Grand Rituals

Some rare spells are designated as grand rituals. Grand rituals are far more powerful than normal ritual spells – they typically have large-scale effects, summon unique/powerful beings, or anything else that requires far more power than a normal spell. They are similar to lesser and greater rituals except as noted below.

Grand rituals are always legendary spells (10th level and above), cast by at least four people (see below) and take at least 30 minutes to cast; some can take dozens of casters and take several hours or even days. The primary caster (called the focus) must have the Ritual Focus feat; all secondary casters must have the Ritual Casting feat, must be living or undead (no simulacra or other constructs) and must contribute open, unprepared spell slots (each grand ritual has a different requirement, stated in the spell's description). At least one of the spell slots must be half or more of the total (round down), but 0-level spells cannot be used. For example, if the ritual required 15 spell levels from each secondary caster, they must contribute one 7th level slot, along with 8 spell levels in any combination. Additionally, any costs like ability burn are taken by all the casters, not just the focus.

A grand ritual always requires a number of additional casters equal to one-third its level - for example, a L16 spell requires 5 additional casters. The focus can substitute his own power for that of additional casters, though, just like lesser rituals.

Grand rituals cannot be affected by dispel magic or greater dispel magic, either during or after casting, but disjunction has normal chances of working if cast on the focus (if it is during the casting) or on the spell effect itself (after the ritual is complete). If it succeeds, the ritual automatically fails and the energy is grounded without dealing damage to anyone.

Like other rituals, a grand ritual can have extra spellcasters. If the minimum number of spellcasters do not participate in the ritual (if one or more drop out in the middle of the casting, for example), though, the spell automatically fails, often with catastrophic results (see below).

As with other rituals, all the casters must be within 30 feet of the focus. If the spell takes longer than one day to cast, the casters must spend at least eight continuous hours of the day focusing their magic into the spell, as if they were creating a magic item. They cannot break for anything except brief meals or rests (no more than 15 minutes) during this time.

  Disrupting a grand ritual is a risky proposition. Unlike lesser and greater rituals - which are basically the same as normal spells - grand rituals use huge amounts of magical power, which is controlled with a fine touch and a steady hand. If that balance of power is upset, the results could be disastrous as the uncontrolled magical energy is released.

In game terms, if the focus loses control of the spell's magic (is knocked unconscious, killed, or fails a Concentration check), as opposed to failing a Spellcraft check, the accumulated power is released in an explosion of magical energy. Everyone within 100 feet of the ritual's focus takes 1d4 points of magical energy damage per spell level unless they make a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + spell level) for half damage. The focus and anyone else directly involved in the ritual must make Will saves at a -4 penalty, as they are channeling the energy through themselves. Any of the ritual's casters (but not anyone else) who dies from this damage bursts into flame and burns to fine ash in one round; a resurrection is necessary to raise someone killed in this manner.

If any caster except the focus is interrupted during the casting of a ritual spell, he must make a Concentration check (15 + 2 * spell level). If he fails his check and is not integral to the spell (i.e., he is an extra spellcaster), he can drop out without incident. If he is integral (there are no extra spellcasters), all the other casters must make Concentration checks themselves (against the same DC). If at least half of them make successful checks, they manage to ground the ritual's power without taking any damage, though the ritual is still ruined. If not enough casters make their checks, the ritual collapses and the energy backlashes through all of those still connected, dealing damage as noted above, though there is no explosion. Any spellcasters who drop out of the ritual can rejoin it the next day, if the ritual lasts for more than one day.

Grand Rituals (Word doc)

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