Racial Faith Ceremonies

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Racial Faith Ceremonies

Post  Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 2:21 am

Just as there are ceremonies for each of the different class types, the different races have ceremonies of their own. In this section, ceremonies for each of the races found in the PHB are explored, along with some information on how ceremonies can be strengthened by the number of participants, and the steps necessary to coordinate large groups of people when performing a ceremony. All of the ceremonies presented in this section are religious in nature and require all members to be of the same faith, as well as race.

Though it is certainly possible for members of another race to receive the benefits of a racial faith ceremony (such as the frequent requests by humans for elven healing ceremonies), it is a rare event. In most cases, outsiders who request such personal ceremonies must prove themselves worthy of the gift by performing some quest, bestowing a particularly rich offering, or otherwise displaying their goodwill and appreciation for those whose aid they seek. In some cases, particular races may have agreements through which they exchange ceremonial benefits, strengthening ancient ties and reminding one another of the alliances of ages past.

The ceremonies presented herein are not tied to any particular deity, but rather to the entire pantheon of creative forces linked to each of the races. Though elves, for example, may have a dozen different gods, none of these ceremonies invoke any one of these deities by name-instead, they call upon the racial elements common to all the deities, which makes many of the ceremonies quite powerful indeed. All of the ceremonies found herein are not meant to be performed lightly; while a very powerful cleric may find himself able to perform a ceremony single-handedly, others will need assistance in order to succeed.


Last edited by Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 5:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Racial Faith Ceremonies

Post  Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 2:28 am

Dwarven Faith Ceremonies
Amongst the dwarves, most ceremonies center on ensuring the survival of the community against hostile threats or the many natural hazards of life far below the ground. Unless otherwise noted, all of the ceremonies listed below must be performed below the ground in a mine or dwarven forge that has been in use within the past five days. Always a practical people, the dwarves are most easily able to draw upon the power of their faith when their ceremonies are performed in areas where work has taken place in the recent past.

Dwarven Components Dwarves may provide a +1 circumstance bonus to the Spellcraft checks of a ceremonial leader for every 500 gp worth of metals, either raw or forged, or gems in materials expended during the ritual. These components must come from the labor of the community performing the rit- ual or, if several communities are involved, in the forge or mine from which the materials were worked or extracted from the earth. The bonus provided by these components may never exceed +5.

Embrace of Flowing Stone
The dwarves are aware of the treacherous nature of the earth in which they make their homes. Rockslides and cave-ins claim the lives of miners from every clan, and the rare flood has been known to burst forth from a mine to wipe out an entire dwarven settlement. Of all these threats, however, lava remains the one that is not only deadly, but potentially very useful as well. The flows of lava can be used by dwarves to construct tunnels of their own, andthe flowing rock can also be used as a source of heat and light.

Some dwarven clans regard lava as a protector of the earth, a deadly snake of crimson rock and liquid steel that lashes out at those who are too foolish or too ignorant to avoid its crimson tongue. These clans venerate active lava flows and have learned to use them in their religious ceremonies. The Embrace of Flowing Stone is the most common of these ceremonies and is known to most dwarven clans.

When the ceremony is complete, anyone who took part in its performance may dip a hammer or axe into the lava to temporarily grant the weapon a +2 enhancement bonus and the flaming burst special ability (DMG, Magic Item Descriptions). These improvements last for 1d4+1 days.
Note that neither of these enhancements applies to weapons that are already magically enhanced in any way.

Caster Requirements: A 10th-level cleric to lead the ceremony and enough assistants to coordinate the activities of all the followers who wish to take part in the ceremony. For this ceremony only, no followers who take part in the ceremony provide any bonus to the ceremony’s leader, though the number of followers is still limited to 1/2 the leader's class level

Time Requirements: This ceremony requires two hours of preparation and one hour to perform.

Place Requirements: The ceremony must take place below ground and within sight of an active lava flow.

Material Components:
This ceremony requires the sacrifice of one small ruby (100 gp or greater value) for each follower and assistant taking part in the ceremony. The dwarves must inscribe their name on the ruby prior to the ceremony’s performance.

Preparation: The cleric leading the ceremony instructs the dwarves taking part in it as to the proper method for inscribing their names upon their ruby. The process is time consuming and involves much concentration and praying as the cleric and his assistants help the followers properly prepare their components for the ceremony.

The Ceremony: A lengthy prayer to the dwarven deities is offered up, calling on each of them in turn to bless the assembled dwarves and to calm the spirits inhabiting the lava. As the prayer comes to an end, each of the dwarves steps forward and drops his ruby into the lava flow. As the ruby disappears into the lava, the dwarf may then place the head of his weapon into the lava. If the ritual is a success, all of the weapons will flare to life as the cleric closes the ceremony and be wreathed in a brilliant orange glow. If the ceremony fails, however, the weapons will crumble to blackened ash the instant the ceremony ends.

Ritual DC: 20.
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Re: Racial Faith Ceremonies

Post  Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 2:34 am

Elven Faith Ceremonies
For the elves, life is a journey with no end in sight. They live their lives lightly on the land, doing their best to protect the natural world around them and enjoy their lives to the fullest. Sadly, many elves find themselves set upon from many sides and must make war against neighbors they would much rather dwell with in peace. The elven ceremonies detailed below were designed to assist the elves in their times of need, granting them an edge in their battles and allowing them to avoid those fights that they would rather not wage.

Elven Components
Elves value items of beauty, particularly works of art or things with magical properties. For every 500 gp worth of art objects or magical items sacrificed during the performance of a ceremony, an elven cleric gains a +1 circumstance bonus to the Spellcraft checks made to perform the ritual. This bonus may never go above +5.

Shadows of Elvenkind
For all their peaceful ways and wise demeanor, the elves are willing to fight tooth and claw to protect their homeland. The elves of the Divawi Shade learned long ago they could not wage an open battle and have any chance of success, and so they took to the shadows. Since that time they have shared the details of this cer- emony with other elven peoples, allowing those with low birth rates and few numbers to successfully battle against more numerous enemies. When this ceremony is complete, all shadows within 10 miles of the site at which the ceremony was performed willingly embrace any elf who belongs to the community that performed the ritual. This provides a +10 circumstance bonus to any Hide checks made within the affected area and a +5 circumstance bonus to any Move Silently checks. Additionally, any elf who makes a sneak attack from hiding while this ceremony is active may immediately attempt to hide again as if he had not been exposed.

Caster Requirements:A10th-level elven cleric who lives within the area to be affected by the ceremony. This cleric must be able to cast the true seeing and freedom of movement spells.

Time Requirements: This ceremony takes a full eight hours to complete and four hours of preparation.

Place Requirements: This ceremony must take place in a forest in which the performing elves live.

Material Components: The elves must sacrifice a tree that is at least 100 years old in order to perform this ceremony.

Preparation: The leader, assistants, and followers who are going to perform the ritual must gather around the tree to be sacrificed. One by one, they bite into the tree with a ceremonial dagger, carefully circumscribing the trunk of the tree. When an inch-wide wound has been hewn into the side of the tree, the elves each kiss the naked flesh of the tree and take a bite from the fibrous tissue. This opens the connection between the elves and the tree, allowing them to commence the ceremony, using the tree to forge a bond with the rest of the wood. Though the tree dies, its location will forever after be marked with a stark white circle upon the ground.

The Ceremony: With the tree stripped and ready for sacrifice, the leader of the ceremo- ny begins singing the history of the tree and the people who dwell around it. The names of elves who lived and died within the forest are inscribed into the wound inflicted upon the tree, and the followers cry out their names in agony as they feel the pain given to the tree. As the ceremony progresses, the elves spill their blood upon the soil around the tree and the leader of the ceremony rubs the crimson fluid into the names he carved into the tree. Each of the followers of the ceremony is then gifted with a short vision from the lives of those who came before, tying them back to the land and their ancestors.

At the height of the ceremony, the tree bursts into shadow flames. Tongues of pitch black fire race up and down the bark, stripping it away and releasing small bat-like wisps of ash and shadow. These wisps then race through the forest and, where they pass, the shadows grow deeper and longer, providing cover for the elves. The effects listed above last for one day for every 10 elves involved in the ceremony, but may never last longer than a single week. Though it may not seem like a long time, the elves of Divawi Shade were able to drive out an entire clan of orcs before the effects of the ceremony faded, killing them from the shadows with their deadly archery.

Ritual DC: 25.
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Re: Racial Faith Ceremonies

Post  Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 2:37 am

Gnome Faith Ceremonies
Always inquisitive, the gnomes have a long history of poking their noses in where perhaps they ought not. Their faith ceremonies tend toward information gathering or skill enhancement, allowing them to better survive their experimentation and providing them with the occasional insight they need to further theirstudies.

Gnome Components
Gnomes primarily value those items that are related to magic (either arcane or divine) and knowledge in general. They also have a keen interest in alchemy due to their natural affinity for this skill. During any ceremony, items related to magic or alchemy may be sacrificed in 500 gp increments in order to provide a +1 circumstance bonus to the leader of the ceremony’s Spellcraft checks. Note that only skill checks based on Int, Wis, or Cha may be modified by this ceremony.

Freedom of Thought
Gnomes have long known that their brains store far more information than they can ever realistically use at a given time. From useless information about the Barshivli Faceripper root to the correct password to use to gain access to the infamous Alchymist’s Tavern, gnomes find themselves quickly building up a healthy store of trivia. Freedom of Thought helps the gnomes clear their minds from distraction and focus on the task at hand. When this ceremony is complete, any gnome who took part in the ceremony may gain a com- petence bonus to any skill check by accepting an equal competence penalty to another skill. Note, however, that the bonus applies only to a single skill check while the penalty lasts for a full four hours. The gnome retains his ability to juggle skill bonuses and penalties for one day per level of the cleric who performs the ceremony.

Caster Requirements: A gnome cleric of at least 8th-level must lead this ceremony.

Time Requirements: This ceremony takes four hours to complete and no preparation time.

Place Requirements: None. The ceremony may be performed anywhere, provided there is enough room for all the gnomes involved.

Material Components: At the culmination of the ceremony, all the involved gnomes must sacrifice a divine scroll worth at least 150 gp. Those who do not make the sacrifice do not receive the benefits of the ceremony, but they still affect the ceremony in all other ways.

Preparation: The only preparation required for this ceremony is the gathering of the gnomes who wish to take part in one place. Individual gnomes must provide their own divine scrolls to sacrifice.

The Ceremony: This simple ritual consists of a series of meditative exercises led by the cleric in charge of the ceremony. He assists the gnomes in clearing their minds and focusing their thoughts, helping them to gain a deeper understanding of how their mind works and how they can focus their thoughts on a problem.

Ritual DC: 25.
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Re: Racial Faith Ceremonies

Post  Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 2:25 pm

Halfling Faith Ceremonies
Known for their tightly knit communities and sense of humor, halflings also have something of a reputation as rather weak and soft compared to the hardier races. Their faith ceremonies go a long way toward disabusing others of this notion and have a surprising focus on combat. Most, in fact, are designed to allow all halflings—from young children to the oldest matron—to better defend themselves from the world’s many predators.

Halfling Components
Good food, good drink, and good tobacco are all things halflings can appreciate, and which their gods hold in high esteem. The leader of a halfling faith ceremony can earn a +1 circumstance bonus to any Spellcraft checks he makes while performing a given ceremony if he sacrifices 500 gp worth of food, drink, or smoke. These sacrifices are most often burnt on an altar during the ceremony, filling the ceremonial site with rich aromas the halflings find comforting. This bonus may never exceed +5, no matter how many items are sacrificed.

The Rite of the Sling

Slings are simple weapons, easily made and almost as easy to use. Armed with a few slings and a supply of stones or bullets, a halfling community under the effects of this ceremony can fend off an attack by much larger and better-armed opponents. Created during the Siege of Lakini’s Ford, this ceremony has since been mastered by most halfling communities, allowing them to protect themselves more effectively. Once the ceremony has been performed, all halflings who took part in the ritual receive a +2 competence bonus to all attack and damage rolls made while using a sling. In addition, all slings wielded by these halflings cause 1d6 hit points of damage and have a critical threat range of 18–20. The effects of this ceremony persist for one day per level of the priest performing the ceremony.

Caster Requirements: A halfling cleric of at least 6th-level must lead this ceremony.

Time Requirements: This ceremony takes three hours to prepare and one hour to perform. Place Requirements: None. The ceremony may be performed anywhere, provided there is enough room for all the halflings involved.

Material Components: The only component required for this ceremony is a drop of blood from each of the halflings involved. These drops are applied to the slings as the ceremony is closed.

Preparation: The halfling cleric leading the ceremony helps the other halflings prepare for the ceremony by leading them in a rock-gathering walk. The halflings move about in a small area searching for rocks useful for the ceremony and bundling them together in a simple sack held by the ceremony’s leader. As the walk continues, the cleric works the halflings up into a religious fervor, preparing them for the battle to come.
The cleric must also prepare a number of effigies of the halflings’ enemies to use during the ceremony. These are normally created from scraps of cloth wrapped around twigs or thick bundles of weeds.

The Ceremony: The ceremony itself is simple and consists of target practice by each of the halflings involved. The targets are effigies of the enemies the halflings must defend against. As the halflings hurl more and more stones at the targets, they find their aim growing more accurate and the damage the stones cause rises from barely enough to dent the target to devastating blows that eventually rip the targets asunder. When the last target is destroyed, the ritual is complete and the halflings each dot their slings with a spot of blood.

Ritual DC: 25.
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Re: Racial Faith Ceremonies

Post  Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 2:31 pm

Half-Elf Faith Ceremonies
Depending on how and where a half-elf is raised, her attitudes and beliefs may conform more closely to a human or an elf. Still, the half-elf knows that she does not truly belong to either of her parent races but is, instead, a strange and often uncomfortable combination of the two. Though many half-elves are able to fit into the societies of one or both of their parents, many more find themselves seeking out others of their kind in order to find a culture in which they can truly belong. Half-elves may draw upon the ceremonies of either of their parents, provided they truly share the beliefs of the pantheon upon which they call. They may also use their own unique ceremonies, combining the faiths of their parents into something else entirely.

Half-Elf Components
Half-elves may use the components of either their parent races during their ceremonies.
Note that the leader of the ceremony must decide upon the types of components that are used by half-elves before the ritual begins.

Passage of Rebirth
Torn between the two halves of their heritage, the half-elves often find themselves wishing they were simply one race or another, rather than a mix of both. The desire of these half-elves to truly join the race of one or more of their parents has led to a unique ritual that draws upon the gods of both humans and elves. Though it does not always work out as planned, the Passage of Rebirth is capable of changing a half-elf forever, making him truly a member of one of his parents’ races.

When this ritual is completed, the target of the ceremony must make a successful Will save (DC 25). If the save is successful, the target is transformed instantly into a member of one of his parents’ races—which race is determined randomly at the time of the transformation. Transformed half-elves gain all of the traits of their parent race, but their favored classes do not change.

Caster Requirements: A half-elf cleric of at least 13th-level must lead this ceremony. The cleric must be able to cast the resurrection spell.

Time Requirements: This ceremony takes a full day (24 hours) to complete and a full week (7 days) of preparation time.

Place Requirements: The ceremony must take place equidistant between a human and elf city or village and it must begin and end at the precise moment that night gives way to day. Material Components: There are no material components required for this ceremony.

Preparation: During the week before the Passage of Rebirth, the half-elf must spend day and night in solemn contemplation of the two races from which he sprang. Most often, this takes the form of reading up on the history of his two peoples and studying their art. For some half-elves, this process leads to a new awareness of their unique role in life and they forego the ceremony entirely, suddenly content in their newfound purpose. Most, however, find themselves drawn inexorably to one or the other of their parent races.

The Ceremony: The performance of this ceremony begins when the naked half-elf is brought into the ceremonial location. Bound hand and foot, he is forced to stand inside a circle made up of those performing the ceremony. Dozens of songs are sung during the ceremony, each marking a new stage in the life of an elf or human—the songs are performed in an alternating pattern with a human song flowing into an elven song and vice versa throughout the ceremony.

At various stages, the half-elf is confronted by others of his kind, who alternately berate and praise him for his choice. If the half-elf can hold firm in his convictions to fully transform into a member of his parent race, the ceremony will succeed. Otherwise, it will fail and the half-elf must live the rest of his days knowing that he will never be fully an elf, nor fully a human.

Ritual DC: 35
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Re: Racial Faith Ceremonies

Post  Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 2:37 pm

Half-Orc Faith Ceremonies
Like the half-elves, half-orcs are caught between two worlds. On the one hand, they are the product of the orcish blood running in their veins: nasty, brutish, and angry at the world in general. On the other hand, they are very much human, capable of transcending their heritage to achieve great feats and quite adaptable to a wide variety of situations. Half-orcs, then, attempt to draw upon the best of both worlds in their ceremonies, pulling elements from the orcish pantheon as well as the human deities of their ancestors.

Half-Orc Components
Half-orcs always use weapons and armor in their ceremonies, though the precise types vary from area to area. Most of the components used in this way represent a merging of orcish strength with human finesse, producing some of the finest weapons seen outside of a dwarven forge. For every 500 gp worth of arms and armor (either magical or mundane) used in a ceremony, the half-orc who leads the ritual receives a +1 circumstance bonus to any Spellcraft checks made during the ceremony.

Ritual of Resilient Blood
The hardiness of the orc and the flexibility of the human are bound together in this ritual, which can drastically increase a half-orc’s survivability. Known primarily to the barbarians of the Ultara Naku glacier, this ceremony is freely shared with other half-orcs, provided they are willing to partake of the ceremony with the barbarians.

When performed, all of the half-orcs who take part in the ceremony receive a +1 bonus to their Constitution and Dexterity. These bonuses last until one week has passed, but may be increased by the actions taken by the half-orc. Each worthy creature (a creature with a CR at least equal to the half-orc’s current levels) that the half-orc solely defeats in combat increases the bonus for one of the abilities, chosen by the half-orc. Note that these bonus increases must alternate (if Constitution is chosen first, for example, then Dexterity must receive the second increase), and a maximum of +4 can be applied to either ability.

Caster Requirements: A half-orc cleric of at least 9th-level must lead this ceremony.

Time Requirements: This ceremony takes 8 hours to complete but no preparation time is necessary.

Place Requirements: The ceremony must take place on the site of a great battlefield. If humans or orcs were the primary combatants during the battle, the leader of the ceremony receives a +1 circumstance bonus to all Spellcraft skill checks made during the ceremony.

Material Components: There are no material components required for this ceremony.

Preparation: The only preparation required for this ceremony is a gathering of several half-orcs.

The Ceremony: The ceremony is simple and straightforward—the half-orcs brandish their weapons and chant the names of the deities of battle they venerate. Led by the cleric, the ceremony rises to a fever pitch as the half-orcs vent their rage and draw into their spirits the violence and rage of battle. The ceremony almost always ends in battle as the orcs charge out to face whatever enemy prompted the performance of the ceremony in the first place. Though it happens only rarely, there are times when the half-orcs allow humans into their ceremonies. This is most common when a threat to both human and half-orcs presents itself. When humans are involved in these ceremonies, an additional four hours is required as the humans are inducted into the half-orc people as honorary half-orcs.

Ritual DC: 20
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Re: Racial Faith Ceremonies

Post  Whitewolf on Thu May 03, 2012 2:42 pm

Human Faith Ceremonies
For humans, the rituals of faith are necessary to stabilize their place in a world of older races. While numerous and resilient, humans know their lives are short and their wisdom is not as refined as that held by the longer-lived races. The ceremonies designed by humans, therefore, are often used to increase longevity of their leaders or to otherwise ensure the passage of wisdom and knowledge from one generation to the next.

Human Components
Humans hold such a wide variety of items and substances in high regard it is impossible to definitively state which items may be used to enhance the ceremonies of this race. DMs are encouraged to draw upon the cultures of their campaign worlds in order to decide which components humans may use to provide bonuses when performing a ceremony. For every 500 gp worth of the designated items or substances, the leader of a ceremony gains a +1 circumstance bonus to any Spellcraft checks made to perform a ceremony.

Ritual of Resilient Blood
Humans, while very inventive, creative, and adaptable, know they are at a disadvantage compared to many other races. Their lives are short and the span of years given to a human flits away quickly in the grand scheme of things. Because of this, many human cultures find themselves losing leaders at an alarming rate, leading to a fractured nation that is unable to plan for the future as easily as the kingdoms of the elves and dwarves. When the Simi Lords decided to remedy this situation, the Ritual of the Unbroken Span was the result. This ceremony increases the natural lifespan of the human target by 1d6 x 100 years. The human’s apparent age does not change from the moment the ceremony is completed until the time the human dies. Note that if the Ritual of the Unbroken Span is performed more than once on the same individual, the DC for subsequent attempts is increased by 10. This is cumulative, so the second attempt has a DC of 30, the third has a DC of 40, and so on. If this ceremony fails, the target is immediately slain as the gods find him unworthy and sunder his spirit from his body. Targets slain in this way may not be raised, resurrected, or otherwise restored to life.

Caster Requirements: A human cleric of at least 14th-level must lead this ceremony. Time Requirements: The target of this ceremony must spend a solid month (28 days) preparing himself for the ceremony. The ceremony itself is performed over the course of a week.

Place Requirements: The ceremony must take place in the throne room of a kingdom in which a special altar is constructed. During the ceremony the target must remain in the throne for at least eight hours out of every day, but may otherwise retire to a bed or couch as long as it is in the throne room. Neither the cleric performing the ceremony or the human receiving the ceremony may leave the room until the ritual is complete.

Material Components: There are no material components required for this ceremony.

Preparation: This ceremony must always be performed on the last night of the lunar cycle. During the preceding month, the recipient of the ceremony must spend time ritually living his life. During the first phase of the moon, he may not feed or bathe himself, but must be cared for by his servants. During the second phase, he is only allowed to eat bland foods and may not perform any actions other than quietly enduring the preparations. The third phase finds him able to continue his normal life and he may undertake any actions he would normally pursue. The final phase of the moon illuminates a man on his death bed. The recipient must meet with the cleric daily to tighten the bindings around his limbs. When he is at last allowed into the throne room for the ceremony proper, the recipient appears bent and stooped, as with a great age.

The Ceremony: During the ceremony, the cleric symbolically prepares the recipient for the grave. The body is bathed in fragrant oils and spices are mixed with bandages that are then wrapped around the recipient to prepare his body for the final journey. At the end of this week-long process (during which embalming is symbolically performed), the recipient is left alone on his throne. During the night he must free himself of his bandages so that he can be found in the morning, resplendent and eternal on his throne.

Ritual DC: 20
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