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Ritual Magic

Rituals are the quieter but no less potent cousin of traditional fantasy spells. Rather than a flashy fireball or a shield of force, ritual spells can help you understand the world around you, protect your companions in a magical shelter, or detect the presence of magic. Sometimes referred to as utility magic, ritual magic is no less impressive or even deadly in the right hands.

While largely intended to cover the range of possibilities outside of a combat situation, ritual spells are nonetheless incredibly useful to any canny spell caster that can access them. But they are not without their risks. Most practiced magicians have mastered the skills necessary to wield these spells with ease, but the uninitiated are eager to get a taste of magic without the talent or knowledge of the arcane arts, and would risk life and limb to attempt the otherwise impossible.

What follows are a number of examples of such rituals and their inherent consequences, and how they can fit into your fantasy game. Each spell also contains a note that coincides with a new rule for non-ritual casters. This note will inform you of the consequences of casting this spell when the caster has no arcane ability or ritual knowledge.

Consider each of these spells to be an adventure seed, or even a potential set piece for a campaign steeped in the arcane. They represent not only utile magic that may help reach an objective, but also a tool for use by the world at large, whatever the consequences may be.

New Rule: Non-Ritual Casters

There are many tomes and even oral histories that teach hedge magic to the uninitiated. Anyone may attempt to meddle in the mystic arts, and even wild talents have mastery over magic, but the untrained do not have the discipline or knowledge of arcane formulas that prevent catastrophic consequences.

The following spells have special rules for allowing the casting of a ritual spell without any special ritual knowledge.

These may be the results of a sorcerer’s apprentice misremembering their master’s teachings, or a foolish adventurer attempting to recreate a ritual through an ancient tome that has a page or two missing. Whatever the cause, the only requirement be that the non-ritual caster have some access to the ritual’s instructions, whether they be complete and correct, or not.

A non-ritual caster will always perform a ritual that is grossly flawed, and often it can be so detrimental that the benefits rarely outweigh the drawbacks. Consider this as a guideline for any ritual to be cast by a non-ritual caster, and really anyone foolish enough to meddle with something that they barely understand.

Table: Random Spell Misfortunes
d12 Misfortune
1-2 The spell has no effect, and any material components are consumed regardless of whether the spell would have consumed them.
3-4 The spell works as written for non-ritual casters, but you have angered the powers that govern mystic secrets. You have disadvantage on all rolls to save against or resist magical effects for 24 hours.
5-6 The spell works as written for non-ritual casters, but it affects a random target, or allows the original target to pick a new target. In the case of a non-targeted spell, the spell instead backfires and explodes for 1d8 force damage per level of the spell, affecting a 10 foot radius centered on the caster.
7-8 The spell has no effect, and the spell creates an anti-magic field (as per the spell) that lasts for 1 month from the time of casting, centered on the spot where the ritual was completed.
9-10 The spell summons a storm of mystic energy. The area encompassing a 100 ft radius centered on the ritual becomes difficult terrain due to tumultuous winds and unstable magical energy. All creatures within the storm are subject to force damage once per round (1d6) until they can leave the immediate area.
11 The spell has no effect, and you summon a random outsider. (GM’s choice)
12 The spell goes wildly out of control, and works too well! Your GM is encouraged to create a proper though catastrophic consequence, such as the summoning of dozens of overzealous unseen servants, for instance.

For any other ritual, consider potential negative consequence to the spell being cast, either by creating an imperfect result, or even creating some random but negative magical surge that affects the caster in some way. When in doubt, consult this random table.

Note: You may also elect to have flawed rituals available to learn for those spellcasters capable of doing so.

Someone practiced at ritual magic can tell that a ritual is flawed, whereas an amateur would not. In the case of an incomplete ritual being cast by someone capable of ritual magic, make sure that you flatly state that not only is there a danger of the spell going wrong, but hints of what the consequences may be. The reason a non-ritual caster gets no such warning is that they have no way of knowing when they are stumbling into disaster.

Ritual Mishaps As Curses

Consider any of the mishaps either from this table or from the miscasting of a ritual for a curse effect, whether to add to a cursed item, a result of divine intervention, or a bestow curse spell.

The effects for each miscast spell are meant to be interesting and perhaps the fodder for adventuring, rather than debilitating and show stopping. Curses should similarly be interesting, and a motivation for more adventure, rather than an obstacle to be dealt with before more fun can be had.

Remember that your players should have enough warning before dealing with a flawed ritual to decide if they want to cast it, so that they may accept the consequences.

Ritual Spells Spell List

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 9

Adventurer Rituals

Though rituals can be helpful to the common man, they see the most use in the hands of risk taking adventurers that are more likely to have arcane knowledge. Conversely, those without such knowledge are more likely to take great risks with untested magic.

Detect Gold

2nd-level divination (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 5 minutes
Range: 1 mile (see text)
Components: V, S, M (a nugget of pure gold worth at least 5 gp and a dowsing wand)
Duration: 24 hours

Of immense importance to a party of treasure hunters, this ritual can find large deposits of gold. Though it will sometimes lead to large gold mines (often occupied), it may also lead to dungeons and keeps that hold large coffers of gold. As long as the relative value of the gold deposit is more than 100 gp, you gain a sense of direction that helps you find the gold, which grants you advantage on all Wisdom (survival) checks to navigate towards the location of the gold. If it is less, you simply gets a vague sense that gold is in a given direction.

At Higher Levels: Casting this ritual with spell slots of a higher level will increase the range by 1 mile per spell slot above 2nd. Alternately, you may use a 7th level slot or higher to use the spell to search for magic items at a range of 1000 feet.

Non-ritual Casters: A flawed casting of this spell will cause you to become lost while searching for treasure.

Rather than having advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to find gold, you have disadvantage. You may be fooled into thinking that the spell has been properly cast.

Merry Respite

1st-level abjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Cleric, Druid
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (a cup of wine)
Duration: 8 hours

Harnessing the healing powers of sleep, you cause a willing target to have an especially restful sleep. The target sleeps with no nightmares, and even protects against magic that affects the sleep or dreams of the target. They then wake and gain the benefits of a long rest, remove the poisoned condition, and remove one extra level of exhaustion.

If the sleep is somehow interrupted, the target receives no benefits from the spell. You may not cast this spell on yourself. The wine is consumed in the casting.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a 5th level spell slot, you may also remove all negative conditions on the target with the exception of curses and magical diseases.

Non-ritual Casters: A flawed casting of this ritual may result in a fitful sleep, strange dreams, and the target waking to strange compulsions. The target may, for example, develop strange food cravings, avoid all physical contact, or obsess romantically over the caster of the spell. Thankfully, an interruption of this fitful sleep may prevent the negative effects. A proper casting of this spell can negate the ill effects.

Raise the Sky Citadel

9th-level evocation (ritual)

Class(es): Wizard
Casting Time: 5 days
Range: Special (see text)
Components: V, S, M (a priceless tower made from pure platinum, built at the center of the site to be raised into the air)
Duration: Instantaneous

You and 11 other wizards cause a large body of land to fly into the sky at your command. This legendary spell is only spoken of in rumor and jest. Even the imperfect copies are rare and sought after, flawed as they are. However, even the complete version requires an amazing amount of work, arcane might, and opulent resources that is beyond the wildest dreams of even a magic guild.

Non-ritual Casters: You may not cast this spell alone.

This spell is impossible to cast without the combined power of a dozen powerful wizards. However, the imperfect versions have within them a powerful magic that can delay or control the descent of such an impossible sky island. Through incomplete versions of this spell, you can guarantee that a floating island stays aloft for an additional 100 years, delaying its inevitable descent. You cannot cast a perfect version of the spell. Only a wizard of the appropriate power can command its magic, but such a wizard could direct the mountain to float elsewhere, potentially into planetary orbit, or another plane of existence.

Reinforce Shelter

1st-level abjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (a piece of quartz worth 1 gp
Duration: 8 hours

You reinforces a structure to withstand prolonged attack.

Such structures gain an immunity to non-magical fire, and gain resistance to weapon attacks if they did not already possess it. One casting of this spell can affect one structure of up to 500 square feet. Structures exceeding this size cause the spell to fail.

Non-ritual Casters: A flawed casting of this ritual will still grant protection to the structure, but will act as a beacon to danger. Random encounters occur twice as often while this spell is in effect, happening at least once during the spell’s duration, if possible.

Sand to Steel

2nd-level transmutation (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Cleric, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 5 minutes
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, S, M (an expertly crafted miniature dagger worth 5 gp and sand equal in weight to the weapon or tool created)
Duration: 1d6 x 10 minutes

For desperate and wily spellcasters, this ritual can create weapons and tools from sand. Each time you cast this spell, you can transmute sand to craft a single simple weapon, or a single tool, such as a hammer or a crowbar.

Such items appear to be made entirely of steel, even if they normally have hafts. This spell explicitly cannot create ammunition.

Weapons and tools that you craft in this way are relatively fragile. If a tool proficiency check comes up with a roll of 1 (before modifications), the tool explodes harmlessly in a pile of sand. Weapons are similarly unreliable; if the wielder is subject to a critical hit, or uses the weapon to inflict a critical hit, the weapon also dissipates into sand. Resolve critical damage normally before the weapon bursts into sand. At the end of a duration, any intact items return to their natural state of sand.

Non-ritual Casters: If the ritual is cast improperly, the sand creates the items of lead rather than steel. Items made of lead are unsuited for their original purpose, and grant disadvantage to their wielder on all skill checks they are used for. Lead items return to sand at the next sundown.

Stone to Steel

4th-level transmutation (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Cleric, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, S, M (a stone of equal weight to the items created, a garnet worth 10 gold)
Duration: 1 hour

A more refined transmutation spell, stone to steel can create more reliable items. You can transmute a stone into up to 10 arrows (or other ammunition), any shield or weapon, multiple tools (equivalent to a tool kit), or a full suit of armor.

Each casting consumes the garnet, but not the stone.

Though these items are sturdy and not likely to revert, they are subject to effects that dispel or cancel magic.

They also revert to stone if they are used to attack creatures that are resistant to non-magical weapons. An object that reverts to stone also reverts to the shape it had when it was transmuted.

Non-ritual Casters: You create an aggressive mud mephit.

Multiple mud mephitis may manifest if you attempt to convert a large volume of stone.

Temporary Tower

4th- level conjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Cleric, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 30 minutes
Range: 500 feet (see text)
Components: V, S, M (a stone replica worth 100 gp)
Duration: 24 hours

You creates a stone tower that is 100 feet tall, and 50 feet wide. The interior is empty save for a few unlit torches lining the walls, and a spiral staircase that leads to a room at the top. The featureless room has windows, and another shorter staircase that leads to a lookout post at the top. This spell sees much use for scouting and reconnaissance, though it tends to be rather conspicuous. The stone replica is consumed with each casting.

You may only be case this spell on flat, solid ground.

Your casting fails if it would displace any natural landscape features, dense vegetation, or manmade structures. Casting this spell on solid ground that may also be compromised, such as an otherwise suitable cliff on the side of a mountain may cause the tower to topple.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level slot or higher, the tower may be an additional 20 feet taller, and 5 feet wider for each slot level above 4th. If you cast this spell using a 9th level spell slot, the tower is created with a 50 ft wide moat and working drawbridge.

Non-ritual Casters: Casting this spell with imperfect knowledge may lead to instability. You are likely to create a structurally flawed tower that will topple 5d10 minutes after it has formed. Any creature within the structure as it is collapsing has approximately 10 rounds to flee the structure or be crushed, taking 1d6 damage for every 10 feet of the tower’s height.

Life Event Rituals

Rituals for the events of daily life can include a number of ceremonies and sanctifications that make lives easier and in some cases more enriched. These spells represent the hedge magic that is widely available in the remote and scattered fields and townships that dot the landscape of a fantasy world.

Assuming the Mantle

9th-level abjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Cleric, Druid, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (a relic of cultural importance worth at least 1 gp)
Duration: Instantaneous

There are kingdoms whose laws are written into the very bones of the land, and the matters of inheritance and ascension are determined by the adherence to these laws.

Creatures that are tied to the land, or humanoids that have forged pacts with ancient powers often create these rituals to show reverence or respect, but also to assure that order is maintained, and that no pretenders assume positions unbefitting of their destiny. Though this ritual may be used to designate royalty and rule, it more often sees use in assigning roles to a given individual so that they fill various official roles within a given society.

You must be cast in a specific location, such as a throne room, or within a circle of stones. When performed, you officiate a ceremony that recalls the laws that bind the people to the land, and beg the recognition of the individual as the new bearer of the title and role. Once you successfully perform the ritual, the title bearer is now recognized in his new role, and may not be deposed without recognizing the ancient law. The title bearer must now act within the bounds of his role, or gain a point of exhaustion and be unable to rest until they resume their role. However, the title bearer also is bolstered, and gains advantage on rolls when acting in the interest of his kingdom. Anyone intending to specifically remove, impersonate or usurp the title are treated as poisoned until they cease their attempt.

Should they successfully usurp the role, they gain one level of exhaustion each day that cannot be removed by any means short of a wish. A remove curse spell will give a day’s respite to the effects of the curse, but do not remove exhaustion levels that have been accrued from the curse.

Only by returning the title bearer to their place, or finding a replacement and casting the ritual may they negate the curse entirely. Abdicating the role will pause the gain of exhaustion, but not remove it.

Non-ritual Casters: When you miscasting this spell by either using an improper location, misquoting the laws, or you interrupted during the ritual, the spell will result in a natural disaster as the land itself rejects the attempt at assuming the role. Possible results are torrential rains, unseasonable drought, earthquakes, or wildfires. Results are usually short lived, and are largely alleviated if the spell is properly cast. Alternately, the ancient laws may cause the inheritor to be cursed to be shunted far away by circumstance, and the kingdom in question to be fraught with discord of a political nature.

Call Beast of Burden

1st-level conjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Cleric, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 lunar cycle (or 28 days)
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (a sacrifice, see text)
Duration: Instantaneous

Rarely, a farmer will stumble upon magic that will help him reap a greater harvest. Most farmers are honest hard workers, and shy away from shortcuts, but greedy or desperate farmers may be goaded to use arcane arts to increase production or save a farm.

You must cast this spell during a celestial or seasonal event, and sacrifice of crops or livestock worth 50 gp. If you successfully perform this ritual, a large extraplanar creature will be called. The creature is capable of (and willing to perform) great feats of burden. The appearance of the creature, while largely superficial, can vary with each casting.

This beast can do the work of 10 oxen, move earth at an increased pace, and requires virtually no rest. While it cannot guarantee a successful harvest, it can make sure that the labor is done so that the harvest has the best condition under which to grow. If you should need to use this creature in any sort of encounter, use the statistics for a mammoth that has resistance to non-magical weapon attacks.

Non-ritual Casters: Mistakes can often arise from sacrifices that do not meet the ritual’s requirements, or not casting the spell at the wrong time of year. Improperly summoned beasts have a ravenous hunger. Rarely carnivorous, these beasts eat day and night, and often render large swaths of land desolate and void of vegetation. Despite the long lasting consequences of these flawed summons, the ritual is still tempting enough to be used, and misused.

There are even those lacking in scruples that would use the flawed version to intentionally sabotage a rival’s food production.

Ratification

5th-level enchantment (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Cleric, Druid, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, S, M (a parchment to hold the wording of the agreement)
Duration: Instantaneous

While many creatures can forge contracts or create binding pacts, others rely on magic to reinforce their promises and set terms for various agreements. When you cast this ritual, the two (or more) sides of the agreement will dictate terms to a neutral party. You must act as the neutral party, or the spell fails. Terms can include peace accords, trade agreements, the drawing of borders, or even judgments passed down by a magistrate.

Many times, the conditions set down a curse for those who violate the terms of the agreement, typically related to the nature of the agreement; someone breaking a trade agreement may find that their luck with money has turned for the worse, or an apprentice wizard may find that their spells cease to function properly. Any time the violator rolls a natural 1 on a d20 roll, they suffer from some turn of fate that is somehow symbolic of the broken contract.

The nature of these curses appears to be circumstantial, but substantial enough to deter any from violating the agreement. The curse will last 1 year from the time of violation, unless the violation is addressed with a new casting of this spell, potentially with additional terms.

You may not cast this spell if you are immune to enchantment spells and effects.

Non-ritual Casters: If you are an amateur, this spell is very likely to create flawed agreements. You may either create a spell that is doomed, causing one or more sides to be compelled towards violating the agreement, or the agreement will be flawed in some way that can and likely will be flaunted by one or more sides. Creatures taking part in such a flawed casting must roll a d20 at the beginning of each day. If the roll results in a 1, they will be magically compelled to violate the agreement, and suffer the consequences.

Sanctification

5th-level abjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Cleric, Druid
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Special (see text)
Components: V, S, M (a holy relic worth at least 50 gp, often a piece of a preserved saint, which is interred within the structure or location)
Duration: 1 year

Many holy orders have perfected magic that can create an area protected by holy power. Whether a sacred grove or cathedral, this ritual will make holy a parcel of land or a structure so that evil is diminished and good is promoted.

You create an effect that can encompass either 200 square feet or a structure that can hold at most 100 people.

Once complete, the area is protected for 1 year. Within the confines of the protected area, outsiders, aberrations, and fey with an evil alignment are barred from teleporting or being conjured in, but may be banished or otherwise driven out. In addition, healing spells cast within the area heal one more point than normal. There are versions of this ritual that are instead unholy. Such a spell would bar good creatures as well as to increase necrotic damage by 1 point.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a slot higher than 5th level, the square footage affected is increased by 100 for each slot level above 5th. Similarly, the largest occupancy affected is increased by 100. In either case, healing spells also heal an additional point for each spell slot above 5th. If you cast this spell as a ritual, it must be cast using the 5th level effect.

Non-ritual Casters: If you are a layman, this spell may either project the false pretense of protection, or may call down the wrath of whatever divine being was meant to sanctify the area. An area targeted for such wrath might merely be a divine dead zone for clerical powers and spells.

Ultimately, the gods may decide to punish their worshipers in another way, or not at all.

Sleep of Ages: Pacification

5th-level enchantment (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Cleric, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 5 minutes
Range: 100 feet
Components: V, S, M (a pinch of sand from the bottom of a desert cave)
Duration: Instantaneous

There are numerous threats that cannot easily be killed, whether through some esoteric immunity, or by sheer power. When a community cannot overcome these forces conventionally, the community resigns to find a different means, and among the most common is to delay catastrophe by pacifying the malevolent force. Difficult to cast on a moving target, the spell requires a great deal of coordination and teamwork to properly contain evil forces.

You can cause a dangerous being to fall asleep indefinitely.

You must concentrate for 5 minutes while staying within 100 feet of the target, which can be dangerous without the proper circumstances. Distractions and bodyguards are usually required. The sand used in the spell is consumed by the ritual. The creature’s nature dictates the location of the ritual; a flying beast requires you to fly during the casting, a waterborne beast requires you to be in contact with the water that the beast inhabits, and a land beast requires you to have your feet on the ground.

Failure to adhere to these requirements result in failure of the ritual. If you successfully cast the spell, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw. If successful, the target is stunned for 1 round. On a failure, the beast falls asleep forever, or until forcefully awakened by remove curse, or wish spell. You may set an optional waking condition, such as a sacrifice of a magical item, or the aligning of the stars. This spell cannot affect those immune to sleep or to enchantments.

At Higher Levels: If you cast this spell with a 7th level slot, it can affect creatures that have some immunity or resistance to sleeping or enchantment. If you use a 9th level slot, you can affect a creature that wouldn’t feasibly be affected by sleep or enchantment (such as a golem or an elemental). These effects can also be achieved by using rarer material components; the 7th level effect can be replicated if you use precious ore mined from a desert cave worth 500 gp, while the 9th level effect can be replicated if you use star dust.

Non-ritual caster: You must use a tome that details the exact casting of the ritual, though casting it in this way requires a waking condition. Such castings are volatile, and may also cause the target to wake for weeks at a time at certain intervals, such as once in every 100 years. Alternately, you may be cursed to sleep, and wake only when the original target does as well. Many such heroes have been trapped in this way, ready to fight again once they wake.

Sleep of Ages: Preservation

3rd-level enchantment (ritual)

Caster: Bard, Cleric, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (a glass case large enough to fit the target)
Duration: Instantaneous

Not all sleep magic is intended to contain enemies or remove undesirables. Some simply wish to preserve or rescue their loved ones from a dire fate. You may a willing or unconscious target into a glass case. When you complete this ritual, the target sleeps in a perfect stasis. Any deleterious effects are paused, and the subject ceases to age. They are also immune to any further harm unless they are woken. The target is woken either by dispel magic, or by breaking the glass case.

Though this spell is ostensibly meant to be for the purposes of preservation, nefarious variations exist that creates an object that delivers eternal sleep, such as eating an apple or drawing blood on a spindle. In such cases, the spell allows a Wisdom saving throw, but the save is made at a disadvantage. Casting the ritual in this way requires poisons as a material component, costing approximately 1000 gp per casting.

Non-ritual Casters: If you are an amateur, you may come upon a flawed version of this spell through rushed research. In this case, you cause the target to age as they sleep, either at a normal rate, or at a slightly reduced rate (aging 1 year for every 5, for instance). Alternately, you cause the target to require rare and strange conditions before safely waking. Examples include a kiss from a prince, or being draped in a cloth spun from gold.

Union of Two Souls

2nd-level enchantment (ritual)

Class(es): Cleric, Druid, Warlock
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (two matching pieces of jewelry worth at least 1 gp each)
Duration: Instantaneous

There are many reasons to unite two people through a ritual, and marriage is merely one of them. A knight and a shield bearer, a pair of bonded assassins, blood brothers, or even twins may be a part of a union that transcends mundane bonds. For this ritual to work, the participants must already have some kind of bond or rapport. If no bond exists, or if the bond is based on antagonism or distrust, the spell fails.

You affect two sentient creatures, granting them the ability share a special closeness reinforced by magic. If successful, the spell depends the bond between the two targets, creating a deeply profound shared experience.

Bonded participants can feel each other’s presence within 1 mile of each other, knowing in a vague sense the distance and direction to their bonded mate. Additionally, if they are within line of sight, the pair may communicate with each other through vague emotions and ideas, assisting in coordination. The bonded pair may also spend Hit Dice for each other during a short rest. Finally, the pair may elect to transfer up to 1d10 hit point damage from one to the other; wounds pass from one mate to the other.

This may be performed once (and not once per mate) as a bonus action after every long rest.

Non-ritual Casters: If you are an amateur, this spell may cause a number of problems. Firstly, you might cause the targets to share any harm taken; damage to either mate will be shared equally. Alternately, you might cause the pair to despise and distrust each other as they begin to see the worst aspects of each other. Finally, you might curse the pair to be separated by great distance. The pair finds misfortune until they can reunite, and must do so through many trials and tribulations.

Occult Rituals

Occult spells represent dangerous spells that reach out to affect the supernatural. Whether they ward against it, summon its presence, or beg its unseen favor, these spells interact somehow with dark forces beyond the grasp of most mortals.

Exorcism

2nd-level abjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Cleric
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (a holy symbol, scripture in any media, such as cuneiform or book)
Duration: Instantaneous

Notable disturbances destroy small objects around you as you attempt to force an unwanted spirit from a possessed individual. As long as you maintain concentration for the entire hour, you can perform an opposed Wisdom or Charisma check against the possessing entity (you may choose which). If you succeed, you drive the spirit out at the culmination of the spell’s casting.

Non-ritual Casters: A layman may cast this ritual spell if he is taught by the clergy, though it would be foolhardy to attempt such a task without significant assistance. Non-ritualists that cast this ritual and fail the contest are at risk of being possessed, and have disadvantage to checks against any such attempts. Whether the attempt successful or not, the non-ritualist also gains 1d4 levels of exhaustion.

Magic Seal

2nd-level abjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Cleric, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Components: V, S, M (chalk containing powdered silver, worth 50 gold, which the spell consumes, and a container, which is effectively consumed by the spell)
Duration: Until the container is broken

After defeating an enemy of a certain type (including celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, or undead), you may imprison their essence within a container. You must have drawn a mystic symbol upon the container beforehand, and you may only cast this spell on a creature that is somehow subdued (knocked out, incapacitated, or dead). Sleeping targets are not subject to this spell.

No matter what state the target is in, it must make a Charisma saving throw to resist. If it fails, it becomes trapped within the receptacle, and cannot escape unless an outside force breaks the container, or they break it from the inside.

A trapped creature may make an attempt to break its prison at every new moon. At this time, the ritual must be cast again, allowing the trapped creature a new saving throw to escape. If the ritual is not cast, the creature automatically breaks free. If this ritual is performed at every new moon for one year, the seal becomes permanent unless broken from the outside.

Non-ritual Casters: A non-ritual caster may attempt to cast this spell, but the magical prison is rendered imperfect.

The trapped creature has advantage on its saving throw to escape the prison once it has been trapped.

Moreover, it forges a link with the caster while it is imprisoned, and it can attempt to reason with, corrupt, or even cast enchantment spells at the caster once each day at sunset. An evil creature is likely to use this time to thoroughly corrupt its warden before instructing them to set the creature free. This link is broken once the demon is freed, slain, or properly imprisoned.

Ritual of the Harvest

3rd-level divination (ritual)

Caster: Druid
Casting Time: 1 or 2 hours (see text)
Range: Special (see text)
Components: V, S, M (a sacrifice worth at least 100 gold, typically crops or livestock, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous

By communing with the spirits of nature, the ritual caster may perform this two hour ritual in the form of a raucous feast, culminating in the sacrifice and ritual destruction of crops, livestock, or even a well-made effigy.

If the casting is uninterrupted, the forces of nature take notice, and the surrounding area out to a 10 mile radius is blessed with a slight boon to the next harvest, typically increasing yields by 5-10%. A given area may not benefit from this boon more than once a year.

Alternately, the caster may instead meditate for 1 hour, after which the caster is considered to have an advantage on any Wisdom (Survival) and Intelligence (Nature) skill checks, and provides enough sustenance for them and any companions. These benefits last for 24 hours.

Non-ritual Casters: Unscrupulous ritualists and spirits may even seek to replace the normal sacrifice with that of a sentient being, especially if the being happens to be from a rival faction. While this is normally unnecessary, nonritualists that cast this ritual must use a sentient sacrifice.

If a you are an amateur, and are disrupted during the ritual, nature responds angrily through a local manifestation.

This takes the form of an angry elemental, or even natural disasters ranging from droughts to volcanic eruptions.

Séance

1st-level conjuration (ritual)

Class(es): Bard, Warlock
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a crystal ball, tarot deck or séance board worth at least 10 gp)
Duration: Concentration

Through the use of special divining tools, you summon the attentions of something otherworldly and often incorporeal. This may manifest as a number of physical disturbances, such as objects being knocked over, or the temperature in the immediate area dropping. This is followed by an eerie quiet as the being turns its attention to the séance participants.

A called entity (typically a ghost) must make a Wisdom saving throw. If it fails, and the entity is compelled to answer any questions honestly for as long as the ritual caster concentrates. Once concentration on this spell is broken, the entity stays and acts freely until banished, or it may return to its original location at any time. It is up to the GM to decide if the summoned entity is friendly or hostile.

The spell caster may banish the ghost as an action.

Non-ritual Casters: If you are an amateur with proficiency with occultist tools, you may attempt to cast this spell with no special training or instruction. You must make a Charisma check with a DC of 15. If you fail, a random entity of the GM’s choice is summoned. An unsuccessful summon can act like beacons for rogue entities asking for or even demanding help from the assembled group.

Treatise On Ritual Magic And Availability

Ritual magic should be earned, and not simply added to a spell list, especially for a cleric! These rituals, however mundane or low powered they may seem, represent a specific and useful avenue for solving a variety of problems.

As such, they should be the subjects of quests, or even the means of solving a quest, and as such they are not meant to be simply handed out as a function of a class ability.

Consider making the scrolls and books that detail the use of ritual magic rare and important; an item available at a high stakes auction, a tome sealed in a magic cave, or a scroll belonging to the lieutenant of the big bad villain.

These opportunities can underline the importance of the ritual magic, as well as to create an air of myth, rather than having it be readily available by the dozen in a magic shop.

Similarly, while some ritual magic may be available to any layman hedge mage or daring apprentice, it should not be so ubiquitous as to cheapen the nature of magic. In the default assumption for a low magic campaign, these spells should be held only by the rare and revered spell weavers that highlight the nature of magic and its rarity. If you happen to be playing in a high magic campaign, perhaps it would be acceptable for every wise woman and street magician can perform some minor magic trick.

Naturally, this could be different depending on the expectations of everyone at the table, but you as players and game master will know what your preferences will be. This is merely a friendly reminder that magical options and spells may not be available to spell casters at default.

Finally, there is the remote chance that no one in the party is a ritual caster. While there is an available feat that allows for anyone to use ritual magic, your players may not want to take that option, or you may not allow feats in your games. The first consideration in such a case would be to use the non-ritual caster rules. They represent an element of risk and danger that is inherent in adventure, and could be an excellent means to get your players to fulfill various quests to meet the requirements for a safe and secure casting of a crucial ritual.

Alternately, you have two options; either you may include one or more NPCs that can provide the ritual spellcasting ability (at a price), or a magic item that allows the safe casting of ritual spells. This again hinges on the expectations on the availability of magic, as well as the necessity of ritual magic in your campaign.

Magic Items

Candle of the Initiate

Wondrous Item, Uncommon, Requires Attunement

A candle of the initiate is a silver candle holder and candle that can burn indefinitely. Though this candle will not improve your ability as a ritual caster, it will help you avoid catastrophe. It cannot, however, help you to avoid casting a spell that may cause mayhem when correctly cast.

When attuned to the ritualist and lit and in the presence of a ritual, the candle will snuff itself out if something is wrong. This will give ample warning to the caster, effectively avoiding a mishap.

Book of Ritual Knowledge

Wondrous Item, Very Rare, Requires Attunement

When you attune yourself to this book, you choose a spell list from among Bard, Cleric, Druid, Warlock or Wizard, and gain the ability cast spells with the ritual tag from the chosen list. You lose this ability if you lose this book. The book erases itself with each new attunement, keeping only any 1st level ritual spells that are recorded within. Any other rituals must be learned and transcribed onto the pages by the attuned owner, as per the Ritual Caster feat.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Ritual Magic Expanded © 2015, Fat Goblin Games; Author: Ismael Alvarez