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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.

Third Apotheosis

Source Book of the Damned pg. 190
School transmutation [evil]; Level 6
Casting Time 6 hours
Components V, S, M (exotic incense worth 2,000 gp; prior completion of special quest); SC (up to 8)
Skill Checks Intimidate DC 28, 3 successes; Knowledge (planes or religion) DC 28, 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 reduced to –1 hp.

Effect

At some point after the primary caster contacts her fiendish patron (typically after she succeeds at the second ritual, but sometimes before), the fiend sends the primary caster a vision of a task she must complete (such as freeing a bound evil outsider from a Material Plane prison or assassinating a powerful cleric of a good-aligned religion). This task is typically one of significance to the fiend, and in many cases it is one that the primary caster has no hope of completing until she grows more powerful. There is no time limit for how long the primary caster has to complete this task, but she must perform weekly devotions to her fiendish patron in the intervening time in the form of regular worship and continued atrocities in the fiend’s name. Additional burned offerings to the demon, assaults on innocents, and betrayals of allies are popular choices. Once the assigned task is completed, the primary caster can perform the third apotheosis. Unlike the first and second rituals, the third apotheosis allows for the use of secondary casters, yet it carries a much greater risk for failure. If the primary caster succeeds, she permanently gains the half-fiend template and becomes eligible to undertake the fourth apotheosis.