Wednesday, July 19, 2017

hocus pocus

An open-ended magic system I'm going to use for my simplified 5e game, but you could pretty easily hack it for most D&D-likes. Owes a lot to Pearce's 5e ritual system.

A warlock or cleric can perform a ritual to achieve nearly any effect, as long as it pertains to a Ritual Court they belong to. The casting time of a ritual depends on its intensity, value, and utility; the more expensive and difficult the ritual’s effects would be to achieve using mundane means, the longer it takes to perform the ritual.
by Berta Lum
A ritual's difficulty is determined by the value of the goods or services it replicates. Warlocks make a CHA check and clerics make a WIS check.
If it's no dearer than a copper piece: DC 12 and take a Turn
If it's no dearer than a silver piece: DC 14 and take an hour
If it's no dearer than a gold piece: DC 16 and take a day
If it's no dearer than a platinum piece: DC 18 and take a week
If it can't be had for love or money: DC 20 and take a month, from new moon to full
As an example, if a Annie Oleander of the Ritual Court of Ash wants to kill a rival from afar, she might decide to fill his house with poisonous smoke. Because hiring an assassin to kill someone costs more than a gold piece, she must pass a DC 18 Charisma check and take a week. Unburning a spent torch, on the other hand, would only take a Turn and require a DC 12 check , because a torch can be bought for a copper.

Duration
A ritual’s effect has a usage die that represents its duration. Each time the ritual’s effects are used or strained in some way, check the die. Ritual effects are fleeting and the die should be checked frequently; a ritual-created sword might be checked every time it is used, while a golem created by a ritual might be checked every time it takes damage. The poisonous smoke Annie Oleander conjured would be checked every time her victim finished reciting a Bible verse or opened a window for ventilation.

The sacrifice a cleric or warlock offers as part of a ritual determines the size of the ritual's usage die:
  • 1d4: requires nothing
  • 1d6: 1d6 HP in blood, a favor that takes a brief part of a session, or a component worth at least a copper piece
  • 1d8: 1d8 HP in blood, a favor that takes the better part of a session, or a component worth at least a silver piece
  • 1d10: 1d10 HP in blood, a favor that takes an entire session, or a component worth at least a gold piece
  • 1d12: 1d12 HP in blood, a favor that takes several sessions, or a component worth at least a platinum piece
The Ritual Courts
  1. Ash
  2. Mud
  3. Grass
  4. Corpses
  5. Beasts
  6. The Sun
  7. The Moon
  8. The Dark