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Guidelines For Rites

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  • Guidelines For Rites

    The idea of manipulating the symbolic laws of the spirit realm is certainly an intriguing one, but I find the rules for designing Rites to be somewhat impenetrable. I can see some of the underlying structures (if it affects the werewolf template itself, it should be a Wolf Rite, for instance), but in other cases, for me it's not fully clear why a certain effect is tied to a certain dot rating (scope and consequences are obviously the primary factors, but how should they ideally scale? Should a Rite only accessible to a single Tribe be more powerful in a more niche sphere?), or why, say, summoning a spirit is a Pack Rite, whereas binding one is Uratha-exclusive. What makes for a good drawback to a Rite, and which ritual effects should include one?

    Anyway, all of that is to say, are there any guidelines out there for designing Rites, their structural philosophy, a breakdown of effects by dot level, etc?

  • #2
    Dot rating represents scarcity or rarity. Since there is now no roadblock to learning a rite (in first edition you needed to have certain amount of dots in Rites), the only cost to acquiring them from a meta standpoint is how much Experience you pay. So powerful ones, ones held by obscure lodges, and ones too dangerous to be commonplace, would be more dots. More common things like Chain Rage would be cheaper.

    Acrozatarim wrote up a guideline and I thought it might have made it here but maybe not yet.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nofather View Post
      Dot rating represents scarcity or rarity. Since there is now no roadblock to learning a rite (in first edition you needed to have certain amount of dots in Rites), the only cost to acquiring them from a meta standpoint is how much Experience you pay. So powerful ones, ones held by obscure lodges, and ones too dangerous to be commonplace, would be more dots. More common things like Chain Rage would be cheaper.

      Acrozatarim wrote up a guideline and I thought it might have made it here but maybe not yet.
      For that matter, what does it mean to "know" a Rite? I get the mechanical implications and reasonings, but within the game itself, what stops a ritemaster from just consulting the proper etched cylinder during the process? (Second Edition in general seems to vacillate on this point when it comes to ritual magic, when one compares Rites with Ceremonies and Sekhem Sorcery.) The text makes a few references to spiritual connections with Rites, so maybe the process is similar to acquiring Facets: You can't evoke the requisite sincerity for a Rite until you've internalized its symbols in your blood and bones.

      I'm definitely curious to read Acrozatarim's perspective on this.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post
        You can't evoke the requisite sincerity for a Rite until you've internalized its symbols in your blood and bones.
        Basically, this.

        As it says on page 139, “Symbolism lies at the core of every rite”, and “ When a ritemaster teaches a student one of these occult secrets, the rite changes; the student adds her own interpretations of its practice, her own understanding of its symbolism.”

        With a rite, the performance is secondary to the ritemaster knowing the symbolism. You’ll notice that the sample rites offer suggestions for how they’re performed but that a pack can make their own performances as long as they incorporate the symbols.

        Answering your question, nothing stops a ritemaster consulting an etched cylinder if that’s one of the symbols for the rite, but the ritemaster has to know that ‘learning’, ‘recording’, ‘history’, ‘wisdom’ or something similar is one of the symbols, and connects that cylinder with the rite.

        Or to go back to the part I quoted from you, you need to know it in your blood and bones. The spirit magic flows from your spirit half, through your flesh, and enacts rules upon the world.


        Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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        • #5
          I'll agree with you that mechanics are a bit daunting though. Generally it's a lot harder to wing the actual crunch over the thematics.
          I do feel like playing Mage has kinda skewed what I think a 5 dot "big ritual magic" should be able to accomplish in some regard.

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          • #6
            Yeah, I wrote up a rambling short essay on rite costing/creation for my Patreon; may do an update and pop it over here.


            - Chris Allen, Aberrant Line Developer, Freelance Writer

            ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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