Formulaic rituals are rituals whose techniques and practices have been successfully refined to make the ritual as efficient and easy to cast as possible. Formulaic rituals are highly focussed - the caster gives up flexibility to gain reliability and efficiency. In addition magicians can learn to master formulaic rituals, making them even easier to cast.
There is a large body of formulaic rituals that have been promulgated throughout the Empire by the Imperial Conclave called Imperial lore. These rituals are not the only formulaic rituals in existence, but they are so well known that they can be attempted by anyone powerful enough to do so.
Players interested in creating a new formulaic ritual should make sure they read through the information on ritual theory.
Imperial Lore and the Ritual List
- Imperial magicians can attempt any ritual that is in Imperial lore if they have the ranks to do so
- An Imperial magician may choose to master a formulaic ritual that is part of Imperial lore
The ritual list describes all the formulaic rituals which are part of Imperial lore. These rituals are known throughout the Empire and any magician or coven that has sufficient magical power can attempt to cast them.
Magicians can learn to master formulaic rituals that are part of Imperial lore. Mastering a ritual means that any crystal mana used is doubled in effect, which makes the ritual much easier and cheaper to cast.
It is possible to master a ritual that isn't in Imperial lore using a ritual text. A coven of magicians can only attempt a formulaic ritual that is not in Imperial lore if one or more of the contributors has mastered the ritual.
Creating a New Formulaic Ritual
- Creating a new formulaic ritual would take an individual decades
- Some Imperial titles are able to direct scores of magicians to create formulaic rituals more quickly
- Creating a new ritual requires the magicians to cooperate to create a ritual text
- Ritual theory summarizes the known lore of what is and is not possible with a ritual
Creating a new ritual is a significant undertaking. In pre-Imperial times it might take decades to formulate even a simple ritual. There is a large body of ritual theory that Imperial magicians have discovered through painstaking research. Reading this lore will help any player who is interested in discussing or creating a new ritual.
To improve the speed with which new formulaic rituals could be created, the Empire created titles such as the Dean of the Lyceum and Provost of the Halls of Knowledge to co-ordinate the research efforts of many disparate magicians. By working together these magicians are able to create formulaic rituals much more quickly. The citizen who holds either of these Imperial titles can direct the research of Imperial magicians allowing them to create one or more new formulaic rituals.
To create a new formulaic ritual, a magician must start with an appropriate arcane projection, which will form the basis for the ritual being created. It is not always possible to duplicate a spontaneous effect using formulaic magic, so the final ritual may not end up identical to the original spontaneous effect. It may be more or less difficult to perform, and some elements of the ritual may have to be changed. In particular, formulaic magic is more flexible than spontaneous magic, for example divinations that can be cast on any item or enchantments that can be cast on a variable number of targets. The formulaic version of a ritual will automatically take advantage of these benefits where possible, but other than this it will be as close to the original spontaneous effect as the magicians involved can make it.
The new formulaic ritual is only complete once a ritual text has been produced. The ritual text is given into the care of the magician who held the Imperial position when the work was completed.
- A ritual text describes a formulaic ritual
- A magician or coven can use a ritual text they possess to perform the ritual
- Magicians can learn to master the ritual contained in the ritual text
- It is not possible to copy a ritual text
A ritual text is a rare, magical item that contains all the details necessary to perform a ritual. Most (though not all) ritual texts take the form of a description of the ritual, including all the rules, and at least some in-character commentary on the ritual. A ritual text contains sufficient information that any coven that holds one may use it to attempt to perform the ritual, exactly as if the ritual were part of Imperial lore.
A magician who has the physical ritual text can also choose to master the ritual it describes by buying the extra ritual skill or using an empty ritual slot. This follows all the other rules for learning a skill during time-in. The text must be taken to GOD or shown to a referee to allow the ritual it contains to be mastered in the field.
If one of the contributors has mastered a ritual, their coven may attempt to perform that ritual exactly as if it were part of Imperial lore, even if they no longer have access to the original text.
Unless a ritual text is formally added to the body of Imperial lore (through declaration of the Imperial Conclave), only someone who has possession of the text can master it. A magician cannot teach mastery of the ritual to another character without the text present.
Adding a Formulaic Ritual to Imperial Lore
- The Imperial Conclave can pay to add a ritual text to Imperial lore
- The ritual text is used up as part of the process
If the owner of a ritual text wishes then they can ask the Imperial Conclave to add the ritual to Imperial lore. If the Imperial Conclave agree and the costs are met, then the ritual text is consumed but the ritual becomes part of Imperial lore.
Once a ritual text has been added to Imperial lore it follows all the normal rules for formulaic rituals in Imperial lore. Any Imperial magician may attempt to cast the ritual; they may choose to master the ritual if they have a slot available; and they could then teach any other magician to master it.