Reprogramming (4e Ritual)

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Once the ritual is complete, the force of your god ravages the victim's mind, forcing them to forget their heretic ways.

Level: 18 Component Cost: 15000 gp
Category: Binding Market Price: N/A
Time: 1 Week Key Skill: Religion
Duration: Permanent*

To perform the ritual, one must have a subject of the ritual (Be they willing or not) within a holy or unholy circle made from 10000 GP worth of gemstones that have been blessed in the name of the ritual caster's deity, 5000 GP worth of holy/unholy incense and symbols, and the subject must be present for the entire week of casting. The ritual always succeeds, but it takes so long that using it on anyone of high importance is unfeasible unless in a situation of utmost protection and security as the ritual must be unbroken save for the sleeping and upkeep of the caster.

This ritual is used by casters to unbrainwash (Or alternatively, brainwash) subjects that follow gods or practices that the caster finds unacceptable. This ritual is only used in the most dire of need, with the effect it has on its subject very controversial. It affects the victim in these ways:

  • The victim's loses any deity and their new deity becomes the same as the caster.
  • The victim changes any attitude, actions or habits that contradict their new deity's will.
  • The victim loses the ability to use Warlock Powers unless they are reminded of the deal by any sort of trustworthy source (Simply stating they are a warlock will not return their powers), make a new deal or rediscovering their powers.
  • The caster may choose a keyword or other phrase that will reverse the effects of the ritual under 25 letters in length.

In addition to these effects, other side-effects of the ritual depend on the religion roll result when casting the ritual. Roll 1d20 + Religion modifier to find your roll:

Religion Roll Additional Effects
<25 None
26-40 The victim follows the suggestions of the caster. The caster must be present to make this suggestion.
41-60 The victim loses all levels in classes that may be deemed heretical, at the DM's discretion. They regain experience at three times the normal rate if they can regain experience. If the level loss takes them below level 1, they die.
60< The victim loses all levels and experience down to level 1 and suffers from total amnesia. They regain experience at twice the normal rate if they can regain experience.

Resisting the Reprogramming[edit]

A victim of this ritual cannot resist the initial effects of the ritual, and the effects of the ritual affect them as normal. However; if the ritual is broken, incomplete, improper or the victim spirited away somehow before the final casting, the victim may resist the ritual. A victim of reprogramming does not roll a save, but rather rediscovers themselves through a vision quest, is retaught their original ideas or in extreme cases have to go through the process of Reprogramming again, but opposed to counteract the first ritual.

When the ritual is resisted, the character can choose to return to their original self or regain any lost levels. They may also choose to accept their new path or go down a new one all together. Often, however, reprogramming is not counteracted. Important figures such as a duke or King that have been reprogrammed are often done so by the head of an opposing nation's casters.

Countering Reprogramming with another Ritual[edit]

Reprogramming can be undone by another reprogramming ritual. To determine whether or not it succeeds, the caster of the second ritual makes an opposed roll against the original religion roll used by the caster of the first ritual (If the reprogramming happened off-screen, the opposed roll is instead equivalent to a moderate roll required for the effects of the reprogramming). If it is higher, the reprogramming is counteracted and the victim/target returns to their old self. If it is lower, the reprogramming works as per another casting of reprogramming, including any unwanted side-effects, loss of levels and can be undone by a keyword.

Using divinations to determine the keyword of a reprogramming ritual is another effective way to remove the effects of reprogramming, but keywords are often only used when reprogramming sleeper agents or other persons the caster wants unaware of their true power until a precise moment, and are uncommon for true reprogramming attempts. Anytime a victim of reprogramming hears the keyword, the effects of the ritual reverse.

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