home | characters | advancement | magic | doing things | violence
equipment | enemies | example of play
loot the room | downloads | tips


Learning Rituals

All characters can learn magic, but it comes at a cost. You can start with as many Rituals as you dare to learn. If you overextend yourself and your health or any attribute reaches 0, your character has died. Make a new one.

To learn a Ritual, roll on the Ritual Generator or choose something from another game. Then roll 1d3 and reduce either your maximum health or one of your attributes by that amount permanently. Once you have decided to learn a Ritual you can’t change your mind - you have to roll and pay the price.

New Rituals must be discovered in play. When you discover a new Ritual and try to learn it, roll 1d3 and reduce your maximum health or one of your attributes by that amount permanently. Then roll under your Cunning on a d20. If the roll succeeds you learn the Ritual. If it fails, that Ritual is forever lost to you - you can never learn it. You can exert yourself on this roll.

Types of Rituals

There are three kinds of Ritual: Phrases, Sigils, and Ceremonies.

  • Phrases take no time to cast, occur instantly, and fade as soon as they have taken effect.
  • Sigils take a minute to draw, can be triggered at will or when a certain condition is met, and their effects last for ten minutes per Adventurer Level of the caster.
  • Ceremonies take an hour or more to perform, occur as soon as the ceremony is complete, and their effects last for one day per Adventurer Level of the caster.

Back to top

Using Rituals

To perform a Ritual, roll under your Cunning on a d20. If you succeed the Ritual takes effect. If you roll your Cunning score exactly it either lasts twice as long, or is twice as effective (your choice). If you roll over your Cunning score, the Ritual fails. Roll on the Mishap table, adding the difference between your failed roll and your Cunning score to your roll.

Constituent words in a Ritual (see below can be reversed. One word can be reversed without effort. Reversing both words simultaneously requires you to Exert 1d3 Cunning. For example, Concealing Darkness could be cast as Revealing Darkness or Concealing Light without effort. To cast it as Revealing Light requires Exertion.

You can perform a number of Rituals each day equal to your Adventurer level + 1 without taxing yourself. To perform additional Rituals above this number you must first Exert your Cunning. The first Ritual above your daily limit costs 1 Cunning, the second 2, and so on. You must Exert before rolling for the success of the Ritual. If you cause a Mishap on an Exerted Ritual, you can't perform Rituals until you have rested for the night.

Rituals that deal damage do 1d6 per Adventurer Level.

Back to top

Rituals In Combat

Performing Rituals while fighting is difficult and dangerous. You can't cast a spell and move in the same Round. If you take damage before your go in a combat Round, your Cunning check to perform the Ritual only succeeds if it is equal to or below your Cunning but greater than the amount of damage you took. If you fail, roll a Mishap as normal.

Back to top

Ritual Generator

Rituals are made up of three parts - the Ritual Type and two words that are combined to create the Ritual’s effect. Interpret your spells as you see fit and put them to creative use. You’ve paid the price to learn them; now they work for you.

To generate a Ritual, roll 1d3 for the Ritual Type. Then roll 1d20 twice, once on Word List A and once on Word List B. These Words form your Ritual.

Ritual Type

  1. Phrase
  2. Sigil
  3. Ceremony

1d20 List A List B
1 Hungering Death
2 Entropic Life
3 Corrupting Swarm
4 Shifting Hate
5 Rotting Light
6 Preserved Darkness
7 Violating Silence
8 Desecrating Noise
9 Summoning Violence
10 Sloughing Peace
11 Rambling Bears
12 Creating Abominations
13 Imbibing Flesh
14 Glimmering Blood
15 Evading Ooze
16 Wandering Flight
17 Concealing Alarm
18 Revealing Stone
19 Lingering Grief
20 Combusting Sword

Back to top


Roll 2d6 + the difference between your failed roll and your Cunning, then apply the effect below.

Unless specified otherwise, you don't remember new Words that replace those in the Ritual you failed to cast once the Ritual is complete.

2d6+Failure Effect
3 Replace the first Word in your Ritual with a random different Word and cast it on the same target. Add the new Word to your list of Words known.
4 Replace the second Word in your Ritual with a random different Word and cast it on the same target.
5 Replace the first Word in your Ritual with a random different Word and cast it on a different target.
6 Replace both Words in your Ritual with different random Words and cast it on a different target, in addition to your original Ritual.
7 Take 1d6 damage. If you take 4 or more damage, forget the second Word in your Ritual and learn a new one in its place.
8 Take 1d6 damage. Your Ritual works as intended.
9 Take 1d6 damage. If you take 4 or more damage, your Ritual fails. If you take 3 or less damage, your Ritual works as intended.
10 Your spell has the opposite effect.
11 Summon 2 x Adventurer Level bears.
12 Lose 1d3 Brawn permanently.
13 Lose 1d3 Agility permanently.
14 Lose 1d3 Cunning permanently.
15 Lose 250 x Adventurer Level XP. If this takes you below 0 XP you die.
16 Roll twice and apply both effects. This result stacks.
17+ You permanently lose the ability to perform Rituals.

Back to top


Some Rituals can be scribed onto scrolls, allowing adventurers to perform them without making use of their daily Rituals or to access Rituals that they have not learned by heart.

Scrolls do have some limitations over memorised Rituals. They can only contain Phrases, not Sigils or Ceremonies. Where the effects of performed Rituals are determined by the caster in the moment of invoking the Ritual, those written on scrolls must have their exact effect determined at the time of writing. Lastly, because they are written on flimsy paper they risk damage from fire, water, and other hazards. Damaged scrolls can be incredibly dangerous.

Unlike spontaneously performed Rituals, scrolls have a Scroll Level. This determines aspects of the Ritual that would normally be dictated by the adventurer level of the caster, either the duration of the effect (ten minutes per Scroll Level) or the damage they deal (1d6 per Scroll Level). Back to top

Creating Scrolls

To create a scroll you must know and be able to cast the appropriate Ritual. Writing a scroll requires a week of uninterrupted work, breaking only for sleep and food. Adventurers engaged in writing scrolls can't recover points of Exertion as they would when resting.

The materials used in writing scrolls cost money, with the costs increasing in line with the complexity of the task. Phrases are easy enough to transcribe onto paper, but distilling a complex Ceremony down into a form able to be scribed and cast as a Phrase is costly.

An adventurer writing a scroll can write it at any Scroll Level up to and including their own Adventurer Level, and must determine the exact effect of the scroll at the time of writing. The cost of writing scrolls is as follows:

Original Ritual Type Cost
Phrase100sp x Scroll Level
Sigil200sp x Scroll Level
Ceremony600sp x Scroll Level

No Cunning check is required to write scrolls, with the exception of those where the original Ritual is a Ceremony. In this case, the GM makes a secret Cunning check on behalf of the adventurer at the end of the week. The adventurer writing the scroll can choose to Exert themselves as much as they like before this test is made in order to ensure success.

The GM does not reveal the result of this check until the scroll is used. If the Cunning check was successful then the scroll functions as normal. If it was unsuccessful then the Ritual was poorly transcribed. Instead of taking effect as intended when the scroll is read, roll on the Mishap table and apply the result.

Back to top

Using Scrolls

Anybody can cast Rituals from scrolls, even if they do not normally know how to use magic. The adventurer reads the words inscribed on the scroll and the effect manifests itself.

In combat, reading from a scroll takes your full initiative. You can't move or perform any other actions during that round, and you automatically go last. Characters who rolled below their Agility for initiative who then decide to spend their turn reading from a scroll act as though they rolled above their Agility.

If you take damage during a combat round in which you are attempting to read from a scroll, make an Agility saving throw. On a success you cast the spell normally. On a failure you cast the spell normally but the scroll becomes damaged. Roll on the Scroll Damage Conseqeunces table and apply the result.

The number of times a scroll can be used depends on the skill of the person reading it. After reading from a scroll, roll 1d20. If the result falls between your Cunning score and the Scroll Level, you are successful and the scroll can be reused. On a failure the scroll turns to ash in your hands. Rolling exactly your Cunning or exactly the Scroll Level counts as a success but imparts no additional benefit.

Back to top

Damaged Scrolls

When a scroll becomes damaged, roll 1d20 + the Scroll Level on the following table and apply the result. In all cases the scroll is no longer usable after it has become damaged.

1d20+SL Result
2,3,4 The scroll turns to ash.
5,6,7 Violent earthquakes spread from the scroll to a radius of 1d20 miles. They last for 1d6 hours.
8,9,10 The scroll explodes. All creatures within 20' make an Agility save or suffer 2d6 damage.
11,12,13 All rock within 15' of the scroll turns to liquid for 1d6 Turns.
14 All creatures within 20' are blinded for 1d20 hours.
15 Gravity is reversed in a radius of 2d20 feet for 1d6 Turns.
16,17 Forks of lighting lash from the page. All present make a Agility save or take 3d6 damage.
18,19 A torrent of ink begins to spill from the scroll. It forms into a black pudding in 1d3 Turns.
20 All liquid within 10' of the scroll begins to boil.
21+ Somewhere in the world a rift to another dimension tears open, allowing an abomination to step into the world. It knows the name of the one who scribed the scroll and is hunting them.

Back to top

Using Spells From Other Games

Instead of rolling 1d3 when attempting to learn a new Ritual, reduce your maximum health or one of your attributes by the level of the spell you are attempting to learn.

If the spell you are attempting to learn has no level or is level 0, roll 1d3 as normal.

Back to top