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Awesome Powers 16: Rituals

Official Forum for the development of the Awesome Powers line.
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BASHMAN
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Awesome Powers 16: Rituals

Post by BASHMAN »

Awesome Powers 16 deals with magical powers and artifacts. One of the things we are looking at here is the use of rituals.
Sidebar: Rituals:
A ritual is meant specifically for magical powers, in which the user spends additional time and effort in exchange for an enhanced result of the power. Using a ritual combines elements of the Extra Time, Skill Check, and Situational Limitations, but is offset by enhancing the power of the ability being used. Any magical power used by a magician can be evoked as a ritual, while the inherent magical powers of a magical creature or artifact cannot. However, a magician can fuel a ritual with a magical creature or artifact, though rituals are usually made using one’s own powers.
A ritual requires the user to make an Extended Check, typically using the Occultism/Rituals skill. The Goal is 30 times the Rank of the power, and the Time Frame is 2 pages plus 1 per Rank in the power. So a ritual to cast a spell of Armor 3 would have a Goal of 90 and a Time Frame of 5 pages. The magician is the only Participant, but they may have assistants to help conduct the ritual. If the magician is conducting a ritual being fueled by an unwilling magical creature or artifact, they have a -10 Result Penalty to every Occultism/Rituals check they make.
The major complication of a ritual is that on a result of a “3” on the 2d6 roll, something goes awry. The Narrator could have some the outcome be very different, the opposite of the caster’s intention or twisting of the caster’s intention occur. So if an Armor 3 ritual resulted in a “3” on the check, the Narrator might declare that the magic force armor physically burns the wearer (causing Continual Damage 3) or that the armor forms a protective cocoon that is so rigid it does not allow the caster to move at all (as if they were inside a personal Force Field and also affected by Immobilization 2), or maybe the armor causes the caster to take more damage each time they are hit, giving attackers a +2 Multiplier Bonus to their damage rolls.
A further complication is that the caster must avoid distraction. If the caster makes a Defense or Mental Defense roll while performing a ritual, they get half progress for that page if they succeeded, and zero progress if they failed. If the caster takes damage, it is deducted from the Progress they have made with the ritual. For this reason, it is best for rituals to be done well outside of a combat situation.
So why would a magical character bother with rituals? There is an upside. The caster can increase the Rank of the power by 1 or apply a free Enhancement to any spell cast as a ritual. This can be any 1-point Enhancement of the caster’s choice chosen at the time the ritual begins. The Extra Effect Enhancement is especially common for this as it allows the power to work as if it were 2 Ranks higher in some specific respect. Further, the caster can choose to complicate the ritual in exchange for even more Ranks or Enhancements. By treating the power if it were 1 Rank higher for determining the Goal and Time Frame, the caster can add 1 more point of Rank or Enhancements to the power. This can be done multiple times, without any fixed ceiling, and can be used to add Enhancements that are more than 1-point. So if the caster wanted to perform a ritual of Armor 3 with [Extra Effect vs. Ballistics] and [Linked to Immunity 3] the Goal would be raised from 90 to 150, and the Time Frame increased from 5 pages to 7 pages. Another upside is that a magician can invoke the powers of a magical creature or artifact instead of only their own powers to fuel a ritual, though this is best when the artifact or creature is willing. Unwilling creatures or artifacts would need to be kept from escaping, and also incur a -10 Result Penalty to every Occultism/Rituals check the caster makes.
One other complication of using a ritual is that they cannot be attempted repeatedly. A power with the Sustained or Maintained properties that is created by a ritual will last for a fixed duration, and can only be attempted once within that time period. So a ritual that has a duration of one hour can be attempted no more than once per hour. A ritual with a duration of one day can only be attempted once per day, etc. The longest period that can be used with a ritual per these rules is one week, and the shortest is one hour. Longer-lasting ritual powers certainly exist, but these should simply be bought as permanent powers because so much time will elapse from the time the power was initially activated that the limitations of using a ritual become meaningless mechanically. Powers without the Sustained or Maintained properties can be used as a ritual, however, the extra time and effort needed to create the effect might not seem worthwhile. A ritual of Special Attack probably won’t be worth the trouble, but a ritual of Teleportation that can greatly extend the caster’s range, or Healing might be worthwhile.
A magician with the Grimoire or Versatile Advantages can use a ritual as a Power Trick but they must first pay a Hero Point before the ritual is attempted, and the effect is a one time use unless an additional Hero Point is paid the next page to extend the duration. A magician with the Wizardry power may also use a ritual to invoke their power. In this case, the Extended Check replaces the usual skill check and TN adjustments for invoking a Wizardry power and failure uses up a charge. The caster can expend additional charges in exchange for a +10 Result Bonus to an Occultism/Rituals check as normal.
Chris Rutkowsky
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MrJupiter
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Re: Awesome Powers 16: Rituals

Post by MrJupiter »

These Ritual rules really add a nice dimension for magic in the BASH game. I can definitely see an evil sorcerer villain using his mooks to hold off the heroes long enough for him to complete a nasty spell.
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BASHMAN
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Re: Awesome Powers 16: Rituals

Post by BASHMAN »

MrJupiter wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:35 pm These Ritual rules really add a nice dimension for magic in the BASH game. I can definitely see an evil sorcerer villain using his mooks to hold off the heroes long enough for him to complete a nasty spell.
Definitely; I have run this exact scenario in games in the past and thought "I should probably have this be in the magic book".
Chris Rutkowsky
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