Last night at my Heroes By Trade session we said goodbye to Improviser and his character Kih. Sadly Improviser is moving far away and so it was clear we needed to find some excellent way to send off a bizarre and often disturbing Ork. Little did I know that Improviser would manage to vindicate my design choices in grand style. It Was Glorious.
I have talked many times here about Epic Rituals. That is, Rituals that are in the book that do all kinds of monumental things from raising the dead to summoning volcanoes to covering the land in darkness. Just the sorts of things that make for tremendous stories. One of the more maligned Epic Rituals I created is called Starbirth, which causes the caster to ascend into the sky in a fantastic display of light and become a new star, forever removing them from the game world. People told me that this was useless and silly and it is easy to imagine why.
Our group has been hunting demons that were "accidentally" released from their ancient prison and results were mixed. We certainly killed some demons but in the previous battle we managed to get a bunch of our mercenary followers killed and a player character died too. Morale was low to say the least. However, Kih told the rest of the group that he knew an Epic Ritual that could give us amazing powers in combat. He would have to find a magic item that had been made magic by being used in an evil slaughter, smash that item, and then become a beacon of light for a day. All of his allies that could see his light during that day would be filled with bravery and be extremely tough. The only such item we knew about was sitting on Kih's head so he destroyed his magic crown to complete the Ritual.
Using the power of the Ritual we smashed the first demon camp we came to with ease. However, Kih realized that his power was only extending to the people in our group and battles with demons may well be taking place all over, so he decided to help all people everywhere who might be battling the evil critters and used Starbirth! He ascended into the air and the light from him was seen across the world, granting all those fighting the good fight tremendous fortitude for a whole day. How many battles he turned, how many lives he saved, none can speculate. What we know for certain is that he sacrificed himself in a way that you would normally only see in novels and we didn't even have to make anything up to do it.
So there you go. Outrageous, seemingly ridiculous Epic Rituals changed the course of the game world and worked without any kludging required. (Okay, totally minimal kludging.)
I am Fifty Feet Tall and Made of Steel.