The Path of the Dead consists of rituals that deal with corpses, ghosts, and death in general. The Path of the Dead is not inherently evil, although most of its rituals should not be performed without considerable caution. Indeed, the judicious mage will hardly ever use these rituals.
*Animate Corpse (-8)
Animate Head (-6)
Bury the Dead (-0)
Ghost Empathy (-0)
Hand of Glory (-10)
Lay Ghost (-2)
Ritual of Banishment (-4)
Spirit Searcher (-4)
Soul Zombie (-6)
Summon Ghost (0/-4/-7)
Turn the Dead (-2)
The Path of Dreams is ideal for the reflective, inward-looking mage. These rituals all deal with the Dream-world, which is separate from, but dependent on, waking reality.
Dream Oracle (-2)
Dream Sanctum (-3)
Dream Shackles (-8)
Dream Visitor (-2)
Night Terrors (-5)
Shared Dream (-3)
The path of elements harnesses forces of nature in its rituals.
*Bind the Winds (-6)
*Bolt from Heaven (-10)
*Summon Elemental (-0/-4/-7)
The path of glamoury is a path of deception and illusion. The mage's will is focused to cloud the senses of others.
Enchanted Sleep (-5)
Hand of Glory (-8)
The path of health works with the life-force. These rituals can heal or kill.
Ease ( -0)
Evil Eye (-7)
Ruin Crops (-5)
Strike Barren/Impotent (-2)
The Path of Journeys focuses on rituals for aiding travel.
Dream Walk (-2)
Fair Winds (-2)
Fairy Road (-10)
Prisoner's Charm (-4)
Shadow Walk (-6)
Walk Among the Brambles (-2)
The Path of Luck uses magic to influence and cause chance events. The effects often seem to be mere luck to the uninitiated.
Black Fast (-3)
Ghost Shirt (-7)
Journeyman's Curse (-3)
Lost and Found (-5)
Money Maker (-2)
Rain Maker (-5)
Raise Storm (-8)
Ruin Crops (-3)
Stroke of Luck (-1)
Sword Blessing (-0)
Vision of Luck (-5)
The Path of Nature works with natural processes and forces.
Gardener/Green Thumb (-0)
Ruin Crops (-3)
Talk to the Animals (-3)
True Aim (-6)
Walk Among the Brambles (-2)
The Path of Passions deals with human emotions and the mind.
Curse of Hatred (-5)
Enchanted Sleep (-5)
Love Charm (-2)
Love Magnet (-5)
Raise Zombie (-4)
Soul Zombie (-6)
Summon Person (-8)
Talisman of Truth (-6)
The Path of Protection contains rituals for defense against hostile magic, spirits, and other supernatural forces, as well as providing protection from physical dangers.
Curse Sanctum (-0)
Dream Sanctum (-6)
Ghost Shirt (-7)
Magic Circle (-0)
Poison Burner (Alicorn) (-4)
Reversal of Fortune (-3)
Soul Cleansing (-4)
Turn the Beast (-6)
Turn the Dead (-4)
Turn the Spirit (-5)
These sacraments are practiced as part of a clergyman's religious office, and are included here because they are in fact rituals which can produce magical effects. Some rituals are of purely spiritual significance, but a few have effects in the physical world. Any priest should know most of these rituals, although only Bishops and Archbishops can perform Investment, and only the Pope may perform the Interdict ritual.
Bury the Dead/Funeral Rites (-0)
Final Absolution (-0)
High Mass (-2)
Purification of water or materials (-0)
Veneration of image or relic (-2)
While most magical rituals involve the invocation of spirits, this Path specifically works with spirits as the object of the rituals' effects. This Path deals with all rituals related to the spirit world.
*Animate Golem (-10)
*Call the Beast (-10)
Raise Zombie (-4)
Ritual of Slaying (-5)
Ritual of Banishment (-4)
Soul Zombie (-6)
Spirit Searcher (-4)
Summon Angel (0/-4/-7)
Summon Demon (0/-4/-7)
Summon Devil (0/-4/-7)
Summon Loa (0/-4/-7)
Summon Olympic Spirit (-7)
Turn the Beast (-3)
Turn the Dead (-2)
Turn the Spirit (-2)
This is the Path of mystics, seers, and shaman. The Path of Visions is used for gaining knowledge and insight into both practical and magical affairs.
Dream Oracle (-2)
Ghost Empathy (-4)
Lost and Found (-0)
Seek the True Love (-2)
Vision of Luck (-5)
The following is a complete listing of available magical rituals. Any ritual without a description can be found in GURPS Voodoo. Note that the Summon ritual is revised. Apologies again to Malloy for revisions.
Animate Corpse: Re-animates a dead body. For the duration the corpse obeys a simple instruction given during the ritual - typically something like 'walk that way' or 'kill anyone entering the tomb'. Fresh corpses retain the physical stats they had just at death, longer dead corpse are less capable. None have
IQ or skills, any attacks are at default. Corpses are destroyed at -10 x HT, and many will already be part of the way there from the cause of death or later decomposition.
Animate Golem: Allows magician to impart a kind of artificial life in a clay image. A golem will have the stats listed in the Bestiary below.
Animate Head: This ritual traps a spirit in a severed head. While bound to the head, the spirit may be called on to answer questions and travel as per the Spirit Searcher ritual. This binding lasts one day; use duration modifiers to maintain. To the initiated, the head appears to speak; to the uninitiated, it appears as a mummified head.
Aura: The subject radiates an aura that modifies reactions to him up or down by 1 per 2 points of success. On a critical failure, he gets the inverse modifier for the intended duration. The size of the population influenced modifies the difficulty: everyone -10, a large group (all children) -8, a small group (the royal court) -4, a very small group (my fiancee's relatives) -0. The traditional aura is one of subtle power, but kindliness, competence, viciousness or other auras should be allowed and will color the reactions differently. This can be resisted, in which case it counts as a hostile ritual and requires
a roll to avoid backlash.
Baptism: Recognizes a person's admittance to the Church. Will dissolve any Pact. Can only be performed once.
Binding: Binds a spirit to an item, such as a talisman, sword, gem, etc. Some aspect or ability of the entity will be thereby imparted in the object. For example, if a fire elemental is bound to an object, it could be made to burn continually. The ghost of a murderer, bound to a candle (the legendary "hand of glory") could impart the spirit's ability to paralyze with fear (viewers roll a fright check at some penalty).
Bind the Winds: Controls the winds in a half mile radius. They may blow from any direction at up to gale force, form columns of rising or falling air of similar speeds, or go still (which will calm rough seas as well). The effect can even still convection currents, which will put out fires quickly and limit gas flows to diffusion (millimeters per hour! the 'diffusion' demonstration involving opening scented bottles at the front of the classroom is a fake, the transfer mechanism there is bulk flow). Altering the winds takes 5 minutes per mph vector shift, which rarely produces hazardous shear, but with a little planning this effect can seriously threaten ships or aircraft.
Black Fast: This ritual is used to recover stolen property. The mage fasts and concentrates on the return of his property. The thief must resist (Contest of Wills) or suffer the effects of two day's starvation, no matter how much he eats. The thief will be able to tell that his illness is tied to the stolen item, whether through dreams of the mage, an evil aura about the item, or whatever. The Black Fast will continue to starve the thief until he dies or returns the item. Roll for backlash.
Bolt From Heaven: Calls down a bolt of lightning (or beam of light, or pillar of fire, exact appearance varies with tradition) which blasts everything in the target area for 30d damage. If the area includes an intelligent being this counts as a hostile ritual allowing a resistance roll and requiring a second roll to avoid backlash. A backlash is usually less visually dramatic - a bright flash and the magician is incinerated. Evil magicians suffer such a failure at the climatic confrontation in many tales, accompanying odor of brimstone optional.
Bury the Dead: This Ritual is intended to guide the spirits of the dead to the afterlife, preventing them from becoming ghosts. Any spirit whose body has had the benefit of a Christian (Wiccan, Voodoun, etc.) burial will be at an additional -5 to be Summoned or consulted by Necromancy.
Call the Beast: Summons an In-Betweener. The mage has no special control over it, so he had better hope the in-betweener's aims will be similar to his own! The in-betweener will remain until destroyed or banished. This ritual is occasionally used as a last-ditch method of revenge, as many in-betweeners simply go on a killing rampage when unleashed on the world.
Cloak: This is a simple ritual which is often maintained continuously. The subject is insulated from his environment: he can walk barefoot in the snow comfortably, is immune to cold or heat, sunburn, glare, wind chill, and the harmful effects of precipitation or blowing dust (he still ends up wet or dirty, but only mildly discomforted.)
Command: The adept speaks a command. If the target fails to resist he must do his best to obey it. The command must be understood, so language matters and commands too complex to be easily remembered or digested will not work very well. This is a resisted hostile ritual, though the GM may modify resistance to commands the subject would want to obey or find exceptionally objectionable. The default casting time is the time to speak the command and the default duration is only 10 minutes. Longer casting times (to reduce the penalty) usually mean the command is phrased more as a seduction than a forceful command.
Conception: The subject of this ritual is more likely than normal to produce a child. Add the success margin to pregnancy rolls made by the target or their sex partner(s). The usual unmodified odds are a 5- for a single sexual contact, 7- for a month of regular sexual activity, -4 for typical birth control precautions. The minimum duration is 1 month, compute duration modifiers from that point rather than normally. For an additional -2 to skill the caster can specify features desired in the child (usually sex, but sometimes elements of appearance). If that outcome is at all possible and the modifier makes the difference to the conception roll, the baby has the desired feature, otherwise ordinary chance determines
Confession: Cleric hears and absolves sins, and may assign penance.
Cornucopia: This ritual has a minimum duration of one season, penalties for longer durations are computed from that. Plants within the target area grow as if conditions were better than they actually are. To determine the effects on crops, find the expected yield under the actual conditions, and increase it
by 5% per point of success margin. Notice this is a multiplier, not an added yield, if nothing will grow under the actual conditions, cornucopia will not help.
Curse: A less dramatic form of Malediction which torments but does not kill its victim. After one week of bewitchment from a curse, the victim will perform at -1 IQ due to stress and fatigue. After a full month, take -1 IQ and -1 DX. Each additional month increases this penalty until a maximum of -4 is reached. The victim may vomit strange objects or find pins emerging from his or her body, have seizures, etc.
Curse of Hatred: This ritual is the reverse of "Love Magnet". Usually invoked as a curse against an enemy, this ritual causes its target to inspire enmity in those around them. For 1d3 days, the target is at -4 to all reaction rolls. Furthermore, no reaction roll towards him can ever receive a better result than Fair.
Disguise: The subject looks and sounds exactly like someone else for the duration. It's a handy substitute for makeup, and since it includes the illusion of clothing, for tailoring. The magic itself is flawless, but is limited to the caster's idea of what the disguise should look like - IQ rolls may be needed to disguise yourself as someone you are not very familiar with, or Artist if you are making up the image. Disguise does not grant any abilities of the original, and disguising yourself as something of a different shape
or size won't stand up to physical contact.
Doom: The caster fixes the cause and circumstances of the victim's death! Anything the GM agrees to is allowed and will come to pass -- eventually. Until it does nothing else will slay the target, though awful things can happen to him in the meantime. Dooms don't necessarily hasten death, but they lean that way -- the more obscure the doom the more often bizarre coincidences offer a chance to meet it. A doom must be announced in the presence of the target to take effect, although he may not immediately understand the pronouncement. This is a resisted ritual. It can backlash, in which case the GM assigns a doom to the caster, but doesn't tell him what it is. Doom is a death spell with the actual death delayed to a dramatic moment. Players who don't want to play a character the GM will eventually take control of and railroad into the forecast doom should be allowed to hand over the character as an NPC and reenter the game as if they had died. It's more fun to keep the character for a while, especially if the GM allows the first couple approaches of the doom to have a way out, but he should NEVER allow the doom to be avoided forever.
Dream Oracle: After completing this ritual and going to sleep, the mage will have a prophetic dream. The GM will need to handle the details of the dream, but any messages should be veiled in the surrealistic language of dreams. The magician can formulate a specific question or simply ask for guidance.
Drought: As the Rainmaker ritual, but decreases the chance of rain.
Earthquake: This ritual causes an earthquake. While it effects a broad area, it does not use the area effect modifiers. Rather, a more powerful quake effects a larger area. If the ritual succeeds, consult the following chart to determine the quake's power at the center.
Success by Effect
1-2 Very slight shaking, no damage, can knock over precariously
poised objects and trigger avalanches in susceptible areas.
3-4 Slight shaking, will knock over small objects and
knock pictures from walls.
5-6 Weak shaking,
may knock over cabinets and other tall pieces of furniture.
7-8 Moderate shaking, will cause cracking in stronger
walls, light buildings may collapse. DX+3 roll to remain standing.
9-10 Strong shaking, light buildings will collapse,
weaker parts of strong structures (towers, roofs, etc.) may collapse. DX
roll to remain standing.
11+ Very strong
shaking, most structures will collapse or suffer severe damage. DX-3 roll
to remain standing.
The most powerful effect produced will be felt over an area with a radius of about a quarter mile. The next less powerful effect will be felt for a half-mile or so beyond that, the next another mile farther out, and so
on. If the ritual is cast in an area where earthquakes are particularly unlikely (say, Kansas or Moscow), the GM may impose an additional penalty of up to -10.
Ease: Removes the symptoms of an illness for the duration of the effect. It does not cure the illness, though if the ailment is one people naturally recover from and the duration outlasts the recovery time it appears to. The symptoms begin to fade immediately, most vanish within an hour, though severe symptoms may take a few days to be completely masked.
Enchanted Sleep: A classic fairy tale curse, applied either to a number of targets or an area.
Those who fail to resist drop into enchanted sleep within 3d minutes. Victims of enchanted sleep will not awaken, but do not age, need food or water, and are not harmed by the natural environment. The fairy tale version has a built in mechanism for breaking the spell early, if the caster wants one it can be built into the ritual at no penalty; otherwise the effect lasts for the full duration or until someone improvises a counterspell.
Enthrallment: Transforms the target into a willing slave of the caster. Remove any advantages or disadvantages that cause the thrall to resist his new lot, and add Slave Mentality (limitation: only accept orders from the caster or those he commands you obey). This is the most useful variant, since Slave Mentality allows the thrall to use his skills and initiative in the caster's service. Variants that transform the victim into an obedient idiot or automaton may be easier; Raise Zombie (VO p80) can be considered one. In some traditions the effect ends when the caster dies, but it doesn't always - in some tales the
thralls continue to obey standing orders, or become slaves of the caster's slayer, or the first person to give a forceful command, or particularly in the automaton variants stand still and starve to death. This is a resisted hostile ritual. If it backlashes the caster acquires the unlimited form of Slave Mentality. The GM may require a PC that uses this a lot to spend points to buy the resulting Ally Group.
Excommunication/Interdict: Expels a person from the Church. Interdict expels a whole group or even nation, but this is the prerogative of the Pope alone.
Exorcism: Casts a spirit out of the body it animates or possesses. This ritual takes about two hours; during the first hour of the ritual the exorcist may ask questions of the spirit (contest of Wills to get true answer). At the end of the ritual, roll a contest of Wills between the spirit and exorcist; the exorcist gets a +1 per two points of success at the ritual. Other modifiers: +2 if the spirit's name in known; +1 per assistant (max +2). If the exorcist wins, the spirit is cast out.
Fairy Road: Allows rapid travel to anywhere familiar to the adept. Upon completing the ritual he must begin moving, and soon passes into unfamiliar surroundings (traditionally a misty forest, but twisting caverns appear in some tales and strange back alleys work just as well). After several hours (if anybody
times the trip, every timekeeper measures a different result) he sights the desired destination, arriving just at sunset (if traveling by day) or sunrise (by night). Ordinarily the one following the moment of departure, but if the trip normally takes weeks the GM may declare several days passed in the mortal realm during the trip. Anyone who can keep up with or track the adept can follow. Usually nothing
encountered will interfere with the journey, but anybody who goes off to chase pretty floating lights deserves whatever happens to him, and anyone who stops moving or loses track of the adept emerges wherever (and whenever!) the GM likes. If the campaign allows travel to other worlds or times, this effect can reach them as well - but unless you have been there, or have incredible directions from someone who has traveled there this way, the best you can do is wander around randomly.
Fair Winds: For the duration semi-random events arrange themselves to minimize the subject's travel time. Winds are always favorable, traffic signals change as he approaches, traffic jams melt before him, public transit runs right on schedule, his luggage is always the first off the plane and his standby seats
always become available. The trip won't set a new speed record, but may only miss by enough to avoid
delays caused by publicity.
Fanfare: Produces a brief familiar sound centered on the caster. It is usually cast in quick form at a penalty to generate trumpet fanfares, thunder cracks, the roar of a dragon or other dramatic announcement of the caster's presence.
Final Absolution: Recognizes imminent death of subject and absolves of sins.
Fireproofing: An area protected by this ritual is less susceptible to accidental fires. For each point of success margin subtract 1 from any rolls to set something not intended to burn on fire - this includes fuel fire numbers, spell skill rolls and chances of secondary fires from explosions. For every two points of success margin the damage done by flames is reduced by 1, which reduces the chance a fire spreads and increases the chance it goes out (see VE p194).
Gardener/Green Thumb: This ritual has two variants: (1) Causes a particular plant to thrive unless someone actively tries to harm it. The plant can be considered to have proper light, water and soil nutrients, and is immune to frost, heat, pests, parasites, random grazers, accidental forest fires or similar hazards. (2) As an area-effect ritual (see p. V73 for modifiers) ensures that the land, if cultivated, will produce a bountiful crop regardless of soil quality and weather conditions unless active steps are taken to destroy the plants. The ritual must be recast every growing season. In a low-tech setting, it takes about an acre of land to support one person (radius 118 yards, -11 to skill). This merely ensures that crops will grow and does not produce more crops than usual, see Cornucopia.
Geas: This Ritual places a magical compulsion on the subject; see "Gesas" in GURPS Celtic Myth for ideas as to what is possible with a Geas. Note also that the GM can apply further penalties to this Ritual based off of how potent the Geas is; if it is likely to either result in the death of the character ("You must go into battle unarmed"), or to make him effectively unkillable ("You can only be killed by a man not born of woman"), the GM would be justified in applying a further penalty.
Ghost Empathy: Reveals the reasons a ghost has not passed on to the afterlife. Sometimes the reason will be something the magician can resolve, though some ghosts are remaining voluntarily, and some situations will be beyond resolution.
Guidestar: The subject always knows the direction to go to reach a specific destination. The special effect can manifest as anything from a warm feeling when traveling the right direction to an actual guide -- often a small distant light -- which may or may not be visible to others. The Guidestar may point anywhere the caster knows well, to any more or less public place he can uniquely name, or to any person or object present at the casting (including the caster, casting a pointer to yourself on a distant subject is an excellent way to get anyone vaguely curious to seek you out).
Hand of Glory: This ritual enchants the hand of an executed murderer to make it paralyze all who see it. Everyone who sees it must make a fright check at -8.
High Mass: A more formal service than Mass, High Mass can be performed only on a Sunday or Holy Day (there were a lot of holy days in the Middle Ages, though). Celebrants gain +3 vs. hostile magic for the entire day. High Mass takes no less than 1 1/2 hrs. to perform.
Hunter: This ritual has two variants: (1) Attunes the subject to the nearest example of a type of plant or animal. He knows in which direction it lies, but not how far. Once attuned, the guide points to the same target even if it is no longer the nearest. The casting fails if the duration wouldn't be long enough to walk to the target. The type can be a bit narrower than species (adult male horses is a legal type), or much broader (anything with blue flowers). Possible effects include causing a pointer to always fall in the right direction, always chancing onto tracks pointing the right way at moments of decision, or being actually led by a guide, typically a small bird. (2) This ritual allows the caster to unfailingly follow the path of a chosen prey. Within an hour of performing the ritual, the caster must chose one target while he is looking at it. Thereafter, he will be able to follow the exact path taken by the target without hesitation even if he loses sight of it. He will not know where the prey is, only which direction it went from the last place he saw it. This allows the character to track the target across covered tracks, up elevators, even if it teleports. The spell ends if the target dies or is destroyed, or if the caster ceases actively following the target for a day.
Invisibility: A successful ritual will allow the mage to enjoy the full benefits of the Invisibility Art skill (see MA p. 38)
Kindle: Any desired flammable objects in the target area burst into flame. Candles, oil lamps, loose paper, dry thatch or grass ignite normally, more difficult materials like firewood, cloth bales or house walls, require a success of 2, the traditional water soaked pile of wood requires a success by 4 or better.
Lay Ghosts: Guides a spirit to the afterlife. Spirits trapped in the mortal realm seldom resist, but those with a reason to stay resist with ST + Will. In some traditions this ritual is performed at every death to help the spirit reach the proper afterlife, or as insurance against it troubling the living. If a Ghost Empathy ritual has been successfully performed, apply a +5 bonus to the ritual (if unresisted) or to the magician's Will (if resisted).
Lost and Found
Love Charm: The target is sexually attracted someone specified. The GM may modify the resistance roll from -4 (the target already likes the intended person) to +4 (despises the intended, or prefers another sex or species). If not resisted, the target will act on the emotion as dictated by his personality. Persistent
seduction attempts, a proposal of marriage, or an attempted rape are the most likely outcomes, but spending everything he owns to send 4 tons of roses, or killing himself on her doorstep as a gesture of devotion are not out of the question. The induced emotion ends with the duration, but if the target now feels something naturally he may never realize the emotion was once artificial. This is a resisted hostile ritual. Should it backlash those performing the ritual suddenly desire someone they ordinarily wouldn't even consider approaching....
Love Magnet: For one day after performing this hour-long ritual, the mage becomes extremely attractive to the opposite gender. All reaction rolls made by members of the opposite gender towards the mage are at +4. Any members of the opposite gender with the Disadvantage "Lecherousness" automatically fail their roll vs. the mage.
Magelight: A light source, and any reflected light from it, is visible only to a specific class of people, perhaps just the caster, more often also his companions, potentially everyone. In fact the light source is simply a symbol, the magelight uses no fuel and burns for the ritual effect duration. By accepting an additional -3 for lack of the symbol it could appear as a glowing globe atop the mage's staff, a flame hovering over his cupped palm etc. The symbol also has the advantage the light can be turned on and off in the usual way the source is controlled.
Magic Circle: This ritual creates an area of protection from spirits of all kinds. Normal area effect rules apply. Spirits cannot harm those inside a circle in any way so long as they stay within the circle. This includes hostile magic and poltergeist effects. A contest of (mage's skill vs. spirit's IQ) can be made to see if the spirit finds a flaw in the circle and can thereby gain entry.
Marriage: Gives the Church's recognition to a union of a man and woman.
Mass: The weekly services of the Church. All celebrants will be at +2 to resist hostile magic for 2 hrs. following Mass. A Mass takes at least 45 min. to perform.
Maze: An area under this ritual can't be found on purpose unless the seeker was specifically exempted during the casting or wins a contest of Will with the ritual skill each time he wishes to locate the place. It is most effective when applied to a travel chokepoint -- a doorway, the only path to a cliff top tower or something similar -- denying access to the entire area without the difficulty of enspelling the whole thing.
Mirage: Produces an illusion of anything the caster can clearly imagine. It looks exactly as specified, produces appropriate sounds, light, heat or cold, and at higher TLs radar, sonar, magnetic or any other energy returns. Energy emissions (beams, flame heat etc.) will never inflict more than 1 point of damage, odors or flavors are not produced, and the mirage won't stand up to physical contact if the underlying reality is of a different shape. It can be laid over existing items as a mass disguise, and persists even if the items move out of the original area. Traditionally the most common uses are to convert a ruin to a fine manor or to conceal an army.
Necromancy: Calls up a spirit from the dead by name. The spirit may make one speech or answer one question per 2 points of success margin, but is not compelled to do so. The presence of a descendant of the spirit gives a +3 bonus, and may encourage the spirit to be more truthful or cooperative.
Ordination/Investment: A ceremony to officially recognize one's initiation. Any character buying Clerical Investment will need this ritual performed. Investment is reserved for ordaining Bishops and higher ranks.
Plague: This ritual inflicts an area similar to that of Rainmaker (Initiation Level/2 miles) with a plague. For every point by which the caster makes the roll, .5% of the population in the area is afflicted with a temporarily debilitating and possibly lethal disease, which will take its course naturally. As a rule of thumb, the GM may assume that 5% of those afflicted will eventually die per point by which the roll was made. The plague cannot be targeted at specific individuals. To determine if any given individual is afflicted by the plague, convert the percentage to a 3d6 roll using the chart on p. B45. While generally directed at people, it may be directed at any one species with which the caster has a passing familiarity (cattle, wheat, etc.) to cause famines. Non-human intelligent species must likewise be attacked separately,
unless they are subject to the same diseases as humans. A similar effect can be obtained with Malaise, but this is a more efficient means of visiting one's wrath on an offending area.
Poison Burner: The target becomes non-toxic, usually accompanied by a visible effect that verifies a poison was present: unicorn horn or a gem changes color, harmless blue flames erupt from the item burning the poison off in wisps of vile smoke etc. If used on a poisoning victim it halts further damage, but won't reverse harm already suffered.
Poisoning: This ritual is used to insure that a poisonous preparation finds its intended victim. A successful ritual will mean that the victim will have to make appropriate HT rolls to resist or mitigate the poison's effects. The mage may use any available poison in this ritual. Use the Basic Rules to determine effects of poison.
Preaching: Ceremonial preaching about God's glory and the need for salvation through the Church.
Prisoner's Charm: The subject can easily escape restraints or circumvent barriers to his passage. He can free himself from bonds, handcuffs, straight jackets and similar restraints in 1d seconds, squeeze through narrow passages without risk of becoming stuck, locked barriers prove to be unlocked when he tries them, and traps or security systems will be inactive or go off slightly too late to hinder him. The charm doesn't conceal him from sensors, has no effect on living guards, and only opens barriers to passage -- locked containers he isn't planning to crawl into, or in which he won't fit, will not open at his touch.
Privacy: The area is isolated from the outside. Sounds, odors and light sources within the area will not leave it. Outside light sources can illuminate things in the circle, but even in broad daylight the contents appear hazy, dull and background colored - treat anything within as if it were camouflaged.
Pulverize: Reduces a corpse to dust (ash in some traditions accompanied by a flash of fire). Animated dead resist with HT, but there is no risk of backlash (unless the caster himself is dead...). It is fairly rare in traditional tales, though sometimes used to destroy vampires or other walking dead. In modern fantasy it is more common, handy for removing evidence and sometimes used as a regular form of cremation.
Purification of water or materials: Consecrates materials to be used in rituals. Makes "holy water." Casts out Bound spirits in objects.
Reincarnate: This ritual is used to direct a spirit into a new body. The spirit in question should be the ghost of a dead person. The body could be either a fetus in utero or a mature body. If mature, the body should be either newly dead or separated from the soul by a Soul Zombie ritual. This ritual could also be used to transfer one's own spirit into a new body. Attempts to reincarnate into an 'occupied' body gives the target a resistance roll, and backlash indicates that the spirit in question is cast into the abyss.
Resurrection: Restores a relatively intact corpse to life. The spell will perform minor repairs, but it wont work on those killed by more than -2 x HT wound damage. The target must be recently dead (no more than a couple of days) or still nearby (as a ghost or bound spirit). This ritual may be resisted if the soul is happy where it is, and would count as a hostile ritual - on a backlash the caster joins the soul in the afterlife.
Reversal of Fortune
Ritual of Banishment
Ritual of Slaying
Ruin Crops: This ritual will cause grain to wither, fruit or vegetables to rot, or milk to turn sour. Crops can ruined on two scales: Use the listed penalty to ruin a cow's milk for one week, fifty pounds of fruit, or a half-acre of wheat. To spoil an entire herd's milk, fifty acres of grain, or a season's harvest of potatoes, double the penalty.
Scrying: The caster has a vision of a specific person, place or object as it is now, or by taking a penalty equal to the duration modifier for the same period, at a moment in the past. The vision lasts only a minute or two, covers only the immediate surroundings of the target (the room it's in, or a few dozen yards if it is in the open), and provides no special insight about where the target is. A success margin of 2 or more shows the scene in good illumination even if the light there is (was) poor. A margin of 4 or more also transmits sound. Many variants use a crystal, but a mirror, reflecting pool, fire, smoke, inkblots, dancing shadows or sunlight or even purely mental vision can work.
Seeking: The caster can home in on a specific person or object (a general class of objects is at -2, and points to a random nearby example). It usually works as a tool drawn to the target -- a pendulum, dowsing rod, compass needle.... The default form simply gives direction from the direction of the pull, but at -4 it can be worked to search a symbolic space -- a map, phone book etc. Intentionally hidden targets are found at -1 to -5, depending on how strongly the person concealing it wanted it hidden.
Seek the True Love: One of the most common forms of divination, the subject sees a brief vision of his true love (or in some variants future spouse). It provides no additional information -- though the vision often shows someone the subject recognizes. In some variations instead of a vision the next eligible person met will be
the true love. Like any precognitive vision this requires quite a bit of GM judgment and willingness to finesse the future to pull off.
Shadow Walk: Allows the adept to move instantly to any familiar location within a mile. His passage must be unobserved. A puff of smoke or recessed doorway is sufficient cover to depart, but the destination must be unobserved for several minutes before he arrives. He appears at the next moment in the future it meets that requirement, jumping somewhere under constant security surveillance can take the adept out of circulation for a *long* time.
Shared Dream: This ritual allows the mage to participate in the dreams of others. The other dreamers must be willing - any attempt to resist automatically succeeds. This ritual is often practiced by entire covens of witches at certain times of the year in order to celebrate the Sabbat, but Shared Dreams could be used in many beneficial ways too, such as allowing several initiates to gather in the Dreamworld to exchange information, fight a hostile Dream Visitor or Night Terrors, etc.
Sleep: This ritual may target individuals (use number of target modifiers) or an area (targets anyone who spends the 3d minute induction time in it). Targets who fail to resist drop into deep natural sleep within 3d minutes. Small disturbances do not wake them, though major ones will. Otherwise they sleep for the duration (maximum 24 hours), plus any further time they need to awaken fully rested. As a targeted ritual it can backlash and put the caster to sleep. It's safe as an area effect.
Storm: Same effects as Rainmaker, but produces storm conditions appropriate to the area. This may be a hurricane, blizzard, tornado, etc. For the purposes of the spell, assume a minimum 2% chance of a storm (3 or less on 3d6). The effects of the ritual take place in two days, with the same penalties as Rainmaker for quicker effect.
Strike Barren/Impotent: Prevents the target from producing offspring for one month (minimum duration, compute modifiers from that point rather than normally). Thus females are rendered barren and males are made impotent. This is an evil ritual requiring backlash checks, unless the subject consents.
Stroke of Luck
Summon: Summoning is the attempt to invoke the presence of a sentient being. This includes humans, ghosts, demons, angels and elementals. Summoning is possible at three degrees -- minor, moderate, and major. Each ritual must be learned separately for each kind of spirit. Thus, a mage might have points on Summon Demon, Summon Angel, and Summon Elemental, etc. A minor manifestation can be summoned at skill; moderate is at -4; major manifestations are at -7. Some examples of the specializations possible follow:
Summon Elemental: Summon an undine, a gnome, a salamander, or a sylph. The elemental may be asked for answers to (success margin/2) questions or may be assigned a simple task. For example, a gnome could be ordered to disinter a body, or a fire elemental to throw a fireball. It is also possible to Bind an elemental. The elemental lords can be summoned at -7, as they are considered major manifestations.
Summon Demon : Summon an entity from the dark reaches of the universe. The summoner needs to know the true name of the entity he desires to call and control. Once summoned, he may order the demon (1) to perform one complicated action, or (2) converse with the wizard so as to increase his knowledge in the demon's area of knowledge, or (3) the magician may conduct a binding ritual. Note that this is probably the most dangerous sort of summoning. Demons typically use aliases so that they come when summoned by the summoner and he finds he has no control over the entity. The names of demons are often contained in grimoires or constructed with Cabalism.
Summon Devil : Invokes the evil incarnate. The magician has no chance to control Satan, but he may enter into a Pact or celebrate a Sabbat with a coven of witches using a Shared Dream ritual. Pacts set terms where the magician sells his soul in return for treasure, power, prestige, etc. A typical pact may set a twenty to sixty year term. A successful Summon Devil ritual is required before an initiate may take the Pact advantage. Note that the magician may summon the devil in order to induct a new person into a pact, and the devil often requires that a number of converts be made as part of the pact.
Summon Angel : Summon a being from a higher spiritual plane. Angels will only perform deeds congruous to their natures. They will not harm good Christians, Moslems, or Jews. They can perform powerful miracles when invoked against evil foes. The names of Angels are contained in Grimoires and constructed with Cabalism.
Summon Person : Compel a person to come to the summoner - true name is required. This ritual is only available at -7; a person has only one manifestation!
Summon Ghost : Call the discarnate spirit of a dead person. At +1 if the dead body is present, -3 if no possessions or body parts of the deceased are available. Ghosts can be asked to perform a simple task or compelled to answer questions.
Summon Olympic Spirit: Calls an Olympic Spirit. Note that they have only Major manifestations (-7).
Summon Loa: Summons a Voodoun Loa or Santeria Orisha. Included for reference only.
Swarm: This ritual has two possible effects: (1) The target individual or area attracts all animals of a particular type within up to 1/2 mile per point of success. Animals failing a will roll travel there and try to remain nearby, roll daily for ongoing effects. The 'plague' only shifts animals around, surrounding areas actually have fewer than normal. Usually this isn't noticed, but it can be used as a Pied Piper effect.(2) This area-effect ritual will call up a swarm of small animals appropriate to the region. This may be mosquitoes in a swamp, locusts or gnats in farmland, or rats or cockroaches in a city. The swarm will persist for an hour or so, then disperse.
Sword Blessing: For every two points of success, anyone using the blessed object can re-roll one result involving it. For a sword this includes to hit, damage, or parry rolls, but the ritual will work on any object and allows re-rolls of anything plausibly connected to its use. A result can only be re-rolled once, and you are stuck with the second result, so it isn't usually a good idea to re-roll marginal successes, but it is allowed.
Sword Proofing: This ritual protects the subject from hand-to-hand attacks much like Ghost Shirt's protection from missiles.
Talisman of Truth: Allows the caster to ask 1 question per 2 points of success, which the target must answer truthfully and in reasonable detail. The traditional form is a jewel or other talisman placed against some personal part of the anatomy of a sleeping woman to be asked about adultery, but this reflects the interests of compilers of such sources rather than a limitation on the ritual. This ritual can backlash, forcing the caster to answer the next however many questions directed toward him by anybody other than himself.
Talk to the Animals: This ritual allows the caster to call an animal of a desired type and, if desired, converse with it, perhaps even asking a favor of it. For instance, a hunter might call up an animal if he is having trouble getting meat, or an initiate with a need to communicate secretly might call up a bird to
carry a message for him. The ritual will call up the closest animal of the desired type. It will head towards the caster at a reasonable speed, although if there is no such animal within a mile or so, none will appear. Once it arrives, it will be willing to spend a few minutes conversing with the caster, although the caster must phrase questions carefully if he wants a useful answer. Animals are more likely to remember scents than overheard conversations, and will completely overlook many things, like piles of gold and arms caches, that humans would find extremely important. If the animal has a Good reaction or better to the caster, it might perform a favor for him, such as carrying a message or briefly doing surveillance.
Temptation: The target must win a contest of Will against the ritual or immediately drop into a dream state (sleepwalking if he is moving when this happens) for several minutes and dream about a temptation selected by the caster. The GM sums the point costs of any advantages and disadvantages the he thinks incline the target toward or away from the temptation. The target must make a Will roll modified by that sum (and you thought that -15 point Lecherousness would never be a serious problem...). If it fails, he surrenders to the dream temptation, and will never awaken, eventually wasting away (GM option: magic or ultratech may awaken him with a blank mind)
Thought-Form: This ritual produces an illusionary creature, usually human-like. The thought-form will effect behaviors appropriate to what it represents (a pious nun, a mischievous child, etc.) and eventually it will gain full autonomy. An autonomous thought-form will have to Banished. The thought-form is not physical, but it can speak, move, etc.
Torment: Uses an image (often wax) that the magician pierces with needles or melts to inflict pain on the person it represents. The image will certainly need hair, blood, or other intimate trappings of the person to be tormented. Attempting to kill by this method requires, in addition, an Evil Eye ritual.
True Aim: This ritual, often used in conjunction with Hunter, allows uncanny accuracy with a weapon. The recipient of the ritual must be present at the casting holding the weapon he will use (the GM may rule that artillery, missiles, and other large weapons are too large to "hold" properly). If the ritual is successful, the next attack the recipient makes with that weapon gets a bonus equal to the amount the ritual was made by. The target may, if circumstances allow it, get an active defense. While this ritual
may be used on automatic weapons, the bonus applies only to the first shot, not the first burst or first turn of automatic fire.
Turn the Beast
Turn the Dead: Much like Turn the Spirit and Turn the Beast, this ritual banishes Ghosts and destroys the Undead.
Turn the Spirit
Veneration of image or relic: Intense prayer/meditation focused on some religious image or relic. A flat +1 bonus to any other Sacrament or Path of Spirits rituals performed that day.
Vision of Luck
Walk Among the Brambles: The subject can travel through any vaguely passable vegetation at his normal walking pace. Vines will not trip him, thorns never scratch and contact with poison oak is harmless. He will not need a machete to penetrate dense jungle or thick gloves to reach into a thorn bush
It does not erase a trail,
but often makes it harder to follow, and Tracking rolls will be
needed where others would leave an obvious slashed trail.
Grimoires are books of occult knowledge and rituals. The term "grimoire" often refers specifically to works of black magic, but here any occult book is a grimoire. After each grimoire's name there is a short explanation of the paths or skills taught in it. All grimoires are dated to the earliest possible date, and in fact most are younger than they claim. Some are spurious or even fictional, but the list of grimoires should be useful to the GM.
The Black Pullet (8th C) -- path of spirits, path of glamoury, path of journeys
Grimoire Verum (The Red Book)(16th C) -- ritual magic (goetia)
True Black Magic -- path of spirits, demonology
Key of Solomon (1st C?)-- theology (demonology), ritual magic (hermetic), path of spirits
Lemegeton/Lesser Key of Solomon (12th C)-- path of spirits, path of passions, path of luck, demonology
The Book of Shadows -- theology (pagan), path of health, path of nature, path of dreams
The Egyptian Book of the Dead -- path of the dead
The Necronomicon -- path of spirits, theology (cthulhu)
The Sacred Magic of Abremalin the Mage -- ritual magic (goetia), demonology, path of spirits
The Zohar (MS 2nd C or earlier; 13 th C) -- theology (Judaism), ritual magic (Cabalism)
Sefer Bahir (12th C) -- ritual magic (Cabalism)
Sefer Yetsira (2nd-5th C, MS only; pub 16th C) -- ritual magic (Cabalism)
The Little Albert -- path of elements, path of nature
The Black Raven -- path of spirits
De Occulta (Agrippa, 15th C) -- occultism
Hieroglyphic Monad (John Dee, 16th C) -- occultism
Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trimegistos -- ritual magic (hermetic)
The Book of Amulets (Khalid, 8th C) -- alchemy
The Composition of Alchemy (12th C) - alchemy
The Secret of Secrets (Michael Maier, 16th C) -- alchemy
Theatrum Chimicum (15th C) -- alchemy
Tetrabiblios (Ptolemy, 2nd C) -- astrology
Tractatus Visionum (13th C) -- path of dreams
Grimoire of Pope Honorius (7th C) -- path of spirits, path of luck
Arbatel of Magic (16th C) -- path of spirits
Heptameron or Magical Elements (13th-14th C) -- path of elements, path of nature
Picatrix -- path of spirits, path of passions, path of glamoury, path of elements, path of luck
Enchiridion of Pope Leo -- path of protection, path of luck
The Grand Grimoire --ritual magic (necromancy), path of the dead, path of spirits
Versus Jesuitarum Libellus
-- path of luck