How has no one commented on this?

So, how to read: a ritual-user effectively has 3*level points of shifting abilities from their known list, each most likely at a max power of HD=level (the Martyr's self sacrifice cap or the likely max HD of creatures you find to sacrifice, though at low and high levels HD are more plentiful in livestock and big creatures). Assuming a proper rotation of resting for a Martyr or chaining sacrifices for a Ritualist, these should be up all the time, or for charged abilities have charges=level per day. Note that with -3 hp/level (and change) the Martyr is effectively a d6 class with the option to pay some cash to get more max hp for a few days.

In the general Ritual description, it would help if this was written a bit more mechanically. Start or title each paragraph with the appropriate tag (Sacrificial Hit Dice, some keyword for Sacrificial Hit Dice capacity of 3*level, Duration, Saving Throws). Duration should include a note that many rituals have hour/HD durations (I expect that when originally written this was not the case).
*Pre-Edit: ah, right, all rituals are available for 1 day/HD, it's just that for some reason a ton of them also have effects that last 1 day/HD. Seems a little unclear since non-charged rituals basically have an extra day/HD duration that means nothing, and this caused me to disregard the Effect Duration. . . except looking at Spirit Manacle here, we have an Effect Duration of day/HD with the actual effect in the text clearly round/HD. New material/format changes may have caused that.

As noted below, there should be a general rule on range and targeting since it seems that many rituals lack this information. There should also be a mention of Spell Resistance, even if only a reminder that as Su abilities SR never applies (though a nod to some people's preference to X/magic transparency would be welcome).

I think I might be missing something very important: is there a minimum HD requirement for higher level rituals? My gut tells me this really should be a thing, though as I read the Martyr rituals I start to think they're intended to have the option of lots of lower level links and transfers and debuffs. I haven't read any Blood rituals yet, but any Martyr ritual that avoids the +ritual level surcharge on hp (say by not spending hp) is gonna get real strong.

On the other end, I see no maximum HD limit, making non-hp sacrifices dangerous. This is okay if you need bodies supplied by the DM but gold is cheap for Martyrs, see Fettered Mind, below. And personally I think there's a hole in the hp sacrifice: temporary hp are still hp and basically invalidate any mechanic that starts by taking damage no matter how un-preventable or un-redirectable it is. Just add a line that the damage bypasses temporary hit points and you're fine.
Pre-edit: finally noticed that the Martyr doesn't have a HD=level max on hp sacrifice like I must have assumed, it's just the same 3*level HD limit as everything else. That'll just be bananas.


I find the Martyr's more active abilities quite underwhelming. It's obviously more of a set buffs and go class, but still. The stunning touch from Wash the Sins gives you hp burn you can't heal until you rest, even if they make their save, so using it even once is a massive cost that just doesn't seem justifiable. Remove Temptation comes on at a a level where any weapon you sacrifice will be worth obscene amounts of cash that you should never give up-I also don't see why they'd ever fail to create a ritual unless they were already at max capacity (you could just make a 1HD ritual and let the rest go to waste). Reversing Strike is your way to speed up rituals so you can react in combat, but since you have to convert damage exactly it's quite a ways out of your control. On the other hand, Healing Touch is apparently usable on self with no upper health limit so the whole party is full all the time.

I'm pretty leery of the Ritualists at-will Entangle+Slow into Paralyze. Obviously it's there to make sure you can do a sacrifice and it's good that the brain-locked effect is all or nothing by releasing them on a successful save (though it could be a bit more clear that you do this after they've succumbed to the first effect), but that is still a really, really strong ability to have at-will with no cost. I'd let the first save grant immunity on a success, as with most at-will save or lose effects. As written it can't effect undead at all since it's mind affecting, just needs a note that undead immunity does not apply in addition to the altered effect.

Immolator Apostate should list the damage of a medium fire for convenience. Cleanse in Fire seems useless unless you took Martyr to 9th for Reversing Strike to flash-cast it but the PrC is set for 7th level entry, and it also doesn't specify range. Even then it has the same problem as Wash the Sins in that using it even once docks your hit points for the rest of the day (possibly longer) in exchange for a single attack. Especially now that I've read the Martyr's ritual list.

Planar Animist is, as most HD based summons are, ridiculously broken. Even assuming you have to pay HD equal to the HD of the outsider (as written you only pay for duration so you can just spend 1 HD for anything, unless I'm missing a base rule somewhere that says higher level rituals have a minimum HD cost), that still lets you get three times your own hit dice in outsiders, each of which can very easily have spellcasting greater than their own hit dice (Gheale Eladrin and Trumpet Archon are the two favorite standouts, acquired here at 4th level rituals for ECL 11, also you should really specify how to round level=1/3 outsider's hit dice, since if it rounds down that means you can go to Planetars at ECL 11 instead). As much as I love a no-cost buffet that's a no-guilt summon instead of a calling, there's a reason the Planar X spells have huge costs.

I don't see why the Quietus can get Allips before Shadows when Allips are better in every way. I'd also like to see Spectres on there, and Devourers are creepy as heck so nice choice. As cool as it is to be able to create and control NightXs, it comes in 2nd right under the Planar Animist for overpowered minions. The spellcasting progression is pretty cheap if you use something to expand the list, but not really a problem. I like the idea that they could sacrifice one of their undead to power a ritual, possibly one for making a new undead, except that as creatures created by a class feature you can't sacrifice your own undead. Also, the Quietus's undead animation brings up another point I may have missed: is there a requirement anywhere that a living sacrifice be sapient? Because turning cows into Allips and hunting dinosaurs for easy NightXs is probably not what you intended.

(I haven't read the other PrCs in-depth)

Spoiler: Martyr Rituals
Show
In general, I see a lack of ranges and individual effect durations, making many of these impossible to use. Affliction of Gluttony is ranged touch with no range, Chained Body has no given range or individual effect duration, FTP has no range, Fettered Mind has no range, etc. If the intent is that all rituals have a range of unlimited and no rolls then this needs to go in the general ritual rules at the beginning. You may also want to adopt some of the standard descriptor [tags], like [mind affecting], [death], and so on.

Absolve the Weak: I don't see the need for an hp cap here, unless you have another healer you'll run out of hit points anyway since your at-will healing doesn't work on yourself Pre-edit: wait, nevermind it totally does okay then. Comboing with someone who has Touch of Healing reserve isn't really overpowered.

Call Boon: 50k is low enough that a lot of the Artificer's choices aren't available, but with no restriction on charged items I could see a cl15 wand or a staff to burn being a good idea. Compares well enough to a warlock throwing an at-will 4th level spell, though Martyrs can't use wands without help. Until you realize a scroll of wish is under 50k, and boom, instant broken.

Call Boon, Greater: this is obviously bonkers. IIRC the epic item clauses do state that any item over 200k counts as epic, so that should be inlcluded here for convenience, but even then you can just take a week or so off and whistle up Rings of Three Wishes to get +3 inherent to all your stats. Both Call Boon rituals are easily fixed by including the usual xp clause, that any item duplicating a spell with an xp component charges you the same amount of xp. This limits them to only the most broken spell combinations a player can come up with when they don't have to spend money including access to 9th level spells at 13th level with Call Boon. I'd also suggest limiting them to printed items only, possibly even DMG items only, just so the scope of the power can be seen, and since you probably didn't intend scrolls/wands, put that in the description.

Chained Body: lists no individual effect duration, does that mean the target is marked for days until your ritual runs out? That's pretty cool, but also kindof a death sentence. Retaliation effects usually don't trigger unless the victim takes damage, and wear off quickly, so this is basically the perfect deterrent. Except without a given duration, using the last charge ends the ritual and thus is wasted. Also another good example of a power that's crazy good if you can spend only 1 or 2HD on it. From what I've read so far the Martyr kinda needs it though. Pre-Edit: well this seems to be the main thing they do, crazy strong debuffs with little or no save.

Face Thy Punishments: as written, a will save negates the force sphere as well as the planar travel ban. Change the save line to "see text" if that's not intended.

Fettered Mind: no save HD based effects are not the best in my mind. They're entirely binary and based mostly on player knowledge of enemy hit dice, either being grossly overpowered if they can boost the affected HD, in this case, by using 10gp per HD in sacrifice to avoid the level limit on hp sacrifice, in this case build right into the base system, or completely useless if the DM throws an advanced or unexpected creature at the party. A 5th level Martyr can spend 150gp to get a 15HD sacrifice, which apparently gets them a no-save unlimited-range lose effect against the next 15 evil creatures they encounter with 15HD or less, or just use 18hp.

Forge Lifebond: wait, so this lets you pass half the hp loss of setting up your rituals to someone else, at the cost of an extra 3hp and the drawback/benefit of Shield Other? Handy, but not so crazy due to maximum HD capacity. Excellent interactions with Reversing Strike since it's two-way, that will just foul up everything on both sides of the fight! I would change "shared equally" to "split evenly" just to be sure, and specify rounding.

Impregnable Spirit: needs to specify how much Fortification.

Judgement: so basically Wail of the Banshee vs evil, a bunch of times. Not impossibly strong but basically all you need against living foes. This is where lack of standard descriptor [tags] comes in: Death ward stops [death] effects, but does it stop Judgement? Undead can't die so they're fine even though the spell hits all creatures instead of only the living.

Justice: terminally vague, what happens if someone interferes? Does the effect end or does it have DM level denial of interference?

Life's Wrappings: just to be clear, a flying creature falls but cannot be directly harmed so they take no damage from the impact. As a defense, at 11HD you've passed the hardness of adamantine and they'll need magic or Mountain Hammer to break you out, if they don't realize they could just drown you. This and the upgraded version are certainly a way to protect squishy NPCs, it's just kinda lame that to do so in this game you really do need to put them in a box/cocoon/extradimensional pocket to make it work.

Network of X: I'm not convinced the penalties are neccesary. As a no-armor, d6 class (huh, what's up with that save progression?), you're already squishy enough that if the rest of the party is protected and you're not, you're dead. The penalties just force the player to literally wait back at camp or around the corner out of sight since they're now extra vulnerable to the foe they're specifically fighting. Pre-Edit: having finished the list, I can see why a full party-buff without penalty would be too much in addition to the various other shutdown abilities, but I still don't think it's a good design. Life's Gift gets a special mention: while it's more efficient than Absolve the Weak, it's still pointless out of combat healing when you could just use Healing Touch 30 times, and if used in combat with Reversing Strike the fast healing 2 isn't enough to really matter. Suffering Surrendered on the other hand is quite amazing, it's way easier to stack immunities on one person.

Network of Souls: again I'd change this to "split evenly," with directions on rounding/remainders.

Prayer Focus: sounds great until you realize that attacks and spells does not include the vast array of supernatural abilities in the game, including other ritual users. Probably for the best though.

Purge They Soul: implies rather than states that the creature returns to it's original position after the effect duration wears off. Save DC is obscenely high since it uses full HD rather than 1/2 like most (there are a couple other instances of this elsewhere), but it also doesn't have the potential prohibition on escape like most similar effects.

Radiance: unclear. So does it hit all targets with Sunbeam every round? Is it firing normal Sunbeams or producing a single-target version? Is the listed blind/miss chance in addition to or replacing the normal blindness of a Sunbeam? Can you exit the trance early by any means other than ending the entire ritual? (actually you can't since no actions means no free action to end the ritual). Sunbeam is already a multi-round spell, I'd say it doesn't need the reduced caster level, being stuck stationary is more than enough of a drawback to make up for the increased duration since any undead will either kill you where you stand or just retreat out of range until you stop.

Reflexive Retribution: nothing reflexive about it. I'd change the phrasing to "redirected" and "remainder" for clarity. This is similar to Chained Body, if anything more powerful since you're gaining DR/lol against every attack for two creatures. Another signature ability, they both necessitate foes with a wide array of abilities to keep the game meaningful.

Sacrificial Knowledge: what is the ritual wielder level of the affected target?

Shackled Thoughts: Ray of Dizziness without the ray, another staple ability that might be too strong.

Shadows of Sin: massive save DC again.

Shelter in my Soul: needs to specify what happens to worn and carried items.

Shifting Spirit: no-save forced teleportation at level 1, the only thing that undermines this is range being linked to uses, so you can't bring very many charges without shoving your foe so far away you'll disrupt your own party's ability to attack. Should specify if direction includes up/down, usual notes about being shunted out of solid objects (there might be a preference for landing closer or further from the user depending on what you want the power used for), the conjuration school would automatically prohibit appearing in thin air but the [teleportation] descriptor doesn't automatically I think.

Sorrow's Burden: high save DC again, and the way you've set up an active only multi-target "gaze" attack ought to explain what happens if a target wants to avert their eyes. You probably can't do so unless it's your turn, but this could give an incidental buff if foes fear it and avert or close their eyes on their turns after you use it, even if you don't continue doing so.

Soul Coffin: so for 2HD out of my max capacity I can just have an extra life waiting somewhere with reduced xp cost? It's no Jade Pheonix Mage or Sand Shaper but it's nice it's own ways. Beats the heck out of Clone.

Soul's Shards: what does this even do? How or what triggers the shards and what's the effective HD of the 3rd level rituals?

Spirit Aura: pretty lame restrictions for an ECL 13 ability, also bugs me a bit that it conflicts with the Oriental Adventures definition of spirit which includes incorporeal undead, Sight of Life or something would be better.

Spirit Manacles: another extremely potent ability, foul your foes' movement and double your net damage with no save or rolls required. Also lets you do obvious combos: summon a mook, bind it to your foe, and cut off it's head for a free crit (use bigger mooks to channel more damage, also useful if you can't order a summon to be helpless for a coup de gras). I'd generally never allow this aggressive of an ability with no save.

Spiritual Locus: I quite like seeing this ability come up earlier or at least cheaper than Refuge.

Splintered Soul: if they fission and fail the save they're stunned, but there's only one (very high) save so it's either fissioned+stunned or nothing. This is a pretty strong debuff against the right high level creatures, enough negative levels and it doesn't matter that they've got two bodies.

Swirling Lives: normally I'd say this is a decent healing effect, but for ECL 15 it's not, especially not compared to some of the no-save-just-lose effects you could be doing. It's roughly equivalent to a pair of Heal spells without the speed or extra effects, and at this level it's Heal or nothing. If it were a pulse that healed all party members then maybe. Note that Woven Tapestry, below, heals 18 points (4d8= 18 average) a whole level earlier with option to attack.

Trammel the Soul: unclear, is this an immediate action, or a non-action response choice, or or do you have to lay the curse on them before it starts working? Has that high save again, but its the first anti-caster I've seen here, and not until max level. Class does have a specific weakness then, at least until high levels.

Unbreakable Body: uh, you mean Unbreakable Mind? The last sentences of the whole Mettle/Evasion series are awkward, how about "and at 10 hit dice, the subject gains Mindblank (or X)". You can afford a couple more words.

Weaken Flesh: well dang, there's another super strong staple, targeted at monsters. Much more narrow which is good but still basically death against the right targets.

Weaver's Life: see, now this is a high level healing effect (probably a higher level healing effect, just automatically up to full hp is better than Heal in many cases). I like how this is somehow a heal spell that can miss, that'll create some tension, although being able to spam full heals while simultaneously dealing out as much damage as you're taking is huge. This would certainly teach the DM to target the "healer" first.

Woven Tapestry: eh, roughly equivalent to a casting or two of Darts of Life. It'll hold you until Weaver explodes onto the scene.


Okay, that was several hours, I think I'm done for now. Obviously I favor the Martyr class, simply because it's wholly self-sufficient and this also makes it the most easily breakable. I find it's class abilities extremely restrictive as written and hardly worth using, but many of it's Rituals range from stupid strong to grossly overpowered. With a heavy dependence on the rest of the party running cleanup I'd expect this to perform as well or better than a heal/buff/disable caster in the same hands.

Chained Body and "Reflexive" Retribution in particular should appeal to people who like the sort of aggro control found in MMOs (or anime about MMOs, I'm looking at you Log Horizon).