2e had the most spells with less types of magic users than its predecessors.
The spells werent reasonably consolidated. We have even more cure X wounds than we did in 2e.
We didnt just lose redundant spells either. We lost spells like Ventriloquism (sp?). That spell represented a noncombat nonritual sort that were removed.
I was reminded about the death of those types of spells when Selune used the spell on Onyx the Invincible to force him into buying a round for her tavern after he threatened to reveal her identity as a goddess. It was too fast for a ritual and not ‘viable’ enough for AEDU.
I’m such a hippie when it comes to game design. Man if you don’t build organic you are going to have organic flaws and that’s the crux of my issue with Rituals. The original rituals were like lost pups that didn’t fit the power card and were too traditional to ditch thus they were never created. They were categorized.
I’m a big proponent for creating magic in abundance with strategic implications and flavor. I have larger issues with 5e’s current direction so I’m just laying this as a prologue.
I haven’t played much 4e. For those that have what can you say about rituals? From my observations they appear to lack to three major traits and some minor traits that I’ll lay off of for now.
- They lack signature.
I have never read or heard anyone describe a ritual that was unique enough to sell me on the concept. So many of them are former spells with little variation. With the added time and expense I would hope they be more powerful or at least do cooler stuff.
- They lack narrative
It’s a result of lacking signature, depth, creativity and maintenance.
- They lack balance
4e was a rebuild on magic with old parts.
Rituals through CUIRE instinct
Rituals are uncomfortable for a DM because they are tied to a fractured economic system.
Rituals lack unpredictability because they require static ingredients and produce static results.
Rituals lack Intensity because they are static. Maybe the threat of losing a perm point in an ability score or the possibility of charming someone who is a thousand miles away might bolster intensity.
Rituals lack realism because their cost is static and we don’t even know the actual ingredients. Thus we lose the flavor of having certain rituals with more commonalty in certain areas or the quest to find such rare ingredients.
Players will not feel as if they are learning and improving since there is no way to ‘better’ a ritual.
Based on my CUIRE instincts rituals are poorly designed. Or maybe I’m a Grog that needs to go back into his cave.
New 5e Playtest review