HEROFEST LARP Ritual Magic
It should be noted that, while powerful, Ritual Magic can be unstable & dangerous
The ritual circles are immense, swirling pools of power which a Devotee, Incantor, or High Incantor, can temporarily direct towards whatever aim they require.
Whether it’s transmuting lead to gold, discovering hidden knowledge, or even attempting to return the dead to life, all things are possible in a ritual circle.
Beware however, great power comes with great risk, and death awaits the unprepared.
Performing a ritual
There are 4 main requirements to performing a Ritual – Devotion, Empowerment, Incantation, and Focus.
Is the clear result the ritual is seeking to achieve.
Someone with the character skills Devotion, Incantor and High Incantor to lead the ritual.
Is the sacrifice required to lend power to the ritual.
Is the words, gestures and performance of your Ritual itself
Rituals require a minimum of 5 minutes to a maximum of 15 minutes depending on the amount of work required.
Focus of A Ritual
The Focus of your ritual is the result you are seeking from your ritual.
This should form the foundation for conducting your ritual, as it can affect what level of Devotional Skill is required, what Empowerment would work best, and what shape your Incantation should take.
Ensure that the Focus is clear in your mind before you enter the Ritual Circle, and be sure it is clearly stated as part of your Ritual.
RITUAL DEVOTION SKILLS
There are 3 know accessible levels of ritual devotion skills. Devotee, Incantor, and High Incantor.
The first step on the journey to understand the power of the ritual circle.
Devotees are able to channel only a fraction of a circle’s power, and will have to sacrifice much to achieve a result. They can only perform a maximum of a 5 minute ritual, enough to empower only 1 faction power.
If they concentrate, they can only hear the very vaguest of voices and impulses from the circle. To become a Devotee, you only need to learn the skill, and introduce yourself to a ritual circle.
Having begun to learn some secrets of the ritual circles, they have an understanding of the nature of them and their currents.
Incantors can draw slightly more power through the circle than Devotees, and consequently have to sacrifice less. They also can conduct longer rituals of up to 10 minutes, enough to empower 2 faction powers. They may also be supported by up to 2 devotees. This doesn’t extend the amount of time they have to perform a ritual, but does increase the amount of power they can draw from the circle.
Incantors can perform all common rituals, and any written rituals that they have been taught by a High Incantor.
They may also interact with the circle directly by communing with it, although they will only hear the answers with effort.
High Incantors have learned more about the secrets and affinities of the ritual circles and can interpret the ebbs and flows of their wills.
They can draw the most power one person can hold through the circle and can conduct rituals of up to 15 minutes. They can also direct the energy of up to 2 Incantors, including if they are supported in turn by devotees. The support of other Incantors doesn’t add any additional time to perform the ritual, only the amount of power available within it.
High Incantors can create their own rituals from scratch to achieve a new Focus. Once the ritual has been performed successfully, the creator can write and teach that ritual to others.
They can interact with the ritual circle directly by Communing with it and hear its voice clearly.
There are two methods to becoming a High Incantor once you have acquired the skill. The first is to have learned at least 3 secrets from the ritual circles, and perform a grand ritual of your own creation with the ritual master. Or, you must have learned the name and affinity of a ritual circle and bound yourself to it. Either of these paths will grant you the powers and full skills of a High Incantor.
Empowering the Ritual
The Ritual Circles are not purely sources of power, but part of a great network of different pools of energy that can be directed towards the ends an Incantor may desire. There is a trade that is required, and although it is not always equal, bringing offerings to empower your ritual will significantly lessen the potential harm that may occur.
The most common method of empowering a ritual is through the use of commodities gathered through trade, foraging, and as produced by your nation. Individual commodities do not produce significant power however, so sets of commodities in groups can amplify their usefulness. Matching commodities with a Ritual Circle’s affinity or the Focus of your ritual may also help in this matter.
The next most common empowerment is using Favour of the Mystics. More powerful than common commodities, but with an unsure exchange rate, using this currency is a greater gamble without further experimentation.
Beyond these, more arcane sacrifices may be used. Emotions, memories, books of knowledge, souls, unique and treasured items, any source of energy or item of power can be used to empower a circle. These are the greatest gambles of all, as your most cherished memory may be worthless to a ritual, and thus leave your ritual dangerously under powered.
Incantation is any form of focused performance to direct the ritual. The Incantation should be performed by all those who are within the ritual space while the ritual is being conducted.
Incantations can include, but are not limited to; Dances, chanting, re-enacting scenes of history, beseeching your gods for aid, performing sagas and stories from your nations history, reading sacred runes. Movement is often a key component in Incantations, which is why dramatic performances are often chosen as the basis for Incantations. Ideally, these should be practiced in advance.
Whatever shape your Incantation takes, it must be relevant to your Focus, or the ritual will become confused, producing a result other than what you are seeking.
The RITUAL MASTER
The Ritual Master will be creating a single area of magic within which Rituals must be performed. Due to the powerful and dangerous nature of Ritual Magic, Ritual Circles traditionally carry protections around them, stopping entry of all sorts of creatures, stopping stray Magic from escaping, and ensuring the safety of those both within and outside the ritual. Currently, only the Ritual Master can control these protective Wards, and only with their permission may you cross the boundary of the Ritual Circle to begin your ritual.
Each Faction will be given 3 x. 15 minute Ritual slots during the event, 1 slot in each of the first 3 sections of the event (Friday Evening, Saturday Morning until lunch & Saturday afternoon between lunch and dinner)
The Ritual Master will be in control of the Ritual Offering box, where the suitable offerings required for each Ritual will be given, and this box will come under the protection of the Waystation staff, and the Bank therein.
Factions should agree their slot with the Master, as they will be given on a first come first served basis. Should you wish to sell your slot to another Faction, then you must book that with the Ritual Master
Those who wish to perform additional Rituals may approach the Master and have the Master unlock the Ritual Circle at times when it is unused, for which there will be a cost determined by the Ritual Master at the time of booking your Ritual Slot.
Should you book a Ritual slot and fail to turn up for it, you will lose your slot and any payment made for it.
Secrets of the Ritual Circles
Each circle is made up of many different things, and each one has its secrets. Secrets can be traded for or earned from a ritual circle through great rituals or service. The more people who know a secret, the less worth it has.
If you know a ritual circle’s name, you can directly call to that circle. This could allow you to channel its power to whatever circle you are standing in. This can increase either the depth of the available energy, its empowerment, or something else. You can even Commune with that circle even when you’re in a different ritual circle.
If you know a ritual circle’s affinity, you can call on it while you are in its space. For example, if a circle has an affinity to the red sphere of magic, you could grant someone access to 1 rank of red magic for a short time. If you know the name, affinity, and are bound to that circle, you can perform a ritual to call that affinity to you whichever circle you are in.
Some secrets will be utterly useless or even indecipherable to anyone except the circle you are Communing with. It is something it knows, and holds dear. It can be something as basic as “The Black Pharaoh loved peanut butter” or “Green” but it could be the password to a treasure that has long since been robbed.
Ritual circles may also know practical and useful secrets such as how to create specific items of renown, the location of buried treasure, how to cast rare magics, the names of demons, etc.
Communing with the Ritual Circle
This is a ritual where the Ritualist directly communicates with the Ritual Circle. What makes this difficult is that Circles are rarely single, or coherent entities. A mix of different energies, influences, and sometimes even souls, can make them difficult to understand. High Incantors have the experiences and understanding through the secrets of the circles to be able to commune and understand them. Incantors may be able to puzzle out the responses and interactions, but Devotees will only hear noise and see madness.
Communing can allow a ritualist to ask questions directly of the circle. How much power it has, what kinds of wards it has in place, what kinds of influences and rituals have ben performed with it, etc. Most specifically, ritualists can negotiate for secrets, and privately improve the power of a circle. They can also commune to bind themselves to a circle.
Communing can take many different forms, and is deeply personal for the ritualist involved. Some ritualists may perform an exacting tea ceremony, others a reading of sacred runes. One ritualist has even been known to commune through the medium of interpretive dance…
If you have bound yourself to a different circle, you can commune with it while at any other circle without performing a specific ritual.
Binding to a Ritual Circle
When a ritualist binds themselves to a circle, it means they take a fraction of its power with them wherever they go, but they also leave a piece of themselves within the circle in exchange.
Once a ritualist is bound, they can step into any ritual circle and call upon the power or affinity of the circle they are bound to. In order to bind yourself to a circle, you must know the name and affinity of the circle you wish to bind yourself to before performing a personally written ritual to bind yourself to it.
A ritualist can bind themselves to as many circles as you like as long as you know their names and affinities, but you can only channel the power of one at a time.
You should be prepared to start your ritual soon after entering the circle. Dithering inside for too long will weaken your ritual, and could even cause a failure.
Ensure that any spoken words/chants etc are audible outside of the circle.
Don’t let activity outside of the circle distract you from your ritual. Although support from outside the circle may be helpful to your ritual.
If you can, ensure everyone in the circle has an active part in the ritual. It is far better than having them stand around doing nothing. Having no use in a ritual could cause the circle to take something else from them to assist in powering the ritual, such as their life force or memories.
If in doubt, the Ritual Masters are available to discuss your ritual requirements, and offer advice, and help you plan for a successful ritual. Rituals are not always successful, and can sometimes have adverse effects. Suitable rituals, multiple Ritualists, and larger amounts of ritual sacrifice can significantly increase the chance of success.