Summon the Angels!
On Thursday last week I posted about the idea of bringing complex rituals into Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition. These rituals are spells of immense power which consume time and expensive resources. They also put the caster and allies at risk. For more on the design ideas behind complex rituals and the way they work check out that blog post or the PDF at the end of this post.
In that post I only posted one complex ritual, conjure greater fiend. I promised more would be coming your way and I’m ready to make good on that promise. Below is the conjure greater celestial complex ritual.
Hey if you need a few more celestials to summon, check out my post on archons.
But First Some Changes…
After getting a lot of feedback, I made a few changes to the way complex rituals work. Anyone can lead a complex ritual, not just a spellcaster. As a result the spell slot consumption number and class and level prerequisites have been eliminated from the process. This should help simplify things. It also opens up the possibility for ANYONE with the right components to attempt to these rituals, which ultimately makes them more attractive to PCs and NPCs alike. After discussing it with folks on forums and Facebook, I think this change allows for some really cool and unique stories. Instead of lead spellcaster, the person leading the ritual’s title has been changed to ritual leader. So thanks so much for all that feedback!
I’ve made the updates to last week’s post and the PDF below. Ok! Onto the ritual.
Conjure Greater Celestial
Casting Time: 4 hours
Environmental Conditions: The ritual must take place after the sun has risen and before it completely sets.
Focuses: A headdress of angel feathers worn by the ritual leader (worth 4000 gp), a brazier made of a pure silver blessed by a celestial being (worth 4000 gp), a decanter carved from a single piece of jade (worth 1000 gp), the horn of a unicorn (worth 1000 gp), and the written holy incantation for this ritual (worth 5000 gp)
Sacrifices: 4 dragontree logs carved with holy symbols (worth 300 gp each), a brick of incense made from ghost orchid flowers (worth 2700 gp), a cask of holy water blessed by a unicorn (worth 1000 gp), and a creature with the fiend type
- The ritual leader begins chanting the incantation and name of the celestial being conjured. If the ritual leader does not know the celestial’s name, instead the name of a specific type of celestial (e.g. deva) is chanted. This celestial must have a challenge rating 10 or lower.
- Light the dragontree logs in the brazier to make a fire.
- Pour the holy water into the decanter and place the decanter over the fire.
- When the water is boiling pull the decanter off the flames and pour it over the fiend.
- Put the holy incense on the fire.
- Kill the fiend with the unicorn horn.
- Using the fiend’s blood, draw the sacred symbols indicated in the incantation upon the ground. The creature drawing the symbols must succeed on a DC 15 Intelligence (Religion) check or the ritual does not work.
- Continue to chant. At the end of four hours of total chanting the ritual leader communes with the celestial before it appears and must succeed on a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check in order to call the being forth. If this check fails the ritual does not work. If it succeeds, the celestial appears under the ritual leader’s control.
Once the ritual is complete, the celestial is friendly to the ritual leader and its companions. Roll for initiative for the celestial, is has its own turns. It obeys any verbal commands the ritual leader issues to it (no action required by the lead caster) as long as they don’t violate its alignment. If the ritual leader issues no commands to the celestial, it defends itself from hostile creatures, but otherwise takes no action.
As an action the ritual leader can release the celestial from its control and return the celestial to the place from which it was summoned.
Every 24 hours the celestial is under the ritual leader’s control, the ritual leader must make a Constitution check (DC 10 + the number of days since the ritual was completed). Failing this Constitution check means the ritual leader suffers one level of exhaustion, which cannot be restored in any way until the celestial is no longer under its control.
If the caster dies before dismissing the celestial, the celestial does might return to the place from where it was summoned, or, depending on what it observed and was made to do during its time of servitude, the DM might decide the creature becomes hostile toward the ritual leader’s allies (and the ritual if returned to life).
Using this complex ritual you can summon a celestial with a challenge rating higher than 10 up to 20. For every number of the challenge rating higher than 10, add another dragontree log and fiend consumed by the ritual. The DCs for the Intelligence (Religion) and Charisma (Persuasion) checks made during the casting of the ritual increase by 1 for every number of the creature’s challenge rating higher than 10.
If you’d like a PDF which outlines the basic rules of using complex rituals, contains the ritual above, and contains the conjure greater fiend ritual, simply click on the link below.
You can pick up that PDF whenever you like over in the Free Game Resources section of this site. If you go there feel free to also explore the backgrounds, magic items, monsters, D&D fifth edition rules modules, spells, adventures, and more I have made for fifth edition D&D.
If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!
September 29, 2015 @ 10:46 am
Another excellent article. I like that you changed things to include non-spellcasters.
I do think that 5e has a great thing going for it with rituals, and that they are an underdeveloped part of the game that could really shine. I’ll definitely be using this at some point. Keep up the good work!
September 30, 2015 @ 11:32 am
Thanks for the kind words. Yeah the idea of rituals in 4e was pretty cool, but they were just normal non-combat spells from past editions. I think there’s away to take that idea and apply to bigger 5e magic.