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Source Galactic Magic pg. 58

Variant Spellcasting

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The following two variants can mix up how spells feature in your Starfinder game. GMs and players should work together to decide which, if any, to use.

Variant: Scaling 0-level Spells

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Low-level spellcasters often rely on damaging 0-level spells (energy ray, hazard, injury echo, and telekinetic projectile) to injure their foes, but these spells can become obsolete as spellcasters gain levels and find weapons that deal greater damage. This rules variant allows spellcasters to rely on their damaging 0-level spells throughout their adventuring career. Make the following changes to the spells named above at the levels the character attains in a spellcasting class. Each increase happens only once at the indicated level.
At 3rd level, add half your character level to damage with these spells.
At 7th level, increase the damage of spells that deal 1d3 or less damage to 2d4. Increase the damage of spells that deal 1d6 damage to 2d6.
At each of 10th, 13th, and 15th levels, increase the damage of these spells by one die of the same type (d4 or d6).
At each of 17th and 19th levels, increase the damage of these spells by two dice of the same type.
At the end of this progression, a 19th-level spellcaster’s energy ray deals 9d4+9 damage of the chosen type, while their telekinetic projectile deals 9d6+9 bludgeoning damage.

Variant: Prepared Spellcasting

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This rule variant changes the way spellcasting classes like the mystic and technomancer learn and cast spells. Your GM might decide all spellcasters are prepared spellcasters, that none are, or something in between—for example, technomancers might prepare spells while mystics use the normal rules, or perhaps spellcasters can choose to prepare spells when they take their first level in a spellcasting class.

Prepared Spells

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Unlike other spellcasters, you have no known spells. Instead, once a day after resting for 8 hours, you can prepare spells from your spellbook (below). When you do, you assign each of your spell slots a spell of equal or lower level from your spellbook. You can cast each spell using the assigned spell slot, whereupon that slot becomes unavailable to you until you prepare your spells again. You can assign the same spell to more than one slot, which lets you cast the same spell multiple times. The number of spells you can prepare each day can be found below; in addition, if your key ability score is high enough to receive bonus spells under the normal rules for your class, add those bonus spells to your spells per day.
A character using prepared spellcasting obeys all other rules for spells, according to their class. In particular, they must still have a minimum key ability score to cast spells of a given level, and they still know and cast 0-level spells according to the normal rules for their class.


Source Galactic Magic pg. 88
You record your spells in written form and record them in a spellbook. You begin play with a spellbook worth 10 credits or less, which you receive for free and which you must study to prepare your spells. The spellbook contains your choice of five 1st-level spells from the list appropriate to your class. Your spellbook’s form and name is up to you; a mystic might use a holy text, while a technomancer might record their spells in a personal comm unit.
Each time you gain a level in a spellcasting class, you automatically add two spells from that class’s spell list to your spellbook, choosing spells of a level you can cast. In addition, you can add spells to your spellbook using the Scribe Spell downtime activity (below). This downtime activity follows the rules presented on page 150 of Starfinder Character Operations Manual.

Scribe Spell

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You attempt to add a spell to your spellbook. Depending on the nature of your spellbook, this might require special inks, hybrid technology, or other special materials. You must have access to the spell in a spellbook, spell gem, or other method, or engage in conversation throughout this activity with someone who knows the spell or has it in their spellbook.
Activity: Attempt a Mysticism check with a DC equal to 10 + three times the level of the spell.
Result: On a success, spend credits equal to 100 times the spell’s level and add the spell to your spellbook. On a failure, you don’t add the spell, and you can’t try again until you gain a character level. If you were using a spell gem to gain access to the spell, the spell gem is consumed whether you succeed or fail to scribe it.


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Some spells require more than a few moments of concentration and the expenditure of a spell slot; instead, they take hours or even days to cast, with a single individual leading assistants in the performance of a complex and powerful ritual. Before attempting a ritual, a character must find a script for it and—if they’re wise—learn its secrets.

Ritual Scripts

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A ritual is detailed in a document known as a ritual script. Story-wise, a ritual script can take many forms: an old tome collecting dust on a library shelf, a mysterious obelisk carved with indecipherable runes, or a digital file hidden deep within a world’s infosphere. A ritual script can be in any language and might also be hard to read or decipher; skills (such as Mysticism or Computers) and magic (such as comprehend languages) might be necessary to translate or decode it. In terms of game mechanics, each ritual script describes the ritual actions—specific actions detailed later in this section—that are required for the completion of the ritual.
Before a character can use a script, however, they must find it in the first place. Characters can cast only rituals they have access to, and while academies that teach magic often provide access to common and harmless rituals that have obvious utility, more potent or dangerous rituals are locked in secure vaults. Aspiring ritualists scour the galaxy looking for rare rituals known only to lost civilizations like the sivv or kishalee.
Once a ritual script is found, its ritual can be learned through the master a ritual downtime activity (below); this activity follows the rules of downtime activities presented on page 150 of the Character Operations Manual. The downtime activity isn’t strictly necessary; a ritual can be performed from the script without learning it, but doing so is more difficult. Learning a ritual has two benefits. First, a ritual leader who has learned a ritual no longer needs access to the ritual to cast it; they can perform it from memory. Second, the DC for checks required by ritual actions is lower if the ritualist has learned the ritual.

Master a Ritual

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You attempt to learn or practice a ritual to successfully cast it and reduce the danger posed by failure.
Activity: Name a single ritual to which you have access or know. You spend the day practicing this ritual.
Results: For 1 day, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to checks required as part of ritual actions taken to cast the ritual you named.
Multiday: When you spend a week on this downtime activity, you can attempt to learn the ritual; alternatively, you can teach a ritual you already know to a number of people equal to your ranks in Mysticism. Attempt a Mysticism check; the DC of this check is 10 + 3 × the level of the ritual. If you succeed, you learn the ritual, or, if you were teaching it, everyone you taught learns it. If you fail, you can take another week and use this downtime activity to try again.

Ritual Casting

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Most rituals have a level, from 1 to 6, that corresponds to their power, how difficult they are to perform, and some statistics associated with them. Some rituals can be learned and performed at different levels, with different effects depending on the level. When you learn a variable-level ritual, you learn all lower-level versions at the same time. The script for a variable-level ritual depends on the level. A ritual’s description lists the script for each level of a variable-level ritual.
The individuals who perform a ritual are known as ritualists, and they don’t need to be spellcasters. Every ritual requires at least one person, the ritual leader, who must either have access to the ritual or have learned it. Additional individuals might be able to help perform the ritual; these participants are ritual assistants. Each ritual lists how many assistants can participate, if any. Most rituals allow assistants, and some require them, but a few must be performed by the ritual leader alone. A ritual leader can never lead more assistants than the leader has ranks in Mysticism, and once the ritual begins, they remain the leader for the entire ritual.
Rituals are performed over a number of ritual rounds. The length of time represented by a ritual round depends on the ritual and can be found in that ritual’s description. Each round, the leader and assistants select ritual actions; these actions are detailed below. Unless someone pauses the ritual using the maintain ritual action, the actions in the ritual script must be taken in order, one per round, until the ritual is complete; otherwise, the ritual fails. Generally, a ritual requires a number of actions equal to the ritual’s level, but the number of actions can vary.
Each ritual round, characters can take their actions in any order. While the ritual leader is usually taking the ritual action required by the script, assistants have more options when it comes to their choice of action, and sometimes actions required in the script can be taken by any character, not just the leader. For example, an assistant might choose to act before the leader to take the harmonize action and grant a bonus to the leader’s check, or that same assistant might wait to act until after the leader has acted, to use the martyr self or salvage ritual action.
Ritual actions often require a skill check, a saving throw, or some other activity, such as the sacrifice of valuable goods. Whenever a ritual action requires a skill check or saving throw, the DC can be found on Table 3–2: Rituals. If the ritualist hasn’t learned the ritual, the DC is 5 higher.
When an action required as part of a ritual script succeeds, the ritual continues for another round, when the next action in the script can be attempted. Failure on a ritual action required as part of a script, however, can have several consequences, listed in the ritual script. If neither “failure” nor “retry” is listed, the ritual action succeeds despite the failed check or saving throw, but the character who took the action suffers the consequences listed.
  • Damage: The character takes damage appropriate to the level of the ritual, according to Table 3–2: Rituals. If the damage has a type, it’s noted here.
  • Condition: The character gains the listed condition for the length of time noted.
  • Failure: The ritual fails.
  • Retry: The action fails, but the ritual has not. The failed action must be attempted again on the next round, unless the ritual is paused through the maintain ritual action.
Certain ritual actions allow assistants to save a ritual that would fail or to take damage or a condition that would incapacitate the ritual leader, potentially saving the ritual from failure.

Table 3-2: Rituals

Ritual LevelSkill DCSave DCCreature CRItem SacrificeDamage
111121/31,000 credits1d12
2161524,000 credits4d12
32017510,000 credits7d12
42519840,000 credits10d12
5292111100,000 credits13d12
6342414400,000 credits16d12

Variable-Level Rituals

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Some rituals have different effects depending on the level at which you perform the ritual. When you learn a variablelevel ritual, you learn all lower level versions at the same time. The script for a variable-level ritual depends on the level. A ritual’s description lists the script for each level of a variable-level ritual.

Creature-Creation Rituals

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Some spells create creatures, turning an inanimate object into a construct, for example, or converting a corpse into undead. The creatures these spells can create are limited by the level of the ritual; the higher the ritual level, the higher the CR of the creatures it can be used to create, according to Table 3–2: Rituals.

Ritual Actions

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Every ritual action can be performed by the leader, an assistant, or either, as noted after the action’s name. Some rituals might modify the actions listed here or require new or unique actions.

Gather Power (Leader)

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You gather ambient magic from the environment to fuel the ritual. Attempt the check or saving throw listed in the script.

Harmonize (Assistant)

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You attempt to aid a ritual leader who’s attempting a skill check, supporting them with ritual chants, meditation, dance, or another activity. Attempt a DC 15 check using the skill the ritual leader is attempting in a ritual action; if you succeed, you grant a +2 bonus to the ritual leader’s skill check this round.

Invoke Entity (Leader or Assistant)

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You channel the power of a deity or similar entity through yourself to power the ritual. This ritual action always succeeds but is still extremely dangerous; attempt the check or saving throw listed in the script. If you succeed, you’re unharmed. If you fail, you take the damage or effect listed in the script.

Join Ritual (Leader or Assistant)

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You join a ritual that has already started. You must take this action at the beginning of a ritual round, and you can take another ritual action this round.

Leave Ritual (Leader or Assistant)

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You leave the ritual, and you can perform non-ritual actions during ritual rounds, including this one, until you rejoin.

Maintain Ritual (Leader or Assistant)

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You maintain a ritual without working toward its conclusion, usually so that the ritual leader can rest or perform other actions. You must attempt this action before any other ritual action is attempted in the same round. Attempt a Fortitude saving throw. If you succeed, the ritual is paused for one ritual round; no one can perform a ritual action for the ritual this round, but the ritual doesn’t fail. A ritual can be maintained multiple times, and as long as the saving throws succeed, the ritual can be resumed with the next ritual action required by the script.

Martyr Self (Assistant)

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This action must be taken immediately after a ritualist in the same ritual as you takes damage or gains a condition or some other harmful effect as a consequence of a failed check or save in a ritual action this round. You volunteer yourself to take that harm. The damage or effect is transferred to you, and it can’t be reduced or mitigated in any way. You can’t take this action if you’ve already taken damage or suffered a harmful effect this round.

Open the Way (Leader)

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You draw power from another plane—perhaps through a specially attuned magic item or a temporary portal—and then channel that power into the ritual. Attempt the check or saving throw listed in the script. Sometimes failing this check can have unpredictable results, releasing denizens of other planes into your location.

Prepare the Area (Leader or Assistant)

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You mark out a sacred or mystically aligned area where the ritual will take place. Doing so might involve scribing a pattern on the floor, setting up candles or other ritual paraphernalia, and sanctifying the area with ritual phrases. Attempt the check or saving throw listed in the script.

Release Power (Leader)

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Having gathered and shaped the power of your ritual, you now unleash it and hope for the desired outcome. Attempt the check or saving throw listed in the script.

Sacrifice (Leader or Assistant)

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You sacrifice objects of value to power the ritual. No check or saving throw is required, but you must sacrifice whatever is listed in the script. If the sacrifice listed is “Resolve,” the leader must spend 1 Resolve Point. If the sacrifice is “Items” and no other information is provided, you must sacrifice items with a value appropriate to the level of the ritual, as shown on Table 3–2: Rituals. Sacrificed items are destroyed unless otherwise noted. If you complete this sacrifice, the action succeeds. If you don’t, the action and ritual fail. Some evil rituals might require the sacrifice of sapient creatures.

Salvage Ritual (Assistant)

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You try to save a ritual that’s about to fail. When a ritual leader fails a skill check as part of a ritual action, you take this action to attempt the check yourself. The DC for this check is 5 higher than the DC listed on Table 3–2: Rituals. Substitute the result of your check for the ritual leader’s failed check. Your check has the same consequences of success or failure that the leader’s action had.

Shape Power (Leader)

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Having gathered magical energy from the environment, other planes, or a deity, you now shape that power into the proper form. Attempt the check or saving throw listed in the script.

Speak the Name (Leader)

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You direct your ritual against a specific target, whose name you must know. No check is required for this action, but if you don’t name someone clearly and unambiguously, the ritual fails.


Source Galactic Magic pg. 91
The following Rituals are just a sampling of the many that exist in the galaxy.

Reading Ritual Descriptions

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Each ritual is listed in alphabetical order by name. The ritual’s level is noted after its name.
Script lists all the actions required to perform the ritual in order. Required skills, saving throws, sacrifices, or other activities are listed in parentheses, followed by the consequence for failure. If the ritual can be performed at variable level, each level with its own script, “varies” is listed here.
Assistants indicates the number of assistants that must assist the leader in the ritual. If assistants are optional, the entry here is “any.” The maximum number of assistants is limited to the leader’s ranks in Mysticism.
Round Length notes the length of time represented by a single ritual round.
The description of the ritual follows; unless otherwise noted, “you” in a ritual description refers to the ritual leader.

Other Summoning Rituals

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There are many variations on the summoning ritual, including rituals to summon angels, daemons, demons, fey, oni, velstracs, or other extraplanar beings. Most work identically to summon elemental with a few notable exceptions. First, most outsiders are more intelligent than elementals, and so their initial attitude is more likely to be unfriendly (though a devil might pretend to be friendly for its own purposes). Second, when a ritualist fails a ritual action that inflicts damage, that damage has a type appropriate to the plane the summoned creature comes from. For example, summoning a devil is likely to inflict fire damage. If no damage type is appropriate, the damage has no type. Summoning rituals can differ from the usual script and results in other, more specific ways; a wise ritualist learns all they can about the spell and the creature summoned before attempting the ritual!