This skill represents a character's understanding of ritualistic magic. Unlike normal methods of magic, rituals are both time consuming and costly but without a guarantee of success. Rituals may be used to emulate existing spells, or they may be used to create a completely unique magical effect that surpasses the laws of normal magic. Rituals range from the healing of disease in a village to attaining immortality. The difficulty and cost of a ritual coincides with the relative power of the ritual.
This skill may also be used by characters to determine the purpose of any rituals that they watch. The character makes a ritual check (DC 15) to discern the goal of any rituals that they watch. Once the goal is learned, the character may attempt to interact with the ritual, making another ritual check to see if they can disrupt the ritual sufficiently without "direct" action. This sometimes can be done by sneaking into a ritual area and messing up drawings in the sand or tampering with some key component before the time for its usage.
Although this skill gives characters knowledge of rituals, they lack the ability to direct the energies to power the rituals. Characters need the Cast Ritual feat in order to actually perform these rituals. This skill can be used unskilled.
Unlike Arcane or Divine magic, Ritual Magic may be used by anyone regardless of godly blessing or arcane teachings. In order to use ritual magic, a character needs to gain the Cast Ritual feat. Once a character has this feat, he may utilize the Knowledge (Ritual) skill to invoke ritual magic. Characters without the feat may still participate in rituals lead by someone with the appropriate feat and knowledge.
Many different systems for ritual magic exists in Dungeons and Dragons style RPGs. Several publishers have worked out systems and rules to make ritual magic part of their campaign. Although a few of the systems are useful and adequate, most restrict ritual magic to traditional spellcasters. Using the real world model of ancient religions, I have decided that in Traykon ANYONE can perform ritual magic if they have the training and willpower.
For years I have played around with different systems for ritual magic and have always been dissatisfied with the results. After reading through the Relics and Rituals as well as most other publications I could get my hands on, I decided that modifications of the current d20 magic systems may be the answer to my search. With the Epic Magic system revealed in The Epic Level Handbook, I found a decent basis on which to build my ritual system. Although the epic magic system is meant for epic characters, with some modification and a lot of external influence I believe I have come up with a system that even low level characters could implement without tipping the balance of game play. Ritual magic is unable to attain the sheer power of epic spells without divine assistance, but the usefulness of ritual magic as well as the ease of availability can make even the most innocent looking barmaid a potential villain. The play testing of this system is limited to just a few sessions but so far it has yielded no real problems.
If you or your players use my Ritual Magic system, I would appreciate it if you would send me a copy of your completed rituals so I can post them under the Sample Rituals section. Since ritual use is limited only by the skill and imagination of the players and GM, the possibilities for ritual magic is nearly infinite