Monday, April 20, 2015

RPM Enchantment: Permanant Rituals

This is yet another RPM enchantment system. This system is focused on what are essentially permanent rituals at fairly cheap prices. This system is designed for open, public magic, more akin to the public wizards and purchasable magic of a fantasy setting than the secrete magic of the Monster Hunter's setting RPM was born in. And if this all seems overwhelming, the calculator for the system is here!

Basic Statistics

    Anchor: Enchantments are placed on objects or places called anchors, and each type of enchantment is put on a different anchor, which has its own statistics.
    Ritual Effects: Enchantments use effects just like rituals: a device to sense potential wizards probably has a lesser sense magic effect on it. These effects matter because rituals that use the same effects won't stack with the enchantment.
    Modifiers: The benefits you get from the enchantment. This is the armour divisor on a sword, the ability to sense water on a mystic dousing tool, or the bonus to stealth by a pair of enchanted shoes. This is essentially a specific ritual that is part of the item -- though duration is not mentioned.
    Effective Skill: The skill of the ritual behind the effect. This is for resisting wards and other defensive magic.
    Energy: The strength of the ritual in energy. This is for knowing how large of an effect it takes to outright suppress the enchantment.
    Cost: Cost is: (Typical monthly pay) x (Energy/5 -1) x (Skill Factor) /10
To get skill factor look up the required skill - 13 on the size range table. 

Why not long duration rituals?

The question here arrises: why not just have a market in rituals that are very long? long enough to be permanent? There are a couple of reasons: first, enchanted items are immune to curse breaking and being overridden by spells with more energy. The items aren't just rituals that haven't run out yet, they have a durable nature. An enemy can't break your magic item on a whim. Secondly, while the costs of enchantment are higher than rituals (based on charms), the energy costs are lower, and a different skill is used. enchanters are their own folks, and don't need world-shaking skills to make their living (except for any armies they might equip, but that's how they're supposed to shake the world).

Magic vs Magic Applied

When a ritual is cast on an enchanted object, They can either ignore, override, parallel, or suppress each other. A parrellel effect bestows the same benefit as the enchantment(like increasing DR) but is not overriding. Use the better of the two effects, but do not add them together. A suppressing effect explicitly removes part or all of the benefit of the enchantment. The enchantment remains active, and the two effects are added together for a final result.  An overriding effect is when the enchantment and the ritual use the same same path effect (less destroy energy, for example), or when a ritual is made to suppress magic (usually a control or destroy magic effect). If the enchantment has more energy, the ritual fails. If the ritual has more energy, the enchantment is suppressed but not removed -- when the ritual is expired or dispelled the enchantment resumes its effect. If the overriding ritual did not have a duration (for example, a destroy magic effect aimed at dispelling everything) the enchantment is suppressed for one second.

Costs, Creation, and Economics:

Figuring out the cost for an enchantment is simple: build a ritual on the place or object and figure out the energy cost to maintain it for one month. The enchantment costs twice what a charm with the same energy would. Figure out the minimum skill needed to cast the ritual (I find using double quick and dirty safe thresholds with some extra tacked on for other reserves to be a reasonable maximum), and place that as the effective skill. The energy is the energy of the ritual.

Creating is not a typical PC activity, but if your players wish to do so, I recommend having them take half the cost of the item in supplies and then working at a job until they pay the other half of the item. They need the enchant skill (IQ/H) and all the relevant path skills at the skill listed for the item. traditions and ritual mastery count in fulfilling this number, grimoires and places of power do not! This is fairly boring and mundane -- work is like that. If the GM wants the activity to be exciting, he may spice it up with a chance for failure by requiring a roll, or invoke the inventing rules (and for a cool custom enchantment, he should!).

GM's should NOT let any and all enchantments be out there for sale. Yes, you could pay 1 million dollars for your +7 accuracy double damage sword of doom, but someone had to make that sword. And that someone is likely to have made that sword to his tastes, not yours. There's also the matter of what items are common and sell well, and what are rather niche. Its simple and even cheap to make a saddle that gives +2 to riding pigs and glows when eunuchs are around, but you can't buy such a thing because no one makes it (at least, I don't think anyone made one..). The GM should decide at what level magic items stop being for sale, and at what point they stop being made. For example, a setting could have magic items stop being for sale starting with skill 19, and have only a few very specific items at skill 23 or above. An item that is not for sale must be obtained as loot or a current owner must be tracked down and convinced to part with his possession for love or money. The technical price listed is only a starting point -- the item should go for 2 to 10 times as much. Sentimental value and heirloom status is often an issue here.

The Invention Limitation

Creating an new enchantment should use the invention rules, not the enchantment rules. Complexity should be measured in terms of how similar the enchantment is to existing enchantments. Similarity involves both the effect and the anchor of the enchantment. Two very powerful enchantments both applied to amulets can be combined as a simple invention, while a weak ritual with a previously unused effect on a new anchor object will be much more complex.


  1. So, not really expecting an answer to this since its been so long since this was posted, but how exactly do you calculate the cost of a permanent ritual? I see that the section that should cover this is pretty much blank.

    1. Hey, sorry about the delay, but you're absolutely right: I published without listing the cost properly. Thanks for asking. I've updated the article to list the cost. I hope you see this, its been a few months!