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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.
Click here for the full rules on Occult Rituals.

Ensnaring Circle

Source Occult Adventures pg. 211
School abjuration [variable; see text]; Level 4
Casting Time 40 minutes
Components V, S, M (powdered silver), F (a stylus made of mithral and diamond worth 5,000 gp), SC (up to 8)
Skill Checks Knowledge (planes) DC 30, 2 successes; Knowledge (religion) DC 30, 1 success; Linguistics DC 30, 1 success
Range 10 ft.
Effect a 20-foot-raidus magic circle
Duration 1 day/character level of the primary caster
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); SR no, see text
Backlash The primary caster takes 2d6 points of damage.
Failure The casters believe their work was successful, though when they attempt to use the circle, nothing occurs.


This ritual requires the casters to create a large magic circle outlined with the silver powder and shaped with the focus stylus. The circle must be painstakingly molded to attune it to the alignment targeted (chaos, evil, good, or law), which is chosen during the time of creation. The ritual gains the descriptor of the alignment selected. Once the circle is complete, it becomes invisible to all but the casters of the ritual or to creatures with see invisibility, true seeing, or some other method of seeing invisible objects.

Once the circle is complete, it can be used to trap an outsider whose subtype matches the chosen alignment, as if it were an inward-focused magic circle spell of the appropriate type (thus, an ensnaring circle attuned to evil acts like an inward-focused magic circle against evil). For an outsider to be trapped in this manner, the entire space of the outsider must be within the circle, at which point the primary caster can activate the circle as an immediate action. The primary caster must be within 100 feet of the circle and be able to see it and the outsider he wishes to trap in order to activate the circle. It is possible to trap multiple outsiders of the appropriate subtype in the circle if more than one are in the circle when it is activated. However, if any such outsider is not completely within the circle, it is not caught within the circle’s confines and is free to disrupt the circle as described in the magic circle against evil spell description.

As with a magic circle, the trapped outsider cannot cross the circle’s boundaries or reach over or beyond the boundaries, nor can it disrupt the circle either directly or indirectly, though it can make ranged attacks beyond the circle’s boundaries. If the outsider has spell resistance, it can test the trap once per day. If the primary caster fails to overcome the outsider’s spell resistance, the circle is disrupted and the outsider is freed from the circle’s restraints. An outsider capable of any form of dimensional travel can simply leave the circle using such an ability.

Unlike with a magic circle, you cannot create a special diagram when creating the circle to make the ensnaring circle more secure.