Long-forgotten occult rituals offer great power at a terrible price. While most traditional spellcasters consider these occult rituals dangerous and unreliable, some spellcasters hone their skills with such rituals, making the strange spells more likely to succeed and less likely to cause unintended harm. As ritualists deepen their understanding of ritual magic, they broaden their understanding of all things occult, becoming true masters of mysteries which others have no ability to comprehend. Even those uninitiated in the art of magic can cast rituals and interact with the fabric of magic, but their rituals pale in comparison to the power of those who have sacrificed, specialized, studied, and trained to perfect such arts.
Becoming a ritualist requires a vast amount of knowledge, time, and training. Those who take up the calling of ritualist are typically high-ranking members of esoteric orders, though their pursuits often lead them down paths that even their peers versed in the occult shy away from. By seeking and honing such dangerous magic, ritualists regularly risk death—or worse. If a ritualist reaches the height of her power before losing sight of her soul or becoming lost in the dark voids between worlds, she becomes a force beyond reckoning, able to learn and perform powerful rituals at alarming speeds.
Ritualists who repeatedly put their peers in grave danger rarely last long as members of organized groups, often becoming outcasts. These outcast ritualists are typically some combination of fatalistic, obsessive, and unpredictable in their search for occult power.
Hit Die: d6.
To qualify to become a ritualist, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria:
- Skills: Knowledge (arcana or history) 8 ranks.
- Spells: Ability to cast 3rd-level spells.
- Special: The character must be a member of a group that regularly deals with the occult, such as the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye or the Night Heralds. The character must have successfully cast at least one occult ritual as the primary caster.
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells Per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+1||Esoteric discovery, student of mysteries||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+1||+1||+1||Stabilize ritual||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+2||Esoteric discovery, occult expertise||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+2||Cautious rituals||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|5th||+2||+2||+2||+3||Expedited rituals||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+3||Esoteric discovery||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|7th||+3||+2||+2||+4||Independent rituals||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|8th||+4||+3||+3||+4||Focused rituals||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|9th||+4||+3||+3||+5||Esoteric discovery||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+5||Master of mysteries||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
The following are the class features of the ritualist prestige class.
Spells per Day
When a ritualist gains a level, she gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting.
If a character has more than one spellcasting class, she must decide to which class she adds the new level for the purpose of determining spells per day.
Esoteric Discovery (Ex)
At 1st level, 3rd level, and every 3 levels thereafter, a ritualist selects one skill. When using that skill to cast an occult ritual, the ritualist can take 10 on the skill check, but only once per skill during any given ritual.
Student of Mysteries (Ex)
A ritualist adds half her ritualist level (minimum 1) as a bonus on Intelligence checks made to learn new occult rituals.
Stabilize Ritual (Su)
At 2nd level, once per day as a full-round action, a ritualist can refocus a ritual that has been paused, removing any increases to the ritual’s skill check DCs that have accrued thus far due to pausing the ritual.
Occult Expertise (Ex)
At 3rd level, a ritualist adds half her class level as a bonus on all skill checks when using occult skill unlocks. Additionally, a ritualist can take 10 on skill checks when using occult skill unlocks with skills chosen with the esoteric discovery ability.
Cautious Rituals (Su)
At 4th level, once per day when beginning to cast a ritual as the primary caster, a ritualist can decide to cast the ritual as a cautious ritual. The DCs of a cautious ritual’s skill checks increase by half the ritual’s level (rounded down, minimum 1). However, if the ritual fails, there is a cumulative 10% chance per ritualist level (40% at 4th level, 50% at 5th level, and so on) that the ritual causes none of its usual failure or backlash effects. The ritual still causes backlash if it succeeds.
At 6th level, the ritualist’s successful cautious rituals do not cause any backlash to any of their secondary casters.
At 8th level, a ritualist can cast a cautious ritual without increasing the ritual’s skill check DCs.
Expedited Rituals (Su)
At 5th level, once per day when beginning to cast a ritual as the primary caster, a ritualist can decide to cast the ritual as an expedited ritual. The DCs of an expedited ritual’s skill checks increase by half the ritual’s level (rounded down). However, the ritualist can cast the ritual as soon as its casters succeed at the requisite number of skill checks rather than waiting for the ritual’s full casting time to elapse. A ritual can be both cautious and expedited, but the penalties stack.
At 9th level, a ritualist can cast an expedited ritual without increasing the ritual’s skill check DCs.
Independent Rituals (Su)
At 7th-level, a ritualist becomes so adept at casting rituals that secondary casters are unnecessary. Once per day when beginning to cast a ritual as the primary caster, the ritualist can decide to cast the ritual as an independent ritual. The ritualist gains a bonus on all skill checks attempted as part of casting the ritual equal to half the ritualist’s level, and she can always take 10 when using skills she chose for her esoteric discovery ability. However, none of the ritual’s secondary casters, if any, can attempt any of the ritual’s skill checks.
The ritualist can still include secondary casters as part of a ritual, if it allows secondary casters, to grant them the ritual’s effects.
An independent ritual can also be cast as an expedited or cautious ritual (or both).
Focused Rituals (Su)
At 8th level, a ritualist can maintain a ritual’s focus even under dire circumstances. While performing a ritual as the primary caster, the ritualist can continue the ritual even if some or all of its secondary casters are incapacitated, killed, or moved out of range of the ritual.
Master of Mysteries (Su)
At 10th level, a ritualist’s knowledge of the occult reaches unfathomable depths, and she can perform rituals with disturbing alacrity. Once per day when casting a ritual as the primary caster, the ritualist can reduce the casting time from 10 minutes per ritual level to 1 round per ritual level, or from 1 hour per ritual level to 1 minute per ritual level. One of the ritual’s casters attempts a check every round or every minute of the casting instead of every 10 minutes or every hour, as appropriate.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Chronicle of Legends © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Calder CaDavid, Vanessa Hoskins, Mike Kimmel, Isabelle Lee, Matt Morris, Mikhail Rekun, and Michael Sayre.