Ritual spells house rule

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Cameron
Joined: 2012-05-18 16:35
Ritual spells house rule

For my setting, Tabula Viridis, I wanted to explain why a mage would ever research any ninth level ritual other than Wish.

Alex has, in other threads, commented that he requires shards of an ancient artifact for them. But that requires too much work on my part (heh).

After reading through PC, I had the idea that I could make Wish a higher level effect than 9th, and only breakthrough research could produce something that a mage could cast.

However, I wanted an 11th level mage to be able to research it, just risky. Both Thomas and Alex corrected my math, and ... ouch. Not quite what I wanted.

So I'm adjusting a bit.

Lesser Wish is a 9th level effect. Wish is a 10th level effect. A mage can research Lesser Wish with Pioneering or Radical experimentation - if they get a major breakthrough or better, it becomes a Wish.

Once the ritual formula is devised, of course, the mage can cast it at the usual 9th level rates, and there is evidence that such things have happened in the past ... so it might be possible to steal a ritual formula instead of researching it fresh.

My math says that Galswintha (Int +2, library +3, base throw 6+) can research a 9th level spell on a 10+, Conventional 8+, Pioneering 6+, Radical 4+.

Pioneering or Radical is required for a major breakthrough, and she would manage a Wish on a 16+ or 14+, respectively. And have horrible things happen on an unmodified roll of 1-3.

A truly amazing mage (Int +3, library +3, base throw 3+ at 14th level) can research a 9th level spell on a 6+, Conventional 4+, Pioneering 2+, Radical 0+. Such a mage only has a 50/50 chance of managing a true Wish even with radical experimentation, and still has that 15% chance of horror. That suits me pretty well.

With that in mind, I wrote up the following list of ritual spells and their actual levels that are "known of" in Tabula Viridis lore:

Spells marked with * are in PC, with ** are from other sources like Rules Cyclopedia.

Arcane 7: Cancellation*, Energy Drain*, Lore**, Mass Invisibility**, Phase Door, Power Word**, Spell Turning*, Statue**, Teleport Object**, Teleport Without Error**.

Arcane 8: Force Field**, Mass Charm**, Opposition*, Permanency, Polymorph Any**, Summon Efreeti*, Temporal Stasis*.

Arcane 9: Contingency**, Gate**, Lesser Wish**, Life Trapping*, Plague*, Planar Travel, Undead Legion*.

Arcane 10: Wish.

Divine 6: Cureall**, Find the Path**, Forbiddance*, Harvest, Longevity*, Regeneration*.

Divine 7: Cataclysm*, Earthquake**, Energy Drain*, Holy Word**, Resurrection, Survival**.

Divine 8: Miracle*.

Any thoughts?

moorcrys
Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion ContributorDwimmermount ContributorDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters ContributorBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2012-02-22 22:34

Makes sense to me, and you use the rules to make it risky, rather than ban it outright. I like it.

Out of curiosity, what can a 'lesser wish' accomplish in your game?

Cameron
Joined: 2012-05-18 16:35

Lesser wish: replicate up to arcane-6 or divine-5, or 5,000 gp in value.

Wish: replicate up to arcane-9 or divine-7, or 20,000 gp in value.

In both cases, creative accounting is possible, and the spell will usually try to find the cheapest method (i.e., why create 5,000 gp and max the budget when you can teleport object from someone else's treasury instead?).

Note that when I'm running the game, and the PCs make a wish or lesser wish, I don't adhere to that religiously. Sometimes I call for a short break while I work out the logistics a bit. Other times ... I just go with an idea.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Great stuff, Cameron - The way you've handled it is sterling.

Memnon
Domains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2012-10-21 13:06

I like it.
Though in my book an amazing mage might also have three levels of magical engineering and spend the extra 30k in valuables for a roll of -6 and an 80% change for a wish. Still has the 15% chance to screw it up badly though. So if you want to be stingy with the "real" wishes you might opt for level 11 which leaves a 35% chance. But then that`s just me... :)

Cameron
Joined: 2012-05-18 16:35

I forgot magical engineering. Valuables don't affect ritual magic spell research, however, only casting.

Magical engineering brings the success chance up to 65%, which still doesn't break my sense of where it should be, and you still have to court the failure. It does make awesome mage pretty awesome, though.