A ritual is an esoteric and complex spell that anyone can cast. It takes much longer to cast a ritual than a normal spell, but rituals can have more powerful effects.
When you take charge of a ritual, you are its primary caster, and others assisting you are secondary casters. You can be a primary caster for a ritual even if you can’t cast spells. You must know the ritual, and the ritual’s spell level can be no higher than half your level rounded up. You must also have the required prof ciency rank in the skill used for the ritual’s primary check (see Checks below), and as the primary caster, you must attempt this skill check to determine the ritual’s effects. The primary skill check determines the tradition. Rituals do not require spell slots to cast. You can heighten a ritual up to half your level rounded up, decided when the ritual is initiated. A ritual always takes at least 1 hour to perform, and often longer. While a ritual is a downtime activity, it’s possible—albeit risky—to perform a ritual during exploration with enough uninterrupted time. A ritual’s casting time is usually listed in days. Each day of casting requires 8 hours of participation in the ritual from all casters, with breaks during multiday rituals to allow rest. One caster can continue a multiday ritual, usually with some light chanting or meditation, while the other casters rest. All rituals require material, somatic, and verbal components throughout their casting time.
Learning a ritual does not count against any limits on spells in your spell repertoire or on any other normal spellcasting ability. Rituals are never common, though if you look hard, you can probably f nd someone who can perform an uncommon ritual for you. They may still be unwilling to teach it to you.
A ritual’s Cost entry lists valuable components required to cast the ritual. If a ritual doesn’t have any such components, it won’t have a Cost entry. The cost is consumed when you attempt the primary skill check. Costs are often presented as a base cost multiplied by the target’s level and sometimes the spell’s level. If the target’s level is lower than 1, multiply the cost by 1 instead. Heightened versions that increase the base cost multiply it by the target’s level or another value as appropriate. Most rituals that create permanent creatures, such as create undead, use costs based on the level of the spell, as presented on Table 7–1.
Many rituals need additional secondary casters, who also don’t need to be able to cast spells. Unlike a primary caster, a secondary caster doesn’t need a minimum level or skill proficiency. The Secondary Casters entry, if present, indicates the minimum number of secondary casters required.
At the ritual’s culmination, you must attempt the skill check listed in the Primary Check entry to determine the ritual’s outcome. Primary checks usually have a very hard DC for a level that’s twice the ritual’s spell level. As with other downtime activities, fortune and misfortune effects can’t modify your checks for the ritual, nor can bonuses or penalties that aren’t active throughout the process. The GM can adjust the DCs of rituals, add or change primary or secondary checks, or even waive requirements to fit specif c circumstances. For example, performing a ritual in a location where ley lines converge on the night of a new moon might make a normally difficult ritual drastically easier.
Often, a ritual requires secondary checks to represent aspects of its casting, usually with a standard DC for a level twice the ritual’s spell level. A different secondary caster must attempt each secondary check. If there are more secondary casters than checks, the others don’t attempt any. Secondary casters attempt their checks before you attempt the primary check; no matter their results, the ritual proceeds to the primary check. Secondary checks affect the primary check depending on their results.
Critical Success You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the primary check.
Success No bonus or penalty.
Failure You take a –4 circumstance penalty to the primary check.
Critical Failure As failure, and you reduce the degree of success of the primary skill check by one step.
A ritual’s effect depends on the result of the primary check. If an effect lists a save DC, use your spell DC for the ritual’s magic tradition (or 12 + your level + your highest mental ability modifier, if you don’t have a spell DC).