Return to Midnight
Though limited in capability by the high cost of spells, channeling casters in the Midnight setting have one edge in the form of Ritual magic.
Rituals use the skills of multiple casters to increase a spell’s duration or area, reduce the cost of casting it, or even reduce its apparent power and make it harder for agents of the Shadow to detect.
A character may learn a Ritual version of any spell they know using the rules for learning new spells in their tradition. At the end of the process they learn a ritual version of the same spell instead of learning a new spell. This means that a spiritual caster must find a teacher, and the hermetic caster must find a book or scroll describing the ritual version.
The first ingredient to any ritual is a character who knows the Ritual version of a spell. This is the Ritual leader. A number of assistants may participate in the ritual, up to a maximum equal to the leader’s spellcasting ability modifier. In order to assist in a ritual, a character must be capable of learning and casting the spell, but do not need to actually do so.
For each assistant participating in the spell, its cost is reduced by 1 spell point (to a minimum of 0).
Each ritual participant pays the end cost of the ritual. They may not use spell points to pay this cost, and instead must do so by draining themselves, as if they had run out of Spell Points.
Additionally, the time to cast the ritual version of the spell is 10 minutes per spell level (and a minimum of 10 minutes). If the original casting time was 10 minutes or longer, it takes a minimum of double its original casting, with the same time required again for each spell point.
For example, casting a ritual version of Clairvoyance, which has a casting time of 10 minutes, would take a minimum 20 minutes. If cast with no assistants for 3 spell points, it would take 60 minutes; 20 minutes per spell point.
Instead of reducing the spell energy cost, a ritual can allow a spell to be modified in several ways. Doing so increases the cost of the spell by 1, which can exceed the original cost of the spell, up to the maximum Spell Energy that the can cast.
- Double the original duration of the spell
- Lower the caster level of the spell by one for the purposes of detection (including by Astirax)
- Affect one additional target
- Double the original radius or area of effect.
The same effect may be chosen more than once. For example, a 5th level caster could cast a Ritual version of Mage Armor and choose “double the original duration of the spell” four times,
for a total duration of 40 hours instead of 8.
Casting a Ritual
The actual casting requires complete concentration and any significant distraction could cause the ritual to fail. Anything that would normally disrupt concentration forces them to make concentration checks in order to maintain the ritual. Any character who fails ceases to participate and suffers the consequences (see below). The ritual immediately fails if the leader can no longer complete the intended version of the spell without their support.
Large scale effects require all members to make a concentration check (DC 8 + the ritual’s cost) to maintain concentration.
If a character enters a ritual and does not complete it for any reason they pay the cost as if they cast the intended effect without assistance. This can be because the leader or a number of assistants failed concentration checks, the ritual is cancelled, or for any other reason. This is potentially deadly for large rituals with powerful effects.
For example, if a character was casting Fabricate with two assistants, but had also decided to double its area, the ritual would have a cost of 3 (the original 4, minus 2, plus 1). If the ritual failed, each character would suffer as if they had cast a 5th level spell, even if they could not normally cast a spell of that level (equal to hit point loss of 5 x half their level).