Mundane Uses of Exorcism

By James Walker


Exorcists: Sorcerers specialising in the Exorcism skill. Okay, some would be. But all of them?

Given how many different cultures and religions have exorcists, at least some would be mundanes, and probably most of them - and not necessarily the least successful, either. Using Exorcism as a form of Human Psychology could achieve very real effects. Further, Sorcerers might find the mundane rituals useful for understanding the skill (as there are currently only 3 Exorcism rituals). I don't have a wide enough knowledge of real world exorcists to be able to write them up, but here's my thoughts on the game mechanics for Rituals different styles:

The Mystic Ritual: During a long ceremony (minimum an hour, +2* bonus if it lasts all night) the exorcist rolls Exorcism+Lucid Dreaming [Failure means that the exorcist cannot exorcise this patient, a lower CD means the ritual must continue for another (highest CD) hours]; the roll is contested by the patient's Will, and also by the Shedite's Will (if the patient is in fact possessed). If the exorcist has the highest successful CD, the patient successfully collapses his Dreamscape as he goes to sleep, ejecting anyone present. (This will also eject any native Dream Fragments which have been tormenting the patient). A Demon, of course, will appear at the foot of Beleth's Tower, and so is no longer a threat. An Ethereal (unless a denizen of the Tainte, who returns there) will enter The Marches at the same location as the patient and exorcist, and will need to be dealt with. A Dream fragment ethereally 'killed' at this point is likely gone for ever, as it hasn't had time to adjust to The Marches.

In addition, because the patient has been lead through the process of collapsing his dreamscape, the exorcist can monitor the patient's dreams, increasing any use of the Knowledge(Human Psychology), Detect Lies, Fast-Talk and Lying skills on the patient, simplifying treatment on mental illness.

*Alternatively, the bonus is equal to the exorcists level of the Merciful Disadvantage, to reflect the greater expertise which peaceful religions seem to have with exorcisms.

The Scholarly Ritual: After setting up an impressive site for the exorcism, the exorcist chants a complicated formula learnt by rote; the rote MUST be in both the patient's native tongue AND another language, perceived as being a scholarly/holy language (Latin, Sanskrit etc). Exorcism is treated as a Knowledge skill in this tradition; if successful the patient may add the CD of the roll to his Will rolls to resist a currently inhabiting Shedite (if he does so, he loses the bonus from a successful Perception roll). This bonus is kept until the demons leaves, and has been gone for more than a day.

If the exorcism has been triggered by a mental Disadvantage (or Addiction) ie "exorcise the demon causing his Angry outbursts", a successful roll (at a penalty equal to the patient's Total Forces) will provide some protection from the disadvantage; a failed Will roll to resist the Disadvantage with a CD lower than the CD of the Exorcism roll is treated as a success. This effect continues until the patient fails a Will roll versus the Disadvantage with a CD equal to or higher than the exorcists, at which point all benefits vanish.

A patient who does not believe that this certain to be beneficial must resist the exorcism with a Will roll. And yes, this CAN be used on celestials and their Discords.

The Warrior Ritual: Here, the exorcist attempts to beat the demon out of the patient's body. The exorcist uses the Exorcism skill as a Small Weapon skill, repeatedly striking the patient with various disturbing items.

The patient takes damage equal to the CD; however, if the CD exceeds 4, the damage is Ethereal! (This skill was developed by trying to recreate NC:Tongue) - Ethereal damage is inflicted on a Possessor (if present) or, if not: any Dream Fragments (if the patient is aware of them); otherwise the patient takes the damage!

If the patient is reduced to zero Mind Hits by the ritual, the resulting Disadvantage will be one opposing the one which triggered the exorcism; Cowardly for Angry etc. This may aid the patient - more likely it will drive him insane.

Any time the exorcist fails a skill roll he takes damage equal to the CD (which will be Mind hits if the CD exceeds 4). The exorcist MUST take a risk on every roll, otherwise the ritual fails.

Hopefully people will have fun inflicting these on Shedim, and hapless mortals. Does anyone have a sufficiently broad knowledge of anthropology to describe real world rituals?


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