Rituals rules error

I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but there seems to be a discrepancy in the rules on how rituals work/what the benefits are.  According to the "how to play" document the benefit is that you don't have to prepare a spell ahead of time to cast it as a ritual. However, in the  the "Classes" document the Wizard class states that you have to have the spell prepared to cast it as a ritual except in the case of the "Scholarly Wizard"
Hi,

Since this doesn't appear to be a playtest session report I'm going to move it to Playtest Packet Discussion.

Thanks!

Monica
I heard that Mearls posted on Twitter that Rituals are not suppose to cost a spell slot. I don't know if you want to consider that "official" or not.
Rituals do not cost spell slots, only spells costs spell slots. 

For a Wizard, it means that I could prepare one spell for my slots, and another for as a ritual. For example. Lets say I am a level 1 wizard. I wake up in the morning and prepare "Thunderwave" and "Comprehend Languages". I can cast "Thunderwave" twice, expending the spell slots I have for this level, and retain "Comprehend Languages" as a ritual (not a spell) for trying to figure out what the dwarf is babbling about. There appears to be no limit to the number of rituals you can cast per day.

However, the error exists, How to Play says a rituals need not be prepared ahead of time. Wizard class says a ritual needs to be prepared. If I was your DM I would say run with the Wizards class wording. 
You're talking about different things.  A spell slot is a usage of a spell and Mike did say that rituals do no use them.  However, the OP intends spell preparation, not spell slots.  It is not a question of using spell slots, it is a question about preparing spells at the beginning of the adventuring day.

So, to use mr_virus' analogy, a level 1 wizard may prepare "Thunderwave" and "Cause fear" and still cast "Comprehend language" as a ritual because it does not need to be prepared to be cast as a ritual (according to the How the play document).  According to the wizard spellcasting feature, however, the wizard must prepare "Comprehend language" to cast it as a ritual.  That's the problem.

Does a spell have to be prepared in order to be used as a ritual or can it be cast as such without preparation?
Mearls response about Rituals not taking a spell slot was the explaination of this error. Ignore the How to Play section on Rituals.

Personally, I would rather Rituals require a spell slot, but not have to be prepared (as the How to Play section suggests).
Mearls response about Rituals not taking a spell slot was the explaination of this error. Ignore the How to Play section on Rituals.

Personally, I would rather Rituals require a spell slot, but not have to be prepared (as the How to Play section suggests).



Elsewhere I suggeted this as a house rule:

Essentially - if you prepare a ritual, it does not require a spell slot.  If you wish to use a ritual you do not have prepared, you can do so - but then it does require a spell slot.

In short - rituals require you to either prepare them or to use a daily spell slot to cast them, but not both.

Carl
Maybe I'm reading the packet wrong, but the way I read it was that there is a difference between "preparing ahead of time" and "preparing."

I associate "preparing ahead of time" with a long rest. But when I read a specific requirement for a specific ritual, there is still a short "preparation" period, but it didn't require a long rest. For example, Comprehend Languages says:

Ritual: You can cast this spell as a ritual by spending at least 10 minutes reciting ancient words of forgotten languages while using special material components, including a pouch of salt and a pinch of soot taken from a hearth.

There is a preparation time (10 minutes minimum here), but it didn't have to be during a long rest.
Personally, I like the idea of a wizard reading a ritual out of his spellbook, or a cleric spending time in meditation and prayer or performing a, well, ritual, before casting a ritual, with no other preparation or spell slot use required.  Yes, either of those activities will take a significant amount of time (10 minutes or possibly much more), but  they have a nice feel to them.

But, as written, the rules for rituals are vague.  Maybe that was the developers' intent in the playtest, to see how groups did it and what they liked by leaving the rules open to interpretation.  There are some smart people at WotC, so what looks like an oversight may actually be an intentional test of the rules, because they aren't sure what players would prefer.
Another thing I find off is that under spellcasting for wizards, it mentions that wizards can cast rituals. Then under scholar it mentions rituals again, but not under the other two. So is rituals for all wizards or only scholars?
Originally, rituals didn't have to be prepared nor did they expend daily spell slots. Then, in the december packet, they decided to make it so that only scholarly wizards can cast rituals that way, and require all other wizards to prepare them. The part about not needing to prepare them in the how to play document was a leftover thing from how rituals worked before. Previously, only clerics had to prepare rituals, since they don't have spellbooks (though even that is quite odd, couldn't they just give clerics prayer books for their rituals?)

Honestly, I hope this goes back to how it was. I think having to prepare rituals is stupid. Wizards (all wizards) should be able to cast rituals right out of their spellbook, no preparation or spell slots required. Wizards were supposed to have rituals to help make up for the vast reduction in spells per day (that they can both prepare and that they can cast) that they have been hit with in this edition, and to help let many of the extremely situational spells see some uses, since those are rarely ever woth preparing. Requiring a ritual to be prepared defeats the entire purpose, IMO.
Originally, rituals didn't have to be prepared nor did they expend daily spell slots. Then, in the december packet, they decided to make it so that only scholarly wizards can cast rituals that way, and require all other wizards to prepare them. The part about not needing to prepare them in the how to play document was a leftover thing from how rituals worked before. Previously, only clerics had to prepare rituals, since they don't have spellbooks (though even that is quite odd, couldn't they just give clerics prayer books for their rituals?)

Honestly, I hope this goes back to how it was. I think having to prepare rituals is stupid. Wizards (all wizards) should be able to cast rituals right out of their spellbook, no preparation or spell slots required. Wizards were supposed to have rituals to help make up for the vast reduction in spells per day (that they can both prepare and that they can cast) that they have been hit with in this edition, and to help let many of the extremely situational spells see some uses, since those are rarely ever woth preparing. Requiring a ritual to be prepared defeats the entire purpose, IMO.



I agree with both the non-preparation, unless the number of prepared spells per day is increased, maybe to level plus appropriate attribute modifier, and the prayer book idea, which may contain only rituals (incuding a marriage ritual, for appropriate dieties).  However, I would prefer to increase prepared spells and leave the scholarly wizard the special ability.  I like the flavor.