash All casters suffer 1 temporary negative level and become exhausted.
Failure The primary caster gains the mind and body of a Tiny animal, as if she failed both saves against baleful polymorph.


The primary caster lights a bonfire surrounded with incense, steps into the fire, places the crown upon his brow, and lets forth a primal howl. Ghostly images of beasts swirl through the air as the casters join in a spectral hunt. As the ritual progresses, all humanoids in the ritual’s area of effect, including the casters, regress in appearance to resemble their primal animalistic ancestors. Initially, these features have no mechanical effects, and they disappear if the ritual fails. If the ritual succeeds, the casters and those who succeed at a Fortitude save return to normal, while all other humanoids regress further. They gain a +4 size bonus to Strength, a +4 natural armor bonus to AC, and a bite attack (if they already had one, it counts as if they were one size larger). If their Intelligence is greater than 2, it becomes 2, and they can’t cast spells, use other special abilities that require Intelligence, speak, and wield manufactured weapons. The only skill checks they can attempt are Acrobatics, Climb, Fly, Perception, Stealth, and Swim. The effects on a creature can be removed with break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish. Removing the penalties also removes the benefits.