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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.

Fiendish Conjuration

Source Book of the Damned pg. 189
School conjuration (calling) [evil]; Level 9
Casting Time 90 minutes
Components V, S, M (rare incense worth 1,000 gp), F (a conjuration circle and an offering pleasing to the fiend, such as a sacrifice or trapped soul of CR equal to the fiend’s CR + 1)
Skill Checks Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate DC 34, 4 successes; Knowledge (arcana) DC 34, 1 success; Knowledge (planes) DC 34, 1 success; Linguistics DC 34, 2 successes; Spellcraft DC 34, 1 success
Range close
Target one evil outsider
Duration 1 hour/character level of the caster
Saving Throw none (see text); SR no
Backlash The caster becomes exhausted.
Failure The conjured fiend escapes from its conjuration circle. Its actions can vary, but most escaped fiends eagerly attack their conjurers for at least a few rounds before teleporting or otherwise fleeing into the world to begin a reign of terror.

Effect

The first 20 minutes of the ritual of fiendish conjuration involve preparing the conjuration circle and inscribing the appropriate names around the circle. This step involves attempting both Linguistics checks; if the conjuration circle is permanently inscribed and has been successfully used for this ritual at any point in the past, these Linguistics checks are attempted with a +5 bonus. The next 30 minutes of the ritual invokes the fiend, involving the Knowledge and Spellcraft checks; if the fiend’s true name is used, these checks are attempted with a +5 bonus. At the start of the final 40 minutes, the smoky, indistinct shape of the fiend manifests within the circle, at which point the caster must attempt the final four Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate checks. Once this stage is reached, the fiend manifests in the flesh at the end of the ritual regardless of the ritual’s success or failure, but only if the ritual is successful is the fiend trapped within the conjuration circle and unable to visit harm upon the caster.

If the ritual is successful, the fiend remains on the Material Plane for a number of hours equal to the caster’s character level, during which the caster makes an offering to the fiend and asks for its aid. If the caster’s alignment is the same as the fiend’s, the fiend automatically agrees to perform a service that takes no more time to perform than the ritual’s duration. A fiend will agree to perform a longer task if it is given an additional offering for its services. Each offering given must be of equal or greater value to the one given during the ritual’s casting and secures the fiend’s cooperation for an additional number of hours equal to the caster’s character level. At the caster’s discretion, the start time for these additional hours can be delayed until a certain circumstance arises, at which point the fiend immediately reappears in its original conjuration circle and can immediately depart to complete its task. If the fiend’s true name was used during the ritual, all of these periods of time normally measured in hours (including the ritual’s initial duration) are instead measured in days.

If at any point during the fiend’s servitude the caster is slain or the original conjuration circle is damaged, the fiend can attempt a Will save to escape the ritual’s binding power. If successful, the fiend is no longer bound to perform the task it has been ordered to do and can remain on the Material Plane for as long as it wishes.