Mythos Rituals

Ritual magic makes use of science and mathematics beyond most mortal understanding to cast highly specialized spells. These techniques can be performed by anyone with the appropriate tools and knowledge without the use of formal spellcasting. Most rituals are held only in shunned books and in the minds of dangerous eccentrics who know more than is safe about the secrets of reality. Generally, these rituals depend upon knowledge of the alien sciences, extradimensional mathematics, and incomprehensible iconography of the cosmic forces underlying the Mythos.

Casting Rituals

Before performing a ritual, the primary caster must assemble and ready all the components needed as well as any secondary casters. The primary caster leads a ritual's casting. Secondary casters can be indispensable to the ritual's casting even when they're not taking an active role in ensuring its success. To cast a ritual, the primary caster must learn the ritual's secrets (see “Learning Rituals”), though secondary casters can assist in the casting without fully understanding the intricacies of the ritual.

Casting Time: Casting a ritual usually requires 10 minutes per ritual level, but the casting time may be longer or shorter as indicated in its description. One of the casters—either the primary caster or a secondary caster the primary caster specifies—attempts one of the required skill checks at the end of each phase of the ritual. These checks cannot benefit from the aid another action, and the caster attempting the check can't take 10 or take 20, even if she has an ability that would normally allow her to do so when threatened or distracted. Furthermore, because of the specific procedures of ritual casting, mundane equipment that grants bonuses on skill checks can't usually increase the caster's bonus on the checks required by the ritual, unless the GM allows it. Bonuses on the skill checks required for the ritual that are granted by feats, spells (with enough duration to last throughout the casting), traits, and magic items usually apply, at the GM's discretion.

Components: Rituals can have any of the same components used by spells. Required focus and material components commonly include specific, unusual items. Feats and magic items that remove required components from spells do not affect rituals unless they explicitly say they affect rituals (or the GM rules otherwise). Rituals frequently require material sacrifices of blood or other vital substances.

Edible components must often be consumed during the ritual. Tomes are important focus components to many rituals, but whether they are mandatory or simply helpful varies from ritual to ritual. Optional components are listed after mandatory components. In addition, some rituals have a locational component (“L”) or a temporal component (“T”).

Each includes a description for its component, which might be very specific (such as one particular hill) or general (such as “open to the sky” or “an underground chamber”). Temporal components are often astrological and require one or more stars or planets to be visible. If these temporal or locational components are not provided, the ritual simply fails.

If a ritual allows the participation of secondary casters (often called “acolytes”), the ritual's components line includes "SC" ("secondary casters") as an entry, immediately followed by a parenthetical that details any maximum or minimum number of secondary casters required to cast the ritual. If a ritual description has no secondary caster entry, that ritual does not permit the assistance of secondary casters. While secondary casters can help by attempting the skill checks the primary caster assigns them, their chief purpose is to aid in the ritual's casting. Unless stated otherwise in the ritual description, secondary casters must be within 100 feet and line of effect of the primary caster and each other during the entirety of a ritual's casting.

A ritual automatically fails when enough of the casters are incapacitated, killed, or moved more than 100 feet from (or out of line of effect of) all other casters to reduce the number below the minimum number of casters.

Skill Checks: Since it is possible for those lacking the ability to cast arcane, divine, or psychic spells to cast rituals, variables that would normally rely on caster level (such as range and spell resistance) use the character level or total Hit Dice of the primary caster instead. This is the case even for a ritual caster who has the ability to cast spells. Characters with a caster level gain a +1 bonus on skill checks to cast a ritual, and this bonus increases by 1 for every 5 caster levels they possess (to a maximum of +5 at caster level 20th) as their understanding of the fundamentals of magic grows.

It's surprisingly difficult to disrupt a ritual. Participation in casting a ritual does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and the casters can pause the ritual to engage in combat or take other actions— though not without consequences. For each round a ritual is paused in this way, the DCs of all the ritual's subsequent skill checks increase by 1. The ritual's casting time does not continue to elapse while paused. If all the skill checks for a ritual are successful, the ritual succeeds, and the primary caster (and the secondary casters, if specified) experiences the ritual's backlash before the ritual's effect occurs. If the casters fail any of the skill checks required for a ritual, or the ritual fails for another reason, the ritual ends. In this case, the casters also experience the ritual’s backlash, and the failure consequences occur (though only some rituals have these properties). The consequences of failure, if any, are detailed in each ritual's description. The skill checks must be attempted in the order listed, generally starting with the diagram skill check (if any), but the GM rolls for the checks and tracks the progress of the ritual casting in secret.

Mythos Taint: Any caster who has been tainted by cosmic forces gains a bonus on any skill check to cast a ritual, except for the diagram phase skill check. The bonus is proportional to the severity of the taint. The GM makes the final ruling on the severity of the taint, but as a general guideline, having a distant aberration ancestor or any fear condition caused by Mythos phenomena gives a +2 circumstance bonus. Belonging to a race linked to one of the Great Old Ones or other cosmic forces or having an insanity caused by Mythos phenomena gives a +4 circumstance bonus. Being a chosen vessel of a Great Old One or other cosmic forces or having multiple insanities caused by such creatures gives a +6 circumstance bonus.

Diagram Phase: The first phase of a ritual is usually the creation of an eldritch circle or other diagram. This phase's skill check is labeled “(diagram)”. Having a tome or copy of the circle gives the caster a +5 insight bonus on this skill check. While not always in the shape of a circle per se, proper symbols, shapes, and glyphs are typically required.

Diagram: If a ritual calls for a diagram, it is described in this line. Diagrams generally must encircle the caster or the target as indicated in the ritual and cannot be moved once inscribed, even if the ritual's casting is not yet complete.

Saving Throw: The DC for a saving throw against a ritual's effects (if applicable) is equal to 10 + the ritual level + the primary caster's Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma bonus (whichever is highest).

Spell Resistance: The primary caster makes any check for spell resistance using the effective caster level calculated from Hit Dice and any bonus from spellcasting class levels noted above.

Backlash: Any successful or failed ritual has a chance of draining the caster's energy. The primary caster must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw or take 1 point of nonlethal damage per level of the ritual. The DC is 10 1-1/2 x the ritual’s level. All rituals have this backlash unless the description indicates a different one.

Failure: Any failure to cast a ritual has a dramatic psychic and physical toll on the casters, who become fatigued and shaken for a duration equal to the ritual's casting time. If you use the Dread and Insanity rules, the save DC of the dread the participants gain instead of this shaken condition is 15 or 10 + 1.5 x ritual level, whichever is higher. In addition, the casters are frustrated by the principles and alignments necessary for that particular ritual. They take a –5 cumulative penalty on skill checks to cast that ritual again for an amount of time equal to the casting time multiplied by the caster level. This penalty ends immediately for any caster later involved in successfully casting the ritual despite the penalty. All rituals have this failure effect unless the description indicates a different one.

Learning Rituals

Learning a ritual from hidden clues or from independent research into alien sciences takes a week or a month per ritual level (GM's discretion). Learning from detailed instructions takes an amount of study equal to 10 times the ritual’s casting time. In either case, the researcher must succeed at a skill check required by the ritual (learner's choice of which). Failing the check means the secrets of the ritual elude the learner's understanding, though she can start the process anew at the same rate of potential discovery.


Rituals

Like spells, rituals are best-known for being hidden in particular Mythos tomes (see Mythos Grimoires), but can also be found in other texts. A few are associated with particular Outer Gods, Great Old Ones, or Mythos races, and are always carefully-guarded secrets. GMs are encouraged to decide for their own games whether particular rituals are available, and where they can be found. They are often hidden away in places where seekers risk insanity or physical danger.


Occult Rituals

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures introduces rules for occult rituals with some similarities to these rules. If your game uses occult ritual rules, these rituals can be adapted to function within that system with the following adjustments:

Casting Time: Increase the number of phases to equal the ritual’s level. The casting time generally changes to 10 minutes per ritual level, with a skill check every 10 minutes. If the casting time is already at least 2 hours, it is generally 1 hour per ritual level with a skill check every 1 hour instead. Components: The ritual automatically fails if any of the casters are killed, incapacitated, separated by more than 100 feet, or are removed from line of effect to each other. If a ritual’s casting is aided by at least four secondary casters, all casters gain a +1 bonus on all skill checks attempted as part of casting the ritual. This bonus increases by 1 for every four secondary casters beyond four (up to a maximum bonus of +5 for 20 or more secondary casters). This replaces any bonus listed in the ritual’s description for secondary casters.

Skill Checks: Increase the number of skill checks to equal the ritual’s level. The ritual doesn’t fail from failed skill checks until a number of failures equal to or greater than half the number of skill checks required occurs. The primary caster can choose any order in which to attempt the skill checks.


Ritual List

The rituals described in this book are summarized in the following list by effective spell level, but no minimum level is required to cast any ritual.

2nd-Level Rituals
Call Servitor of the Outer Gods: Conjure uncontrolled servitor.
Contact Deep Ones: Draw attention of nearby deep ones.

3rd-Level Rituals
Contact Formless Spawn: Draw attention of a formless spawn of Tsathoggua.
Create Elder Sign: Outer Gods, Great Old Ones, and their servants can't touch warded object.
Inscribe the Yellow Sign: Sign maddens insane or knowing creatures and compels them to serve the King in Yellow.
Secret Mouth: Give target a bite attack on any body part.

4th-Level Rituals
Brew Space Mead: Year-long brewing allows survival in space.
Protective Aura: Gain stoneskin and protection from chaos/evil/good/law while casting another ritual.

5th-Level Rituals
Bind Byakhee: Force a byakhee to serve.
Bind Star Vampire: Force a star vampire to serve.
Bride of Sathla: Ritual drowning protects large area from extraplanar creatures.
Call Byakhee: Conjure 1d4 uncontrolled byakhee.
Call of Cthulhu: Invite Cthulhu into caster's mind.
Call Star Vampire: Conjure 1 uncontrolled star vampire.
Contact Yithians: Draw attention of Yithians in present time.
Dragon Ascending: Revive essential salts.
Dragon Descending: Dissolve creature subject to essential salts.
Essential Salts: Prepare corpse to be revived by dragon ascending.
Mao Ceremony: Gain magic power by ritual killing.

7th-Level Rituals
Acid Blood Curse: Target becomes resistant to and bleeds acid, but corrodes gear.
Bind Dimensional Shambler: Compel dimensional shambler to serve.
Call Dimensional Shambler: Conjure uncontrolled dimensional shambler.
The Red Sign: Blood sacrifice enhances nonhumanoid's mind.

8th-Level Rituals
Call Hunting Horror: Conjure an uncontrolled hunting horror.
Contact Ithaqua: Invite Ithaqua's influence.
Obscene Fertility Rites of Shub-Niggurath: Give Shub-Niggurath influence over an area.

9th-Level Rituals
Avatar of the Black Goat with the Thousand Young: Conjure Shub-Niggurath bodily.
Call Azathoth: Invite Azathoth's influence.
Call Father Yog-Sothoth: Invite Yog-Sothoth’s influence.
He Who Must Not Be Named: Invite Hastur's influence.

Ritual Descriptions

Acid Blood Curse

School transmutation; Level 7
Casting Time 8 hours every three months for 1 year (4 phases; no penalty for interruption)
Components V, S, M (rare herbs, spices, and oils worth 100,000 gp)
Skill Checks Craft (alchemy) DC 26, 2 successes; Heal DC 26, 2 successes
Range touch
Target willing or helpless humanoid touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This ritual protects the subject from acid, turning the subject’s blood and bodily fluids highly acidic, which damage and corrode any material they drip upon. The subject gains acid resistance 20, ignoring the first 20 points of acid damage from each attack. The subject's highly acidic blood damages weapons that penetrate the skin. Creatures that deal damage to the subject with slashing or piercing weapons in melee take 1d6 points of acid damage from blood spatter. Slashing and piercing weapons that damage the subject also take this damage, which ignores hardness.

While these advantages are significant, the disadvantages are why it is called a curse. The victim’s other body fluids are also acidic, though not to the same degree as the victim’s blood. Any sweat will, over time, tatter and ruin all worn clothing, and any saliva will eventually tarnish and destroy eating utensils. This effect also makes it hard for the victim to have a romantic or social relationship except with another subject of the acid blood curse.

Any armor the victim wears degrades over time, gaining the broken condition after 1d4 weeks of wear and becoming destroyed after twice as long. If the subject is wounded, any worn armor is also exposed to the acid damage. As a result, subjects generally belong to character classes that do not normally wear armor.

The acid blood curse is not normally performed on Okkators other than the masked, because it prevents them from being able to interact easily with society.

Avatar of the Black Goat With A Thousand Young

School transmutation [chaotic, evil]; Level 9
Casting Time 24 hours (7 phases of 3 hours; fails automatically if interrupted)
Components V, S, L (any area affected by the obscene fertility rites of Shub-Niggurath)
Optional Components SC (up to 10, each of whom must have at least 8 ranks in Knowledge [religion] or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) and chant from text; +1 bonus on ritual skill checks per 2 participants)
Skill Checks Knowledge (nature) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 23, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (religion) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 38, 6 successes
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Diagram target must be in the center of a 5-foot circle drawn entirely in blood throughout the casting
Target a living creature of at least Small size that has Intelligence 3 or higher
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; Spell Resistance yes

This ritual blesses its willing or unwilling subject to be an avatar through which Shub-Niggurath can manifest herself. If after the ritual is concluded, the avatar is in an area currently affected by the Obscene Fertility Rites of Shub-Niggurath, Shub-Niggurath may burst forth from the avatar at influence stage 3, effectively slaying it.

Alternatively, a dark young or acolyte of Shub-Niggurath can magically command the avatar to bring forth the Outer God at any time as an action over the course of 1 round with a successful Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) check against DC 40.

Shub-Niggurath will then remain at influence stage 3 until her whims draw her elsewhere or she is defeated or banished somehow. Unless Shub-Niggurath would otherwise be at influence stage 3, she falls back to influence stage 2 when her nucleus is destroyed. Only a wish, miracle, or similarly powerful magic can remove this blessing, and even then, the caster must make a caster level check with a DC of 37.

Bind Byakhee

School enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level 5
Casting Time 1 minute (2 phases of 5 rounds)
Components V, T (Carcosa's star system must be above the horizon; depending on the caster’s planet and hemisphere, this may be from mid-Fall to mid-Spring or some other period of months or seasons), F (a magic whistle, or a whistle made magical by an ongoing spell for the duration of the ritual)
Optional Components F (an edition of The King in Yellow with the tune's sheet music gives a +5 insight to the ritual skill check)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 18, 1 success; Perform (wind) DC 18, 1 success
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one Byakhee
Duration until task is completed, up to 1 day/level
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

This short ritual binds a single byakhee to carry out a task directed by the caster. Any byakhee within range that were recently conjured by the Call Byakhee ritual calmly listens to the ritual tune of bind byakhee until the player makes an error, at which point all byakhee present are free to attack the caster or do as they wish unless bound by another casting of this ritual. This ritual bypasses a byakhee's usual immunity to mind-affecting effects.

Bind Dimensional Shambler

School enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level 7
Duration of Ritual: 1 minute
Components V, S, F (the knife or object initially used to call the dimensional shambler)
Optional Components F (a tome containing the ritual gives a +5 insight bonus on the ritual skill check)
Skill Check Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 28, 1 success
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one dimensional shambler
Duration until task is completed, up to 1 day/level
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

The ritual binds a dimensional shambler to carry out a single task directed by the caster. When this ritual is initiated, the dimensional shambler cannot attempt to depart the presence of the caster by any means unless the ritual is interrupted. When the ritual is complete, the target can negate the control with a successful Will save.

This ritual is often found in the same tomes that contain the Call Dimensional Shambler ritual, though not always.

Bind Star Vampire

School enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level 5
Casting Time 1 hour
Components V, S, F (De Vermis Mysteriis or another magical tome or spellbook containing the ritual, which must be read directly from the book), T (at night under a clear and starry sky)
Optional Components SC (up to 5, each giving a +1 bonus on skill check, who recite the ritual from text and must have at least 1 rank in Profession [Yog-Sothothery philosopher])
Skill Checks Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philospher) DC 22, 1 success
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one star vampire
Duration until task is completed, up to 1 day/level
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

This ritual binds a star vampire to carry out a single task directed by the caster. When this ritual is initiated, the star vampire cannot harm any of the casters, nor can it move beyond the ritual's range except while the ritual is interrupted. It receives a Will saving throw to negate the binding's control only after the casting is complete.

Brew Space Mead

School transmutation; Level 4
Casting Time 24 hours plus 24 hours after the mead has fermented in a sealed container for at least 1 year (2 phases, each 24 hours; no penalty for separation or interruption in the intervening time)
Components V, S, M (various unusual ingredients), F (brewery equipment, an alchemical laboratory, or similar equipment)
Optional Components F (the Celeano Fragments gives a +5 insight bonus on this ritual's skill checks), SC (up to 2, each of whom gives a +1 bonus and each must have at least 1 rank in Profession [chef] or Craft [alchemy])
Skill Checks Profession (brewer) or Profession (Yog- Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 2 successes
Range 0 ft.
Effect 1 serving of space mead/level
Duration 1 hour/level, then 3 days/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This ritual creates one serving of space mead per caster level. Space mead is normally very unstable, and evaporates uselessly after only 1 hour per caster level, starting from the time the ritual is completed. If consumed before that time is up, the drinker becomes immune to the effects of exposure to the vacuum of space and need not eat, sleep, or breathe for 3 days per caster level.

Bride of Sathla

School abjuration; Level 5
Casting Time 16 hours (2 phases of 8 hours)
Components V, S, M (herbs, oils, and incense worth 1,000 gp), F (body of a ritually drowned sentient humanoid, traditionally female)
Skill Checks Knowledge (nature) DC 22, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 22, 1 success
Range touch
Diagram the body is cut into seven pieces, and buried in a heptagram around the area's edge
Area 800-ft. radius emanation centered on a fixed point
Duration 1 year/level
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

The Tcho-Tcho use this ritual—which prevents the entry of extraplanar creatures—to protect their villages. The corpse’s liver is removed, dried, and preserved. While the dried liver is within the area and the body parts remain buried, extraplanar creatures are barred from entering the area. Upon first interacting with the ward, a creature can ignore it with a successful Will save and spell resistance, but if both fail to overcome the ward, it cannot try to enter again for 1 month.

Call Azathoth

School conjuration (calling); Level 9
Casting Time 4 hours (2 phases of 2 hours; fails automatically if interrupted)
Components M (3 Elder Signs, which are broken, and dust from a meteorite), SC (at least 5 and up to 100, each of whom must have 1 rank in Knowledge [planes] or Profession [Yog-Sothothery philosopher] or Mythos taint and who must chant from text; every 10 give a +1 bonus on non-diagram ritual skill check), T (at night under the open sky)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 45, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 55, 1 success
Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Diagram primary caster stands in the middle of a 10-foot diameter circle representing complex permutations of various astronomical bodies across numerous planes drawn with meteorite dust
Effect Azathoth influence nucleus
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance no

This awful ritual calls the Daemon Sultan of the Outer Gods from his throne at the center of existence to the caster’s location. Azathoth is allowed a Will saving throw to negate this ritual (his bonus is +31). No tome is known to contain this spell, but servitors of the Outer Gods are eager to teach it or force others to perform it, as they require mortals to break the required Elder Signs.

When the ritual is successful, Azathoth manifests at influence stage 1 accompanied by 1d3 servitors of the Outer Gods and 1d10-1 other unspeakable creatures of great power from his court. Unless Azathoth is banished quickly, the completion of this ritual generally leads to the utter destruction of the planet to which he is summoned.

Call Byakhee

School conjuration (calling) [chaotic, evil]; Level 5
Casting Time 1 minute (2 phases of 5 rounds)
Components V, T (Carcosa's star system must be above the horizon; depending on the caster’s planet and hemisphere, this may be from mid-Fall to mid-Spring or some other period of months or seasons), F (a magic whistle, or a whistle made magical by an ongoing spell for the duration of the ritual)
Optional Components F (an edition of The King in Yellow with the tune's sheet music gives a +5 insight to the ritual skill check)
Skill Checks Knowledge (geography) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 20, 1 success; Perform (wind) DC 20, 1 success
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect 1d4 byakhee
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

This ritual is a short tune played on an enchanted whistle that calls 1d4 byakhee through the void from their native star. Byakhee are hungry but are content to be still and listen to any tune played on magical wind instruments (whether magic items or mundane items under spells).

Call Dimensional Shambler

School conjuration (calling) [evil]; Level 7
Casting Time 10 minutes
Components V, S, F (a knife or similar tool made of pure, unalloyed metal, such as pure iron or gold, but not bronze), M (any dust or liquid)
Optional Focus F (text of the ritual gives a +5 insight bonus on the ritual skill checks)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 28, 1 success
Range 0 ft.
Diagram The circle must be exactly the space of the caster drawn with any materials. The purpose of the circle is to prevent the dimensional shambler from reaching the caster, and must be just large enough for the caster to stand in without being large enough for the shambler to materialize inside the circle.
Effect one dimensional shambler
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

This ritual summons a dimensional shambler, which appears outside the caster’s protective circle. Although it gets a Will saving throw and spell resistance to resist being called, it suffers a penalty to each if the caster has an appropriate tome. It is not under the caster’s control until the bBind Dimensional Shambler ritual is complete, and in the meantime will attempt to attack or abduct any available companions of the caster who are not safe inside protective circles of their own.

The dimensional shambler cannot attack or affect creatures through the barrier of a protective circle for as long as the circle remains unbroken. Shamblers are loathe to depart the place to which they have been summoned without taking a meal along to other planes.

Call Father Yog-Sothoth

School conjuration (calling); Level 9
Casting Time 8 hours (2 phases of 4 hours)
Components V, S, M (gate spell connecting to the nameless gulf between dimensions, which has no effect other than allowing the ritual), F (a complete edition of the Necronomicon), L (in a fallen or desecrated temple of any deity at an elevated location, such as on a high hill or mountaintop), T (begin at sunset)
Optional Components SC (up to 10, each of whom must be an outer abomination, outer mutant, or outer spawn chanting from text; +1 bonus on ritual skill checks per 2)
Skill Checks Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 45, 2 successes
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect influence of Yog-Sothoth
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

The ritual summons Yog-Sothoth through the gate into the caster's plane, where its influence manifests centered on the gate. Yog-Sothoth can then allow through whatever other creatures or other Elder Being from beyond that it desires.

The primary caster must be an outer spawn of Yog-Sothoth. During the ritual, when the first skill check succeeds, a 30-foot diameter circle of eldritch fire appears encircling the gate. This fire deals 4d6 points of fire damage to any creature that begins its turn in it or passes through it. At the completion of the ritual, Yog-Sothoth appears amid the flames.

Call Hunting Horror

School conjuration (calling); Level 8
Casting Time 1 hour
Components V, S, M (a living creature plus any other offering; see text), T (at night, with no bright sources of light present)
Optional Components F (a tome, often about Nyarlathotep, containing this ritual gives a +5 insight bonus on the ritual's skill checks), SC (up to 20, giving a +1 bonus on ritual skill checks per 2, each of whom must chant from text and have at least 6 ranks in Knowledge [planes] or Profession [Yog-Sothothery philosopher])
Skill Check Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 33, 1 success
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one hunting horror
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

This ritual calls forth an aspect or appendage of some nameless outer entity in the form of a hunting horror. It appears as though it is being squeezed through and billowing out of a tiny invisible opening in the air.

The hunting horror expects to have a substantial sacrifice prepared for it, or else it will accept the primary caster as the sacrifice and then depart. If the ritual is successful, the hunting horror first consumes the sacrificed creature and then claims any other offered items. A Large or larger creature of at least 4 HD is sufficient, though it is written that larger and more magical beings and other bribes such as magic items make it more likely the hunting horror will act favorably. Upon consuming the sacrifice, the hunting horror is willing to parley with its summoners rather than simply destroying them immediately. A caster must succeed at a Charisma check (DC 17) to convince the horror to undertake an action lasting no longer than 1 day per level. The negotiating caster cannot receive aid on this check, but gains a bonus if the sacrifice is especially powerful and unusual (+1 or +2) or if the offering includes a magic item worth at least 4,000 gp (+1, or +2 if worth at least 20,000 gp).

Call of Cthulhu

School divination [mind-affecting]; Level 5
Casting Time 1 hour (2 phases of 30 minutes)
Components V, S
Optional Components F (the R’lyeh Tablets give a +5 insight bonus on ritual skill checks)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 20, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 20, 1 success
Range personal
Diagram caster stands within a circle of markings and engravings incorporating non-Euclidean shapes and angles
Target caster
Duration 1 month/level

This ritual provides Great Cthulhu with knowledge of the caster and access to the caster's mind. Nothing appears to happen upon successful completion of the ritual, but Cthulhu will later communicate with the caster through dreams or nightmare visions of sunken R’lyeh. Those who cast this ritual that do not worship Cthulhu automatically gain a major insanity or are drawn to cults of Great Cthulhu.

If the caster sleeps on the circle then they are guaranteed to receive messages from Great Cthulhu or one of the star spawn. Non-cultist casters who sleep on the circle can be psychically attacked by a star spawn on the same planet, and their location is made known to the nearest cult of Great Cthulhu.

Call Servitor of the Outer Gods

School conjuration (calling) [chaotic, evil]; Level 2
Casting Time 24 hours or less (1 phase of 1 hour plus phases of 4 hours and any fraction thereof; any interruption causes automatic failure); see text
Components V, S, M (fresh blood from eight Medium or two Large creatures), F (a wind instrument which is played by at least one caster, a tome such as the Necronomicon containing the ritual), SC (at least 2 and up to 12, each chanting from text; +1 bonus on non-diagram ritual skill checks per 2)
Skill Checks Knowledge (religion) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 20, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 14, 1 success per 4 hours of ritual or fraction thereof
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Diagram The circle is 30 feet in diameter and may be drawn with any material, except the glyphs which must be drawn in blood and refreshed repeatedly throughout the casting. No participant can stand inside this circle except to refresh the glyphs with blood.
Effect one Servitor of the Outer Gods
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

This ritual calls a servitor of the Outer Gods at the center of a large ritual circle. The servitor so called will often in turn summon other servitors or eldritch horrors with malign intent to bring forth something beyond the casters' ability to deal with. Sometimes, it may be the creature's goal to parley and offer knowledge to the casters, and at other times its primary desire is to summon a Great Old One or other horrendously destructive entity.

Tomes containing this spell occasionally recommend not casting it under conditions in which it could accidentally summon powerful creatures that can immediately summon other creatures, since the required circle is often sufficiently magically charged and large enough for the servitor to summon nearly any creature it desires after it arrives.

The ritual's casting time can be shortened to a minimum of 1 hour by sacrificing prepared conjuration spell slots, which reduce the casting time by 1 hour per spell level so used. Spellcasters who cast spells spontaneously can sacrifice available spell slots this way so long as they know a conjuration spell of that level.

Call Star Vampire

School conjuration (calling) [chaotic, evil]; Level 5
Casting Time 1 hour
Components V, S, F (De Vermis Mysteriis or another magical tome or spellbook containing the ritual, which must be read directly from the book), T (at night under a clear and starry sky)
Optional Components SC (up to 5, each giving a +1 bonus on skill checks, who must recite the ritual from text and have at least 1 rank in Profession [Yog-Sothothery philosopher])
Skill Checks Knowledge (geography) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 22, 1 success
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect one star vampire
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

This ritual calls a star vampire down from the void. Invisible, its presence is usually first recognized by a disturbing tittering. The star vampire is generally hungry and interested in eating live humanoids or warm-blooded creatures.

Contact Deep Ones

School evocation; Level 2
Casting Time 1 hour
Components V, S, M (inscribed stones to cast into the water)
Optional Components F (the Rl’yeh Tablets give a +5 bonus on the ritual's skill checks)
Skill Check Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 14, 1 success
Range 50 miles
Targets up to 20 deep ones
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This ritual alerts the nearest 20 mature deep ones within range, apprising them of the caster’s location and interest in communication; it delivers no further specific message. The deep ones gain familiarity with the caster as if they had firsthand knowledge (for the purpose of scrying and similar spells) and gain familiarity with the caster's location as if they had seen it once (for the purpose of teleport and similar spells).

The deep ones otherwise gain no special ability to travel to the caster or communicate. Deep ones will cautiously learn what they can about the caster before approaching or otherwise making themselves known, or simply abduct an apparently weak and vulnerable caster for questioning by their leaders.

Contact Formless Spawn

School evocation; Level 3
Casting Time 1 hour
Casting Time V, S
Optional Component F (the Book of Eibon gives a +5 insight bonus on skill checks to cast the ritual), L (inside a temple or shrine with an intact altar and/or statue of the Tsathoggua gives a +5 circumstance bonus to the ritual's skill checks)
Skill Checks Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 20, 1 success
Range 1 mile or unlimited; see text
Targets up to 20 formless spawn of Tsathoggua
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This ritual alerts formless spawn of Tsathoggua to the caster’s location and interest in communication. Usually, casters use them as surrogates for contact with Tsathoggua itself. The formless spawn gain no special ability to contact or travel to the caster. One or more formless spawn will generally move to encounter the caster as quickly as possible, as they and Tsathoggua are always interested in meals, new worshipers who might bring further meals, or just having a good time toying with fragile humanoids.

If this ritual is cast in or within 90 feet of any temple of Tsathoggua (even one without an intact altar or statue of Tsathoggua), the range becomes unlimited.

Contact Ithaqua

School evocation; Level 8
Casting Time 4 hours (2 phases of 2 hours; fails automatically if interrupted)
Components V, S, SC (at least 5 and up to 10, who must have Mythos taint or have at least 1 rank in Knowledge [geography] or Profession [Yog-Sothothery philosopher] and must chant from text; +1 bonus on the non-diagram ritual skill check per optional caster), L (beyond a polar circle or in a similar permanently cold area, atop a large hill of snow or a frozen peak)
Skill Checks Craft (sculptor) DC 20, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (geography) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 33, 1 success
Range unlimited
Diagram primary caster must stand in the middle of a 10-foot-diameter circle carved into the ice and snow
Effect Ithaqua
Duration 1d10 hours
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This ritual calls down Ithaqua, the Elder God of ice, wind, and ravaging hunger. Ithaqua may take several hours to appear, and might remain distant so that only the impossibly cold winds that follow his path mark his dread presence. Regardless, Ithaqua will likely bring along some gnoph-keh and transform any ritual participants into wendigo, if they are not wendigo already.

Contact Yithians

School evocation; Level 5
Casting Time 12 hours
Components V, S
Optional Components F (the Eltdown Shards give a +5 insight bonus on skill checks to cast this ritual) Skill Checks Knowledge (history) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 30, 1 success
Range 100 miles
Targets up to 20 Yithians
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This ritual alerts members of the great race of Yith in the caster’s own time to the caster's location and desire to make contact. The ritual cannot contact such beings in the future or past, only members of the great race who have mind-swapped with a “native” intelligent creature in the present.

The Yithians gain familiarity with the caster as if they had firsthand knowledge (for the purpose of scrying and similar spells) and familiarity with the caster's location as if they had seen it once (for the purpose of teleport and similar spells). The Yithians otherwise gain no special ability to travel to the caster or communicate. The Yithians may choose to approach and interact with the caster if such interaction seems safe, productive, and interesting. They will terminate persistent or irritating casters they do not trust by whatever means at their disposal. From negative experience, Yithians are wary of being interrogated and tortured for their vast knowledge, and their knowledge of all time makes them adept at judging whether any particular caller will prove such an interrogator.

Create Elder Sign

School abjuration; Level 3
Casting Time 1 hour (2 phases of 30 minutes; automatically fails if interrupted)
Components V, S
Optional Components F (a rendering of the Elder Sign gives a +2 insight bonus on all ritual skill checks), F (the Celeano Fragments or another source of all three renderings give a +5 insight bonus on all ritual skill checks and increases casting time to 3 hours in 2 phases of 90 minutes)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success
Range touch
Diagram Elder Sign of any size on object touched; for every 5 feet of its radius, increase the diagram skill check DC by 1
Target object touched
Duration permanent
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
Backlash The drawer of the Elder Sign gains one temporary negative level (Fortitude save DC 15 to remove)

This ceremony creates an Elder Sign on the touched object. An Elder Sign is immune to the attacks, spells, and abilities of a Great Old One, Outer God, or creatures bound to their service (including species like deep ones or tcho-tcho), and they may not touch or pass through an object with the Elder Sign. Generally, an Elder Sign is destroyed after being within 30 feet of a Great Old One or Outer God for more than 5 continuous rounds. Note that since only the Elder Sign itself has immunity to various alien horrors, its protection may be unreliable. For example, a shield with the Elder Sign drawn on it would not be affected by a Great Old One’s attack, but the monster could still strike the bearer if it avoids striking the shield. Engraving the sign upon a door or on an archway will prevent such creatures from passing through the portal.

Dragon Ascending

School necromancy; Level 5
Casting Time 1 full-round action
Components V
Optional Components F (the Necronomicon gives a +10 insight bonus on casting skill checks)
Skill Check Knowledge (nature) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15 + target's HD, 1 success
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target essential salts created by ritual
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
Backlash none
Failure none

This brief incantation restores the salt created by essential salts to life as described in that ritual.

Dragon Descending

School necromancy; Level 5
Casting Time 1 full-round action
Components V
Optional Components F (the Necronomicon gives a +10 insight bonus on casting skill checks)
Skill Check Knowledge (nature) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15 + target's HD, 1 success
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target creature or corpse subject to essential salts
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
Backlash none
Failure none

This brief incantation reduces a corpse or creature affected by the essential salts ritual to essential salts that can be restored as described in that ritual.

Essential Salts

School necromancy; Level 5
Casting Time 2 hours (no penalty for interruption, but disturbing the remains causes automatic failure)
Components V, S, M (alchemical metal shavings worth 5,000 gp for diagram)
Optional Components F (the Necronomicon gives a +5 insight bonus on casting skill checks; at the GM's discretion, other texts with hints might give +1 to +3), SC (up to 10, chanting from text; +1 bonus on non-diagram ritual skill checks for every 2)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (nature) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15 + target's HD, 1 success
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Diagram an outline of the target, generally filling its space
Target one creature or its remains
Duration permanent
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This ritual enchants a creature or corpse so that it can be reduced to a small amount of finely powdered essential salts at any time by reciting an incantation called dragon descending. While in salt form, the target can be restored to life by reciting dragon ascending or by spilling a few drops of blood from a creature of the same species as the enchanted corpse on the salts. Incomplete remains will return as a creature whose body is as incomplete as when they were first enchanted, similar to the spell raise dead. This ritual may be cast upon the mere dust or ashes of a creature, such as an incinerated body, but unless the skill check results exceed the DCs by an amount equal to the victim's Hit Dice, the revived creature is so incomplete that it dies immediately. If essential salts is dispelled, the creature or dust returns to the form of a living creature or remains, as it was when essential salts took effect.

When a creature resurrected by this ritual dies again, it must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw or the ritual's duration ends (at which point the creature is simply a mundane corpse). The DC is 10 + subject's HD. Even if the creature succeeds, it gains 1 permanent negative level and remains dead until it is again reduced to essential salts and revived.

He Who Must Not Be Named

School evocation; Level 9
Casting Time 1 round
Components V
Skill Checks Knowledge (geography) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 34, 1 success
Range personal and unlimited
Targets you and Hastur
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This insidious ritual to draw Hastur’s attention is a simple and often rapid repetition of Hastur’s name.

Due to its simplicity, it requires only 1 hour of study to learn and takes almost no time to perform, but it can only succeed if the caster understands the significance of the action. Upon completion of the ritual, there is a percent chance equal to the caster’s ranks in Knowledge (geography) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) that the magic sends a message instantaneously across interstellar space to draw Hastur's attention. The message can only arrive if Hastur could conceivably draw a line of sight to the caster, no matter how unthinkably distant (generally, when Carcosa’s star is above the horizon). If the message arrives, Hastur’s attention is drawn to the person saying his name and Hastur acts as if at Influence Stage 1 for the caster. The caster must then draw others’ attention to Hastur in order to make them observers and subject to his presence and abilities.

Inscribe the Yellow Sign

School enchantment (compulsion) [chaotic, evil, mindaffecting]; Level 3
Casting Time 1 minute, or creation time if creating more elaborate signs (2 phases of half the casting time)
Components S
Optional Components F (a copy of The King in Yellow gives a +5 insight bonus on all skill checks)
Skill Checks Craft (painting) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (geography) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success
Range touch
Diagram the Yellow Sign may be drawn at any size, and its difficulty is not affected by size; sometimes the inscriber gets carried away in crazed artistry and makes it into an elaborate baroque sculpture or hides it such that it can only be seen as graffiti on multiple buildings from a certain angle, and these require higher Craft (painting) checks or other appropriate skill checks
Effect one Yellow Sign
Duration permanent
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance no

This ritual—which can only be performed by insane devotees of Hastur and the King in Yellow—inscribes the Yellow Sign, which can only be noticed or identified by insane creatures or those who have read The King in Yellow play. If a creature has read The King in Yellow and sees the Yellow Sign, the creature automatically becomes shaken and must succeed at a Will saving throw or be confused for 1d4 rounds. If the creature becomes confused in this way, it has a percentage chance equal to the save DC of becoming permanently insane in a way defined by the caster of the ritual. If a character or creature goes permanently insane from seeing the Yellow Sign, they become obsessed with it, the King in Yellow, and Carcosa, effectively becoming a cultist of the King in Yellow.

Mao Ceremony

School necromancy; Level 5
Casting Time 2 hours. If ritual is interrupted before the 2 hours are up the ritual fails completely.
Components M (1 gallon of blood from the target), SC (at least 5 and up to 10, chanting from text; +1 bonus on non-diagram ritual skill checks per optional caster)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) or Profession (Yog- Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success (diagram); DC 20, 1 success
Range touch
Diagram target must be bound in the center of a 10-foot-diameter circle (any material works for all parts of the circle except the glyphs, which must be drawn in the sacrificial victim's blood)
Target helpless humanoid or monstrous humanoid touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This ritual replenishes magical power by sacrificing a humanoid or monstrous humanoid as fuel. The target must be killed at the end of the ritual by the primary caster, typically using a spell or enchanted weapon.

When this happens, the primary caster gains a number of spell slots equal to the victim’s Hit Dice. Spells of 2nd level cost 2 Hit Dice, spells of 3rd level cost 3 Hit Dice, and so forth. These spell slots can be used to cast or prepare spells as the primary caster normally can and may exceed the primary caster's usual maximum, but fade after 24 hours.

Obscene Fertility Rites of Shub-Niggurath

School transmutation [chaotic, evil]; Level 8
Casting Time 8 days (8 phases of 1 day)
Components V, S, M (as many kinds of tame and wild animals as possible are slaughtered and eaten throughout the week), F (7 Huge pillars of stone), SC (at least 100 and up to 2,000 participants, each of which must be able to survive a week-long festival of mindless orgies and ecstatic violence, and at least 10% of the participants must be non-humanoid; +1 circumstance bonus on ritual skill checks per 100), L (in the wilderness), T (begin 7 days before the Spring Equinox)
Optional Components F (the tome Cultes des Ghoules gives a +5 insight bonus on ritual skill checks if at least 100 Mythos ghouls participate)
Skill Checks Craft (masonry) DC 15, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 30, 7 successes
Range 50 miles
Diagram the focus pillars must be evenly spaced at least 30 feet apart in the shape of a “V” and kept covered in blood no less than 24 hours old for the duration of the ritual
Area 50-mile radius centered on primary caster
Duration 1 year
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This powerful ritual channels the fecundity of Shub-Niggurath to an area, which gives Shub-Niggurath influence stage 2 over the area for the duration. Crops are lusher, beasts and humanoids breed more easily and quickly, and fertility increases significantly in general. Additionally, 50% of all creatures born are mutated in some way. This may be simply be a strange appearance and a Mythos taint that grants a bonus on ritual skill checks, or as extreme as being a Mythos satyr or having the half-fiend template. Each of the ritual's focus pillars is Huge, with hardness 8 and 600 hit points. If a pillar takes 300 or more points of damage, it is unusable for the ritual (and the ritual fails). During the ritual casting, the first time a pillar is damaged in some way, a dark young of Shub-Niggurath emerges from the woods or wilderness within 300 feet to defend it and kill any interlopers. This can occur once for each pillar.

Protective Aura

School abjuration; Level 4
Casting Time 1 minute (2 phases of 5 rounds)
Skill Checks Knowledge (arcana) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 10, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (planes) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success
Range 5 ft.
Diagram 5-ft. radius circle centered on the caster
Area diagram
Duration ritual casting time; see text
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

This ritual siphons off excess magical energy from another ritual to protect the caster during that other ritual's casting time. To use the aura, the caster must immediately begin casting another ritual within 1 round and remain within the circle she draws as part of this ritual. Once the next ritual's casting begins, the caster gains the benefits of stoneskin and her choice of protection from chaos, protection from evil, protection from good, or protection from law. These protections last only until the caster completes casting the new ritual or until she leaves the protective circle, at which point they end immediately.

The Red Sign

School transmutation [chaotic, evil]; Level 7
Casting Time 4 hours (2 phases of 2 hours; interruption causes automatic failure)
Components V, S, M (a slashing weapon of at least +3 or equivalent enhancement used to carve the Red Sign, and blood no more than 24 hours old of at least four creatures of size equal to the target), SC (at least 5 and up to 12 providing verbal components, each of whom must have at least 1 rank in Knowledge [religion] or Profession [Yog-Sothothery philosopher] or have Mythos taint), L (a smooth basin filled with blood from intelligent creatures and some of the blood of the subject, in which the target is almost entirely submerged)
Skill Checks Knowledge (nature) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 15, 1 success (diagram); Knowledge (religion) or Profession (Yog-Sothothery philosopher) DC 30, 1 success
Range touch
Diagram a simple circular diagram surrounds the basin containing the target
Target living, non-mindless, non-humanoid creature touched
Duration permanent
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
Backlash Upon completion of the ritual, the target is reduced to 1 hit point.
Failure The target can never again be affected by this ritual.

This ritual, known only through the direct teachings of the dark young of Shub-Niggurath, permanently enhances a non-humanoid creature with the power of this mysterious red symbol. The sign is forever after visible as a glowing red symbol somewhere obvious on the creature’s body. The creature gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, and it also gains 1d6-1 spell-like abilities at the GM’s discretion, each with caster level equal to its Hit Dice and each usable three times per day. Typically, the creature should not gain any spell-like abilities of higher spell level than the creature’s final CR/2.

Secret Mouth

School transmutation; Level 3
Casting Time 2 days (2 phases of 24 hours)
Components V, S, M (rare herbs, spices, and oils worth 8,000 gp)
Skill Checks Craft (alchemy) DC 18, 1 success; Heal DC 18, 1 success
Range touch
Target willing or helpless humanoid touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This Tcho-Tcho ritual causes an extra mouth to grow somewhere on the recipient’s body. Commonly, this mouth grows on the palm of one hand, but its location is up to the creator. The secret mouth can speak, breathe, and eat. It is fanged, and thus able to inflict significant damage. The recipient gains a bite attack using the appropriate limb (1d4 base damage for a Medium recipient). The bite is not in itself venomous, but a Tcho-Tcho Okkator is able to hollow out the fangs of the secret mouth and place poison within them.


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