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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.

Form Blight

Source Ultimate Wilderness pg. 238
School necromancy; Level 9
Casting Time 9 hours
Components V, S, M (the hearts of one or more creatures native to the environment associated with the intended blight whose total CR equals that of the intended blight), F (a bone altar filled with various natural alchemical liquids worth 20,000 gp), SC (up to 20)
Skill Checks Knowledge (geography) DC 24 + CR (see text), 3 successes; Knowledge (nature) DC 24 + CR (see text), 4 successes; Survival DC 24 + CR (see text), 2 successes
Range close
Area 5-square-mile area of appropriate terrain; see text
Duration instantaneous
Backlash All casters take 6d6 points of damage and are exhausted.
Failure The primary caster takes 15d6 points of damage (no save). If slain by this damage, the primary caster is reduced to a pile of rotten sludge, and can be restored only by true resurrection or greater magic.

Effect

The primary caster leads a grueling session of incantations and feats of physical prowess throughout a specific type of terrain. Example terrain types include (but are not limited to) cave, desert, forest, mountain, sewer, swamp, or tundra. This ritual corrupts the affected area, summoning forth a blight (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 6 38) associated with the terrain as well as turning the affected area into the blight’s cursed domain. The DC for skill checks associated with this ritual is 24 plus the CR of the associated blight (for example, DC 37 for a desert blight, DC 40 for a tundra blight, and so on). During the ritual’s enactment, the primary caster guides any secondary casters through the terrain, defiling the area with blasphemous words from a long-extinct, primordial language. A bone altar, often assembled from sacrificed animals or humanoids, must stand at the center of the area to be affected, and is the starting and ending point of the ritual. Once the surrounding area is suitably prepared, the primary caster deposits the preserved hearts into the altar. If the ritual is successful, the associated blight bubbles forth from within the altar, formed from the alchemical soup that the altar contains.

This ritual provides no protection against the formed blight, and it’s likely that the blight’s first action is to attack the primary and secondary casters. Luckily for the primary caster, blights created in this manner have a penchant for consuming the secondary casters first, giving ample time for the primary caster to escape.