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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.

Fourth Apotheosis

Source Book of the Damned pg. 191
School transmutation [evil]; Level 9
Casting Time 9 hours
Components V, S, M (significant living sacrifice of CR 9 or higher); SC (up to 20)
Skill Checks Intimidate DC 31, 3 successes; Knowledge (planes) DC 31, 3 successes; Knowledge (religion) DC 31, 3 successes
Range personal
Target caster
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; SR no
Backlash The primary and secondary casters take 4d6 points of damage and become exhausted.
Failure The primary and secondary casters are slain.

Effect

For those who wish to go further than merely becoming a half-fiend, a fourth ritual exists. The primary caster’s fiendish lord grants no vision or advice to begin this ritual—the primary caster must take it upon herself to honor her patron in a manner appropriate to that fiend’s interests and areas of concern. Once every year, on the anniversary of the day the primary caster completed the third apotheosis, she can perform a special ceremony that recounts her accomplishments over the past year and culminates in a significant sacrifice (usually consisting of the sacrifice of an important member of an enemy faith,or of a lawful or good outsider; in either case, the sacrifice must be at least CR 9). If this ritual is a success, the primary caster transforms into a full-fledged fiend: she loses all benefits of her previous race and the half-fiend template but can immediately apply all of her class levels to her new fiendish race (for example, a human fighter 10 could become a vrock fighter 10). The type of fiend that she transforms into depends on both the nature of her chosen fiendish patron and the GM’s discretion, but it should generally not have a total number of Hit Dice more than twice her original Hit Dice. The primary caster generally gets only one chance at the fourth apotheosis, for failure results in her death; however, should she be restored to life, she can attempt the fourth apotheosis again.