A second request for feedback, also having to do with Rituals and custom Moves.

A second request for feedback, also having to do with Rituals and custom Moves.

A second request for feedback, also having to do with Rituals and custom Moves. Having acquired a taste for it, our Wizard player has started a second Ritual with a rather vague goal: he wants to gain insight in the overall, global effects on the world of the bad-guy magic they’ve been encountering.

(His out-of-game explanation for it is that he wants to learn something that will give him and the other players more insight in how the things they are discovering about the world fit together, and hence “what they could do next” , either in the current campaign, or perhaps in the next one.)

So after mulling it over, I’ve come up with some conditions, which should result in a new Spell when fulfilled. I want it to be a nice juicy Spell, well worth the considerable effort, but of course also with considerable risk. What I’ve got so far is:


If you attempt to gain all-encompassing insight into a specific type of magic, roll +INT. On a successful roll, you will learn when and where this type of magic is interacting with your current world. In addition:

– On a 12+: the GM will tell you an immediately useful fact about the magic system;

– On a 10-11: you can ask the GM one question about the magic system that will get a truthful answer;

– On a 7-9 your insight will come at a cost — you get to tell the GM what that cost is.

The 7-9 is specifically there because my players are still more puzzle solvers than collaborative storytellers, and I want to take all the opportunities I can to stimulate the latter behaviour. The success rolls are there because as GM I want to help my players have a good time, and if that means they actually need to get an occasional info-dump — well, why not?.

So what do you think? Are there better Spells I could come up with in this situation? Better roll results I could use? Better wording? And are there any nice in-fiction GM moves I could hit them with if the roll for this spell fails?

All feedback much appreciated, as usual!

10 thoughts on “A second request for feedback, also having to do with Rituals and custom Moves.”

  1. When you make something the players need to roll for, you need to ask yourself “what could happen that they would mess up and learn from?”

    If something just has a chance of failing at random, you don’t have them roll to see if it works or not, you just have it as a soft move you can use against them.

    rolls should only be if the character can make a mistake, never for just random chance.

  2. Hi. I would make him Roll +Bond, an already established bond with that type of magic.

    So the player get to write one or more of those bonds, starting a dialogue with the gm about them.

    “On a 7-9 you (the pc) say when/where or what is going on with that type of magic. The gm will decide if it’s true or false: time will tell.”

    So to let the players be more collaborative to the fiction.

  3. Alfred Rudzki Having the result of the Ritual be a Spell is my interpretation. If you just set conditions and then give them what they describe, doesn’t Ritual become merely a sort of Buy-Anything-I-Want market for the Wizard? My idea was that the Ritual results in something tangible: an object or a spell or maybe some very detailed, specific, magic effect, all of which would typically have a Move attached to it, so that using it is never without the possibility of failure and/or interesting consequences.

  4. I have used “First you must… cast Spell” as a ritual requirement in the past. It seems fitting, especially if the ritual is an outgrowth of something that the wizard can already do

  5. That’s exactly what Ritual is for. The Wizard wants to erect a wall of fire around a fortress, they want to call up a Demon to parley with them, they want to anoint a spear with dragon’s blood to make a weapon that penetrates all armor, they want to reverse time around the party and travel back to when the place of power was the Capitol of the magical empire. Your job is to ask what they want, and tell them what it will honestly cost in the fiction to get what they’re asking for.

    Sometimes what they get will still take moves to interact with… You still have to roll+CHA to persuade to a demon, you still have to hack & slash with your dragon blood spear, and all of that. Sometimes you’ll even get something worth a custom move, like maybe what happens when you tamper with the timeline. But other times, especially when what they’re asking for is dead simple, you just tell what it takes and then do it.

    Ritual is all about generating quests and adventure and letting the characters impact the setting in big deal ways. I may be alone, but listing hoops for the PC to jump through, and then saying “okay but now roll to see if it’s any good” sounds super weak sauce. It takes a 12+ to get something useful? And a 7-9 has a cost?? It’s a ritual! They’ve already paid one to four costs now let their magic be mighty and make them feel like a badass sorcerer!

  6. In addition to what’s been said, I’m not sure the premise really calls for a ritual in the first place. Gaining information about the world that a character would already know, but a player doesn’t necessarily know, is literally Spout Lore. It’s already handled.

    I could see a minor ritual to learn what the Big Bad is doing, but nothing of this caliber… and not even strictly that… there’s likely a very good argument to be made that Discern Realities would work fine, given a suitable narrative.

    I could see a Ritual being used to place the Wizard into a position that could narratively justify Spout Lore/Discern Realities. But that special move is… a bit much.

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