Author Topic: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?  (Read 638 times)

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Offline thrud

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Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« on: September 14, 2020, 03:27:06 AM »
I've been trying to figure out how to use the Magic Ritual skill and I can't make any sense of it. There seems to be so many contradictions in the rules set that it make it virtually impossible to use without a complete set of house rules?

In the RMSS Companions, you are instructed to use a skill instance for each ritual class, but I can't find any spell categories listed for arcane and channeling (only in essence and mentalism companion are there listed categories for essence/mentalism spells/rituals).
Is there anywhere documented the ritual classes for channeling and/or arcane magic?

In School of Hard Knocks (RMFRP), there is no mentioning of individual skill instances for different ritual classes? And Since SOHK was published after the realm companions, one might be tempted to say it supersedes the earlier published books.

Sure, ritual magic is powerful, but it's also a very expensive skill. Could it be that demanding a separate skill instance for each ritual class might initially sound smart, but in reality end up being massive overkill?

Unless I can find a complete set of ritual classes, it would seem the SOHK version wins on default? It's easier to use, has better functionality, and doesn't require any further documentation?

Please help me sort through this mess...

Offline markc

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 02:08:38 PM »
It has been a long time since I looked at it but from memory,
1) Ritual magic was an added idea in later books, so it has to be applied to other realms in retrospect (ie no Arcane as the book came out before it)
2) It is very powerful and thus cost a lot of DP, this is because of balance issues. In you game the high DP cost may or may not fix any balance issues.
3) I generally use it for powerful NPC's who are long lived, to get things done that regular spell lists fail to do. So I guess you could say it is a GM prop to be used to advance the story.
4) Also the idea may or may not work for your game and you should be quick to step in if it unbalances you game. Why? I generally saw that it was under powered up until a point them it became very powerful and I did not see a real good way to try and balance it except to require rare to unique material components for each ritual an possibly changing components for each instance of a ritual.


Sorry if that does not help as much as it could but as you can understand ideas/rules that come later have to be tied to previous books.


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Offline netbat

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 06:25:20 PM »
RMSS Channeling companion requires a magic ritual skill for each "type" of ritual and specifies that if the ritual is a spell off the channelers base lists it is developed as everyman(p.54). (It also uses as examples individual spells as "types" of ritual.) As you mentioned, the other two companions have ritual classes to develop skill in for magic ritual.
Interestingly enough, my copy of the arcane companion has no mention of ritual at all.
I think the SoHK description is probably a combination of the realm companions and a holdover from the alchemy companion rules where there are 10 magic ritual classes across
all the realms.
For arcane I would probably require a skill per spell list and allow some reduction in the arcane risk(burnout/corruption/spell failure), but that is just me.
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Offline jdale

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 06:55:17 PM »
Those ritual skills essentially take the place of spell lists, except each one is broader in application. If you take a ritual skill in, say, Healing, that encompasses spell effects from a half-dozen lists, many of which don't need to be cast in a hurry. And you potentially don't spend any power points. Depending on how you construe the rules, this could easily be more powerful than spellcasting. The broader the ritual skill, the more true that becomes.

Personally, I'm using a ritual system where ritual skill is developed per spell list, with some ability to stretch beyond that list at penalties (but not as much as the Essence Companion permits you to stretch -- it even permits rituals that simulate other professions' base lists from realms that differ from your own).  And even narrowly construed like that, I would say it gives the casters a big boost in what they can do.
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Offline thrud

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 11:09:36 AM »
I guess it still sounds like the SOHK version of the Magic Ritual skill is the only complete working skill description?
As soon as you start looking at the other variant  it's all about house rules...
I agree that it would make sense to have ritual classes, but unless you have some Canon material detailing it, you're expecting every GM to make his/her own balanced rules set. IMHO that's broken and we're forced back to SOHK.
Freeforming it, leaves you very vulnerable to abuse. Or the opposite, GM's will be too scared to use it or nerf it so hard it's unusable.

Offline jdale

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 12:15:17 PM »
The description in SoHK says "See the Essence Companion, Channeling Companion, Mentalism Companion, and Arcane Companion for more information on magic rituals." So I think it's misreading it to think what's listed in SoHK is trying to replace those. That said, SoHK largely reproduces what's written in the RMSR, which predates those books.

Do I think there is enough information there to use it as written without spending a lot of time adjudicating and making GM rulings? Honestly, no, not even if you include the material in the other books. I think when the RMSR says in the skill description that it's a powerful skill and GMs should make sure they understand how magic works in their world before using it, they are basically saying you need to figure out for yourself how it should work.
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Offline thrud

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 12:42:16 PM »
I guess, it's one of those black holes...
Too bad, it could have been a kick ass skill.

Offline gog

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 01:19:57 PM »
In the RMSS Companions, you are instructed to use a skill instance for each ritual class, but I can't find any spell categories listed for arcane and channeling (only in essence and mentalism companion are there listed categories for essence/mentalism spells/rituals).
Is there anywhere documented the ritual classes for channeling and/or arcane magic?

Channeling is detailed on page 54 of Channeling Companion (RMSS version), develop the skill for each ritual, not classes.

Offline gog

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 01:27:27 PM »
Taking Arcane out of the equation, each of the other realms of magic have their own rules for Rituals.

Essence Companion lays out the Essence rules, that are used also for Channelling with the adaptation in Channelling Companion (Channellers also have recourse to the Divine Intervention when trying to do very powerful things), and Mentalism have it's own ritual rules in Mentalism Companion. So need to work out which realm someone is casting with, and then apply the rules for that realm.

Offline thrud

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2020, 03:26:15 PM »
 Channeling companion only states that you need to develop a skill for each type of ritual. It doesn't lay out the different types. It lists two example types (Life giving, city curse, etc ) and handwaves the rest.
Hardly something I'd call conclusive.
Now, RMU actually lists the types right in the skill description. It's only a handful, but the best I've seen thus far.

Offline gog

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 03:45:11 AM »
Channeling companion only states that you need to develop a skill for each type of ritual. It doesn't lay out the different types. It lists two example types (Life giving, city curse, etc ) and handwaves the rest.
Hardly something I'd call conclusive.
Now, RMU actually lists the types right in the skill description. It's only a handful, but the best I've seen thus far.

True, I'd read it as every ritual name - regardless of level, so Sleep I and Sleep IV would both be Sleep type - needing to be developed separately, unlike Essenes based ones where there is are multiple types of spell of things under one grouping.

Offline thrud

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 04:08:52 AM »
Channeling companion only states that you need to develop a skill for each type of ritual. It doesn't lay out the different types. It lists two example types (Life giving, city curse, etc ) and handwaves the rest.
Hardly something I'd call conclusive.
Now, RMU actually lists the types right in the skill description. It's only a handful, but the best I've seen thus far.

True, I'd read it as every ritual name - regardless of level, so Sleep I and Sleep IV would both be Sleep type - needing to be developed separately, unlike Essenes based ones where there is are multiple types of spell of things under one grouping.
IMHO that doesn't hold water.
Using the example given, City Curse...
A sleep curse and bleeding from your eyes curse would use the same ritual as long as it's an a city level.
But a  sleep spell and a bleeding spell would require different ritual skills since it's cast on individuals.
That doesn't fly!

Offline gog

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2020, 09:34:40 AM »
True, I'd read it as every ritual name - regardless of level, so Sleep I and Sleep IV would both be Sleep type - needing to be developed separately, unlike Essenes based ones where there is are multiple types of spell of things under one grouping.
IMHO that doesn't hold water.
Using the example given, City Curse...
A sleep curse and bleeding from your eyes curse would use the same ritual as long as it's an a city level.
But a  sleep spell and a bleeding spell would require different ritual skills since it's cast on individuals.
That doesn't fly!

That makes sense, would also say that a chunk of the issue with Channelling would for me depend on the underlying metaphysics you are using around the source of Channelling power - if the sources of power don't do such thing, then their agents can't ether. Also I'd see Channelling rituals being much more limited (expect for those spells that require a ritual), as there is always the option to seek Divine Intervention - which may be sought using a ritual as the focus.

Offline jdale

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2020, 11:40:48 AM »
This is part of why I decided to have players purchase magical ritual on a per spell list basis. It's very clear what spell effects are encompassed by a spell list.
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Offline thrud

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2020, 11:44:51 AM »
I'm leaning more and more towards using the types listed in RMU across the board. It's 5 or 6 types, which makes it manageable. With a minimum dev cost of 4dp, I don't see people rushing to purchase multiple ranks each level. And with magic ritual you have to make a successful skill use. It's not as  easy as casting regular spells from a list...

Offline netbat

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2020, 04:09:48 PM »

Quote
IMHO that doesn't hold water.
Using the example given, City Curse...
A sleep curse and bleeding from your eyes curse would use the same ritual as long as it's an a city level.
But a  sleep spell and a bleeding spell would require different ritual skills since it's cast on individuals.
That doesn't fly!


Yeah, I am not a fan of the ritual rules in ChCo, it seems like they just threw them in without much thought. Since both life-giving and city curse are specific spells in ChCo, and the section on requiring rituals for high level spells as well as the notes on revenging law(the city curse list) implying a separate ritual required for each spell; it seems the intent was to require a ritual and magic ritual skill for each high level Channeling spell the GM thought was overpowered. Almost like the author(s) of ChCo didn't like the EssCo rules and decided to nerf them for Channeling.
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Offline thrud

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Re: Magic ritual skill and ritual classes?
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2020, 11:06:47 PM »
Personally, I don't mind the concept, but as so often it seems the author of EssCo went a little overboard with granularity. I like to keep things as simple as I can without loosing too much detail. A lot of the time RM rules get too finicky to use. You can't use all the tools in the toolbox at the same time, lol.