Imagine Spells that any character can attempt, provided they learn about it and jump through the required in-world hoops.
I'm taking the spell list from Swords & Wizardry (from here because it's the easiest for me to work through) and seeing how they could be turned into Rituals.
The main consideration here is that this changes the spell by:
- Making it usable by any person, no level restrictions.
- Giving it a method or other means of restricting its use.
- Keeping things system agnostic.
- Making the spell more outright interesting while we're in there.
Here are some examples. I'm drawing on with spells beginning with A, but this is in no way a commitment to me re-writing every spell this way.
Waking the Servant (Aerial Servant)
- Ring bell of pure silver in the smoke of plants grown on a grave
- Whisper a passage from a tome dependent on the current phase of the moon.
- Command the bound spirit to fetch one thing up to the weight of a Horse.
- If the spirit cannot bring the object, the object is not the commander's legal property, or a command is not given within a few seconds, it goes insane and attacks whoever rang the bell until they are incapacitated (d10 crushing grasp, 5hp, immune to physical attacks).
Feral Rebirth (Animal Growth)
- Gather a number of creatures of the same breed equal to twice the normal litter size.
- Pack the creatures into a wicker cage with no space left.
- Cry out to the creatures in their own tongue.
- Shower the creatures in the blood of their predator or prey.
- Light the cage on fire.
- The creatures will spring forth twice as strong and resilient and utterly feral until death.
Invasive Species (Animal Summoning)
- Wear the skin of a creature native to this area.
- Use the blood of this creature to draw a symbolic representation of another animal on a natural surface (tree, cave wall etc).
- The ritual calls forth a chosen creature not native to this area. The limit is one creature larger than a man, or three animals smaller than a man.
- They burst out of the surface marked with the symbols. The animals obey the caster’s commands and nothing else, having lost all their natural instinct.
Death Spirits (Animate Dead)
- In a graveyard, or site of a massacre or battle, perform an hour long poem and dance, remaining hooded and uninterrupted throughout.
- Note that the site need not actually contain corpses.
- After the initial hour, d12 Skeletons burst from the ground, and another d6 every hour left uninterrupted. If a 1 is rolled then no more corpses will appear and the site is dry of death energy.
- These creatures are minor spirits of death, not actual reanimated corpses, so they will serve you as long as it involves death.
Imbue with Soul (Animate Object)
- Take one inanimate object that serves a function in a house, ie a chair, rug, or grandfather clock.
- Combine the entire hair of a crafts-person skilled in making that object into the wax of a candle.
- Light the candle and loudly chastise the object for not serving well.
- The animated object follows any commands as long as the candle burns, after which they return to inanimate.
Stone Child (Animate Rock)
- An area of natural, unshapen rock must be cleared of any loose stone, debris, gravel.
- A stone formed in the last day (commonly from magma) is ground to dust, formed into a paste with milk and spread over the area.
- The name of one of the Stone Children (there are twelve, guarded by druids) is called out repeatedly, then the ground struck with a pick to form a crack.
- A shambling, 10ft tall stone elemental is born out of the ground. The elemental acts like a confused toddler, but has great strength. They can be easily influenced, but you have no real control over them.
Scare-Circle (Anti-Animal Ward)
- Lay out a 10ft circle of copper sticks during daylight and splash with clove-steeped alcohol.
- No animal (normal or giant) can enter the circle unless being carried by a human or similar.
- Animals within the circle cower and submit, and cannot leave without being carried.
- Non-animals can pass through the circle without effect, and removing even a single stick breaks its power.