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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.

Invariability

Source Concordance of Rivals pg. 46
School transmutation; Level 6
Casting Time 60 minutes
Components V, S, M (chalk, four intricately carved cogs worth 125 gp each), SC (up to the Intelligence modifier of the primary caster)
Skill Checks Craft (clockwork) DC 28, 2 successes; Knowledge (planes) DC 28, 2 successes; Spellcraft DC 28, 2 successes
Range touch
Target one willing or helpless creature
Duration 1 hour
Saving Throw none; SR yes
Backlash All casters take 4d6 points of damage.
Failure The primary caster is exhausted and the target gains the benefit of a magic circle against law effect (CL equal to the primary caster's character level) for 1 hour.

Effect

The caster carefully places the four cogs around the target and traces chalk lines connecting them. As the chalk lines must be as close to perfectly square as possible, the caster typically uses a guide or straight edge to draw the lines, although these components aren't strictly necessary if the caster can draw the lines freehand with exceptional precision. As the caster recites certain mathematical formulae, the cogs slide slowly along the chalk lines and closer to the target, redrawing the chalk lines across the floor as they move. As the cogs approach the target, the target's skin and clothing become more metallic-looking, and the target's gaps and joints appear to contain rapidly whirring clockwork mechanisms, as though the target were a quasi-mechanical creature like an inevitable. If the ritual is successful, the target is infused with the essence of Axis and can act only with rigid precision. The first ability check, attack roll, caster level check, saving throw, or skill check the target makes each round throughout the ritual's duration is automatically treated as though the natural d20 roll resulted in an 11. When the duration ends, the target's appearance returns to normal.