Incantations

Incantations, like rituals, are elaborate ceremonies designed to bring about powerful effects. However, while rituals require a caster level and accomplish their feats through gestures, chanting, and the use of expensive components, incantations have no required caster level and could involve chanting, gesturing, dancing, building elaborate machines, sacrificing gnomes under a full moon, carving the name of god onto a stone and dropping it into a bottomless well, or any number of other possible conditions.

Incantations are a completely different type of magic from anything else presented on this site. Where other magic uses caster levels and spell points, incantations use skill checks. Where other magic is reliable, broad, and generally carries no risk for the caster, incantations are often costly, dangerous, and very specific in what they accomplish. There are no class requirements to using most incantations, and virtually anyone can use an incantation if they are willing to pay the high cost of success and risk the even higher cost of failure.

The Role of Incantations

More so than any other form of magic presented on this site, incantations are almost completely defined by their role in the campaign.

Rituals and Advanced Talents are both designed to be player driven forms of advanced magic: if a player possess the planeshift ritual and has the gold to cast it, he may sojourn the planes as often as he sees fit. With an incantation, on the other hand, a player may only know how to visit a specific plane and might only be able to do so one day a year or only when they fulfill a special requirement, such as holding the heart of a recently slain black dragon. Using an incantation is often a very special event, and entire quests and adventures could revolve around performing—or stopping—an incantation from being used. Usually, incantations serve one of three purposes: plot device, party aid, and flavor.

Plot Device: Incantations are often very specific, both in effect and requirement. Through incantations, a GM can allow the party to raise the dead, travel across worlds, or speak to spirits in ways that don’t upset the rest of the game world. Alternately, villains could summon ancient demons, turn a city to stone, or place a king in an eternal slumber without necessarily being too high level for the party to handle. No matter what the story demands, an incantation can be crafted to fit the requirement.

Party Aid: Sometimes a party lacks something the GM feels they need. This could be a method of healing or tracking, a means for long-range communication, or a party scout. Through incantations, a GM can give a party new abilities that change the way they play, from giving them the ability to summon a spirit scout, to letting them heal their wounds at night without need for the Life sphere. In this way, incantations can become a treasure more valuable than gold and definitely worth a quest or two to acquire.

Flavor: Incantations allow a GM to customize the place of magic in their world, mixing setting, plot, and character together in ways other magic systems simply can’t contain. In the case of low-magic worlds or horror-themed games, incantations could even completely replace other magic systems, adding a sense of wonder and danger to magic that extends beyond what many consider ‘traditional’ gameplay. Indeed, incantations needn’t even strictly be magic; it is an easy thing to adapt the incantation rules to cover meditative trances, risky medical procedures, or the creation of steam-powered technological wonders, if that is the feel a particular world demands.

Discovering Incantations

While rituals and spells have clear-cut rules for player-conducted research, there are no universal rules for discovering incantations, as each incantation is something wholly unique unto itself. Players may discover an incantation in an ancient library, as part of the rites of a hidden temple, in an old nursery rhyme or children’s tale, or among a blacksmith’s notes detailing his last, greatest creation. Incantations might be found as treasure or might require the party to quest in search of secret knowledge.

Using Incantations

To use an incantation, a creature must meet all of its included criteria. While the exact rules and requirements differ from incantation to incantation, every incantation has the following basic components:

Casting Time: Every incantation has a casting time, which could range from a matter of minutes to several days or more.

Components: Most incantations require some variety of components, such as focus, material, somatic, and verbal components. In addition, some require secondary performers (abbreviated SP in an incantation’s description).

Secondary Performers (or Secondary Casters): Incantations often require multiple participants to successfully complete them. However, only one participant can be the primary performer. Secondary performers can make skill checks in place of the primary performer. However, performers cannot use the aid another action to assist in required skill checks. Incantations can be performed with more performers than necessary, so if certain participants cannot continue, others can replace them.

Skill checks: Every incantation lists a series of skill checks that must be successfully made in order to complete the incantation. Each incantation lists how many successful checks are required to cast it. Unless otherwise specified, you make a skill check every 10 minutes; failing a check means the incantation takes an additional 10 minutes to complete. Often, an incantation’s required skill checks can be performed in any order. Occasionally, however, a particular sequence is required either in total or in part. In this case, the required skill checks will be labeled with “in order” in the incantation description.

Any of the checks listed after this label must be performed in the same sequence listed; any listed before this label may be performed in any order either before or after the entirety of the sequenced checks. For example, in the case of “Skill Checks Knowledge (Arcana) DC 20, 1 success; in order—Sense Motive DC 20, 1 success; Bluff DC 20, 3 successes; Survival DC 20, 3 successes,” you must make 1 Sense Motive check, followed by 3 Bluff checks, and then by 3 Survival checks. However, the lone Knowledge (Arcana) check may be performed either before the Sense Motive check or after the last Survival check.

Backlash and Failure: Many rituals include some sort of backlash that affects you whether the incantation was successful or not. In addition, if the caster fails two consecutive skill checks, the entire incantation fails. Failing to cast an incantation still expends all material components and always bestows additional consequences.

Failed Incantations

If two consecutive skill checks are unsuccessful—even if made by different performers—the incantation fails. If an effect is listed in an incantation’s description specifically for failure, it targets the performer that failed the second check (in addition to a possible backlash). There are many possible consequences for failure, with the most common listed below.

Attack: A summoned creature attacks you—and likely everyone else nearby.

Augment: Instead of destroying the target as it was supposed to, the incantation makes the target more powerful.

Betrayal: Though the incantation seems to succeed, the subject of the incantation—or even you—actually undergoes a dramatic alignment change. For the next 1d6 minutes, the subject’s alignment becomes the extreme opposite of what it was previously (for instance, lawful good becomes chaotic evil, or chaotic neutral becomes lawful neutral; a neutral subject randomly becomes lawful good, lawful evil, chaotic good, or chaotic evil). The subject generally tries to keep its new outlook a secret.

Damage: You or the target takes damage as the consequence of failure.

Death: Someone dies. This is usually you or the target. Some incantations allow a saving throw to avoid this consequence of failure.

Delusion: You believe the incantation worked, but actually, it had no effect—or a very different one from that intended.

Falsehood: The incantation (typically a divination) provides you with false results, but you believe it to be true.

Hostile Spell: You are targeted by a harmful effect, specified in the incantation’s description.

Mirrorcast: The incantation has the opposite effect of what was intended.

Reversal: The incantation affects you rather than the intended target.

Special Rules

Interrupting Incantations

Incantations take a long time to perform, but they aren’t as delicate and exacting as other forms of magic. You don’t provoke attacks of opportunity while performing them, and you can even pause the ritual for a short time in order to fight, use magic, or take other actions. However, for each round the incantation is interrupted, the DC of all subsequent skill checks to complete the performance increases by 1.

Time spent during the interruption of an incantation does not count toward its casting time.

Saving Throws

If an incantation allows a save, the formula to calculate the save is included in the incantation’s description.

Spell Resistance

When making magic skill checks to overcome spell resistance, divide the incantation’s skill check DC by 2 to find its effective MSB. (For opposed checks, use the default DC for the incantation’s sphere modified by any bonuses or penalties listed in the incantation for the opponent’s roll; divide this value by 2.) Use this value even if you are a caster.

Taking 10

As long as you are not threatened or distracted, you may take 10. However, incantations with backlash components or similarly harmful aspects count as threats, preventing you from taking 10. You may never take 20 when attempting to complete an incantation.

Creating New Incantations

While there are rules for player-driven research for both rituals and spellcrafting, creating new incantations is exclusively the realm of the GM (although it is possible for players to attempt the creation of an incantation under strict GM supervision). Creating new incantations can be a difficult balancing act: if an incantation is too difficult, too costly, or too dangerous, players may avoid using it altogether, while if an incantation is too easy, players may use it endlessly. Likewise, while some low-magic games leave the players with little option but incantations, in other games the players may have access to so many advanced talents and rituals that they needn’t rely on incantations except for the most pressing of circumstances. As such, judgment and common sense should always be used when creating new incantations; all numbers and values given below should be seen as guidelines rather than hard rules.

As a rule of thumb, each incantation should have at least one aspect (high DC, expensive component, extremely-specific effect or requirements, strong backlash or risk of failure) to discourage overuse; each use of an incantation should feel like a major event, if not the focus of its own adventure. While incantations may be as varied and unique as the GM desires, the following guidelines will help balance new incantations.

Determine Sphere

When creating an incantation, first decide which sphere or spheres it most thematically resembles. Each sphere has a specific DC associated with it that serves as the base skill check DC. If an incantation combines themes from multiple spheres, choose the most important one to determine the incantation’s base DC, and add 1/3 of the DC of the other spheres to the total DC.

Each summary below specifies the range, target, duration, and other aspects of an incantation associated with a particular sphere.

Alteration: Skill Check DC 32; Range Close; Target one creature; Duration minutes; Saving Throw Fortitude negates (or harmless); SR yes

Conjuration: Skill Check DC 30; Range Close; Target one creature; Duration hours; Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); SR yes (harmless)

Creation: Skill Check DC 30; Range Close; Target one 20 ft cube of matter; Duration hours; Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); SR yes (harmless)

Dark: Skill Check DC 30; Range Medium; Area 20 ft radius burst (or 1 person for meld); Duration minutes; Saving Throw none or Fortitude negates (harmless); SR no or yes (harmless)

Death: Skill Check DC 34; Range Close; Target one or more creatures or corpses; Duration instantaneous; Saving Throw Fortitude negates (or none); SR no

Destruction: Skill Check DC 32; Range Close; Area 5 ft wide bolt or 20 ft radius burst; Duration instantaneous; Saving Throw Reflex half; SR yes

Divination: Skill Check DC 30; Range long; Target personal; Duration minutes; Saving Throw none; SR no

Enhancement: Skill Check DC 32; Range Close; Target one creature or 20 cubic ft of matter; Duration minutes; Saving Throw Fortitude negates (or harmless); SR yes

Fate: Skill Check DC 32; Range medium; Area 5 ft wide bolt or 20 ft radius burst; Duration instantaneous; Saving Throw Reflex half; SR yes

Illusion: Skill Check DC 32; Range touch; Target one living creature or 20 cubic ft of matter; Duration minutes; Saving Throw Will disbelief; SR yes

Life: Skill Check DC 32; Range medium; Target 1 creature; Duration instantaneous; Saving Throw Fortitude negates (harmless); SR yes (harmless)

Light: Skill Check DC 30; Range medium; Area 20 ft radius burst; Duration minutes; Saving Throw None; SR yes

Mind: Skill Check DC 32; Range close; Target one living creature; Duration minutes; Saving Throw Will negates; SR yes

Nature: Skill Check DC 30; Range close; Area 20 ft radius burst; Duration minutes; Saving Throw Reflex negates; SR yes

Protection: Skill Check DC 32; Range close; Target one or more creatures, no two of which can be more than 30 ft apart; Duration minutes; Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); SR yes (harmless)

Telekinesis: Skill Check DC 32; Range close; Target one or more creatures or objects, no two of which can be more than 30 ft apart; Duration minutes; Saving Throw Will negates; SR yes

Time: Skill Check DC 32; Range close; Target one or more creatures, no two of which can be more than 30 ft apart; Duration minutes; Saving Throw Fortitude negates; SR yes

War: Skill Check DC 32; Range close; Area 20 ft radius burst; Duration rounds; Saving Throw Fortitude negates (harmless); SR yes (harmless)

Warp: Skill Check DC 30; Range close; Target one creature; Duration instantaneous; Saving Throw Fortitude negates; SR yes

Weather: Skill Check DC 32; Range medium; Area 20 ft radius burst; Duration minutes; Saving Throw none; SR no

Modify DC

For the next step, determine what adjustments, if any, are required of the base DC, factoring in the specifics of your incantation (see Table: Modifying Incantations for a list of how certain factors change the skill check DC). Use this list as a guideline for modifications that aren’t listed, such as new backlash effects.

Table: Modifying Incantations

Factors Check DC Modifier
Skill Checks Requires checks involving more than one skill -1
Casting Time 1 hour between checks -1
Casting time is restricted (such as, only during full moon) -4
Casting time is severely restricted (such as, only during lunar eclipse) -8
Focus and Material Components Expensive material component (500 gp) -1
Expensive material component (5,000 gp) -2
Expensive material component (25,000 gp) -4
Expensive focus (5,000 gp) -1
Expensive focus (25,000 gp) -2
Extra Performers 10 or fewer secondary performers -2
11-100 secondary performers -6
101 or more secondary performers -10
Range Touch to Close/Close to Touch +2/-2
Close to Medium/Medium to Close +2/-2
Medium to Long/Long to Medium +2/-2
Area Doubling area/halving area +3/-3
Target Unwilling target must be helpless -2
Factors cont. Check DC Modifier
Limited targets (by HD, creature type, and so on) -3
Single target to multiple targets +4
Duration Rounds to minutes/minutes to rounds +2/-2
Minutes to hours/hours to minutes +4/-2
Hours to days/days to hours +6/-2
Days to permanent or instantaneous/permanent or instantaneous to days +10/-4
Saving Throw None (or harmless) to save partial/save partial to none (or harmless) +2/-2
Save partial to save negates/save negates to save partial +2/-2
Spell Resistance Yes to no (or harmless)/no (or harmless) to yes +4/-4
Backlash Per 2d6 points of damage -1
Performer is exhausted -2
Per negative level performer gains -2
Performer reduced to -1 hp -3
Performer infected with disease -4
Backlash affects secondary performers too -1
Lesser Incantations Per incantation effective level less than 6th -2

Set Level

Finally, set the effective level of the incantation. Incantations are comparable to spells and rituals, and have the same level system (0-9). When determining the level of an incantation, it is often useful to compare it to spells or rituals to determine an appropriate level. Or, if comparing it to its base sphere, assume a level of 1/3 the needed caster level +1 per spell point required. This effective level determines a number of aspects of the incantation, such as how many total successes are required, save DCs, and sometimes its range and duration.

Skill DC: For every level an incantation possesses below 6th, decrease its starting DC by 2. The minimum DC for an incantation is 8 + (2 x level of the incantation). This equals a DC 10 for 1st level, DC 12 for 2nd level, DC 14 for 3rd level, DC 16 for 4th level, and DC 18 for 5th level.

Total Successes: Equal to the incantation’s effective level. Save DC: 10 + incantation’s effective level + the principle caster’s casting ability modifier.

Duration and Range: When determining the duration, range, and other variables, assume a caster level of twice the incantation’s level. Duration and range are determined as usual: if a duration is given in minutes, it will have a duration of 1 minute per caster level. If the range is Medium, it will have a range of 100 ft + 10 ft per caster level. Thus, a level 5 ritual with a duration of minutes and a range of Medium would have a duration of 10 minutes, and a range of 300 ft. These details are often specified in an incantation’s description. If not, assume a caster level of twice the incantation’s level and use the same formula a similar spell would use. For example, an incantation with a duration of minutes would last 12 minutes as it’s effectively a 6th level ritual. The same incantation with a range of medium can affect a target up to 220 ft away.

Opposed Checks

Some incantations use opposed ability or skill checks instead of checks with static DCs. Creating these incantations is almost identical to creating ones with static DCs; you must still choose the sphere and use the same default values, however, replacing the starting DC in this case with an opposed check, such as Bluff vs. Sense Motive or Disguise vs. Perception. When modifying the incantation, instead of applying adjustments to a static DC, apply adjustments to the target’s check result. For example, if creating an incantation that required an opposed Bluff vs. Sense Motive check, if you increased the duration from minutes to hours, you would then apply a +4 adjustment to the target’s check result. This means the opposed check would now be your Bluff result vs. the target’s Sense Motive result +4. If, instead, you reduced the duration from minutes to rounds, you would apply a -2 adjustment to the target’s Sense Motive check.

In an incantation description, using the current example, an opposed check would be designated “Bluff vs. Sense Motive +4”. The skill or other quantity that you use is the first listed, in this case Bluff. The one you’re opposing uses the second skill or the other quantity listed, in this case Sense Motive. Any modifier listed for you or your opponent is applied to the respective checks.


Sample Incantations

Demonseal

While most often used to close planar rifts between the human world and more hellish dimensions, it may be used to close rifts between other planes as well. While this incantation may be used to permanently close other permanent portals or planar gates, the incantation is usually considered too costly for something so minor.

Sphere: Protection or Warp; Level 8th
Skill Checks In order: Craft (calligraphy or stonemasonry) DC 50 3 successes, Knowledge (planes) DC 50 4 successes, Perform (oratory or sing) DC 50 1 success
Casting Time: 2 hours
Components: S, V, F (3 gemstones worth 5,000 gp or more each, or a single gemstone worth 25,000 gp or more)
Target: 1 rift or tear between planes
Duration: 100 years
Saving Throw: none; SR no

Description
To begin the incantation, Craft checks are made to inscribe the focus (or foci) with runes. Runestones made in this fashion must be inscribed in the presence of the planar rift to be sealed shut. Knowledge (planes) checks are then used first to determine the proper placement of the focus (or foci), and to determine the best language used to seal the planar tear. To bring the incantation to a close, the Perform check is used to chant the sealing chant. If 100 or more secondary performers aid in this incantation, decrease the skill DC’s by 10.

Upon successfully completing the incantation, the focus will begin to glow and begin to orbit the location of the now closed rift (unless affixed to a structure of some sort). The rift will remain shut for 100 years or until all foci used during this incantation are removed. Any focus crafted during this incantation may be reused (if present) to reseal a rift that they were used to shut without having to craft new runestones. A single runestone may be removed with a successful magic skill check from the Telekinesis or Warp spheres vs a Magic Skill Defense of 30; alternatively, a runestone may be removed by force with a successful Strength check DC 50.

Backlash: The primary performer and any secondary performers become exhausted immediately after performing the incantation.

Failure: The planar rift or tear instead opens further, causing 2d4+1 creatures native to the other plane to appear (whose individual CR is equal to the highest level performer +1), which are unfriendly (if not hostile) toward the performers.

Impenetrable Dome

Sphere: Protection; Level 5th
Skill Check: In order: Knowledge (engineering) DC 24 4 successes, Knowledge (planes) DC 24 1 success.
Casting Time: 50 minutes
Components: S, V, F (4 stone structures such as menhir, obelisks, or statues worth a minimum of 5,000 gp each)
Effect: 2 mile radius barrier of force centered on the primary performer
Duration: 10 hours
Saving Throw: None; SR: Yes (harmless)

Description
Knowledge (engineering) checks are made once every 10 minutes (one per stone) verifying the correct angular positioning of their placement in relation to the other stones and the epicenter to which the primary performer stands. As many as four secondary performers may aid in this incantation, taking upon themselves a single negative level from that which the primary performer would suffer. Once each of the stones is placed, the primary performer positions themselves according to the current zodiac positioning with a Knowledge (planes) check. Each performer (primary or secondary) must then without magical coercion willingly and freely state that they offer themselves up as sacrifice.

Upon successfully completing the incantation, a barrier of force (similar to that created with the Protection sphere) is created centered on the primary performer (but will remain where the incantation is cast and will not move, even if the primary performer moves). The barrier has 100 hit points and refreshes at the beginning of each round until the duration of the incantation has expired. If the barrier is cast on a mobile landmass (such as a floating island), the barrier will move with the mobile landmass, remaining centered to where it is cast.

Backlash: The primary performer takes 4 negative levels (-1 per secondary performer, of which takes the negative level upon themselves).

Failure: If you fail 2 consecutive checks, the incantation still functions but only affects a radius of 600 ft. with only 50 hp per round, with a duration of 1 hour. In addition, the primary performer takes 4 negative levels and all secondary performers take 2 negative levels each.

Petition the Fates

By contacting beings outside of space and time you may contract a power that will aid you or those you know in accomplishing a quest.
Sphere Fate; Level 9th
Skill Checks Knowledge (history) DC 35 2 successes, Knowledge (planes) DC 35 2 successes, Knowledge (religion) DC 35 2 successes; in order—Diplomacy DC 35 2 successes, Linguistics DC 35 1 success
Casting Time 1 hour (cast at the start of a rare cosmic event)
Components V, S, M (three sculpted idols worth 10,000 gp each).
Target Primary performer
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; SR no

Description
Those that research ‘The Fates’ may find that a certain numerology exists that can be used to count the days leading up to a particularly rare astrological event (such as a planetary alignment involving multiple solar systems) (the Knowledge (history) checks). Through further research, one may determine the exact hours that the cosmic event will occur (the Knowledge (planes) checks).

After finding the exact day and hour of the cosmic event, the primary performer must seek out three idols which the Fates will both appreciate and entice them to appear (the Knowledge (religion) checks). At the hour of the cosmic event one must call out in a loud voice toward the celestial spectacle offering up the three idols (Diplomacy checks). If the Fates are pleased, they will offer the primary performer a single wish, to be worded with no more than 35 words. Examples of what an appropriate wish may do include any of the following:

  • Grant 5 temporary spell points and talents of the primary performer’s choice (with a caster level equal to their character level with these talents) for 24 hours.
  • Undo the harmful effects of a sphere talent or ability on a target the primary performer names.
  • Swing the tide of a battle in your favor by raising fallen allies to continue fighting (but will fall again after 24 hours).
  • Moving you and your allies, with all your and their gear, from one plane to a specific locale through planar barriers with no chance of error.
  • Protect a city from an earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, or other natural disaster.

While wishing for other things is possible, if given a particularly wordy or complicated wish the fates may choose to fulfill the wish in their own time, or may require the primary performer to work to bring the wish to pass (i.e. the wish will not occur without effort on the performer’s side). This incantation counts as a miracle or wish for the purposes of spell effects or abilities that require them.

Backlash
Because the incantation requires overwhelming energy that alters reality, the primary performer instantaneously loses 2 limbs chosen at random by rolling a 1d4 twice (1: Right Arm; 2 Left Arm; 3: Right Leg; 4: Left Leg); Primary performers whose anatomical structure is not strictly humanoid, or otherwise lack the appendage to be lost may instead lose alternative limbs such as wings, additional legs, or multiple tentacles. Primary performers who lack limbs altogether may have reality altered causing them to lose people or other objects of sentimental worth. Attempting to negate backlash through non-instantaneous polymorph effects will result in the angering of the Fates, causing the incantation to fail. Limbs lost due to backlash may only be fully restored through a miracle, wish, or similar effect.

Failure
Those that fail 2 consecutive knowledge checks fail to perform the incantation correctly, thus resulting in the failure of the beings of fate to answer their call, but no material components are wasted. Those that fail 2 consecutive diplomacy checks fail to strike a bargain and, as punishment for the arrogance and insult, any secondary performers are instantaneously slain, and the Fates take the three idols with them. Those that fail the Linguistics check find their wish to be corrupted with a very different result than what was intended.

Ragnarok

Through sacrilege, blasphemy, and murder, you call upon the lower planes to bring about destruction and an infestation of fiends.
Sphere Destruction; Level 9th
Skill Checks Knowledge (the planes) DC 27 4 successes, Knowledge (religion) DC 27 5 successes
Casting Time 8 hours (cast during the new moon)
Components V, S, M (35,000 gp worth of good-aligned magic items, sacrifice of 13 creatures with Intelligence of at least 3).
Secondary Casters 12
Area 1 mile radius
Duration instantaneous and 18 days, see text
Saving Throw Reflex half, see text; SR no

Description
After a night-long depraved ritual involving the profaning of good-aligned relics and culminating in the torture and sacrifice of thirteen sentient beings, a massive burst of infernal energy washes out from the site of casting. All creatures within one mile (including all surviving casters) take 10d6 profane damage (Reflex half). Good-aligned beings take an additional 5d6 damage. Immediately after, a 90’ radius portal (as the Warp advanced talent) opens to one of the lower planes, chosen by the caster. 2d10 balors, olethrodaemons, or pit fiends, as appropriate to the chosen plane, emerge immediately and attack any beings they come across (including all surviving casters). These may be followed by any other fiend native to the chosen plane. The portal closes in 18 days, but any fiends who have come through it remain.

Backlash
Six randomly selected secondary casters die.

Failure
Primary caster and all secondary casters die and their souls are dragged to a lower plane. They can never be returned to life by any means.

Special
This incantation can be modified as if by the extend spell by doubling the material component and casting time, the empower spell by tripling the material component and casting time, maximized by quadrupling the material component and casting time, or any combination of these.

Rite of Waking Slumber

To have the aid of a master magician at a difficult time may come with a cost, though that cost need not be taxing, and one’s life may be richer afterward for the gamble. Those who dare the risk may become an agent… for a week, a year, a lifetime, or a moment… of a mage versed in a tradition passed from the elves to the dwarves and merfolk and on to the arcane lords of other lands where magic and warfare go hand in hand.
Sphere Mind; Effective Level 6th
Skill Checks Knowledge (Arcana) DC 26 1 success, in order—Heal DC 26 1 success, Bluff DC 26 1 success, Craft (Alchemy) DC 26 2 successes, Bluff DC 26 1 success
Casting Time 6 hours
Components V, S, M (alchemically treated wine worth 200 gp, drunk during the incantation), F (diamond prism, silver chalice, and tattoo equipment collectively worth 2,000 gp)
Range touch
Target one living humanoid, giant, or monstrous humanoid
Duration Instantaneous
Saving Throw no; SR yes

Description
One who has convinced a sufficiently powerful magician to perform the Rite of Waking Slumber to this ritual is subjected to a six hour procedure wherein the performer exercises the muscles of their target, places them into a highly suggestive state, creates and administers an alchemically treated wine (which the target must drink), and implants post-hypnotic suggestions. During the procedure, the performer also incorporates alchemical inks into a tattoo somewhere on the target’s body, which acts as both a conduit for the initial placement of the magic and as the basis for a mental bond between the performer and target. Other aids, usually courtiers or acolytes of the performer, are required to assist the performer in gathering magic and perfecting the alchemical treatments.

Traditionally, the target has agreed to perform some service in exchange for another, and the abilities imparted through this incantation (accessible via the waking sleeper prestige class, which the target now qualifies for) can often aid with these services. However, the first service is often tending to the suddenly vulnerable master when their health drops incredibly at the end of the rite. Rarely, at the end of the rite the target will try to betray the performer while they are in this weakened state, though the assembled acolytes and other measures may be taken for the security of the caster.

Backlash
The performer of the ritual is wracked with the magical energy wrought from the martial power new locked in the mind of the target, reducing their current hit points to -1.

Failure
Failure on the Knowledge (arcana) check causes a buildup of mental energy that causes 3d6 points of damage to both the target and performer. Failure on the Heal check causes the performer’s handiwork at working the target’s muscles and pressure points to be off, leading to the target being paralyzed for 1d4 days. Failure on either Bluff check means that the post-hypnotic suggestions did not settle properly, and bestows a rampant paranoia upon the target, effectively giving them the opposite alignment for 1d6 minutes at the conclusion of the ritual, likely tied to a desire to attack or sabotage the performer. Failure on either alchemy check means that there was something wrong with the wine or inks used in the incantation, and the target is afflicted with Blinding Sickness (CRB).

Ritual of Resurrection

Performing a ritual to restore life to the dead is a complicated thing — and it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to bring them back. Or at least, not that you’ll bring them back the same way. That said, a well-stocked laboratory can at least allow you to make the attempt, if you’re willing to slave away for hours.

Sphere Life Level 5th
Skill checks in order-Craft (Alchemy) DC 24 1 successes, Heal DC 24 4 successes
Casting Time 5 hours
Components S, V, M (500 gp worth of oils and medicine, to be used in the revival process)
Target One dead creature
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude (Harmless); SR Yes (Harmless)

Description
By brewing a concoction that was rumored to restore life to the dead, you can attempt to revive the fallen. The process takes hours, as the medicine must be injected carefully into every square inch of the body in painfully small increments, and deal with the tremors and complications that arise during the process.

Each check takes one hour to complete, as the concoction needs precise amounts of heat, stirring, and sitting before the next step can occur. Once the brew is finished, needles are used to inject the brew into the body, and the body must be carefully monitored. The smallest misstep can mean wracking pain for the victim, and possibly even brain damage.

Success, however, allows the creature to return to life with one permanent negative level. (Or if the subject was 1st level, one point of Constitution drain.) The body must be relatively whole beforehand, or else it will still be missing all body parts that it was lacking in the first place.

Backlash
All performers are exhausted.

Failure
If one check is failed, the target returns with the damaged soul template. If three checks are failed, the process doesn’t work.

River of Reverie

There exists a dream of a river, meandering through lands both real and imaginary. Believed to be related to the bounteous forces of the natural world, and tied to myths of the origin of willpower, this river is often sought by studious wielders of arcane power but rarely mastered. The chaotic and gentle flow is known by more fishermen and sailors than by wizards and incanters; in fact, only the calm, relaxed business of fishing seems appropriate for catching a dream, and then only with a specially prepared bait. While this structure of the mind flows through a consciousness, the maintainer of such a dreamscape gains a great defense against forces that act from beyond the grave though risks greater danger of facing a watery one.

Sphere Mind; Effective Level 4
Skill Checks in order—Craft (Alchemy) DC 18 1 success, Profession (Fisher) DC 18 2 successes, Spellcraft DC 18 1 success
Casting Time 4 hours
Components S, M (aged cheese worth 150 gp to be alchemically treated and used as bait), F (masterwork heirloom fishing rod of darkwood worth at least 1,000 gp)
Range Personal
Target Self
Duration 8 hours
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

Description
To perform this incantation, one must engage in a true act of fishing. First, one must alchemically alter the aged cheese into being the perfect bait for catching a dream. Then one must begin fishing at a suitably calm stream or river. Finally, once the dream takes the bait, one must use the fishing rod to channel the magical energies necessary to weave the dream into one’s own mind. The River of Reverie will always appear near the primary performer in their dreamscape, flowing through the land and providing a scenic view that always interposes itself between any undead creatures who enter the dreamscape. Any supernatural, spell-like, or extraordinary abilities employed by the undead creature to target the performer in their dreamscape automatically fail as if line of sight and line of effect were both blocked, and as if the target were out of range of the effect. However, the supernatural, spell-like, or extraordinary abilities of creatures with the aquatic subtype or water subtype automatically succeed against the performer. Spells or sphere-effects not related to the being’s nature are not affected by this.

Backlash
The performer is exhausted. If the incantation is a success, the caster only becomes exhausted once the duration expires.

Failure
If you fail the Craft (Alchemy) check twice, the cheese is wasted and must be replaced. If you fail two consecutive Profession (Fisher) checks, the dream of the River of Reverie gets away with the bait (which, again, requires the cheese to be replaced). If you fail the Spellcraft check, the dream of the River of Reverie gets away with the bait, the ever-losable cheese.

Summoning Diagram

Wise conjurers take precautions before calling on the denizens of other planes.
Sphere Conjuration; Level 3rd
Skill Checks Knowledge (planes) DC 15 +5 per size category above Small 1 success, Knowledge (arcana) DC 15 + 5 per size category above Small 1 success.
Casting Time 1 hour
Components S, M (25 gp worth of powdered silver per Small-sized creature that will fit in the circle, a Medium creature counts as two Small creatures, a Large creature counts as two Medium creatures, etc.)
Target a number squares of level, empty ground sufficient to contain a creature of the circle’s size (1 square for Medium or Small creatures, 4 squares for Large, etc.)
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

Description
The primary performer spreads the powdered silver to make a summoning diagram, making the Knowledge checks to ensure the integrity of the circle. If successful, the result is a summoning diagram per the Diagram advanced talent of the Conjuration sphere. The diagram lasts until disrupted or the creature is released from the circle or banished, consuming the diagram.

A more permanent circle can be crafting by adding a Craft (jewelry) or other appropriate Craft or Profession skill for the diagram and another appropriate Craft skill for the material into which it will be inlaid (Profession (carpenter) for a wooden surface, Profession (stonemason) for a stone surface, etc.) at the same DC as the base checks. Doing so increases the cost and creation time of the circle by 5 times its base price and time, but it can be used any number of times.

Backlash
None

Failure
The diagram appears completed, but provides no bonuses. The performers are unaware of the failure and any creature in the circle is immediately freed and likely contemptuous of the performers’ incompetence, causing the performers to suffer significant increases in the cost to bargain for services (double base costs) if the creature does not choose to simply depart or attack.

Summon Extraplanar Being

With proper research and suitable payment, anyone can call upon the denizens of the planes.
Sphere Conjuration; Level 3rd
Skill Checks Knowledge (nature or planes) DC 15 + 1 per Hit Dice of called creatures 2 successes, Knowledge (arcana) DC 15 + 1 per Hit Dice of called creatures 1 success.
Casting Time 1 hour
Components S, M (25 gp worth of powdered silver per Small-sized creature that will fit in the circle, a Medium creature counts as two Small creatures, a Large creature counts as two Medium creatures, etc.)
Target A number of Hit Dice of outsiders
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance no

Description
The performers may call upon a powerful creature from another plane. Calling takes one of two forms: allies and hostiles. If you summon a servant of an extraplanar being with which you have a strong connection (i.e., a cleric summoning a servant of its god) they are considered an ally. All other creatures are considered hostiles, regardless of their disposition towards the caster. GMs have the final say in whether or not a character is capable of summoning allies. The caster level of this ability is equal to (the Knowledge check DC-10)/2.

If the target is of the Fey type, use Knowledge (nature); if of the outsider type, use Knowledge (planes). To summon a target, the primary performer must choose a location within close range for them to appear (often a diagram per the Summoning Diagram incantation or Diagram advanced talent), the Hit Dice of the creature (or creatures), requiring 1 Knowledge (nature or planes) check, and the kind of creature to be summoned must be known and stated (the second Knowledge (nature or planes) check). If the primary performer wishes to summon a specific individual, he must use that individual’s proper name (doing so increases the DC of the Knowledge (nature or planes) check by 10). Multiple creatures may be summoned with one use of this ability (up to 3 at once) but the combined Hit Dice of all summoned creatures cannot exceed the chosen Hit Dice total.

If successful, the performers call the creatures as the Summoning advanced talent.

Note: Many evil-aligned creatures will accept payment in blood instead of wealth, even behaving as allies if a blood price is offered. For every 25 gp cost, 1 Hit Die worth of creatures must be killed. Creatures with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher count as twice their listed Hit Dice for this purpose. These creatures must be killed within a specially prepared magic circle (no cost to create, but requires at least one hour to draw; maximum radius 5 ft. per caster level). So long as the magic circle remains intact, any caster may use Hit Dice collected within it to power their magic, spending the collected Hit Dice as if it were gold to power their rituals. The life and essence alternate ritual costs (see Spheres of Power Ch. 4 Advanced Magic) may also be appropriate for some creatures, at the GM’s discretion.

Backlash
All performers are fatigued. If already fatigued, they instead become exhausted. If exhausted, they fall unconscious for 1d4 hours.

Failure
All performers gain 1 permanent negative level. Additionally, the target is aware of the identities of all the performers and may seek revenge or chastisement if it chooses. The target may choose to appear but is completely unbound and may act as it chooses.


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