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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.

Enter the Inner Circle

Source Villain Codex pg. 200
School divination; Level 4
Casting Time 40 minuets
Components V, S, M (initiate’s blood), F (membership token), SC (at least 1—the initiate—and at most 20)
Skill Checks Knowledge (local) DC 29, 1 success; Perception DC 29, 1 success; Perform (oratory or sing) DC 29, 1 success; Stealth DC 29, 1 success
Range touch
Target creature touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; SR no
Backlash All casters are exhausted.
Failure The primary caster, as well as any secondary caster who failed a skill check, is blinded, deafened, and rendered speechless. This is a curse effect that can be removed with remove curse and similar effects.


This ritual forms the basis of an initiation ceremony for the secret society. Other organizations might have their own versions of the ritual, substituting Perception and Stealth for two skills appropriate to the organization (such as Knowledge [religion] for a church). The primary caster and all secondary casters but one must be members of the organization, and exactly one secondary caster—the initiate—must not be.

The primary caster begins by describing the nature of the society and requirements of membership, seeking indications of understanding and acceptance by the initiate throughout. The primary caster acknowledges any society leaders who are present and invites them to reject the initiate if they choose. If no leaders are present, the primary caster looks for other signs of symbolic rejection, and if any are perceived, the primary caster can cancel the ritual before attempting the required skill checks. If this occurs, all casters suffer the backlash, but there is no failure effect.

If the ritual continues, the initiate must attempt either the Stealth or Perception check as a test. If the initiate fails this, the ritual fails regardless of the number of other successes, but if the ritual would otherwise succeed, only the initiate suffers the failure effect. Finally, the primary caster collects the initiate’s blood into an appropriate receptacle and immerses a membership token in the blood while the initiate speaks the oaths of membership. When the initiate finishes the final oath, the ritual is complete and the backlash occurs. If the ritual is successful, each caster other than the initiate immediately knows who and what the initiate is, as per blood biography, as well as any lies the initiate deliberately and knowingly spoke during the ceremony, as per discern lies. If no falsehood is revealed, the initiation succeeds and the membership token is attuned to the new member. Thereafter, when worn or carried by the member, the token grants a +5 competence bonus on Bluff checks to pass secret messages to members of the organization and a +5 competence bonus on Sense Motive checks to receive secret messages from members of the organization, in addition to any other properties the token has.