Roleplaying with Rituals

2009 September 18
by Stupid Ranger

4E Rituals provide a lot of opportunity to add some roleplaying color to your character.  Whether you want use them in the midst of the game or out of the game for additional character development, rituals can be lots of fun.

My Current Favorite Rituals

I’m currently playing a Bard and a Wizard.  My Bard uses the Traveler’s Chant (PHB2) to help the group get from Town A to Town B a little bit faster.  It’s a handy little trick to have in your repertoire.

But my Wizard… she’s really the ritual mistress.  She used the Tenser’s Floating Disk (PHB) to avoid floor traps we were unable to disarm.  Recently, she’s taken to the magic item creation with the combination of Enchant Magic Item (PHB) and Transfer Enchantment (AV).

Adding Some Roleplay Magic

When Eaerenel the Wizard was ready to flex her item creation muscles, I wrote a little story to describe creating my Shimmering Armor (AV) using the Enchant Magic Item ritual.  Since Eaerenel specializes in fiery spells, I decided to include fiery elements in her rituals.  So in my little story, Eaerenel uses a fire as her focus during the ritual; it’s a little step beyond the book that allow me to create a unique experience for my wizard.

It was dark except in the circle of light cast by the fire.  Kalicia dance above its flames as Eaerenel sat close by, her old apprentice robes cradled in her lap.  A quite settled over the mage and her familiar, disturbed only by the faint crackles of the flames.  Eaerenel was in deep meditation, drawing out magic from the warp and weft of the universe.  Time passed, but it was irrelevant to the spellcaster in the midst of her ritual.  After nearly half an hour, a casual observer might notice motes of magic beginning to gather around Eaerenel.  If she noticed the swirl of magic gathering around her, she gave no indication.  Soon, the swirl of magic became too dense to clearly see the wizard or her phoenix.  Eaerenel tossed several pieces of gold onto the fire, and it seemed that the magical motes followed them into the flames.  Then, she tossed her old robes into the flames, but instead of burning, the robes seemed to be absorbing the magic.  Nearly an hour had passed since Eaerenel had begun her meditation, and when she opened her eyes, she lifted her new robes out of the fire.  They shimmered with the dancing patterns of a fire and soft sparkles of gold.  Eaerenel shrugged out of her journey robes and donned her new Shimmering Armor.

When Eaerenel made some Screaming Armor (AV) for the party’s Warlord, Atka, she had to use both rituals together since Screaming Armor is only available in Hide, Scale or Plate and the Warlord wears Chain.  So Eaerenel after created the armor, she used the Transfer Enchantment ritual to move it onto the Warlord’s chain.  I took a little bit of liberty with the description (after getting the DM’s approval), and instead of actually creating the armor then transferring the enchantment, Eaerenel created a ghost of the armor over her fire, then transferred the ghost’s enchantment to the chain.  Again, it was a unique combination of elements that really let me be creative with my character.

The midnight hour was the only appropriate time for this creation, for only during this timeless state of night was the darkness and despair deep enough for creating Screaming armor.  Eaerenel sat in the light of the fire, Atka just beyond the circle of illumination, waiting in the shadows.  Eaerenel was unaware of the warlord’s presence, however, as she sank deeper in to her meditation, calling the magic to her.  The swirl of magic became overwhelming before Eaerenel tossed her bounty of gold coins into the fire, and the magic flowed into the flames.

Instead of tossing the hide armor into the fire to complete the enchantment, Eaerenel held out her hands toward the flames, as if warming them.  The hide armor in her lap glowed slightly as the enchantment took shape; a ghostly twin to the hide formed in smoky lines over the fire.  When the enchantment reached its full potential, Eaerenel clapped her hands together once, and though the image over the fire vanished, wisps of smoke wrapped around her hands.  Atka stepped into the fire’s light, and Eaerenel again held her hands out, this time towards the warlord, and specifically, her armor.  Smoky tendrils extended from Eaerenel’s hands to Atka’s armor.  The chain absorbed the enchantment, and as the ritual neared its completion, screaming faces began to appear in smoky outlines.  There was no doubt now that this armor had the ability to strike fear into her enemies, and Atka grinned a wicked sort of grin in anticipation of her first chance to evoke that fear on the battleground.

So Be Creative

It’s your character, and you can be as creative as you want to be.  You don’t have to do anything special when using your rituals, but if you want to add a little extra flavor to them to align better with your character, there’s plenty of room in there for you to be a little more creative.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. September 18, 2009

    I really like what you did with these write-ups. Are they part of a campaign blog?
    This just goes to show yet another way that anyone can expand on what the core rule books describe. Use you imagination, get creative and make each aspect of your character, and your game, all your own.
    Well done.

  2. Stupid Ranger permalink*
    September 18, 2009

    Thanks! They are published on our Google site with our other campaign journals, so everyone in our group can go read them, especially when I create items for them!

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