New Ritual Rules in the latest playtest packet in January


In order to use rituals, most casters will now have to have the spell prepared. Which sorta ruins the idea of rituals - and nullifies a couple of key ways that I used my evoker.

The rest of this discussion is an attempt to address the folks that say "wizards have too much versatility" as well as to allow other classes to access some of that versatility. I'm going to focus my description and discussion on wizards and int, but you may extrapolate to clerics and wis as you desire.

Proposal: Give ritual casting to all classes.

Ritualbook: All classes can have a ritual book in which they store the recipes for rituals. Wizards have a spellbook that duals as a ritualbook.

Adding spells to the ritualbook requires that the character have 10+spell level int modifier. In addition, when a player wants to add a spell to the ritual book, they must decipher it through help from someone that already knows the spell or through the use of a read magic. Once deciphered the character must learn the spell through study and copying it into the ritual book.  I propose a chance to not learn the spell similar to 2nd Ed AD&D where 9int had a 35% chance to learn and 18 int had an 85% chance to learn a spell. New levels allow new rolls.

To 'cast' a ritual, the character must know the spell, have the spell in their spellbook, have the proper int score, and have their spellbook open and available (unless they have the spell prepared in which case they can cast the ritual without these things).

In this way, other classes could gain access to a wide variety of rituals like knock and speak with dead to increase their versatility. I suggest some other spells like fly might have rituals.
 
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
Possibility: a feat is required to gain "ritual casting" as a non-caster. Which might loosen some of the other int requirements and the like.
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
I like this.
Or they can just give non-casters cool and interesting things they can do, so caster or people with ritual casting doesn't have to keep their ritual spells taking a spell slot space without making it unbalanced...
Could a smarter character aid a dumber one in learning a ritual? You know, a tutor?
That might work mexrage. Do you have a list of those things somewhere that we could perv?
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
Could a smarter character aid a dumber one in learning a ritual? You know, a tutor?



Demonic tutor? Oh wait, wrong game.
Ultimately, not really. The smarter person can decipher the spell but making it click was always on the onus of the 'mage.'

I wouldn't be adverse to seeing some mentoring house rules or adding it into this base system, but it is as the risk of even further complexity. Failing to learn a spell was always devastating back then. But rituals are less important, in a sense, as they are secondary to a class's feature.

Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
don't know...give the rouges cool unique tools only they can use, like gadgets...kinda like a fantasy medieval batman's utility belt as a class feature.  Monks having monk concentration rituals that transverse the mundane, like allow them to see the future, separate their soul from their body thru meditation, things like that.  Fighter having special practices that allow them to go beyond what is humanly possible tasks like brock samson from venture bros...give barbarians "drugs" that instead of raging put them on an animalistic state that allow mimic and think like a beast, having something that for them means they get possesed by the ancient panther spirit and allow them see on the dark, leap great distances, climb thru walls with their bare hands like if it were claws, augmented senses... I don't know...the problem with D&DNext as of now, is that they are hold back by what was possible and how it was on older editions...they don't want to take risks...it piss me off
I think some of those sound very cool. Many of them might be capable in different types of ritual systems too if it were enhanced far enough. Or even just as class features I guess.

I think the monk has gone a long way to add some really neat options and paths in progression, and so has the rogue with skill tricks. I guess it is just not enough for folks? 

Barbarians will get options, they're just not released as they want feedback on this one path first.
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
In order to use rituals, most casters will now have to have the spell prepared. Which sorta ruins the idea of rituals - and nullifies a couple of key ways that I used my evoker.

There was absolutely no change to ritual casting for wizards between this packet and the last.

Danny

In order to use rituals, most casters will now have to have the spell prepared. Which sorta ruins the idea of rituals - and nullifies a couple of key ways that I used my evoker.

There was absolutely no change to ritual casting for wizards between this packet and the last.




Well, yes sir, you are correct. But I didn't see the small word change until this packet. It changed from 11312Classes to 121712Classes. Either way, it changes the nature of my evoker if played according to the Rituals description in the latest packet (which matches the 1217 version but not 1113).
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
Well, yes sir, you are correct. But I didn't see the small word change until this packet. It changed from 11312Classes to 121712Classes. Either way, it changes the nature of my evoker if played according to the Rituals description in the latest packet (which matches the 1217 version but not 1113).

Ah.

Well, I agree with mexrage. The change was a good one. -- The unfortunate fact that your evoker was a casualty of the change is a bummer, though. I don't think it woud be at all imbaalancing to continue playing as you've been.

Danny

Um, according to the rules in the document I downloaded (the version with the barbarian), you still use rituals to cast spells that you have not prepared. See the section entitled rituals. It states that the benefit is that you do not have to prepare the spell ahead of time. What am I missing?

The rules for rituals contridict each other.  This has not changed in the current packet, it is exactly as it was in the Dec packet.


In the How to Play document, it says that  "The advantage of casting a spell as a ritual is that you do not have to prepare the spell ahead of time."


However, in the Classes document, it clearly says that only a scholarly wizard, you can cast spells as rituals without preparing them ahead of time.  Otherwise, you must have the spell prepared to cast it as a ritual.


For example (Wizard): "You can cast any spell you have prepared as a ritual, provided that the spell has a ritual version."  (Clerics have the exact same text).

Generally, I assume that the classes document (being more recently and heavily edited) is the correct rules.  But in this case, it is not clear what the benefit is intended to be.  I have always assumed that casting a ritual in this way does not expend a spell slot, however it does not state this and a strict reading of the precise words used (they call using a ritual 'casting a spell' and they state that casting a spell costs a slot) implies that it still uses a slot which makes rituals pointless.

Altogether, it appears to be a case of sloppy editing and hopefully they will clarify in the next packet.



But none of this changed in the January packet.

Carl
We can all agree this change happened Nov->Dec and not like Dec-Jan. (I just didn't catch the change until the January packet).

So to be clear about what can be done in the current packet:

Casters can all cast their spells as rituals if they have them prepared.
Casting a spell as a ritual, doesn't expend the spell from preparation or use a spell slot.

Academic/Scholar wizards can cast any spell in their spellbook as a ritual. So they get a perk while other wizards received a nerf (back in Dec).

Let's pull it back on topic from there. 
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
Rituals are poorly realised in the current packet.  I am in favour of non-caster classes gaiing access to them but not all of them with just one feat.  I'd be in favour of bundling them up in related packets which could be based on class or related themes e.g. you could have a seer feat that gives access to certain cleric and wizard divnations, another that grants access to plant/nature related rituals, another that grants access to animal related spells, exploration spells, summoning, and teleportation etc.  You get the idea. 

4e had a few themed bundles like this e.g. for the Vistani.
We can all agree this change happened Nov->Dec and not like Dec-Jan. (I just didn't catch the change until the January packet).

So to be clear about what can be done in the current packet:

Casters can all cast their spells as rituals if they have them prepared.
Casting a spell as a ritual, doesn't expend the spell from preparation or use a spell slot.

Academic/Scholar wizards can cast any spell in their spellbook as a ritual. So they get a perk while other wizards received a nerf (back in Dec).

Let's pull it back on topic from there. 




If you go by what it says in the Classes packet - that is partially correct.

The How to Play document says something else (essentially that anyone who can use rituals can cast them as does the Scholarly Wizard.)  I suspect that is an editing miss from before they put in the Scholarly Wizard as that language in the How to Play document is unchanged from earlier packets and predates the Scholary Wizard.

There is not, anywhere in the packet, a clear advantage to using a ritual.  Although I think it ought not to cost a slot, that isn't stated.  And if it a) costs a slot and b) must be prepared and c) takes longer and costs more than just casting it as a spell - what possible reason could there be to cast it as a ritual?



Carl
Academic wizards still get to use rituals that haven't prepared (as long as the spell is in their spellbook).

That said, this is a stupid change that ruins most of the point of rituals. It's just like the packet before it that took away at-will cantrips and only gave them in limited fashion, based on your tradition. Thankfully, they reversed themselves on that one. Now we need to convince them to undo this ritual casting change.
I would definitely prefer rituals to be distinct from spells. Rituals could cover a wide variety of ceremonies, recipes and plans that all classes might have access to, via skills or feats if neccesary. To make them only for spellcasters and then require that they be prepared is rather defeating the point I think - it's just saying 'have more spells per day if you spend the time to cast them', whereas rituals should exchange party resources (be they gold, alchemical items, mechanical components or even hit dice) for useful effects.
Academic wizards still get to use rituals that haven't prepared (as long as the spell is in their spellbook).

That said, this is a stupid change that ruins most of the point of rituals. It's just like the packet before it that took away at-will cantrips and only gave them in limited fashion, based on your tradition. Thankfully, they reversed themselves on that one. Now we need to convince them to undo this ritual casting change.



Actually  - I like the change.  It just needs to give a reason to use a ritual.

I don't dislike giving everyone the ability to cast them if they know them, without using a slot.


But if they do that, do we need to give Scholarly Wizards a new perk?    


If rituals didn't cost a slot - it would fix the problem.


The academic wizard gets a big boost (although some will argue they don't need a boost outside of combat) and the other classes have a reason to prepare those ritual spells. 


As for other classes using them:  This ought to be a feat.  There should be a feat to learn a single ritual spell (just as there is a feat to learn a maneuver).  In fact -there ought to also be a feat to learn a Skill Trick.  And maybe even a feat to learn a specific Channel Divinity (1x per day, of course).

 

Carl
Academic wizards still get to use rituals that haven't prepared (as long as the spell is in their spellbook).

That said, this is a stupid change that ruins most of the point of rituals. It's just like the packet before it that took away at-will cantrips and only gave them in limited fashion, based on your tradition. Thankfully, they reversed themselves on that one. Now we need to convince them to undo this ritual casting change.



Actually  - I like the change.  It just needs to give a reason to use a ritual.



I don't. The whole point of rituals, starting in 4e and originally in Next, was that you could use them without preparing them in advance. This rule change completely defeats the entire point of having rituals in the game at all. It also makes it impossible to give rituals to other classes via feats, because they have no spell slots to prepare them with. 


If rituals didn't cost a slot - it would fix the problem.



I'm confused. You said you liked this idea, but not requiring a preparation slot would return rituals to how they were to begin with. Unless you mean some other kind of spell slot, but that doesn't make any sense, since rituals don't use up spells per day, and I have no idea what other kind of "slot" you could be referring to.


The academic wizard gets a big boost (although some will argue they don't need a boost outside of combat) and the other classes have a reason to prepare those ritual spells.



This makes the academic wizard so much better than the other traditions that it isn't even funny.



If rituals didn't cost a slot - it would fix the problem.



I'm confused. You said you liked this idea, but not requiring a preparation slot would return rituals to how they were to begin with. Unless you mean some other kind of spell slot, but that doesn't make any sense, since rituals don't use up spells per day, and I have no idea what other kind of "slot" you could be referring to.




Casting spell slot.


"rituals don't use up spells per day"

It does not state this anywhere in the rules that I am aware of - and a strict reading would imply that this is not true (although I suspect it is what was intended).

  
Carl

Yes, the How to Play document says rituals don't need to be prepared. However, it also says:


Prerequisite: You cannot cast a spell as a ritual unless you have a special ability or a class feature that lets you do so.


So, you need the class feature to use rituals. And if this class feature says the spell needs to be prepared, then I believe the preparing restriction "wins" here, you need the spell prepared to use its ritual version (unless you're scholar wizard). With that and having to spend spell slots casting them, there's no advantage on using the ritual version of most spells, just drawbacks.


[<o>]
There seems to be some misunderstanding of the intention and function of the mechanic in this thread, so I will do my job as 'he who understands just about everything' and clarify how I interpret it, which I believe is the correct interpretation.

A spell with a ritual version gives it an out-of-combat edge. Rituals do NOT use up daily spell slots; rather, they allow you to expend TIME instead of magical potential.

Why prepare rituals? Because it allows a player (and by extension their group) to benefit greatly from planning ahead. Know you're going up against debuffing wraith undead? The cleric prepares Restoration. They can use their slots to heal everyone up during the fight, or wait until after the havoc is taken care of, hole up with their party, and turn your fighter's maximum hit points from 2 to 130.

Let's use a lower level example: Remove Curse. You're dealing with a mummy tomb and there's curses everywhere. Ten minutes of the wizard's time (about a short rest) will get rid of one of those curses at no cost to anyone. A wizard who is not a scholastic preparing this spell gets to throw as many fireballs at those pesky mummies as they have slots, and STILL REMOVE THE CURSES.

Scholastics stand out in being the master of these incredibly arcane rituals, not needing to prepare them ahead of time. Instead it's a hunt for finding the right spell scrolls to learn the spells in question, or choosing wisely with your two spells when you level up.

The biggest benefit of the 'prepared spells do not equal spell slots' change introduced in december is that you can prepare a ritual and never cast it as a spell. It opens up strategic options for using your daily allotment of spell slots and spell preparation. Spellcasters who utilize their preparation intelligently can kick the ass of the monsters AND the locked doors and the curses. It's part of the 'batman utility belt.' Batman brings some explosive batarangs for split-second detonation, and some explosive gel for those more detailed jobs. 
There seems to be some misunderstanding of the intention and function of the mechanic in this thread, so I will do my job as 'he who understands just about everything' and clarify how I interpret it, which I believe is the correct interpretation.

Rituals do NOT use up daily spell slots; rather, they allow you to expend TIME instead of magical potential.  



Although this may be (probably is) the intent, where in the rules is this stated?


Carl
Let's look at the 'How to Play' document.

Aside from the bit about rituals that is conflicted by the class mechanics (Class mechanics win out every time), casting a ritual takes:

1. The ability to cast rituals from your class. (The class further states what is required to cast the rituals, such as it being prepared)
2. Time.
3. Any material components the spells need. If it takes 100gp of diamond dust to cast Restoration, the ritual version takes that too.
No indication that it takes a spell slot whatsoever. All it says is TIME.

Now, let's look at the classes.
Cleric: You can cast any spell you have prepared as a ritual, provided that spell has a ritual version. No indication that it takes a spell slot.
Wizard: You can cast any spell you have prepared as a ritual, provided that spell has a ritual version. No indication that it takes a spell slot.
Scholarly Wizard, Ritual Caster: You can cast any spell you have in your spellbook as a ritual, provided that spell has a ritual version. No indication that it takes a spell slot.

The intention from the start was that rituals did not burn up daily spell casting. Perhaps this needs to be hammered home more, but that's how it works.

I love the concept of rituals but I've hated how they're used in D&D from day 1.


I actually want rituals to do something totally different. I want them to be especially powerful spells that exceed the caster's ability. I don't actually want them to be spells even. I'd rather have them be improvised magical effects (all I seem to be doing lately is bang on about improv, sorry in advance) that gain strength by orders of magnitude with the amount of time and resources put into them.


I want them to be ability driven and feat enabled with some classes gaining the ability to use ritual techniques when it's thematically appropriate.


And I want a ritualist class.

Let's look at the 'How to Play' document.

Aside from the bit about rituals that is conflicted by the class mechanics (Class mechanics win out every time), casting a ritual takes:

1. The ability to cast rituals from your class. (The class further states what is required to cast the rituals, such as it being prepared)
2. Time.
3. Any material components the spells need. If it takes 100gp of diamond dust to cast Restoration, the ritual version takes that too.
No indication that it takes a spell slot whatsoever. All it says is TIME.

Now, let's look at the classes.
Cleric: You can cast any spell you have prepared as a ritual, provided that spell has a ritual version. No indication that it takes a spell slot.
Wizard: You can cast any spell you have prepared as a ritual, provided that spell has a ritual version. No indication that it takes a spell slot.
Scholarly Wizard, Ritual Caster: You can cast any spell you have in your spellbook as a ritual, provided that spell has a ritual version. No indication that it takes a spell slot.

The intention from the start was that rituals did not burn up daily spell casting. Perhaps this needs to be hammered home more, but that's how it works.



But it doesn't state that anywhere.



Now lets look at what it does say.

You can cast any spell you have prepard as a ritual, provided that spell has a ritual version.

OR
 
A ritual is a version of a spell that takes longer to cast and sometimes requires special materials. 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.
  

...

When you cast  a spell, choose one of your prepared spells and expend a spell slot of that spell’s level or higher. Some spells have improved effects when they are cast at higher levels. After you cast the spell, you lose the use of the slot you expended until you prepare spells again, but you still have the spell prepared.
   


Nothing in there states or implies that it does not take a daily use slot.  Rather, it uses the same terminology "casting a spell" and casting a spell explicitely does require you to expend a slot.  The benefit clearly addresses the need to prepare a spell (which was then taken away in the later version) - not whether or not the spell expends a slot.




Just to be clear - your interpretation was my interpretation until this was brought up in other threads - at which point I went all the way back through the packets to see what it really said.  And I think that your interpretation is likely the intent.  But is it clearly not stated anywhere and thus we cannot clearly state that that is how the rules intent.


If this were the clear intent, I would expect the rules to state:   The advantage of casting a spell as a ritual is that it does not expend a daily use slot.

   
Sounds like we need another tweet from Mearls.



Carl
        


   

I don't dislike giving everyone the ability to cast them if they know them, without using a slot.

But if they do that, do we need to give Scholarly Wizards a new perk?


The scholar wizard can already prepare more spells per day then other traditions and they have more garunteed spells in their spellbook then the other tradtions. I think that is quite fine already, and is probably too powerful all by itself.
For the purposes of this thread, let's work on that notion rituals work in the current packet like listed below and go from there. There have been useful discussions, but the rules lawyering isn't one of them. We can all agree clarification in a final print would be required. 


Casters can all cast their spells as rituals if they have them prepared.
Casting a spell as a ritual, doesn't use a spell slot.

Academic/Scholar wizards can cast any spell in their spellbook as a ritual. 

Let's pull it back on topic from there. 



Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.

Without a clarification I'm not entirely sure how the discussion can go forward. I mean, does it use a casting slot or doesn't it? What's the purpose of rituals in the magic system as a whole?


If they take up a casting slot and a prepared slot (and it seems to me after looking it up myself that they do), I really don't see the point of them.

Is it "rules lawyering" to point out that a rule that many are assuming to be the case is explicitely not stated anywhere in the rules?

  


It's not a matter of interpretation - the rule just doesn't exist.



It should exist.  That is how I believe rituals should work.  That is how rituals now work at my table.


But the rules as written neither state nor imply that that is how they do work.


Thus we can either discuss gameplay with the understanding that 'rituals do not exhaust a daily slot'  is a good houserule and one that ought to be incorporated into the game - and how that would affect the game OR we can discuss gameplay with the understanding that 'rituals for most characters - except for scholarly wizards - must both be prepared and exhaust a daily slot and thus server no conceivable purpose' and provide feedback on that basis.

Of the two, the former is the more interesting discussion - especially as regards the scholarly wizard and whether that build is already powerful enough and thus does not need anything to compensate (as may well be the case).

Carl
@kadim we move forward by acknowledging that it is probably an oversight and moving on with the proper ruling because tweets will back it up and if they don't, the discussion isn't lost. This thread isn't about the current packet anyway and about what we could do. It is Next, let's make it ours! @CarlT Agreed. The former is the only one that makes any sense to discuss and thus, we should discuss it! However, this thread is about what we could do. So what we could do, is think about how rituals could be awesome. They can't be awesome if they take up a spell slot. So let's move on from that! 

Since the whole thing doesn't make sense to take up word count in the playtest with out the "ruling" that rituals do not use up spell slots, we should move forward with what does make sense, which is that they do not use up spell slots when cast as rituals. Getting stagnated by 'what is' can really limit innovation and growth. Let's look forward to 'what should be.' If all of us rules edit this rule so that they don't use up a spell slot (and trust me, they don't), then it is not useful to discuss the fact that the rules don't say that. Let's look forward at some cool things that perhaps rituals could allow other classes to do to help with versatility in their cases.

Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
We have been allowing any class to cast rituals, with a DC 15 INT check to recite the words correctly and perform the ritual.  Arcane classes (Wizard currently) do not need to make a DC.  Cleric (Arcanist) also have no need for a DC on Wizard rituals.  Characters with an appropriate skill can add it to the roll. (Arcana, Forbidden Lore, etc)

This is not because of any rule statement, simply because of a flavor we prefer.  Same works with spell scrolls.  Failure to make the DC causes the scroll to crumble to dust.  Failure to cast the ritual from a book by 5 or more, causes the page to crumble to dust.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

@Phobos Sounds like a neat way to handle it. Do you ever feel like it gives any class too much extra versatility or makes playing a wizard pointless? (These are two arguments used against this method by a few in my camps.)
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
Possibility: a feat is required to gain "ritual casting" as a non-caster. Which might loosen some of the other int requirements and the like.


+1

I still don't think rituals should replicate spells at all, at least not as their basis. I think they should be totally different from spells and have nothing to do at all with casts, slots or even specific written spells. Otherwise, I'll just have the spell and be done.

@Phobos Sounds like a neat way to handle it. Do you ever feel like it gives any class too much extra versatility or makes playing a wizard pointless? (These are two arguments used against this method by a few in my camps.)



Normally this get's used more often when we don't have an actual Wizard.  It often is used for "utility" items such as comprehend, identify, etc.  So it never really replaces a true Wizards "power", at least combat wise.

We have a rogue that invested in Knowledge Arcana, and bought a "utility" spellbook, to go with his background of a Treasure Hunter.  We don't allow him to transcribe scrolls into the book, so he saves them and pays the local college to do so for him.  His benefactor sometimes does as well for the job.


"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

@Phobos  I think this can make a lot of sense. It matches the old 'scroll use' or 'emulate class' abilities that rogues sometimes have. However, with backgrounds/specialties/feats, it might make sense as well. Thanks for the info Phobos.

@kadim I can definitely understand what you mean there. The idea of 'classes' of rituals or rituals with more than one person is pretty interesting and appealing too. However, in terms of producing playtest content, it kinda makes sense to start with duplicating spells. Maybe we'll see some growth in this area at another time. Or perhaps as a modular piece!
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.
IMO, only rituals should use/require material components. That is one sure way to control their (ab)use, especially if they require a DM-controllable reagent, so they can be as common or rare as needed by the campaign.

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@Mithrus Some in my camp have argued this should be the case as well. I think this is an easily modifiable 'component' of rituals that could easily be added as a line of text. Great to bring this up!
Currently running a playtest, weekly, online D&D Next Session using a virtual table system called roll20.