New to Ritual Magic

Hello,

I came to Empire a few years ago and I have been mostly running as a fighter for skirmishes and battles but recently I’ve been considering a new character to do something other than fighting, namely a ritual caster. I’ve not had a lot of interaction with other ritualists so I’m trying to find out what it’s like playing as one.

Firstly, I’d like to know if it’s something that is exclusive to any other role (I was considering volunteering in the Hospital but not sure what skills I need to take for that too). Should I load up my character with as many rituals as possible to be of most use to people or can I diversify? I hear that it’s wise to choose one’s rituals in the field but what else should I put into my build?

Secondly, how do ritualists play? Do they have to find a coven to be useful or are can they hop from group to group, offering their services? Ideally I’d like to be part of something regular and useful but I’ll be coming on my own so won’t know how to find a coven easily! What do they do during the event and how sought after are they?

Thanks for any insight. If it helps, I was intending to be specialising in Night magic within the Brass Coast.

You are rather reliant on Mana Crystals resource wise as a Ritualist but there is nothing inherent in being a ritualist that stops you doing anything else if you wish to do. In terms of what is best to know Ritual lore is probably better than extra rituals as it gets you a greater range of rituals you can cast (remermber you can cast any ritual in Imperial Lore if you have sufficient Magnitude)

As to how they play. There are numerous covens of every size in pretty much every nation who are going to be eager for new people, the easiest way to gain more power is to gain new recruits. A lone ritualist is limited to the Magnitude of their casting but they can cast forever, so depends what you know. Jumping from group to group is doable, if you can afford the Volhov’s robes but most people just join a coven or work solo.

As to how sought after a coven is that really depends on what rituals are needed on a given day and what they are known for.

As for working magic in the hospital, Night doesn’t have a lot of uses in the hospital although the occassional Unfettered Anarchy is occassionally needed to deal with mental curses. Most of the healing rituals are in Spring (Blood of the Hydra) and Day (Ascetic Star of Atun). However never let that put you off even if you bounce from one to the other. That said being a Physic costs 4 Xp which does limit the amount of Ritual Lore you can know. That said Chirurgeon 1, Physic 3, Magician 2, Ritual Lore 1 with 1 XP spare isn’t bad as a starting build if you’re joining a coven, and you can bump it to Ritual Lore 2 after your next XP.

The normal straight Ritualist builds are Magician 2, Ritual Lore 3, or Magician, Ritual Lore 2, Other Ritual Lore 2. Both of these mean you have a different number of options, with two realms of magic you sacrifice some power for flexibility, depending on what is available at the magnitudes you can reach.

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All ritualist types play very differently. You should think of each mastered ritual as its own skill, and work out when you might use them. Picking in the field is big and clever as it means you don’t buy a high-magnitude ritual nobody else knows how to do.

My first PC with ritual magic was a farm buff specialist with Physick, Spring 1, Summer 1, Autumn 1. His ritual came consisted of herding everyone who knew farm enhancement rituals into a mega coven at the event and coordinating efficient and humourous castings of economic rituals.

My current PC is a Winter 3 specialist, who only took one ritual he couldn’t solo cast. Whisphers Through the Black Gate :smiley: . His main useful abilities are reactive. They’re “Analyse a curse” and “Burn up evil magic”. I haven’t even mastered the last 2, as I don’t cast Black Iron Blade or Words of Ending often, so they don’t need to be efficient.

Night is reliable fun because there’s always a reason to cast Signs and Portents. Mastering it gives you an instant excuse to recruit people to join your coven (or for you to join a coven) because it’s a cheap “detect current plot” effect. The alchemy rituals are pretty useless unless your aim is to specifically poke the Azoth plot, so I’d give them a miss. Hero Point buffs and Freedom of the Soul are always popular if you want to sell them.

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As far as finding a coven goes, your best bet is to turn up and ask around! There is bound to be at least one Night coven in the Brass Coast, and covens are often looking for new members, so I doubt that you’ll have a problem with that.

You might indeed want to leave your ritual decisions until you’re on the field - taking a low mag or two if you can solo cast and they interest you is fair enough, but you might find that your new coven has something they’re really close to being able to do, so it might be good to talk to them and see what would be useful.

You can be a magician and any other role as well. Want to fight? No problem, take some weapon skills. Want to heal? Fine, there are skills you can take (as @Ricohard says) that would be useful to the hospital. Being a magician does not preclude you from doing anything else, so long as you have the XP.

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Seriously, ask around!

My first event, I walked in late on Friday, and had no idea what was going on. The first thing me and my son saw was the Navarr doing some shenanigans in the regio. We’d been planning on playing mages so we stuck around and watched. Not long after a kind League mage was doing a solo, and he allowed my son to step in and have a go. A shout-out to Mister Divining-The-Box! I’ve sadly forgotten your name.

4 events later and we’re both active members of the Convocation of the Mistral in Urizen, and when we’re not trying to get Rivers Run Red un-banned, we’re turning our mana sites into Crystal Guardians and killing Druj in downtime.

Rock on, my little Urizen Battlemage. (Uriel Ventris, if anyone knows him! We’re the ones that sing our rituals in duet.)

You’d be amazed how keen people are to get you involved. It sure helps them meet some of those mighty, huge magnitudes. So they’ll gladly bring you on board, get you taught and get you doing your own thing. There’s so much flavour on the boards to get you started. I recommend starting with the Lore you want to learn, and the Hearth Magic of your nation.

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Thank you everyone, this is excellent information. I’d love to read some kind of ‘Introduction to Ritual Casters’ but I can’t find anything as such other than what’s on the Wiki.

So it seems I can spread my knowlege around to several type of Ritual Lore although going Physik will limit my options due to the high cost. Hmmm, may need to rethink that or make it a longer term goal. Having Winter as well as Night would go quite nicely with the character I have in mind too.

Given the mana cost of rituals, I guess that a Mana Site is really the only option for Resources. Is there anything else I should consider when making a Ritualist? Do I need any extra items or props? Physiks carry bandages and physreps of herbs but do Ritualists need the same?

Thanks again! :smiley:

So there are a bunch of different Magical Traditions That mages can use in their Roleplay, note they are suggestions and guidelines not hard and fast rules. So think about how you perform your rituals and that will determine what props you need.

Crystal props of some form for Mana Crystals are always good but beyond that you can be as extravagent or as simplistic as you like.

Personally I tend to trace constellations and runes in the air, grandstand and draw on my target when I cast, I know others who prepare the area carefully with rune stones to shape their working area, and then you get the Performers where whole rituals become elaborate song and dance numbers, plays or even just choral singing.

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Hi there! I play Marisa Alfero di Sarvos - current clerk to the hospital, both a ritualist and a physick. There’s a lot of good advice here already :slight_smile:

Come find me in the field (I’m the often-frustrated-looking Leaguer with the clipboard hanging around the hospital tent) and I’ll happily nerd out ICly at you about either aspect (Marisa is something of a Ritual Magic Geek, and loves helping new ritualists and physicks figure out what they’re doing) or feel free to ping me an email at marisa.alfero@gmail.com for any queries relating to that, the hospital, whatever.

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Hello, I play Bakar i Erigo, Freeborn Winter ritualist and hakima. Other people have done an excellent job of giving you general answers, so I’ll swing in with some Brass Coast specifics.

While a mana site is the default option for someone playing a magician, another option that is quite popular for magicians in the Brass Coast is a fleet. You can send off a fleet to trade with 1 of 9 foreign ports between events. There are currently 3 options that provide mana crystals (among other resources), though not as many as a mana site would. The other benefits of a fleet are that they can be more interesting to roleplay around (yay boats!), particularly given that in the last year or so there have been many special opportunities for fleet owners to take part in special projects like mapping areas of coast, attacking enemy ports, or rescuing the Zemress islanders. Fleets also provide Freeborn votes for a handful of Imperial titles in the Brass Coast.

There is a page about magical traditions in the Brass coast that I’d recommend you read, as it gives you a rough idea of how to put a Freeborn flavour into your magical roleplay. One key line of interest referring to family mages (magicians who choose to use their magic primarily to serve their own family rather than the whole nation as hakima do) states that “These magicians tend to be practical, and often combine their study of magic with crafting or medicinal lore.”, which could be of interest if you want to go down the magician + hospital route. You would be spreading your xp rather thin if you went for physick skills, Night lore, and Winter lore, but it is certainly possible. If you want to lean more heavily into magic then you could just pick chirurgeon rather than physick to leave more points free for picking magical skills.

You might also be interested in the hakima page, which goes into detail about one kind of archetypal Freeborn magician. It’s a very good page, but I’m biased because it has my face in it.

As far as groups go I do not know of any specific Night covens in the nation, though there is a small smattering of Night mages mixed in with covens of other realms amongst the family groups. I’m fairly certain there are currently NO Night hakima that regularly attend events, so there is an opportunity to fill a gap if that is what you’re looking for. If you are interested in Winter and being a hakima (or perhaps becoming one in play) feel free to get in touch.

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You don’t need props, but they’re really handy for helping you fill 2 minutes. If you have 4 props and spend 30s talking about each one, it’s suddenly a lot easier. Here’s my kit., if fits in a belt pouch.

I’ve got something for rune magic, something for dramaturgy, a map for scrying, curses, or just asking “point out your home on this map”. 2 candles, so I can hold one and the target the other. A poppet because Marcher. And 2 lumps of quartz. If you strike quartz, it gives off flashes of light but no heat. It’s a great nighttime prop.

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Once again, thank you. This is helping me solidify some ideas so much.

Ideally I’m trying to create a ‘useful’ character so it seems that taking a few Realms will be more helpful than specialising in one. As suggested, taking Spring might help with some Hospital duties so I will probably pick up a level in that along with Winter and my already picked Night. Not sure what else I might need but may just keep my points unspent until I get a better idea of where I’m going to fit in.

I’ve got some ideas of ritual performance already forming so the ideas and tool kits are very useful to see. I’m sure I’ll forge my own version in time. As for resources, I have loved having a fleet (ironically, using said fleet to rescue Zemrian Islanders, of which this new character will be one) but from what I’m seeing, I may well be burning through Crystal Mana quite quickly!

Thanks again for all the great ideas!

That said fleets can get you crystal mana, its all a matter of going to the right ports.It likely won’t get you as much and you’ll likely have other stuff to sell but Fleet can be fun as you do have options as to where to send it.

I would strongly advise against taking 3 lores unless you have a coven using all 3. I did it because the Farm rituals are Spring, Summer and Autumn (There’s also a Winter one but we don’t talk about it as it’s rubbish).

a Lore 2/Lore 2 split is commin because it means you can solo cast both Lores up to Mag 6 at a Regio, and Mag 6 is where the interesting things tend to start. 1 Rank of spring magic is pretty terrible because it’s “heal 1 limb for 1 mana”. “Heal 5 limbs for 2 mana” is not bad if you can herd patients on a battlefield.

A Lore 1/1/1 build means you have incredibly little that you can do by yourself well, and there’s not much reason to want you. 2/2 is actually flexible and gives you access to useful Night and Winter stuff without a Regio. Also to “do wisdom of the balanced blade with a Regio” which is useful in the Hospital as people can show up Cursed.

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I’m a Freeborn who is part of a coven doing ritual magic; specifically Autumn. We sing and clap our hands and make hand gestures to perform our rituals; it means that the only physreps we need are the mana crystals to pay for the ritual. Less stuff to cart around.

I’m with the others, don’t pick your rituals until you’ve got a coven, as that can help direct which rituals one takes.