Advice for budding ritualists

I have been asked a couple of times for a quick shallow analysis of what ritual magics do what from the perspective of someone who wants to be a ritualist and is choosing a Realm.

Point 1 - assume that in Anvil you will always have access to one more level of lore than you bought, because you can go to the Regio (the ritual circle) and cast there for +1 lore.
Point 2 - nearly all rituals require a ref. A ritualist needs refs more often than anyone else but a very active priest.
Point 3 - you don’t need a Realm’s lineage or any of its magic to attend Eternal audiences, but you do need to be a mage.
Point 4 - get a mana site! Mana sites are a very good resource anyway, and ritualists eat mana like popcorn.

THE REALMS
Spring → only if you are already a physick and feel that that is not enough healing for you.
*Healing rituals are vastly efficient.
*There’s nothing else useful you can solo cast in Spring.
Summer → very strong, but purely combative.
*All the buffs are worthwhile.
*Cast 'em early!
Autumn → if you have a very particular ritual you are after.
*There are a bunch of really nice situational rituals here but the key word is situational.
Winter → if you plan on specialising in curses.
*A bit like Autumn, there are a bunch of fun situational things
*Some Winter spells are excellent. Some Winter spells have no discernible use.
Day → very strong and versatile, a midpoint between Summer and Night
*There is almost no bad Day magic, but if you do take investigative magic then nobody’s paying you to carry those mana crystals home - get investigating! :slight_smile:
Night → very strong, but purely non-combative.
*Some Night spells are quite poor, but most of them are hilarious, and all the best Night is soloable. If you’re on your own it’s really not worth taking magic that will hide your activities.

Actually, as a pure Day mage I find I churn & burn enough mana to take home a tidy stash at the end of each event (this may be because I am Brass Coast, and no-one objects to giving me the mana for whatever they need me to cast, plus a “nominal fee” - usually in extra mana…)

Solo Day (Rank 3 + 1 from the Regio) is INCREDIBLY useful, and versatile enough that you don’t have to specialise as an investigator if you don’t want to. But it is one of the lores that rewards specialisation, and Day 3 is SIGNIFICANTLY better than Day 2 with 3 points spent elsewhere.

[quote=“Anwar”]

Actually, as a pure Day mage I find I churn & burn enough mana to take home a tidy stash at the end of each event (this may be because I am Brass Coast, and no-one objects to giving me the mana for whatever they need me to cast, plus a “nominal fee” - usually in extra mana…)

Solo Day (Rank 3 + 1 from the Regio) is INCREDIBLY useful, and versatile enough that you don’t have to specialise as an investigator if you don’t want to. But it is one of the lores that rewards specialisation, and Day 3 is SIGNIFICANTLY better than Day 2 with 3 points spent elsewhere.[/quote]

It’s worth noting for a newbie that there are ritual staffs and rings available for sufficiently wealthy characters to buy, neither of which require any skill investment beyond Magician, which can increase your ritual lore rank. The rings are more versatile, but can only be used once [edit: per day!]; the staffs are unlimited-use but only give you increased lore in one realm. And the two stack, but that gets expensive :slight_smile:

I just mention this because I took Day 2 with 3 points spent elsewhere and consider it an excellent investment. A ring or staff lasts a year and costs less than a year’s income, although of course income spent buying shiny toys is not income spent on rituals.

Once per day, mind you, which may well be more than you need the boost for, depending on how much ritual casting you end up doing!

We chose Winter simply because of the flavour of the realm, and the fact it had useful stuff at a variety of levels.

Necessary evil, power at a price, the harsh wisdom brought about through suffering.

Or as the non-ritualist Saker will tell you, “Wah wah wah Winter, wah wah wah consequences, wah wah wah price of power.”

There is great mileage in looking at eternals, seeing what the flavour of the realm is, and picking from there. IMO it’s mostly best as a group activity, but some solo ritualists have found some cool niches.

So…is this thread just for Briars or can anyone join in?

There are three types of people in this world: Orcs, Lineaged and Briars who haven’t realised it yet.

Can you target yourself with a ritual? Or does it only work on other people?

Also when it’s said that you master a ritual, I assume that means you have it in your spell book as one you’ve picked from the list?

[quote=“Laughing Andy”]Can you target yourself with a ritual? Or does it only work on other people?

Also when it’s said that you master a ritual, I assume that means you have it in your spell book as one you’ve picked from the list?[/quote]

In general, unless the ritual explicitly says you can’t, you can target yourself. Of course, you need to satisfy any applicable requirements (such as e.g. having the correct type of personal resource).

Mastery is having picked the ritual on your list. It means you cast the spell at a sensible level of efficiency, as every mana crystal you use when casting the spell counts for two points of magnitude. Note that in general, rituals are costed on the assumption that all casters will have them mastered.

Rituals fall into one of 4 categories :

Rituals you have mastered

Rituals in imperial lore

Rituals which have been codified but aren’t in imperial lore

Spontaneous rituals

Rituals which you have mastered are ones which you are particularly good at casting, you contribute 2 ranks of magnitude for every level of lore you have, and spend crystal mana equal to your lore.

Rituals in Imperial lore are ones which you know a little bit about. They always work the way you expect and cost the same amount, but you contribute 1 rank of magnitude for every level of lore you have, and spend crystal mana equal to your lore. You can freely master any ritual in imperial lore when gaining ranks in lore or spending xp on extra rituals.

Rituals which have been codified but which aren’t in imperial lore are rare, and may be newly researched rituals, a gift from an eternal, a relic uncovered or from a foreign nation. These always work as expected and cost the same amount, but the total amount goes up 50% if casting without mastery, and you can only master the ritual if you have the ritual text physrep. E.g. Bob receives a ritual text from an eternal for a magnitude 6 ritual. He can cast it, knows what it will do and what it will cost, but needs to gather enough friends to contribute 9 ranks of lore between them and spend 9 mana crystals. Bob then masters the ritual, and can now cast it with lore 3 for 3 mana. Jenny cast the ritual with Bob the first time so knows it exists. She can still cast it for 9 mana, but doesn’t have the ritual text so can’t master it.

Spontaneous rituals may not work, and have no set cost. If they are a minor variant of an existing ritual then they usually cost 50% more than that ritual. They can never be mastered. They can do almost anything - essentially you go to a ref and say “I want to do this” and they say “ok, that’s x lore and z magnitude” - the cost can change during an event or from event to event, and sometimes the ritual doesn’t quite work as expected, especially if eternals are involved.

There are 2 individuals - the dean of the Lyceum and the provost of the halls of knowledge, who get to pick a new ritual to be codified and have a ritual text made from it each event, they tend to favour rituals which have already been cast spontaneously because they know they’re needed and that they actually work.

Essentially, mastered rituals = cheap, imperial lore = expensive, other lore = really expensive, spontaneous = really expensive and risky

To clarify, you go to a ref and say “I want to do this effect in this Realm,” and if you’re asking something very simple they might immediately say “that will be magnitude X,” whereas if it’s not very simple or they’re not one of the small number of refs who know that simple spontaneous ritual cost, they radio through to the refdesk for a costing - if you’re planning spontaneous rituals you’re generally best going to GOD well in advance to give them time to work it out, or emailing empire.rules@profounddecisions.co.uk between events.