The faith rods, maces, and flails are carriers for rituals allowing a player (priest or non-priest) to perform rituals they would otherwise not have at their disposition. The services that each item allows the player to request depends on which powers have been infused into them. Note that this system means that wizards, witches and any others not worshipping a god are unable to access the powers contained within the items. The rods need to be charged by a priest, then have to be consecrated to your God and charged in order to be of use for you. So when requesting a rod, please remember it's a VERY time consuming process!
Rods (includes batons/canes/maces) need to be held to charge or perform the ritual(s) in them. This requires significant faith.item.rod skills - research is limited at present(see (and contribute to!) Bonuses For Faith Rods), but it appears that the minimum requirement to guarantee reasonable success in holding a rod is a similar bonus in fa.it.ro as the bonus in the skill(s) required to perform the ritual. This will be much higher if you are using a cane/mace/rod with multiple rituals.
Some good old references
The ancient faith rods and how they used to work.
The very first successful resurrect by a non-Pishite: LaoTzu resses Sined.
Early research into the gp used in charging new rods by Dathed.
You will need deity points, the ritual, and the relevant faith skills to put a ritual on a rod. You will need to find an empty "slot", and bestow the ritual into that slot. You can only put one copy of each ritual into each rod, and when you bestow it you will attempt to perform it normally, but with a success resulting in that ritual becoming imbued. Since bestowing costs DP it cannot be done by excommunicated priests! The different types of rod have affinities that suit some ritual types more than others (see List of Rods). It is much harder to bestow a ritual into a rod if it has a poor affinity for it.
If you have a faith rod with a certain ritual, but you want to get rid of the ritual, you have two options: ask a priest of a different god to re-consecrate the rod, or use your scour command. But beware, you might end up with less than you intended to!
Using "perform <ritual> on <target> [using|from] <rod> " you can perform a ritual from a rod instead of from your mind. It'll still cost gp. If it's more than a one-shot imbue (see below), it'll also cost deity points. If the rod has the ritual, then you will be able to perform as though you had it yourself. You'll still need to be able to actually succeed in performing it, which will be harder than performing the ritual from your mind.
Any follower or priest can perform rituals these ways. Since they use deity points, heretics are again excluded.
Charging up the rod
When you bestow a ritual into a rod, it can only be used once!! So if you perform the ritual, it will dissolve from the rod, leaving an empty slot. It can be made to be used multiple times by pouring guild point into the rod. You can do this by praying whilst holding the rod. If you're holding two rods, or a rod and beads, the gp invested will be split over the items. To be able to charge a rod, you will need to be a priest of the same deity as the rod to do this (use see consecration!). When you charge the rod, you will find that the ritual can be "imbued", "impressed" or "imprinted" into the rod.
- imbued: ritual can only be used once
- impressed: ritual can be uses multiple times, but the ritual will disappear when you consecrate the rod to another deity
- imprinted: ritual can be used multiple times and it will remain on the rod when reconsecrated
When charging a rod, you'll see these levels of chargement:
- imbued, barely visible light
- imbued, faint light
- imbued, dull light
- imbued, pale light
- imbued, dim light
- imbued, moderate light
- imbued, softly pulsing light
"The <rod name> trembles momentarily as its bond with the ritual <ritual name> is strengthened."
- impressed, softly pulsing light
- impressed, brightly pulsing light
- impressed, bright light
- impressed, strong light
- impressed, brilliant light
- impressed, dazzling light
- impressed, radiant light
"The <rod name> throbs with power as its bond with the ritual <ritual name> is fastened tight."
- imprinted - no light level!
To reach the impressed stage, on a baton with good affinity, takes around 300 times the gp cost of the ritual itself. To imprint a ritual takes around an additional 450 times the gp cost, for a total of around 750 times the gp cost. If you are trying to charge a rod that has a poor affinity for a ritual, it will cost even more gp to charge. Charging rituals on multiple slot rods also takes longer.
Charging up to and including "moderate light" takes around 45 times the ritual gp per visible stage of charging. Charging beyond this point takes around 60 times the ritual gp per visible stage of charging. The change from Imbued to Impressed takes place part way through the "softly pulsing light" stage.
Using rods with affinity for a different type of ritual can increase the gp cost of charging by up to 100%. Using a rod with neutral affinity can increase the gp cost of charging by up to 44%.
Transferring rods between gods
Only followers and priests of the rod's deity can use a rod to cast rituals. But you can consecrate a rod to change its deity, and allow other gods to use the rituals. However, the rituals must be really well-connected (imprinted) to the rod to survive the consecration, else they will leave the rod. When you reconsecrate a rod, all rituals drop to the "imbued" level!! So you have to recharge the rod before being able to use it multiple times!
When a rod changes deity, the new deity takes on the responsibility for paying for the deity point costs.
If you look at the rods, you'll see they have several slots in which you can put rituals. Some are dependent on others. You can only put a ritual in an empty slot which is not dependent on another empty slot. You can also only put rituals in slots which are smaller than the one in their linked slot. Bestowing a ritual on a rod will affect that rods affinity.
If an imbued ritual is performed and leaves the rod, it'll empty all other slots dependent on it too.
Different rods available
There's a wide variety of rods available on the Disc. There are rods with one, two, three or even four slots. The four slot rods are each unique to a certain npc of a God. (List courtesy of Nightcrawler)
- Spiked black pole - Kess of Sek
- Blue lacquered staff - Vy of Fish
- Speckled grey staff - Naefela of Gufnork
- Silver flail - Althea of Pishe
- Tasseled staff - Charisse of Gapp
- Marble sceptre - Hermal of Sandelfon
- Bronzed crook - Very Reverend Khepresh
I'll probably be unable to list them all here, but Nightcrawler was so kind to provide me with this list of rods.
You will see that some rods have colours. Those colours indicate their affinity to certain types of rituals.