Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rituals and Template

So Zedeck Siew did some writing for the Demon City ttrpg. A preview of some of that writing was posted, specifically some rituals Zedeck wrote and I thought they were really cool with a fairly easy to follow template and I've been disappointed for a while that I haven't seen anyone else using that template, so I crafted some rituals based on it.

Hand of Glory

The Hand of Glory is created in two parts; Hand and Candle. The hand itself must be cut from a hanged man, and then pickled in salt and the urine of a man, a woman, a horse and a hare. After pickling, the hand must be smoked with herbs for a full turn of the moon. Once pickled and smoked, wrap the hand in a funeral pall until you’re ready to insert the candle.

The candle needs be made from the fat of the man whence came the hand, with soot from a burnt temple or church mixed in to give it a foul coloring. The wick should be made from the hair of a predatory beast.

Place the Candle within the Hand to finish creating a true Hand of Glory.

A Hand of Glory is invaluable to thieves and other ne’er do wells, but ware the man who wants one and the work he needs it for - he won’t be using it for something so innocent as stealing mere silver from a local merchant.

Several factors determine the potency of the Hand. Each condition met below confers one point of Intensity.

If the hanged man was: 
- Innocent
- Framed by you
- A Child
- Royalty
- An executioner
A friend or lover

If the urine came of:
- Royalty
- A magical beast

If the church or temple was:
- Your faith and personal place of worship
- Over 100 years old
A wonder

If the hair for the wick came from an animal that was:
- 3 HD or greater
- Magical
- Rabid
- Unbound when you took its hair

Effects of the Ritual

The Hand of Glory, regardless of Intensity
- Casts light only the bearer can see.

Intensity 2
- As above, and unlocks mundane doors and windows.

Intensity 3
- As above, and stops sleepers from waking up, paralyzes any residents who lay eyes on you until your candle is out.

Intensity 4
- As above, and unlocks magical doors and windows, and erases any memory of having seen you in their house.


Gather about you the things or people you aim to protect. Speak your intention to them, tell them what you’d seek to protect them from, in the general sense, with this Alarm ritual. Walk the perimeter of the area you wish to guard, hand in hand with your companions or carrying the object(s). As you walk the perimeter, speak your intention to the open air - tell the world that you have safe guarded this place and you plan to defend it with your life. Tell the air, tell the soil, tell every creature in between that those who would seek to harm you and yours are not welcome here. Tell the world and it’s creatures they’ve been fairly warned and you will destroy interlopers without mercy or sorrow.

As you walk and intone your intention, string the perimeter with thread, being sure to leave plenty of excess thread, suspended above the ground at eye level and tie a bell to the string for every second of advance warning you desire. If you wish for this alarm spell to notify more than one person you’ll need a separate quantity of bells for them and they must be physically present.

Next place an unlit candle at each cardinal direction within your guarded area and five candles at each inter cardinal direction - if you wish your alarm spell to light up the area, otherwise you may skip this step.

Next gather the thread from each of the “walls” of the area and draw them inward to the spot where you and your companions or material possessions will be and tie the excess thread around your finger and the finger of anyone else you wish this spell to notify. You cannot have the spell notify more people than there are “walls” to your thread perimeter, so if you want several people to be alerted be sure to craft an irregular shape. 

When you’ve tied the string around the finger of the last person you wish to have be alerted say “and now the weary may rest without worry”. If you’ve correctly completed the ritual the thread, bells and candles will all disappear and you may sleep or leave the area and you will immediately know if someone crosses your perimeter.

Increase the potency of the ritual by one if:

The thread is:
- A single unbroken strand of silk from a venomous spider
Made of spooled silver
Made of spooled gold (+2)
Woven from the hair of a magical beast

The bells are:
- Solid gold, worth at least 1,000 SP each
- Family heirlooms
- Stolen from a Bell Exorcist

The candles are:
- worth at least 1,000 SP each
made of the melted fat of a person or group who have betrayed you

Effects of the Ritual

Regardless of intensity, when your alarm is triggered you will awake immediately or immediately know your alarm has been triggered, the bells will ring once altogether, and the candles will light casting their natural light.

Intensity 1
- As above, but the bells will ring continuously for one minute and the candles will cast light twice as far.

Intensity 2
- As above, but the bells will ring until you desire them to stop or until the threat has been dealt with, whichever comes first.

Intensity 3
- As above, except the bells will ring as one solid note that will cripple weak enemies with pain in their heads - save vs stun/save under CON - and the candles will light up the area as if it’s under the light of the noon day sun.

Purify Food and Drink

Be thankful for your food. Thank the farmers that planted it, grew it and harvested it. Thanks the merchants that stored it and sold it. Thank the soil and sun that fed it.

Say a small prayer to your god ending with “We would now dine on these bountiful gifts with clear consciences and thankful hearts.”

The ritual increases potency if:

The ritual is completed by:
- A church priest +1
An ordained Paladin +2
A celestial being specifically sent to you to complete the ritual + 3

Effects of the Ritual

Intensity 1/2/3
- Purifies of poison and restores one bite/plateful/tables worth of food to it’s just cooked/picked freshness.

Holy Matrimony 

Gather your friends and family about you. Invite them to feast and drink with you. Celebrate your love for your partner and your time together. Dance, laugh, cry and just let yourself succumb to the emotional current of the celebration.

The following day, have a holy man or men of yours, your partners or both faiths officiate a ceremony. Promise yourselves to each other and affirm your love in front of everyone who celebrated with you the previous night, in the customary manner of your culture.

Finally, close out the ceremony with a kiss.

Regardless of the intensity of this ritual, you’re now married to your partner in the eyes of the gods and your fates are inextricably intertwined for better or worse.

The effects of this ritual increase in intensity if:
- You’re truly in love with your partner.
- One point for every ten years of happy marriage.
- Your friends and family approve of your marriage.
- Your revelry was raucous and genuine.
- Your revelry resulted in a marriage proposal from someone else of your faith
- If a child is born from your you or your guests revelries.

Effects of the Ritual

Regardless of Intensity, you and your partner are now married and you are afforded all the divine and legal rights of your lands entailed by that.

Intensity 3
- You always know the general “status” of your partner - “Something’s wrong!”

Intensity 4
- You always know the general location of your partner

Intensity 5
- You know the specific health of your partner, their specific  location, and you can communicate with them through thought if you’re within eyesight of each other.


  1. This is really great stuff !
    I love it !
    I want to steal it for my own creations :-D !

    I particularly love the details of the creation of the hand of god.
    I love the intensity concept, which could be applied to all kind of magic items AND all things related to Alchemy.
    I'll check Zedeck Siew's template and try myself at some new rituals and i'll let you know ;-)

    1. I'm glad you like it! Steal away.

      Zedeck's preview is on Zak S' blog, the post is titled "The Quality of a Ritual".

      Definitely whip up your own rituals and spread 'em around, I'd love to see them!