Cabalist

To Medieval Classes

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Josephin Peladan 1892 Josephin Peladan 1892 

Heroes of Fantasy
Author August Hahn, Tim Hitchcock, Joseph Miller, Ian Sturrock, John Thompson, Paul Tucker & Patrick Younts
Series Power Classes
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2005
Pages 128
ISBN 1-1-905176-59-7
OGL Section 15 hof
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Names, symbols, planes of power and oaths of fealty; these are the magical tools of the cabalist. Spellcasters of a singular nature, cabalists perform rituals and call upon mysterious entities for everything they do, even creating rites for the blessing and sanctification of the tools they use to perform their rites. Blurring the line between priest and wizard, the cabalist professes to surpass both of them in the scope of his power. When reality itself, in the form of its incarnations, grants a cabalist his spells and provides the near-limitless energy behind his abilities, who can dispute his claim?

Both divine and arcane, the magic of a cabalist is bound into words and signs, crafted by the intricate weaving of rituals and ancient intonations. A cabalist can seek to explore the mysteries of the planes and beings of infinite power on his own or join with a circle of like-minded seekers to work even greater rites in the name of entities that were old when life first emerged from the seas and will exist long after the sun becomes a cinder in the lifeless heavens. Cabalists walk in the shadows of truly unimaginable beings, drawing upon the merest echoes of their attention and working grand magic with their stolen power.
The Cabalist

Adventures: Cabalists by their basic natures are not adventurers. They are tied to dogmas of ritual and ceremony that require prepared sites and inlaid diagrams. Such environments are not easily created and unsuitable for field work, which keeps cabalists from being at their most effective in dungeons and remote wilderness settings. Many of the tools used by cabalists for their rituals are also quite heavy, making it difficult for them to bring into effect some of their powerful magical workings. These limitations can leave a cabalist at less than his best during travel abroad.

That does not mean cabalists are ineffective when adventuring or unwilling to undertake them. A cabalist requires ancient lore to expand his repertoire of rituals, the kind of lore that is most often found in the ruins of lost civilisations or chronicled in ancient, mouldering texts. Cabalists, rarely ones to trust anyone who has not been entrusted with the same great mysteries of creation and reality they are, must undertake expeditions to find these caches of wisdom themselves. Cabalists also learn numerous short term rituals that can be performed outside their sanctums. These short rites make cabalists effective even without the bolstering of their more comfortable surrounding.

Characteristics: Though cabalists are not priests, deep reverence and respect for the greater forces at work in the universe is an integral part of their personalities. Cabalists draw their power from these entities and cosmic concepts, invoking their names through rituals of sound and symbols, which brings with it a predilection to constantly consider the grand scheme in all things. These higher ideals can serve very base instincts, especially in the case of evil cabalists specialising in the channelling of lower beings and dark energies. Even white cabalists, those who walk among the heavens and seek to know the greater good through its works, often revel in shows of magical might merely for the sensation of evoking something greater than themselves.

Alignment: Cabalists have a wide variety of beings and forces to call upon, some good, some evil and others too far beyond mortal understanding to judge using such simple terms. These associations leave their mark on the souls of those who would channel their power, drawing those who invoke them into like-minded behaviour. As such, cabalists eventually fall into one of three categories. White cabalists specialise in higher planar beings and tend greatly towards the good alignments. Black cabalists are their opposites, trafficking in the addictive and seductive energies of darkness as they grow more evil and corrupt because of them. Grey cabalists are unaligned, manipulating energy primarily from elemental, astral and ethereal forces when occasionally channelling a white or black source. Most cabalists, regardless of their good or evil alignment, are lawful or at least neutral. Chaotic mindsets cannot properly discipline themselves to survive the incredible energies a cabalist must deal with.

Religion: Cabalists very rarely worship any one deity or pantheon of deities. The nature of their magic makes them by definition pantheistic, understanding of the divine in all things. In this way, cabalists could be considered extremely religious, though they do not limit their devotions to a given entity. This attitude could also be considered the antithesis of religion, since cabalists acknowledge the existence of gods and higher beings but treat them ultimately as power sources for their own ritual edification. Not all cabalists feel this way towards religion, of course, but that is the common state of things among them.

Background: Cabalists have a dichotomy in their backgrounds; they either come from the very rich or the very poor and their class culture depends greatly on this distinction. Cabalists from upper class society are generally extremely well organised, with stratified naming schemes for their ranks among their peers and complex rituals integrated into even the mundane aspects of their circle meetings. Higher-class cabalists are usually very secretive about their true character class, even in societies where the practice of cabalism is known and accepted.

Cabalists from lower classes tend towards more relaxed strictures on their memberships, are usually well-known among the citizenry for what they do and do not often have a rank structure within their circles beyond leadership and laity. This does not make them more or less effective than their noble cousins, simply the product of their simpler backgrounds. It should be noted that grey cabalists are far more common among the lower class than the higher, if only because fewer people among the peasantry have a well-defined reason for forging an alliance of extremes.

Races: Cabalism, the magic of invocation and ritual, does not have a particular racial leaning, though it is most generally thought of as human in origin. In most campaign worlds, the largest pantheons are the ones that serve humans and benefit from their worship, offering a wider religious scope and suggesting humans have an extremely broad choice in their devotions. Carrying this analogy further, humans might be the most likely to reach beyond the typical relationship of deity to priest to worshipper and look for something more. Cabalism, if in a humanocentric campaign setting, is most likely the product of dissatisfied seekers looking for a more intimate and personal relationship with the mystical forces of the universe.

This does not exclude other races from cabalism. More to the point, the central message of cabalism is that extraplanar forces exist and can be exploited by those wise enough and educated in the proper lore. While these secrets are shared easily or simply, there is no rule that says humans are the only ones who can learn or teach them. Elves and Gnomes, with their higher orders of thought and cerebral natures, can become powerful cabalists with long legacies of tradition and rote. Dwarves, who tend to dwell apart, are not well suited to cabalism but can be very potent if they choose to embrace its ways. Halflings do not usually look outside their natural world and culture for any of their needs, thus limiting their exposure to the art of the cabal. Half-elves and half-orcs are not specific leaning toward or against this class, though when one of them does choose to school himself in the craft, they can approach it with incredible focus.

Other Classes: Perhaps not surprisingly, cabalists do not get along well with other spellcasters, mostly because of a philosophical difference in the nature of their art. Priests and druid do not often appreciate what they perceive as irreverence in the way a cabalist treats the divine powers, while wizards and sorcerers do not usually understand the overly-complex framework cabals place around what, for them, is the relatively simple act of casting a spell. Education is usually the only thread binding spellcasters and cabalists, marking all of them as knowledgeable beings with at least something learned to talk about. bards, though they cast spells, sometimes find cabalists to be extremely interesting companions because of their vast storehouse of cosmic lore. The more mundane fighters, rangers, paladins and rogues, are mostly considered pawns and henchmen to be used, not appreciated. Those who can see past the typical cabalist’s elitist approach may find a valuable magical ally. Monks, with their enlightened thoughts, are either above the concerns of cabalists or very close to their desire for true understanding.

Game Rule Information

Abilities: Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma are equally important traits to a cabalist, as they together determine the effectiveness of his rituals and rites. An open mind, a strong will and force of personality must all be the cabalist’s allies if he is to understand even an inkling of all there is to know. A cabalist must also have a hardy Constitution if he is to endure the demands that cabalistic magic places upon his body. Strength and Dexterity are of little importance to most cabalists; magic is a cabalist’s might and arcane power serves as his agility.

Alignment: Any non-chaotic

Hit Die: d6

Class Skills
The cabalist’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Constitution), Craft (alchemy) (Intelligence), Craft (Intelligence), Knowledge (all skills, taken separately) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom) and Ritual Spellcraft (Intelligence).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Intelligence modifier) x 4

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier

Starting Gold: 4d4 x 10 gp

The Cabalist
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Cabalistic spellcasting I, ritual choice, allegiance
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 First word of power
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Cabalistic spellcasting II
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Ritual choice
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Cabalistic spellcasting III
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Allegiance
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Cabalistic spellcasting IV
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Ritual choice
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Cabalistic spellcasting V
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Forbidden knowledge
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Cabalistic spellcasting VI
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Allegiance, ritual choice
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Cabalistic Spellcasting VII
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 High summons
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 + 9 Cabalistic spellcasting VIII
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Test of allegiance
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Cabalistic spellcasting IX
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Evocation of blood
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Invocation of the present
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Convocation of transcendence

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the cabalist:

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A cabalist is only proficient with the quarterstaff, Dagger and club. He is not proficient with any form of armour or shields. Note that armour check penalties for medium or heavy armour apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a –1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armour and equipment carried.

Cabalistic Spellcasting: Cabalists are spellcasters but they do not determine their spells known, spells per day, or spell save DCs like other spellcasting classes. Cabalists cast two forms of spell: rituals and rites. Each type is separate and different, yet wholly a part of how cabalistic magic works. All spells cast by a cabalist, regardless of form, are considered both divine and arcane. Cabalists must possess at of least a 10 in the ability score each form of his magic is based on or he cannot perform any spells from that category. Each form is described in detail below.

Ritual Choice: Each time this class ability is gained, the cabalist has understood the lore and function behind another ritual, thus adding it to his repertoire of magic. Once a ritual is learned, it can be performed at will, assuming the prerequisite resources and conditions are also met. Rituals can also be gained as rewards from adventuring, as ancient scrolls drawn by cabalists of a forgotten age, or by deciphering ritual tomes scrawled in lost languages in ichors best left unidentified. A cabalist can never know more rituals than his character level in this class, regardless of their source.

Allegiance: At 1st level, a cabalist must decide on his allegiance to the dimensional forces he invokes. This choice is normally made during a ceremony held by the cabal he has been training with and often a cause for great celebration. Once the choice is made, it is normally irrevocable. A Games Master might create some ritual or mundane way for a cabalist to break his former allegiance but any such possibility should be difficult to accomplish and require some act of contrition at the very least. Allegiances determine which rites a cabalist can learn; see the Rite section below for more information. At 1st level, the cabalist chooses two of the Domains listed in the Rites section below. Each time the Allegiance class ability is gained, the cabalist gains another Domain of spells.

Words of Power: As a cabalist learns the power sounds and words possess, the truths behind the connection between the cabalist’s perceptions and reality begin to be comprehended. At first, this ability is a tenuous one, only functional at times but its effectiveness cannot be denied. The power of a cabalist over the minds of others is the first echo of this vast potential, with his intentions able to override the willpower of those who succumb to his orders. Eventually, the power becomes easier to control and wider in scope, finally becoming almost limitless in its scope. All uses of the Words of Power ability require a Cabalistic Exhaustion check as per the Rituals section below.

This is treated as a spell-like ability requiring only the cabalist’s voice usable once per day plus one additional use for every three full class levels the cabalist possesses. At 2nd level, when this class feature is first gained, the Words of Power can create a command effect identical to the divine spell of the same name. At 6th level, the ability can be an Enthrall instead. At 9th, the Words of Power becomes more refined and can simulate either Hold Person or suggestion, chosen each time the ability is used. When the cabalist becomes 12th level, the Words of Power can invoke a crushing despair, good hope or greater command. 15th level brings the powers of dominate person, Hold monster or insanity. At 18th level, this ability can Hold monster and finally transcends the mental barriers of reality, affecting the physical world through polymorph any object. The DC for any of these abilities is equal to the 10 + cabalist’s Charisma modifier + the effect’s equivalent sorcerer/wizard spell level.

Forbidden Knowledge: A cabalist’s search for the entities of the nether worlds eventually brings him into contact with forces beyond his understanding and far too alien to be examined for long without going mad. The wise turn away from such things but those with the bravery, skill, or foolish desire for even greater power can attempt to bear witness to their discoveries and grow from the encounter. This is not without risks; even success scars the cabalist for the rest of his existence. The rewards are substantial but the price can be very high indeed.

Upon reaching 10th level or any time thereafter, a cabalist can choose to try to gain forbidden knowledge. This requires one full month of total seclusion and a Ritual Spellcraft check (DC 35). Any interruption during this time spoils the attempt and the cabalist must wait until he gains another class level to try again. Failure at this check brings the most dire of circumstances; the cabalist is consumed in one way or another by the force he was attempting to contact. This ‘consumption’ always results in the loss of the character, though Games Masters wishing to do so can have the cabalist remain in the campaign as a Non-Player Character, either irrevocably insane or possessed by an otherworldly entity. In any case, failure of this Ritual Spellcraft check results in the destruction, one way or the other, of the cabalist.

Success grants the cabalist immediate knowledge of a new ritual (of the Games Master’s choice), an additional use each day of his Words of Power ability and a permanent +2 bonus to all future Ritual Spellcraft checks. This comes at the price of two permanent points of Constitution and one of the following choices made by the player. The cabalist must change both elements of his alignment and lose a point of Wisdom, change allegiances (complete with new rites) and a point of Intelligence, or lose 5,000 experience points and a point of Charisma.

High Summons: A cabalist can, through an intricate ritual with a materials cost of 15,000 gold pieces and the expenditure of 1,000 experience points, cast a special form of greater planar ally based on his allegiance. A powerful planar entity appropriate to the forces the cabalist is allied to appears as the subject of the ritual and is bound by it to his service. Unlike the spell of the same name, the being called by the High Summons does not have to be rewarded for its service and is compelled to serve the cabalist until it is slain in combat or dismissed. Creatures called by a High Summons are essentially servitors to be drawn upon as the cabalist desires but they have notoriously long memories and should be treated well just in case they do get free some day and desire revenge.

Test of Allegiance: Cabalists may believe themselves to be the masters of the energies they channel but many of the extraplanar powers they invoke notice them in return. The power of demon lords and greater deities are incredibly vast and a cabalist can draw upon them for quite some time before they become a great enough nuisance that the source of his abilities must react in kind. Eventually, if a cabalist becomes powerful enough to matter to those he taps, a test of allegiance will occur. A Games Master may rule this happens sooner in a cabalist’s career or even occurs more than once but it is automatic at 16th level. For a cabalist to advance any further in levels of this class, he must pass his Test of Allegiance. Failure can be fatal.

It is recommended a Test of Allegiance be roleplayed between a Games Master and a cabalist player privately or during the downtime of a given gaming session. Other players can even be given new roles to play during the test. There are no solid rules for passing or failing such a test but if a cabalist has been faithful to his alignment, has not used his powers to the detriment of the deity, dark lord, or planar entity that has noticed him, he should eventually pass. Tests of Allegiance often feature alternate realities, odd perceptions, or even trials held on the being’s home plane with outsiders acting as jury and judges. Games Masters are encouraged to be creative with Tests of Allegiance and make them as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved, including themselves.

Evocation of Blood: The first of the three Great Rituals, the Evocation of Blood is a jealously-guarded secret and can only be performed once the cabalist reaches 18th level in this class. To perform an Evocation of Blood, the cabalist must be in his sanctum and must have his cabal present. If the cabalist is a solo practitioner, all costs listed below are doubled. The Evocation of Blood allows a cabalist to essentially cheat death, though its exact form varies depending on the cabalist’s allegiance. Regardless of form, this Great Ritual is a powerful working of magic and is not to be performed lightly.

White cabalists essentially draw upon the powers of the celestial realms and become effectively untouched by the hardships of the world until their time on this world is done. A white cabalist who performs this Great Ritual can no longer be affected by poison or disease of any sort. Even magical spells and effects that duplicate the effects of toxins (such as poison) or disease (such as Contagion) are powerless to harm him. Grey cabalists gain the Timeless Body and two points of Constitution as their bodies are bolstered by elemental and ethereal forces. Black cabalists find this ritual far more violent, as they must sacrifice a living sentient creature of their own race. Once done, they possess the body and it is restored to life as per a resurrection spell, gaining the original body’s Strength, Dexterity and Constitution but no other special abilities or qualities. The sentient being sacrificed is restored in the cabalist’s old body, which the newly-invigorated ritualist usually has summarily destroyed.

Regardless of form, the Evocation of Blood costs 20,000 gold pieces in materials, 10,000 experience points and takes 24 hours and a Ritual Spellcraft check (DC 35) to perform. The white version lasts from one dawn to the next, the grey form of the ritual stretches from noon to noon and the black Evocation begins and ends at Midnight. While the ritual does not truly leave the cabalist helpless at any point, it is ruined if interrupted and costs 10% of both the gold and experience point price for the failed attempt. A cabalist must perform the Evocation of Blood at some point before he reaches 19th level.

Invocation of the Present: A cabalist near the very pinnacle of his power discovers the ritual secrets necessary to truly attune himself to the forces of reality. These culminate in the Invocation of the Present, a ritual that grafts the cabalist’s will to the framework of the universe and allows him to directly affect it if his mind and body are strong enough to withstand the stress of doing so. Like the previous Great Ritual, this requires a cabalist to be in his sanctum and have his cabal present or pay twice the costs for performing it.

The Invocation of the Present costs 50,000 gold pieces in materials, an incredibly-pricey 15,000 experience points and a Ritual Spellcraft check (DC 40) but grants immense power over the fabric of reality. In exchange for those costs and a full week spend in cloistered seclusion, the cabalist gains the ability to cast limited wish once per week and wish once per month at no experience point cost. These powers have a couple of limitations. One, they cannot affect ability scores permanently and they cannot bring physical items into existence. The Invocation of the Present must be performed before a cabalist can advance to 20th level and doing so will consume his wish use for the month he advances in.

Convocation of Transcendence: Constant exposure to extradimensional forces finally threatens to overwhelm the cabalist’s physical existence. Unlike Forbidden Knowledge, this power comes with a choice. A cabalist does not gain any of the benefits of reaching 20th level until he performs this final Great Ritual, the Convocation of Transcendence. He does not receive hit points, saving throw bonuses, or any other adjustments until the ritual is complete. Until then, he is treated exactly as a 19th level character with the exception that his experience point total cannot go below the level required to achieve 20th level due to expenditures for spellcasting or item creation.

The Convocation of Transcendence requires 100,000 gold pieces in materials, including a cost of 25,000 gp + a single gemstone of a colour or type appropriate to the cabalist’s allegiance. This Great Ritual does not have an experience point cost at all, but the Games Master is encouraged to have the cabalist undergo another Test of Allegiance before he can complete it. Unlike the other two rituals, the Convocation requires a full cabal of 20 acolytes. As each of these must be at least 5th level cabalists trained for at least one of those levels by the cabalist performing the ritual, the Convocation may take a while coming after the character reaches the level to cast it.

The effort and trouble are well worth it. The Convocation takes only one hour but it must occur at an appropriate time selected by the Games Master with regards to the campaign, its cosmology and the cabalist’s allegiance. The cabalist must make a Ritual Spellcraft check (DC 45). Failure shatters the gem and ruins it but has no other detrimental effect. Success transforms the cabalist forever. If he is a white cabalist, he gains the half-celestial template. Grey cabalists take on the elemental type, losing the previous type permanently, with all the advantages and limitations inherent with being an elemental creature. Black cabalists become half-fiendish and must choose a lower plane. If the black cabalist dies subsequently, his soul goes to the chosen plane and if he is ever raised or resurrected, he returns as an outsider.

Rituals

The arcane part of a cabalist’s spellcasting abilities comes in the form of rituals. While players and Games Masters are encouraged to make ritual casting as complex as their gaming style and current campaign allow, this section will present the basic system for aspiring ritualists to build on. With these rules, a cabalist can perform intricate rituals while in the safety of his sanctum, a special place of power with inlaid diagrams, furnished according to celestial alignment and built on geomagical points of ancient power. Sanctums are essentially strongholds built with whatever system a Games Master wishes to incorporate for such matters with a +10% to the total construction cost and an extra 5,000 gold pieces dedicated to properly outfitting a ritual room within. Rituals can be cast outside a sanctum but only as long as the cabalist is carrying cabalist’s tools and abides by the increased complications listed in the process below.

Special Note: All sanctums have a special centre of power, a special place in the heart of the sanctum. When a cabalist is standing within the 10-foot radius diagram drawn there, all rituals and rites can be cast at their normal listed casting times (not the extended casting time discussed below) at an additional +2 penalty to Cabalistic Exhaustion DCs. This allows cabalists to be extremely effective when in their inner sanctums. Those who must travel away from these special places should consider constructing power stones and carrying exalted keys (both described below in the New Magical Items section).

To cast a ritual, a cabalist must first clear and cleanse his mind as a full-round action. This requires complete stillness of motion and controlled breathing, which denies a cabalist his Dexterity bonus for the entire round. Then, he selects one of the spell effects (which duplicate standard spells of the same name) from the ritual in question and begins casting it. This requires a Ritual Spellcraft check at a difficulty of 10 plus three times the spell level of the ritual attempted. Failure causes the spell to fail but usually has no other penalty associated with it. Casting time for all rituals is the casting time listed for the spell with single actions being increased to full rounds and full round times becoming one minute time periods. This number is then multiplied by ten. Thus, the ritual version of a Greater Scrying spell takes 10 full rounds to cast, not one action. Casting a ritual outside a sanctum doubles the already increased casting time and imparts a +4 circumstance penalty to the Ritual Spellcraft check. Metamagic feats simply make the Ritual Spellcraft check harder by raising the effective level of the ritual; only the original level of the spell effect is considered when determining if a cabalist can perform its ritual.

Each time a cabalist selects a new ritual, he selects it from the following list of examples. Games Masters and players should work together to expand this list as befits their campaign. Each one of the listed examples is a series of spells that are all learned when the cabalist chooses that ritual. The specific spell cast when a cabalist performs the ritual must be one whose spell level is equal to or less than his Intelligence ability score divided by two. Cabalists can perform a number of rituals each day equal to their class level plus their Constitution modifier (minimum once).

Cabalistic Exhaustion

Cabalists drain themselves quite severely as part of their method of spellcasting. Some traditions actually require bloodletting during the casting process and all of them involve some sort of incredible physical effort. Each time a cabalist casts a ritual or performs another action noted to cause Cabalistic Exhaustion, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10) plus the level of the spell effect (of +5 if the action has no direct level effect associated with it) plus the number of checks previously made since the last time the cabalist received eight hours of uninterrupted sleep or two hours of uninterrupted meditation. Cabalists can only meditate a number of times equal to their Wisdom bonus (minimum of one) before they must get eight hours of rest to refresh themselves again.

Failing the saving throw results in two points of nonlethal damage for every level of the spell effect intended or 10 points if no spell effect is associated with the check. This can knock the cabalist out as normal for reaching 0 hit points through nonlethal damage. Note that this damage does not prompt a Concentration check and cannot ruin spellcasting, even if the cabalist is rendered unconscious. No matter what occurs, the spell effect still succeeds. Cabalists never have to make Cabalistic Exhaustion checks if the Ritual Spellcraft check (if any) required for the spell effect or class ability fails.

Rituals

Astralis Majora – 0th: dancing lights, 1st: obscuring mist, 2nd: spectral hand, 3rd: displacement, 4th: greater invisibility, 5th: lesser planar binding, 6th: etherealness, 7th: ethereal jaunt, 8th: maze, 9th: astral projection

Baleful Lore – 0th: disrupt undead, 1st: bane, 2nd: trap, 3rd: explosive runes, 4th: fire trap, 5th: nightmare, 6th: greater glyph of warding, 7th: banishment, 8th: symbol, 9th imprisonment

Death and Unlife – 0th: virtue, 1st: Deathwatch, 2nd: death knell, 3rd: gentle repose, 4th: death ward, 5th: animate dead, 6th: circle of death, 7th: control undead, 8th: harm (harm is normally a 6th level divine spell, but is treated as 8th in every way as part of this ritual), 9th power word, kill

Flames of the Ancients – 0th: flare, 1st: burning hands, 2nd: flaming sphere, 3rd: fireball, 4th wall of fire, 5th: flame strike, 6th: burning sphere (as freezing sphere, but destroys water or does fire damage), 7th: delayed blast fireball, 8th: sunburst, 9th: meteor swarm

Hallowed Paths – 0th: Resistance, 1st: bless, 2nd: consecrate, 3rd: Magic Circle Against Chaos/evil/good/law, 4th: divine power, 5th: hallow, 6th: word of recall, 7th: refuge, 8th: holy aura, 9th: gate

Ineffable Darkness – 0th: Inflict Minor Wounds, 1st: doom, 2nd: darkness, 3rd: vampiric touch, 4th: poison, 5th: unhallow, 6th:create undead, 7th: blasphemy, 8th: unholy aura, 9th: wail of the banshee

The Many Ways of Going – 0th: Guidance, 1st: expeditious retreat, 2nd: levitate, 3rd: fly, 4th: dimension door, 5th: teleport, 6th: find the path, 7th: teleport object, 8th: etherealness, 9th: teleportation circle

Passion’s Way – 0th: daze, 1st: charm animal, 2nd: calm emotions, 3rd: suggestion, 4th: lesser geas, 5th: mind fog, 6th: geas/quest, 7th: Mass suggestion, 8th: sympathy, 9th: dominate monster

Summons From Beyond – 0th: Create Water, 1st: mount, 2nd: summon swarm, 3rd: summon monster III, 4th: Black Tentacles, 5th: summon nature’s ally V, 6th: planar ally, 7th: creeping doom, 8th: summon monster VIII, 9th: gate

Tetragrams of the Witness – 0th: Detect Magic, comprehend languages, 2nd: locate object, 3rd: clairaudience/ clairvoyance, 4th: locate creature, 5th: Prying Eyes, 6th: true seeing, 7th: Greater Scrying, 8th: discern location, 9th: Foresight

New rituals should have a spell of each level, all bound to a central theme that typifies the nature of the ritual and keeps the abilities and limitations of the cabalist in mind. The extended casting times a cabalist must endure make most combat spells less than effective unless he is well stocked with power stones and exalted keys. As such, a cabalist is most useful when he can efficiently choose his rituals and the times and places when he must use them. Preparation is as important in adventuring for a cabalist as it is when trying to draw down the powers of the cosmos.

Rites

Rites are comparatively quick spellcasting, especially for a cabalist. Rites are granted through the cabalist’s allegiance choice, with each one essentially representing a vocal intonation of dimensional mantras and intense Concentration . As opposed to the casting time multiplier imposed by rituals, rites are always full-round actions and can be cast defensively (albeit at a –5 penalty). No matter what components are listed for a given spell, rites have only a vocal component and require the cabalist’s ritual athame to bring into effect. Casting a rite requires a Ritual Spellcasting check at a DC of 10 + twice the spell level. This roll always fails on a natural one and always succeeds on a natural 20.

Allegiances provide clerical Domains to a cabalist. Access to a new Domain allows the cabalist to cast spells from its list but does not provide the Domain power. A cabalist has the spells per day of an equal level cleric but can only cast spells from allegiance Domains and all clerical orisons. A cabalist never gains bonus spells for a high statistic score but his spell DCs are based on Wisdom. A cabalist must have a Wisdom score equal to 10 + spell level to cast a spell of that level, as per the normal rules for spellcasting.

All Cabalists have access to the Knowledge and Magic Domains.

White Cabalists have access to the Chaos, Good, Healing, Law, Protection and Sun Domains.

Grey Cabalists have access to the Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant and Water Domains.

Black Cabalists have access to the Chaos, Death, Destruction, Evil, Law and War Domains.

Cabals – Circles of Power

A cabalist’s abilities are enhanced by being part of or leading a cabal. A cabal, a group of cabalists brought together for group rituals, ceremonies, and the sharing of secret knowledge, can be gathered with the Leadership feat or provided by the Games Master as part of his campaign. Player Character cabalists do not automatically gain a cabal but any steps they take toward putting one together should be rewarded in game. Lower-level cabalists are likely part of an older established cabal as an acolyte or low ranking member, with higher rank and eventual leadership of his own cabal coming as he gains class levels and/or spends Leadership feats.

The Games Master is the final arbiter on exactly what benefits a cabal grants its membership but access to magical items for purchase and social contacts should definitely be among them. A cabal always grants cabalists one primary benefit; virtual metamagic feats. Whenever cabalists cast a spell together in a sanctified cabalistic place of power, they can modify that spell by any Games Master approved metamagic feat so long as the total caster levels involved in the circle equals or exceeds three times the final level of the spell. Cabals can cast any number of spells like this each night up to their normal maximums but casting in a circle requires every participant to make a Cabalistic Exhaustion check each time.

New Skill

Ritual Spellcraft (Intelligence; Trained Only, Cabalist Only)
The key skill required for any cabalist, Ritual Spellcraft is used to perform rituals and rites. It is also effective at identifying cabalistic items, rituals that are already in effect and substitutes for the standard skill Spellcraft when attempting to counterspell another cabalist’s casting. Ritual Spellcraft does not function as the skill Spellcraft for attempting to identify or counterspell normal arcane or divine magic; it only pertains to cabalistic spells and items. All DCs important to the operation of Ritual Spellcraft can be inferred from the Spellcraft listing in the SRD or from the class abilities and listings in the cabalist character class description.

Retry: Only if the Spellcraft skill would allow it.
Special: The Use Magic Device skill offers no synergy bonus when using this skill to decipher a ritual scroll or tome.

New Magical Item

Power Stones
Extremely useful items that are indispensable to cabalists outside their sanctums, power stones allow cabalists to have the effects of their rituals available during the hectic events of combat or when minutes and hours are not available for normal ritual work. If a power stone is held by a cabalist during the performance of a ritual, all but the last word of the ritual’s mantra can be stored within it for later completion. Finishing the ritual stored within a power stone is a spell completion standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. A cabalist can only use power stones he made personally. A cabalist can only imbue as many power stones with held rituals as he could normally cast rituals in between rest cycles (see Rituals, above) and any such rituals per day are lost until the stones are used, destroyed, or one full month has passed since they were imbued. Used power stones are destroyed.

Caster Level: Varies; Prerequisites: All cabalists can create power stones, the ritual to be imbued; Market Price: 25 gp x the spell level of the ritual x the caster level of the cabalist. Creating a power stone does not cost experience points.

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