Rituals on the battlefield

I was thinking of taking Blood of the Hydra to use on the battlefield.

Does one generally get enough time to do rituals like this in the field?

Can one carry those you’re doing the ritual on, or do half the ritual, carry them, then drop them and complete the ritual?

Can I do a ritual while moving if I’m not carrying someone?

  1. Does one generally get enough time to do rituals like this in the field?
    Yes I have seen it but not in every battle (although I think this may be it’s been a while since Dawn have taken the field with Varuska.)

One of the problems is to make it economical, you have to be rank 2 at least, and you need to get 5 people with broken limbs at once, and then keep them out of the battle for 2 minutes, and then it only just works out better than other options. The rank 3 and 4 options are really efficient, but you need to be really good at organising people (and keeping an eye on the battle) to pull them off.
IF you just want away of healing a limb, the repair limb incantation is vastly superior. Even getting it through day/autumn magic would be a worthwhile over casting blood of the hydra at mag 4

Related to that, you are essentially competing with all the physiks/incantation users at a disadvantage, they can heal people really quickly. In battles that are going well you might not heal anyone. Although

For a collection of not needing people to wait around for 2 minutes and physiks being unable to do it, the one I’ve seen used most has to be mend.

While I’d love to see them, in 3 events I’ve never seen a battlefield healing ritual. You need a comparatively large number of targets (5 or 7+) to make them resource efficient. They’re basically never time efficient, and are tail loaded and vulnerable to interruption.

Blood of the Hydra and Hands of Sacred Life have even more stacked against them, since they’re common skills, so it’s not likely you’ll be the only option. You’ll also never need to use them off the battlefield, since if time isn’t an issue hits restore naturally, and physicks can restore limbs for free.

Hands of Sacred Life has definitely been used by small-to-medium covens in battles where the Imperial line has been fairly secure. I suspect it was more common at Tournament Stud, as there was a larger battle area with forests.

I can confirm that rituals on the battlefield are Big, Clever, and frequently Required.

My main battlefield Thing is casting the Anvil of Estavus. Notably that one’s a lot easier than most as your targets never run away.

I’ve seen Rising Roots that Rend Stone cast to breach fortifications a few times on the battlefield to somewhat spectacular effect. It’s a pretty cool thing to pull off.

Some of them might have been Inevitable Collapse Into Ruin, depending on the Coven doing the casting. They are awesome effects and they’re the only rituals that have justified the time and effort to cast on the battlefield.

The problem with the simple effects (heal, fix limb, suchlike) is that the ritual version requires enough complexity/mathematics that a person/group who could reasonably pull them off can do enough maths to say “why not just give the guys the mana crystals to cast the Incantations directly?”… and nobody has really pulled it off to disprove that.

By contrast, the Mass effects are as much (or more) hassle as the awesome fortress-destroying rituals: tying off a lot of people with the prospect that the whole thing might fizzle or fail to be even remotely effective. To turn the battle with things like that requires timing, which rubs up against the 2-minute wind-up and 10-minute time limit. Famously, the Thule cast Revelatory Light of the Empyrean Spheres 8 times in one battle (minimum cost - 600 mana) without affecting the outcome of the battle.

Devastating Scythe of Anguish and Loss has the potential to wipe out large swathes of enemy utility (especially vs. the magic-light Jotun who might struggle to un-shatter their gear), but at the 150 magnitude you have the cataclysmic “plotline-ending” paragons of puissant power that a) destroy a Regio or b) blight a territory for a generation.
There’s not much that can top blighting a territory for a generation.

Edit - In summary: I would say there is a lot of potential for battlefield rituals, but the niche isn’t currently being filled.
The predominant IC and OC theorists view the Empire’s current toolset as too far down the risk/reward chain to be useful.

It’s actually pretty easy to make a case for them being resource efficient, the real killer is the time. A rank 3 spring ritualist can do Hands of Sacred Life on 9 targets for 3 mana crystals. This is rather good compared to the 9 herbs it would take with physick application or mana potions. Incidentally, using mana crystals to cast Heal is very suboptimal.

Let’s assume the best case that I’ve got 9 people on 1 hit, so they all need healing before they can return to the front line:
10s one back on the front line
20s two back on the front line

90s nine back on the front line.

119s zero back on the front line.
120s nine back on the front line.

As said above, this is greatly mitigated in the case of Anvil of Estavus, where you’re depriving the front line of a weapon rather than a person. It would also be mitigated for Blood of the Hydra if you managed to find people with multiple ruined limbs, but that’s pretty uncommon.

Crystal mana is a woefully inefficient way to cast incantations, especially compared to a ritual with a “two targets for one magnitude” additional target modifier.

If my maths head is not full of cobwebs, it works like this: If you have this ritual mastered, and 2 ranks of Spring, you can heal five characters for two crystal mana, and add four more targets for each additional rank of lore and crystal mana you have. To heal five people with the incantation takes 5 personal mana - your entire stock of personal mana +1 extra mana. Plus knowledge of a spell specifically to allow you to do this either through an experience point, an enchantment, or a crafted item.

Or you are a physick (who has dedicated two skills to this) using five herbs. Which is a whole other skill set.

(Magnitude base 2, +1 magnitude to heal 2 people; mastery counts double)

It’s a shame the ritual fails if your targets are hit. Or else you could have a ritualist in second-rank keeping a ritual performance going until their five marked targets in front of them need the healing, unleashing it at a pivotal moment.

It’s actually cheaper than any other way of getting the Swift Heal effect (well, beyond the two you start with) and very close to any other way of getting the Heal effect.

If you have two minutes, a healing ritual is strictly superior. If you don’t, then crystal mana on Swift Heal is one of the best things ever.

That sounds like a dramatic and amazing moment

That’s not really true. Spending a mana crystal on Heal is at least twice as expensive as a herb applied by a physick or processing 2 herbs in to a mana potion and drinking it to cast Heal twice. You can argue that mana and herbs are apples and oranges, but in reality they’re quite easily fungible.

If I spent 2 mana crystals on a ritual and it gave me 5 swift heals I’d be dramatically amazed as well, but probably for a different reason.
Cool as this sounds, effectively allowing a ritualist to “save up” the results of Hands of Sacred Life and apply it as a mass call would be a massively more powerful effect than it currently is costed to be. More importantly, the bad guys would get the same ability, at which point the Thule steamroll us :slight_smile:

Tbh it might be sufficient to halve the casting time. Then they become resource efficient at 5+ targets and time efficient at 7+ targets. The remaining factors of needing to gather a batch of targets, interruptibility and tail loaded effect, are still pretty big deals, but at least it’d be slightly tempting.

[quote=“Jon C”]

If I spent 2 mana crystals on a ritual and it gave me 5 swift heals I’d be dramatically amazed as well, but probably for a different reason.[/quote]

Actually if you haven’t spent exp on spells, and you take the field on 3 different days, you can get 6 swift heals for 2. Grumbles about day mages

Ooh, what ritual would this be? Not seeing what could do that in Day.

[quote=“Jon C”]

Ooh, what ritual would this be? Not seeing what could do that in Day.[/quote]

Illuminate the Higher Mind.

Mag 3: Grant knowledge of one spell known by a contributor to the target.

Oh, I get it. Even better, you can give 3 people in the same coven 6 swift heals for 1 mana crystal each. 36 Heals for 3 crystals!
You’re not really creating those resources with the ritual though. The 2 xp you spent on Magician in the first place is really where it comes from.
Personally I think I’d rather go out with heavy armour than spend 2 crystals for the privilege of being a battlemage with one spell anyway, but that might just be my insecurities about arrows speaking.

I wanted a MASS HEAL ritual but was not allowed because the Fat Cats down at City Hall claimed HEAL was not a call :frowning:

This despite Swift Heal being deliverable with a single tap with a seven-foot staff. :wink: