Overview

Ceremonies are functionally written like monsters. One has a Complexity instead of Endurance, one to six Natures instead of Habits, Corruptions instead of Defenses and a Clarifier instead of a Weakness. Just as monsters do not use all of their habits all of the time, a ceremony may not express all of its habits. These are pieces of evocative text that the GM can use or be inspired by to help build the stakes of the ceremony.

Similarly, a ceremony can only be used through a modified Combat Roll, called the Ceremony Roll and detailed below. Using a ceremony alone is very risky, so groups are better suited for performing ceremonies. A treasure-hunter cannot use a Risk Roll to perform a ceremony.

Acquiring ceremonies has to be done through incursions; you cannot buy a ceremony, but you must increase your Burdens by 1 when you return to town after acquiring it.

Ceremonies can be learned about similarly to monsters: a group may witness one, which they can then name, and spend Gold while in town to learn about everything but the ceremony’s Clarifier.

Ceremony Roll

When you attempt to conjure great magic, you must combine efforts with your companions.

First say how you expose yourself to supernatural influence or danger, then roll a single light die. The number on the die is called your Weak Point and represents the risks you’re taking to invoke this power greater than yourself.

Now gather a dark die for each character involved in the ceremony. Roll all the dark dice together.

To successfully perform the ceremony, you must roll against its Complexity, which is a number between 2 and 12. The GM may reduce the Complexity if you have relevant Skills (ceremonies are not rituals, so a ritual Skill does not apply) or are taking advantage of your equipment, environment or the ceremony’s Clarifier in some way. If the Complexity would go below the number of dark dice being rolled, then no Ceremony Roll is required. The GM may increase the Complexity if the ceremony is particularly fraught or if you are at a disadvantage. If the Complexity would go above 12, the ceremony is too difficult to perform and you must find a way to reduce the ceremony’s Complexity.

If the total of the two highest dark dice is equal to or higher than the Complexity, the ceremony is performed in the manner you and your fellow players describe.

If any of the dark dice equals your Weak Point, your character’s Ruin increases by 1 for each dark die matching the Weak Point.

If the two highest dark dice are less than the ceremony’s Complexity and you wish to continue the attack, add one more dark die and re-roll all the dark dice. You may keep adding a dark die and re-rolling until the total of the two highest dark dice is equal to or higher than the Complexity or until you give up the ceremony. Stopping an incomplete ceremony may trigger Risk Rolls or other consequences.

Six Ceremonies

Storm of Fire (call down a heavy rain of flames, ash and ember over a large area)
Complexity: 8
Natures: 1. Soot-blackened palms 2. Curling plumes of white smoke from the mouth 3. Burnt red sky like a sunset, midday 4. No birds for miles 5. Embers drifting down from a clear sky 6. An undulating cloud of ash
Corruptions: severely burned, ashen lungs, ...
Clarifier: an ever-burning flame

Resurrection (return a spirit to a body)
Complexity: 13
Natures: 1. A quieting pall falling over the group 2. Flickering images at the periphery of your sight 3. Twitching muscles in the corpse 4. Whispered demands at the edge of your hearing 5. Silence 6. A gauzy portal opening above the corpse
Corruptions: haunted, possessed, ...
Clarifier: funeral shroud soaked in holy water

Tidal Wave (summon a great wave to overwhelm the land)
Complexity: 6 on an island or coast; otherwise it is 13.
Natures: 1. Salt pressing out of the ground 2. Pools of water growing larger 3. Increasingly uncomfortable humidity 4. Inexplicable rain, hanging midair briefly before falling to the ground 5. Water drops raising from the ground and flying up into the sky 6. The sun blocked out by the rising water
Corruptions: suffocation, leaking eyes, siren songs only you hear, ...
Clarifier: precious jewelry made from mother of pearl

Quake (make the ground impassable and uninhabitable in a large area)
Complexity: 7
Natures: 1. A light dust storm, annoying but not intrusive 2. Small rocks rolling in a perfect circle around the ceremony 3. Shifting earth, unsteadying 4. Cracks spreading through the ground and rock alike 5. Loosened earth pushing up, forming fists and pulling itself away from the ground 6. A circle of animated earth-peoples, watching
Corruptions: calcified skin, stones in your stomach, ...
Clarifier: an uncut diamond

Nether Passage (traverse the lands beyond to shorten a journey)
Complexity: 10
Natures: 1. A rolling fog, chilling 2. Slightly weakened gravity, light items barely floating 3. A howling gale 4. A point in the center of the ceremony warping light and sound 5. A doorway, gate or other portal, all different for each participant, appearing 6. Wilting flora, a blackened doorstep
Corruptions: caught in between, nether-sickness, ...
Clarifier: the true name of a demon prince
Special Rule: Bargain
As you traverse the lands beyond, you may come upon a demon’s court. There, given your unique status, you can be granted an audience and, if you are so bold, make a request. The cost of any bargain is your soul: take the Condition “promised,” which cannot be removed. The GM will tell you when the demon prince comes to collect their price.

Call Down the Stars (crash the heavens upon the earth)
Complexity: 12
Natures: 1. The stars appear in the sky even if it is midday 2. The view of the sky distends as if placed behind a lens 3. Participants’ eyes darken, a prick of light for a pupil 4. Clouds part, stars agglomerate and increase in brightness 5. The distanded sky sinks, almost close enough to touch 6. A crashing, shattering sound, a weight so heavy it’s hard to stand
Corruptions: far-away mind, visions of the future, ...
Clarifier: a piece of meteor