Cleric class feature: Rituals

A request for clarification:

Under Cleric class features, there is the following entry: "You can cast any spell you have prepared as a ritual" (p. 3)

This syntax of this sentance is confusing. Does it mean
1) you can take any spell you have prepared and cast it as ritual? Or
2) you can take any ritual you have prepared and cast it as a spell? 

The first meaning seems non-sensical. Why would you willingly take longer to cast something you could cast immediately. The second meaning is odd, since the "How to Play" document indicates that rituals are not prepared in advance. In fact, it states "the advantage of casting a spell as a ritual is that you do not have to prepare the spell ahead of time" (p. 24).

Or is this entry simply an announcement of the fact that Clerics can cast rituals. If that's it, then the entry is very badly worded; needlessly complicated.

Cheers,

"As the good archmage often admonishes me, I ought not let my mind wander. It's too small to go off by itself"

Danilo Thann

As I understand it (but can't confirm anywhere in the docs), the real benefit of casting rituals is that they don't spend spell slots. The "How to Play" wording is probably from some old version of the preparing/slots mechanic that wasn't fixed yet.


Only wizards that select the "Scholarly Wizardry" tradition can cast rituals without preparing the spell version beforehand (and they still need to have the spell in their spellbook). Clerics and wizards of the other two traditions must prepare the spell as normal, and then can cast the normal way (one action, spends spell slot) or as a ritual (takes 10min to 1h to cast, don't spend the slot).

[<o>]
After re-reading the How to Play Document, I think that it is meant to cost a spell slot, but you don't need to prepare it in advance. The section in the Classes appear to be from an old version. Either way they meant it to be, it is too confusing currently to use. I made a note of it in the last survey, so hopefully it will be clear next time.
My take on it is; if you look under spells, there are certain spells that are able to be cast as rituals. In the discription the have the Ritual heading, and explains that they can be cast such a way. Meaning that you do not have to prepare these spells in advance, they can be cast at anytime out of combat by following the ritual description.

Augury for example has it : 

Ritual: You can cast this spell as a ritual by
spending at least 10 minutes chanting entreaties
to spirits of fate and fortune and using special
material components, such as incense.


How to play page 22


Rituals
A ritual is a version of a spell that takes longer to
cast and sometimes requires special materials to
complete. The advantage of casting a spell as a
ritual is that you do not have to prepare the spell
ahead of time. The drawback is that completing a
ritual takes several minutes, if not hours.
Prerequisite: You cannot use a spell as a
ritual unless you have a special ability or a class
feature that lets you do so.
Time: Performing a ritual takes more time
than simply casting a spell. Each ritual specifies
the time needed to complete it. During this time,
you can do nothing but work on the ritual. As
with casting a spell, you need to be able to speak
and move a hand in order to perform a ritual.
Material Components: To complete certain
rituals, you must expend material components as
fuel for the magic you have gathered and shaped.
When you complete the ritual and its effects



 

I assumed that you had to prepare rituals but didn't have to spend a spell slot to cast them. That at least makes a lot more sense.

The problem is that clerics don't have to learn their spells via a spellbook; they have instant access to every cleric spell of a level they can cast. The only restriction is which spells they prepare that day. So if rituals don't have to be prepared, then the second a cleric turns level 7 he has access to EVERY 4th level cleric ritual, which might cause option paralysis.
I assumed that you had to prepare rituals but didn't have to spend a spell slot to cast them. That at least makes a lot more sense.

The problem is that clerics don't have to learn their spells via a spellbook; they have instant access to every cleric spell of a level they can cast. The only restriction is which spells they prepare that day. So if rituals don't have to be prepared, then the second a cleric turns level 7 he has access to EVERY 4th level cleric ritual, which might cause option paralysis.



This is why I think clerics should have a prayerbook that works like a wizard's spellbook, but only for ritual spells. That would give them a way to use rituals without preparation, but still be balanced.
I always thought rituals were meant to not use a spell slot. Spell slots are a much more valuable resource than preparation slots, since prepared spells don't go away when you use them, but spell slots do. Why bother spending an hour casting the spell just to avoid preparing it, when it still costs a precious spell slot?

Also, the Cleric doesn't get access to every spell on their spell list as a ritual. Not every spell has a ritual.
I agree, my thought was also that they were not using a spell slot.  If you have to use a spell slot casting as a ritual would lose its appeal to me and a lot of its value.

By not taking a spell slot I can use my spells to focus on Damage and Utility vs saving spell slots for identify spells (just as an example).

PS. I realize this thread is about clerics, but I'm assuming the ritual feature will work similarly between wizards and clerics.
Based on what the rules say:
1) A cleric (or non-scholar wizard) can only cast a ritual version of a spell he has prepared
2) It uses a spell slot when he does.

Maybe there is a mistake, but several spells work differently when cast as a ritual. It may be that they want clerics to be able to use those alternate effects if they want.
I understand that the gp cost of rituals in 4e was not felt to be a balancing issue but in our campaigns we never felt that rituals overshadowed anything.  That might be because we did not purchase them tactically, we just dished them out based on the pre-4e versions of our PCs.

I don't think the design of rituals is very good in 5e yet.  Some of the rituals seem to equate to auto-sucess at tasks and I thought the enhanced skill rolls of 4e seemed far more sensible (although only have a point if there is a cost beyond spending time to cast rituals).  Using up a spell slot seems counter-intuitive and won't leave any room for ritual casters from other classes to overcome the point of rituals in the first place.  There is nothing wrong with requiring clerics to have ritual versions of spells in a ritual book and limiting the number of rituals they can learn by reference to their level and wisdom.  Or have core rituals that all clerics can use and allow them limited access to a deity-specific list of other rituals.

I also don't have an issue with class-specific rituals but I think that access to batches of related rituals should be purchasable with feats so that we can go back to having Agravaan, our intelligent knight who pores over ancient texts trying to decipher prophecies without him having to take high levels in wizard or cleric to use his knowledge.

So my 2gp worth is to say keep some kind of cost, whether gold, hit points, or humanoid sacrifice, keep ritual books, limit the number of rituals any PC can know, and possibly allow access to a core of rituals but make all the others knowable only through feats.

Based on what the rules say:
1) A cleric (or non-scholar wizard) can only cast a ritual version of a spell he has prepared
2) It uses a spell slot when he does.

Maybe there is a mistake, but several spells work differently when cast as a ritual. It may be that they want clerics to be able to use those alternate effects if they want.

Jaelis you're right... i was adding in a wizard tradition.   But I don't see in cleric or under ritual where it defines that it uses a spell slot. 

Can you direct me to the verbage?
I understand that the gp cost of rituals in 4e was not felt to be a balancing issue but in our campaigns we never felt that rituals overshadowed anything.  That might be because we did not purchase them tactically, we just dished them out based on the pre-4e versions of our PCs.

I don't think the design of rituals is very good in 5e yet.  Some of the rituals seem to equate to auto-sucess at tasks and I thought the enhanced skill rolls of 4e seemed far more sensible (although only have a point if there is a cost beyond spending time to cast rituals).  Using up a spell slot seems counter-intuitive and won't leave any room for ritual casters from other classes to overcome the point of rituals in the first place.  There is nothing wrong with requiring clerics to have ritual versions of spells in a ritual book and limiting the number of rituals they can learn by reference to their level and wisdom.  Or have core rituals that all clerics can use and allow them limited access to a deity-specific list of other rituals.

I also don't have an issue with class-specific rituals but I think that access to batches of related rituals should be purchasable with feats so that we can go back to having Agravaan, our intelligent knight who pores over ancient texts trying to decipher prophecies without him having to take high levels in wizard or cleric to use his knowledge.

So my 2gp worth is to say keep some kind of cost, whether gold, hit points, or humanoid sacrifice, keep ritual books, limit the number of rituals any PC can know, and possibly allow access to a core of rituals but make all the others knowable only through feats.


Which rituals equate to auto success?  IE banishment still requires a saving throw, others still have gp costs ect.

Additionally, the idea of cost with a ritual is taken with time, imho.  You're trading off the ability to cast an additional spell that you otherwise wouldn't have access to with the downside that it takes 10 minutes. 

I dont understand why an additional 'cost' would need to be added.  Or let me say it anotherway... in what way could rituals be manipulated to damage the player experiance or break a game?
Based on what the rules say:
1) A cleric (or non-scholar wizard) can only cast a ritual version of a spell he has prepared
2) It uses a spell slot when he does.

Maybe there is a mistake, but several spells work differently when cast as a ritual. It may be that they want clerics to be able to use those alternate effects if they want.

Jaelis you're right... i was adding in a wizard tradition.   But I don't see in cleric or under ritual where it defines that it uses a spell slot. 

Can you direct me to the verbage?


The ritual rules (How To Play, page 21, 24) consistently refer to "casting a spell as a ritual." Seems hard not to conclude that when you cast a spell as a ritual, you are indeed casting it.

The spellcasting class abilities says that  when you cast a spell, you expend a spell slot. Since you cast a spell when you cast it as a ritual, you must expend a spell slot.

Again, I'm not sure whether this is what they really intended, but it seems the only reasonable way to interpret the rules as they currently read.
got it... I think you're reading it too literally.

What is the benefit of casting a spell as a ritual if you both have to prepair it and it takes up a spell slot.  Why not just cast it normally and save yourself 10 min?
Which rituals equate to auto success?  IE banishment still requires a saving throw, others still have gp costs ect.

Additionally, the idea of cost with a ritual is taken with time, imho.  You're trading off the ability to cast an additional spell that you otherwise wouldn't have access to with the downside that it takes 10 minutes. 

I dont understand why an additional 'cost' would need to be added.  Or let me say it anotherway... in what way could rituals be manipulated to damage the player experiance or break a game?



I'm nervous at some of the spells that have now stepped away from the possibility of failure.  Doubling skill dice even when not trained could be one way of adopting a posibilty of failure.  I found the 4e version of long distance teleporting to be far more DM friendly than previous editions as well.
Thank you, all, for your thoughts on this obscurely written class feature. I'm thinking that, for now, until this has been clarified by the designers, I will change the wording to something like: "You can cast as a ritual any spell to which you have access".  Thoughts?  I think that taking out the "prepared" word is key to clearing up the issue.

Cheers,
Afet

"As the good archmage often admonishes me, I ought not let my mind wander. It's too small to go off by itself"

Danilo Thann

got it... I think you're reading it too literally.

What is the benefit of casting a spell as a ritual if you both have to prepair it and it takes up a spell slot.  Why not just cast it normally and save yourself 10 min?


If you cast knock as a ritual, it is more powerful. If you cast teleport as a ritual 100 times, you can make a permanent circle. If you cast regeneration as a ritual, you get to be a total badass. :D

So the literal interpretation still provides some benefit, it's not completely senseless.
Knock as a ritual is actually less powerfull.

" When you use knock as a ritual, you can open an object that requires DC 15 or lower check to open rather than DC 20."

Regenerate is the same as normal but also requires a troll heart and the bile of a purple worm.  I'm not sure how often you'd have access to those components.

Teleport... well there's no contest, that's very cool. But it takes a year of casting the spell every day.  There's definately some sacrifice going into these rituals.
You're right, I misread knock. So either they didn't write what they meant, or else what they meant didn't make much sense. I guess it will get cleared up eventually.