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MammonAzrael
2008-08-12, 10:28 AM
Dragon's latest article gives us 33 new rituals, including staple Overland Flight.

I haven't gotten a chance to look through them all yet. What does GitP think?

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/200808011a

Tengu_temp
2008-08-12, 10:35 AM
Wizard's Escape - and that's why you take the mage's possessions away from him when you throw him into the cell!

Overall,
http://ffrpg.republika.pl/approve.PNG

Kurald Galain
2008-08-12, 10:35 AM
Several nice effects, although in practice all of them remain seriously hampered by being rather expensive and taking much too long to cast. I feel WOTC is being much too cautious here; something like "starting a fire" really isn't going to be overpowered if it takes 30 seconds.

Also, overland flight is silly in that doing anything other than moving causes you to fall. They should call it Icarus Wings :smalltongue:

Saph
2008-08-12, 10:52 AM
Anything that expands 4e character options is good.

But the restrictions are still annoying. Trivial effects like fastidiousness shouldn't cost money and shouldn't require a casting time of 10 minutes, and all the actually useful rituals tend to come with frustrating limitations, like chameleon's cloak ceasing to work as soon as the PC moves.

That said, it's free, and you can just ignore the underpowered ones, so I'm not really complaining. :)

- Saph

AKA_Bait
2008-08-12, 10:57 AM
Still reading through them, but I'm glad they released more, whatever the quality turns out to be.

AlterForm
2008-08-12, 10:58 AM
Chameleon's Cloak...I'm not seeing the use for this. You spend 10 minutes casting it (so it can't be used to duck out of sight), and then you can't move or attack (so you're just sitting there for however long)?

Maybe you could use it for an ambush, but you'll have to either get lucky or a little Deus Ex to have yourself set up in the right place at the right time at least 10 minutes before your target(s) show(s) up.

Saph
2008-08-12, 11:04 AM
Chameleon's Cloak...I'm not seeing the use for this. You spend 10 minutes casting it (so it can't be used to duck out of sight), and then you can't move or attack (so you're just sitting there for however long)?

I'm assuming it's for when the party takes a nap in a dangerous area.

But it brings up some obvious issues, such as what happens when a PC rolls over in their sleep, or needs to "drain some charges from their wand". :P

- Saph

Kurald Galain
2008-08-12, 11:17 AM
all the actually useful rituals tend to come with frustrating limitations

I'm afraid I have to agree with this.

Essentially, because of their price, rituals are designed to be used only in emergencies. Because of their casting time, they can't practically be used in extreme emergencies either. Note in particular that you need to buy the components in advance!

For instance. Arcane barrier (wall of force) costs 10% of your wealth by that level per usage. Battlefield Elocution has a rather small definition of "battlefield", and requires the troops to stand at attention for ten minutes while you cast. Bolster Object is a good idea but has the wrong cost:effect ratio (+30% hardness for a sizeable amount of wealth surely is no Glasssteel). Conceal Object seems more practical for NPCs. And why again would I want to spend ten minutes and 5-10% of my total wealth for something as menial as lighting a campfire?

Essentially, this is the same as in second edition, where the spell to create illusory gold had a component cost larger than the amount of fake gold produced.

Good idea, poor execution. Expect substantial homebrewing about this; heck, a feat that cuts ritual casting time to 10% of the original wouldn't be overpowered.

(edit) for instance, Fastidiousness should be either a feat or a level-2 paladin power. You are so heroic that you are shiny and clean wherever you go. Gleam!

Muyten
2008-08-12, 11:17 AM
But it brings up some obvious issues, such as what happens when a PC rolls over in their sleep, or needs to "drain some charges from their wand". :P

- Saph

Well rolling over probably wont land you in another square unless you roll a lot. As for draining charges without getting up...that's probably what that Fastidiousness is for :)

Tormsskull
2008-08-12, 11:22 AM
Good idea, poor execution. Expect substantial homebrewing about this; heck, a feat that cuts ritual casting time to 10% of the original wouldn't be overpowered.

I agree. They really need to divide rituals once more into minor rituals and normal rituals (better names though), and put all these "No dramatic affects" type rituals into the minor ritual category. Minor rituals should have their component cost and casting time dramatically reduced.

FoE
2008-08-12, 11:26 AM
I tend to look at rituals in two senses: what tricks can a player now use, and what tricks can a DM now use.

A couple of the rituals are kinda lame. (Wizard's Curtain? Seriously?) and there's not a huge amount here for the players. (Delay Affliction and Overland Flight seem the most exciting, though Chameleon's Cloak is pretty good.)

But there is some really good stuff in there as well, especially from a DM's perspective. Teleport Catcher, Arcane Barrier and Conceal Object could be really helpful in designing dungeons, and Memory Seal could be the basis for a whole quest.

Also, Preserve Flame finally answers that age-old question of how Bender could keep his cigar lit underwater and burn down Zoidberg's home. A wizard did it. :smalltongue:


Chameleon's Cloak...I'm not seeing the use for this. You spend 10 minutes casting it (so it can't be used to duck out of sight), and then you can't move or attack (so you're just sitting there for however long)?

Maybe you could use it for an ambush, but you'll have to either get lucky or a little Deus Ex to have yourself set up in the right place at the right time at least 10 minutes before your target(s) show(s) up.

You use it to lay low for 24 hours, or you could use it to eavesdrop on someone if you knew where they would be ahead of time. Just imagine Harry Potter with invisibility cloak and you get the idea.


But it brings up some obvious issues, such as what happens when a PC rolls over in their sleep, or needs to "drain some charges from their wand". :P

Fictional characters have Bottomless Bladders. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main.BottomlessBladder) I thought everyone knew that. :smalltongue:

bosssmiley
2008-08-12, 12:36 PM
For instance. Arcane barrier (wall of force) costs 10% of your wealth by that level per usage. Battlefield Elocution has a rather small definition of "battlefield", and requires the troops to stand at attention for ten minutes while you cast. Bolster Object is a good idea but has the wrong cost:effect ratio (+30% hardness for a sizeable amount of wealth surely is no Glasssteel). Conceal Object seems more practical for NPCs. And why again would I want to spend ten minutes and 5-10% of my total wealth for something as menial as lighting a campfire?

<trim>

Good idea, poor execution. Expect substantial homebrewing about this; heck, a feat that cuts ritual casting time to 10% of the original wouldn't be overpowered.

I honestly wonder if any of this stuff was meaningfully playtested before release. Looking at some of the effects offered at the prices & casting times listed I really wonder if any of this New! Content! was subjected to harsh critique by someone outside the WOTC echo chamber. :smallconfused:


(edit) for instance, Fastidiousness should be either a feat or a level-2 paladin power. You are so heroic that you are shiny and clean wherever you go. Gleam!

*ting!* :smallbiggrin:

Thank you for making my day Kurald Galain. That's one thing 4E previews are always good for; ripping off fluff and non-abilities for my 3E game.

"OK, from this point on Paladins and Swashbucklers have Fastidiousness, or - as we know it - presidigitation, as a class ability from level 1."

Jothki
2008-08-12, 12:52 PM
Well rolling over probably wont land you in another square unless you roll a lot. As for draining charges without getting up...that's probably what that Fastidiousness is for :)

Wow, you could even go right in your pants and Fastidiousness would take care of it.

Myatar_Panwar
2008-08-12, 12:59 PM
Very cool. And can someone point me towards this wealth by level page? I need to see it.

Mostly curious to how the 10% of your level wealth actually functions. The way PC's gold can fluctuate every level, I can see maybe the partys ritual caster to expend maybe 10-15% of his gold alloted every level, getting off maybe 1 level appropriate ritual, and many lower level rituals, which is fine by me.

fractic
2008-08-12, 01:06 PM
Very cool. And can someone point me towards this wealth by level page? I need to see it.

There isn't really wealth by level as in 3.5. There are guidelines for starting at higher levels and they are:

free mundane equipment
3 magic items 1 of your level, 1 of one level higher and 1 of one level lower
an amount of gold equal to the price of a magic item of your level -1


[edit] Page 143 in the DMG.

Saph
2008-08-12, 01:13 PM
Mostly curious to how the 10% of your level wealth actually functions. The way PC's gold can fluctuate every level, I can see maybe the partys ritual caster to expend maybe 10-15% of his gold alloted every level, getting off maybe 1 level appropriate ritual, and many lower level rituals, which is fine by me.

I'm dubious. The problem is that the long casting time for many of these rituals means that you generally have to cast them before you know for sure whether they'll be needed or not. Burning a significant chunk of money on something that might help you seems a bad deal to me.

In the case of Arcane Barrier, for instance, when are you really going to use it? You can't use it when a bunch of enemies are headed your way, because 10 minutes is long enough for every monster in the dungeon to be alerted and land on you before you're even half done. But if you cast it when you don't know a bunch of enemies are going to be headed your way, you're probably going to end up wasting the money.

Basically, the combination of a 10 minute casting time and a 4/8/12 hour duration for many rituals seems to require an unrealistic amount of information to be useful.

- Saph

Oracle_Hunter
2008-08-12, 01:14 PM
I honestly wonder if any of this stuff was meaningfully playtested before release. Looking at some of the effects offered at the prices & casting times listed I really wonder if any of this New! Content! was subjected to harsh critique by someone outside the WOTC echo chamber. :smallconfused:

I'm in full agreement here. Looking at the 4e releases and errata, I'm beginning to seriously doubt that WotC bothers with quality control with these sorts of things. Hopefully, when they start publishing books they'll spend a little more time playtesting these things... but at the moment, I'm not too confident :smallfrown:

That said, they are erring on the side of difficulty because of how ridiculous 3e came in regards to magic. Heck, making Fastidiousness free would have dramatic effects on basic sanitation - which is exactly what WotC wants to avoid.

Now, for Chameleon Cloak, I'd either drop its level by a few, or allow the Wizard to cloak 8 allies within a Zone 10, which is broken if anyone leaves the Zone or attacks. That seems like it's a 10th level ritual that costs 200 gold.

EDIT:

In the case of Arcane Barrier, for instance, when are you really going to use it? You can't use it when a bunch of enemies are headed your way, because 10 minutes is long enough for every monster in the dungeon to be alerted and land on you before you're even half done. But if you cast it when you don't know a bunch of enemies are going to be headed your way, you're probably going to end up wasting the money.

You use it to permanently fortify an important area (note the ability to designate who can bypass the wall), or to create a temporary, and quite formidable, barrier to advancing forces.

Magic is no longer used to bypass encounters, but it can be used to impressive effect in shaping them. That's why it's good to have the "bypass effects" be expensive and require a non-trivial prep time - the wizard can't just automagically solve every problem which appears; it is usually better to try and solve it through more direct means.

Remember that, while 10 minutes is a long time in the middle of combat, it is fairly trivial to use, say, before the battle (Battlefield Elocution, Bolster Object, Earthen Ramparts), or before delicate negotiations (Silence, Wizard's Curtain). Really, my only problem is with Chameleon Cloak, I guess; all the others seem mostly OK.

LordOkubo
2008-08-12, 01:23 PM
Ah the endless supply of things You Can Totally Do! That you will never ever do because they are a waste of time and money.

Yay rituals that only idiots actually cast.

Personally, for me it's not quality control, it's playtesting. They just keep thinking of things that would be cool to do. But they forget about the horrible cost and 10 minute casting time.

They even have in the PHB Detect Secret doors: "With a smile and a wink you show X the location of the door he missed."

I'm sorry, no. If someone spent 10 minutes doing a super slow motion wink and smile at me, I would just ****ing walk away. The apparently didn't even bother to read the casting time part of the entry when writing the description, so who's to say they read it when they decided what it does?

It just makes me sad, because even if you gave every single character in the game a Ritual Book with all the Rituals in the game in it, for free, and didn't limit them by level at all, and had them play a game, you might, maybe, if you were lucky, actually see five rituals cast ever in a whole 1-30 spread.

If they played a single game like that, they would never have released half these rituals because they would have noticed that THERE IS NEVER ANY REASON TO USE THEM.

Seriously. ****ing hurts my brain to see this crap.

Tormsskull
2008-08-12, 01:32 PM
Ah the endless supply of things You Can Totally Do! That you will never ever do because they are a waste of time and money.


That's quite a bit of an exaggeration. Especially if you place Ritual scrolls as part of a treasure haul. Just last session I had an NPC give to the PCs three Ritual Scrolls (Knock, Comprehend Languages, and the charm animal and have it deliver a message to someone for you one, forgot its name, sorry), complete with a small bit of residium rolled up in the scroll to satisfy the component cost.

They used both the Knock scroll and the Comprehend Languages scroll already.

While I agree that some of these, and the PHB Rituals, are over the top when it comes to components/casting time, many of them are quite useful. Now, if you are comparing 4e Rituals to some 3x spells, yeah, they are going to look really horrible.

Saph
2008-08-12, 01:35 PM
You use it to permanently fortify an important area (note the ability to designate who can bypass the wall), or to create a temporary, and quite formidable, barrier to advancing forces.

...

Remember that, while 10 minutes is a long time in the middle of combat, it is fairly trivial to use, say, before the battle...

What are the monsters going to be doing while you're preparing?

Realistically, most fights start very shortly after either side becomes aware of the other. You just don't generally have the luxury of knowing "Okay, an enemy encounter is going to come through here in more than 10 minutes but in less than 4 hours, and the encounter's such that we'll need a barrier."

That's what I mean about the rituals needing an unrealistic amount of information. By the time you know you need them, it's usually too late.

- Saph

Myatar_Panwar
2008-08-12, 01:37 PM
I'm dubious. The problem is that the long casting time for many of these rituals means that you generally have to cast them before you know for sure whether they'll be needed or not. Burning a significant chunk of money on something that might help you seems a bad deal to me.

In the case of Arcane Barrier, for instance, when are you really going to use it? You can't use it when a bunch of enemies are headed your way, because 10 minutes is long enough for every monster in the dungeon to be alerted and land on you before you're even half done. But if you cast it when you don't know a bunch of enemies are going to be headed your way, you're probably going to end up wasting the money.

Basically, the combination of a 10 minute casting time and a 4/8/12 hour duration for many rituals seems to require an unrealistic amount of information to be useful.

- Saph

But isn't that when you use any ritual? When you know what you need to do, and you want to make it easier.

Arcane Barrier: You know of a coming threat to a local noble, and rather than post watch at all possible entrances to his study, you block off a few hallways with arcane barriers, and seal the windows with that reinforce object ritual (forgot its name), to the end that you can watch 1 hallway with your entire team. If the noble agrees to pay the fees, your golden.
in fact, you can use arcane barrier for many things that need quarentine. Maybe you would like to rest but cant because of an open hallway? Maybe through some sneaking, you discover that the BBEG is behind one door, and quite a few high ranking goons are behind another close door, all currently sleeping. So you trap the goons in their room and pound on the boss. Sure, they can hear him screaming for his guards, but they cant escape.

Alot of the rituals do require you to do some sneaking around and planning though. You cant expect to use them often if you find yourself constantly kicking down doors.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2008-08-12, 02:03 PM
Gwyn's Homebrew!

All Rituals with Casting Time 5 Minutes now take 1 whole round to cast.
All Rituals with Casting Time 10 Minutes now take 2 whole rounds to cast.
30 Minutes: 6 rounds
1 hour: 12 rounds.

With choice exceptions.

Shadowtraveler
2008-08-12, 02:22 PM
Hhmmm....maybe you could have the caster roll a skill check (independent of the normal check that sometimes determines level of success) to shorten the casting time?

Or even have the caster being able to hold the "charge", as it were, with the catch being you spend the required materials regardless if the ritual works or not.


I ought to try that....

JaxGaret
2008-08-12, 02:29 PM
I presume that Rituals are too expensive by design, so that they can't be abused.

If you feel that their cost is too great, simply decrease it for your games, or substitute alternate components (like monster parts) to virtually decrease their cost.

Alternatively, one could homebrew some Improved Ritual Caster feats to decrease Rituals' cost, casting time, or both.

Morandir Nailo
2008-08-12, 02:39 PM
Meh, I don't care at all about the costs. Then again, I ignore the wealth by level nonsense, as there is no "magic item economy" in my games. Magic items are things you find by adventuring, not by heading to your local Mage-Mart. In this wise, gold can actually be used as money, rather than as Magic Item Points. My players are free to spend gold on staying perpetually clean (or on booze, courtesans, castles, whatever) without worrying about this hampering their ability to kill things.

Mor

Covered In Bees
2008-08-12, 02:47 PM
I like the idea of being able to reduce the time down a step (10 minutes to 1, say) with a particularly successful check, or by spending more components, or by sacrificing a healing surge, or something/

Kurald Galain
2008-08-12, 03:13 PM
Heck, making Fastidiousness free would have dramatic effects on basic sanitation
No, only for player characters. 4E is quite clear on the fact that "normal" people can't do any of that stuff.



Magic is no longer used to bypass encounters,
Wall of Force was never used to bypass encounters to begin with.


That's why it's good to have the "bypass effects" be expensive and require a non-trivial prep time
Yes, but they overdid it to the point of making them useless. To cast wall of force once, you need to have bought the components in advance, and then you need ten minutes prep time on a tiny area that you just know somebody will need to pass through (and not around) in the next four hours. Honestly, the only practical use of that spell is to use the permanent version to ward your fortress. PCs don't have a fortress.


it is fairly trivial to use, say, before the battle (Battlefield Elocution, Bolster Object, Earthen Ramparts),
Yes, except... not. Elocution has a tiny enough range that you could cover it either by Ghost Sound, or by regular shouting (aside from the fact that mechanically, the ritual does absolutely nothing). Bolster Object makes a neglegible difference in the "crushability" of an object. The rampart is poorly worded but appears to affect 2 squares + 2 per 10 points on your check, which is small enough for most forces to walk around. In all cases the flavor text make the effect sound cool and impressive, and the rules text ensures it's actually rather small.

Most of these rituals would be underpowered as utility powers. Yet they are much more expensive (in time and money) than any power.


before delicate negotiations (Silence, Wizard's Curtain).
Curtain is mostly irrelevant, again. Any halfway-decent spy (level 1, +3 attribute, +5 skilled) can pass a listen check at -10.

Kurald Galain
2008-08-12, 03:20 PM
That's quite a bit of an exaggeration. Especially if you place Ritual scrolls as part of a treasure haul. Just last session I had an NPC give to the PCs three Ritual Scrolls (Knock, Comprehend Languages, and the charm animal
Indeed, some rituals are actually useful. Comp Languages is useful for research (or fitting in a city if you don't know the language), neither of which is hampered by waiting ten minutes. Likewise, animal messenger. Knock is already dubious because you need to spend a suspiciously long time in front of a door. Aside from these (and raise dead, and portal), most rituals simply won't see any PC use, ever, because of impracticality.



Arcane Barrier: You know of a coming threat to a local noble, and rather than post watch at all possible entrances to his study, you block off a few hallways with arcane barriers, and seal the windows with that reinforce object ritual (forgot its name),
Heh. By the time you can afford to "block off a few hallways", you will likely either not need to any more, or face enemies capable of passing through walls.
And mind you, you don't just need to pay that, you need to get the components in advance.
The reinforce ritual is not useful on windows, since anybody that can break through a normal window can also break through a reinforced one.

Once again, the fluff on the rituals is good, and in most other RPGs that would make them useful. Problem is, the crunch doesn't match the fluff. People keep thinking that the reinforce object ritual makes an object unbreakable, when in fact that's not what it does at all.

Mercenary Pen
2008-08-12, 04:13 PM
Battlefield Elocution seems a bit limited in a slightly different sense to that suggested by Kurald Galain above... I've checked the numbers, and with a radius of 100 out from your position, you could potentially be giving orders to more than 40,000 soldiers (though if you had that many, only 800 or so could actually fight at any given time). My problem is, where on earth is a D&D PC ever going to get a battlefield quite that large (tis larger than most dungeons)?

Beyond that, I would assume that an army's war chest would potentially cover things like Battlefield Elocution once per day, and the preparation time would make fewer difficulties if you were doing it at the beginning of a watch, or directly before making your own counter-attack

Kurald Galain
2008-08-12, 04:39 PM
I've checked the numbers, and with a radius of 100 out from your position, you could potentially be giving orders to more than 40,000 soldiers

Yeah, you can fit a lot of soldiers in that area (even more with squeezing rules, halved if the speaker is, as is common, on the side of the massed troops rather than in the middle). Point is, though, an area of 1000ft (300m) square is just not a battlefield.

For reference, the Colosseum is 190 meters long, and was in heavy use before the invention of loudspeakers (or, for that matter, magic). The Olympic stadium is 330 meters. Battlefields are way bigger.

That's my point. The rituals sound like they would have cool effects, but mechanically they don't measure up. The ritual implies that "everyone on the battlefield can hear you" but it doesn't do that. That's murphy's rules material, right off the bat.

Mercenary Pen
2008-08-12, 05:06 PM
Yeah, you can fit a lot of soldiers in that area (even more with squeezing rules, halved if the speaker is, as is common, on the side of the massed troops rather than in the middle). Point is, though, an area of 1000ft (300m) square is just not a battlefield.

Technically, its 1005ft, because there's your square to factor in as well...

But, regardless of real world stuff, when are you ever going to be given- by a DM- an actual battlefield that's anywhere close to 201 by 201 squares?

Sure, the ritual doesn't live up to real world expectations, but it'll do enough to fulfill most people's requirements of that sort of ritual.

Mercenary Pen
2008-08-12, 05:09 PM
I think your calculations are a bit off, Kurald, or mine are.

The ritual covers a radius of 100 squares, right? Let's say I cast this ritual in the middle of a battlefield, with my army gathered around me. Assuming that each square is a foot long (which is a bit small, really), I could speak to every creature within a total area of 10,000 square feet.

I think there are some pretty good rituals here. But, as I stated earlier, I tned to look at stuff like this as a DM, not a player.

each square is the 4E standard five-foot square, and- as mentioned in my other post- not including the square you're standing on...

So, you're actually talking about an area of 1,010,025 square feet, of which you're occupying 25 square feet.

FoE
2008-08-12, 05:12 PM
I think your calculations are a bit off, Kurald, or mine are.

The ritual covers a radius of 100 squares, right? Let's say I cast this ritual in the middle of a battlefield, with my army gathered around me. I figure I would cover a circle of over 3,000 squares.

I think there are some pretty good rituals here. But, as I stated earlier, I tned to look at stuff like this as a DM, not a player.

@^: Sorry, I figured that was wrong.

Person_Man
2008-08-12, 05:29 PM
Although I have many criticisms of 4E, I think rituals are a very good thing. Unfortunately, it looks like they've gone overboard on the gp costs, rendering many of them unusable in normal campaigns.

Sebastian
2008-08-12, 05:29 PM
How to defeat the BBEG:

Just wait, considering how much the ritual for teleport and scrying protection cost and the he will need to cast them daily he will go broke in a couple of weeks. ;)

Saph
2008-08-12, 06:19 PM
Although I have many criticisms of 4E, I think rituals are a very good thing. Unfortunately, it looks like they've gone overboard on the gp costs, rendering many of them unusable in normal campaigns.

A few rituals are very reasonably priced. Most, though, are outrageously expensive for what they do.

The really weird thing is that several of the most powerful are also the cheapest (e.g. Linked Portal, Sending, Raise Dead). Teleport from city to city for 50 gp? Yes please!

But most of the others, especially the higher-level ones, cost ridiculous amounts of money and effort for what are often very minor niche effects. Forbiddance, for example, is supposed to stop enemies from scrying on or teleporting to you (which hardly ever happens anyway), and it costs 5,000 gp, drains healing surges like nobody's business, and only affects one largish room.

It's like they took a shortlist of about a dozen of the most useful rituals and made them cheap, then decided they wanted to discourage players from using all the others and made them way too expensive.

- Saph

The New Bruceski
2008-08-12, 06:38 PM
No, only for player characters. 4E is quite clear on the fact that "normal" people can't do any of that stuff.
Really? Where?

Helgraf
2008-08-12, 10:42 PM
Curtain is mostly irrelevant, again. Any halfway-decent spy (level 1, +3 attribute, +5 skilled) can pass a listen check at -10.

Sure, if the DC is 8 or less, they could pass it with a take 10. Now what were the appropriate DCs by level for that level range again?

FoE
2008-08-12, 10:56 PM
It's like they took a shortlist of about a dozen of the most useful rituals and made them cheap, then decided they wanted to discourage players from using all the others and made them way too expensive.

I think that really is the intent behind the pricing scheme for rituals, Saph: to take away the ability of players to effectively cast "Deus ex Machina" whenever they felt like it and screw over the DM.

Let's say Chameleon Cloak cost 30 gp to cast. That's cheap enough that your players could cast that every night they're traipsing through the wilderness. You would never have a night-time encounter again.

You can still access these other spells ... but you won't be casting them as often, and the DM doesn't have to put an array of magical wards on every dungeon.

At the same time, you can't make it TOO difficult to access spells like Raise Dead, because then you're really screwing over the players.

Cybren
2008-08-12, 11:27 PM
I think that really is the intent behind the pricing scheme for rituals, Saph: to take away the ability of players to effectively cast "Deus ex Machina" whenever they felt like it and screw over the DM.
The campaign should be structured around the PCs abilities, though, in order to provide them with meaningful challenges.


At the same time, you can't make it TOO difficult to access spells like Raise Dead, because then you're really screwing over the players.

I don't see the difference between creating a new character of the same level and having your old one raised from the dead. It's not like you have to start at level 1 again. (also- don't die, maybe?[also- GMs, don't kill, maybe?])

Myatar_Panwar
2008-08-12, 11:37 PM
I don't see the difference between creating a new character of the same level and having your old one raised from the dead. It's not like you have to start at level 1 again. (also- don't die, maybe?[also- GMs, don't kill, maybe?])

Maybe they enjoy their character? Or worked hard on a background story, and like how far the character has come? Many people, including myself, get attached to their characters, and would rather not go back to thinking of their D&D career as one long line of random characters. If you can get a single character to survive an entire campain, then youv'e got something.

FoE
2008-08-12, 11:38 PM
I don't see the difference between creating a new character of the same level and having your old one raised from the dead. It's not like you have to start at level 1 again.

You're in the minority on that one, Cybren, for a couple of reasons. A lot of players like to see their character advance through a campaign. Many people will tell you their favourite character was the one who advanced from Level 1 to Level Whatever. Many more people become attached to their characters and don't want to draw up a new character when their old one dies, even if the new character is identical to the old one in every way. I count myself as one of those folks.


also- don't die, maybe?

AH! It's so obvious I should have seen it! Don't die! For years I was getting that wrong! :smalltongue:

Oracle_Hunter
2008-08-12, 11:41 PM
The campaign should be structured around the PCs abilities, though, in order to provide them with meaningful challenges.

The problem here is that "magic" is only one character's ability, not the collective abilities of the PCs. This has been a problem in D&D for ages, but I like to think of it as the Decker Syndrome.

In Shadowrun, you would could have a highly specialized character known as the Decker. He was totally sweet in the Matrix, but usually had little he could to outside of the Matrix. Conversely, no other character could do very much in the Matrix aside from the Decker. Therefore, to allow the Decker to shine, you would have to throw in Matrix encounters in the middle of runs and, since the Decking Rules were anything but simple, these took a good chunk of time. During that time, the other players had nothing to do, and would become incredibly bored.

The same is true for encounters that can only be solved by Magic, or by Trap Disarming. It slows down the game and can bore the other players. Furthermore, if problems can be solved by other characters or by magic, but magic is always the better choice (e.g. more likely to succeed for the same cost), then players will always choose magic.

Costing Rituals in 4e means that, even if magic can solve problems better, it will take longer to do and cost precious gold - this means that most problems will, instead, be solved by the characters. Rituals will be used, however, to solve really difficult problems (how to keep the Wraiths from attacking the party all night), since the extra time and money is worth the special effects.


I don't see the difference between creating a new character of the same level and having your old one raised from the dead. It's not like you have to start at level 1 again. (also- don't die, maybe?[also- GMs, don't kill, maybe?])

Killing off PCs and replacing them with new characters damages the storyline and party cohesion, yet without the risk of death, adventuring is boring. Still, if you make rezzing too easy, then death is merely a "status condition" and adventuring becomes boring again. 4e leaves the opportunity for rezzing about, but it is expensive and not always guaranteed to work - striking a good balance, IMHO, between potential plot trauma and preventing player boredom.

Mad Wizard
2008-08-13, 12:08 AM
I have another idea for balancing the casting time of rituals, at least. Allowing casters to hold the charge of the ritual after it's been cast, to be activated later that day, would allow you to cast the ritual beforehand and use it when it would actually be useful. If you feel this is too overpowered, maybe this could be limited to one ritual or made into a feat. Still does nothing to relieve the pain of the high costs, though.

Mercenary Pen
2008-08-13, 01:13 AM
Let's say Chameleon Cloak cost 30 gp to cast. That's cheap enough that your players could cast that every night they're traipsing through the wilderness. You would never have a night-time encounter again.

Not correct... It just means you need to be more inventive with your night-time encounters, either by using something that doesn't use its eyes, or just traipsing a force through your PC's of Level+1/Level+2 and accepting that the PC's WILL get a surprise round.


How to defeat the BBEG:

Just wait, considering how much the ritual for teleport and scrying protection cost and the he will need to cast them daily he will go broke in a couple of weeks. ;)

are you kidding? This is merely why the BBEG has as little money and treasure as he does (and conveniently, it fits the wealth by level guidelines), because he has been spending it all on the teleport and scrying protections...

Covered In Bees
2008-08-13, 01:16 AM
Not correct... It just means you need to be more inventive with your night-time encounters, either by using something that doesn't use its eyes, or just traipsing a force through your PC's of Level+1/Level+2 and accepting that the PC's WILL get a surprise round.
That sort of crap is exactly what 4E is trying to avoid in a lot of places. So many things in 3E force you to just avoid some kinds of encounters completely.

FoE
2008-08-13, 01:39 AM
Not correct... It just means you need to be more inventive with your night-time encounters, either by using something that doesn't use its eyes, or just traipsing a force through your PC's of Level+1/Level+2 and accepting that the PC's WILL get a surprise round.

Sure, that's good every once in a while, but that really smacks of railroading.

"Remember that clever idea you came up with to avoid encounters in the countryside? Well, NOW THERE'S WEREWOLVES IN THE CAMPSITE! Ha ha! Try to outsmart me, will you? I'll teach you bastards!"

I would rather have players come up with a clever strategy and have it count for something than have to counter every idea they come up with because the PCS are the equivalent of Do Anything Robots. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DoAnythingRobot)

The New Bruceski
2008-08-13, 01:48 AM
That sort of crap is exactly what 4E is trying to avoid in a lot of places. So many things in 3E force you to just avoid some kinds of encounters completely.

Hey, if your party likes to sleep on the ground without a fire, more power to them. (Explorer's Fire doesn't remove heat or sound, so if they're trying to avoid anything it's more of a risk.) Chameleon's Cloak seems like a good ritual to me, for 200gp/night you can keep yourselves hidden from sight/hide for an ambush, but on the other hand it's 200gp/night. I wouldn't use it unless I knew there was something I wanted to hide from, and even then it's not infallible (as has been said, sound or smell, can't move). I would argue that just because there was an issue with infallible means of avoidance doesn't mean that players shouldn't have access to things that help them avoid.

I can also see it as useful if you have someone who's wounded or particularly desired by foes, and you need to keep them hidden while you go elsewhere for help/supplies/McGuffin. Compare Chameleon's Cloak to Greater Invisibility, both gained around level 10 (though that depends on how one translates levels across editions). I'm not sure how the former is bring back the old problems.

FoE
2008-08-13, 02:02 AM
I'm not sure how the former is bringing back the old problems.

It's not, really. That's because it's expensive enough to cast that you don't want to waste it.

My point was, if it was cheaper and easier to cast, it WOULD cause a lot of the problems encountered in 3.5E. So would a lot of rituals.

The New Bruceski
2008-08-13, 02:11 AM
It's not, really. That's because it's expensive enough to cast that you don't want to waste it.

My point was, if it was cheaper and easier to cast, it WOULD cause a lot of the problems encountered in 3.5E. So would a lot of rituals.

I'm inclined to agree. In 3.5 there was no reason not to have Rope Trick, especially once you weren't using 1st-level spells as much.

Kurald Galain
2008-08-13, 02:47 AM
I think that really is the intent behind the pricing scheme for rituals, Saph: to take away the ability of players to effectively cast "Deus ex Machina" whenever they felt like it and screw over the DM.
Yes, but the point is that there are only a select few rituals that fall in this category (e.g. the "DM must answer a question truthfully" ones). The others are way lower on the power scale. So why are they (1) nerfed and (2) priced steeply?



Costing Rituals in 4e means that, even if magic can solve problems better, it will take longer to do and cost precious gold - this means that most problems will, instead, be solved by the characters.
As above, most rituals don't really solve anything.

For instance, ChamCloak's effect is small enough that it won't stop a determined enemy from finding the PCs, so it only stops nighttime random encounters - and that's one of the better rituals out there. Water Breathing is also a good ritual - too situational to make it a power, but useful when you need it and predictable in advance.

Things like the Arcane Barrier are so "niche" that they won't come up.

Aquillion
2008-08-13, 04:51 AM
Well, one thing to remember is that you basically have all your rituals 'ready' at any time (the components are generic, so you can just carry a large amount 'just in case' and be ready for all rituals of that type.) This slightly increases the usefulness of some of the more obscure ones.

Still, yeah, they overrated some.

Saph
2008-08-13, 04:55 AM
I think that really is the intent behind the pricing scheme for rituals, Saph: to take away the ability of players to effectively cast "Deus ex Machina" whenever they felt like it and screw over the DM.

I really, REALLY hope this isn't the mentality the game designers are using, because this is an appallingly bad way to balance a game. Any time your train of thought includes phrases like "screw over the DM" or "stop them from screwing over the DM", it should be a big hint that you're doing it wrong. If your players are willing to screw over the DM, there are much more disruptive things they can do than avoid a random encounter for the night.

Balancing a game around the worst players you're going to have is a terrible way to design, and I've no clue why so many otherwise-experienced people seem to think it's a good idea. It's incredibly insulting to ordinary players who just want their abilities to be useful.

If you've nerfed an ability to the point where virtually no-one is using it, that is NOT a sign of good game design. It's a sign of BAD game design.

- Saph

Tormsskull
2008-08-13, 06:26 AM
Balancing a game around the worst players you're going to have is a terrible way to design, and I've no clue why so many otherwise-experienced people seem to think it's a good idea. It's incredibly insulting to ordinary players who just want their abilities to be useful.


Unfortunently, I think that is (and moving more towards) par for the course. A lot of players enjoy finding little known ways to make spells/powers/items/abilities more powerful than they generally are. So the designers have to try to limit these things so much as to make sure that someone isn't using them as they are not intended to be used, that you end up with incredibly situational uses.

Personally, I would much prefer if they left the spells a bit more open-ended and then allowed the individual DMs to rule how the spells work in their campaigns.

Aquillion
2008-08-13, 06:37 AM
Honestly, I think they're a lot less worried about nerfing optimizers than people think (they even list optimizers as a legitimate type of player in the DMG, and how to keep them happy.) The changes to optimization in 4e are, I think, mostly incidental -- and you'll see plenty of powerful optimization as new splatbooks are introduced (spellcasting aside, characters overall get many more possibly useful 'choices' now than they did in older versions. In the long run that will lead to happy optimizers, which is probably intentional. WotC doesn't really want to lose a key demographic.)

The narrowing-down of spell effects probably has less to do with deliberate hardcore optimization and more to do with making the game easier to pick-up-and-play. It's very easy for the game to get unbalanced accidentally via Polymorph or creative illusions or whatever, and it can easily lead newbie DMs into problems. WotC probably got more custserv calls over broad-effect-type spells than over anything else, and they likely figure that for each of those they answer, there are players who just give up or get driven off.

A big part of 4th edition is making it easier to just 'pick up and play', to try and attract new players while making it easier for older ones to play casually without having to keep all the books and houserules memorized. This is why they provide those broad rules for 'other' actions not specifically covered, too -- they want to make it as easy as possible to DM, because they know that for the better or worse DM calls are a sharp barrier to entry and an easy way new games can get screwed up.

Of course I don't entirely like it, but I can see why they did it.

(Also, one other not-so-minor reason: Videogames are increasingly huge. D&D tie-in games make a lot of money. Abilities that don't fit well into videogames have been increasingly cut, sidelined, and made more optional. Not a coincidence.)

Kurald Galain
2008-08-13, 06:55 AM
(spellcasting aside, characters overall get many more possibly useful 'choices' now than they did in older versions.

Well, actually, they don't. This is because most permutations (e.g. true multiclassing, or multi-prestiging) are now disallowed, most feats are low-powered, and many power selections are perfectly obvious based on which of the two builds you're using. Yes, there are more choices, but no, most choices aren't useful.

This is part of 4E's focus on "balance". The easiest way to achieve balance is to limit choice.

Ashtar
2008-08-13, 07:40 AM
Btw, have I missed the Animate dead ritual somewhere? I just seem not to find any necromantic rituals.

fractic
2008-08-13, 07:44 AM
The MM has the ritual for Lichs and mentions a lot of rituals but doesn't detail them. They'll probably be in the 4e equivalent of Libris Mortis.

Kurald Galain
2008-08-13, 08:11 AM
Btw, have I missed the Animate dead ritual somewhere? I just seem not to find any necromantic rituals.

That would be because it's evil, and characters in 4E are expected to be awesome great heroes (shady past optional if you're a tiefling).

endoperez
2008-08-13, 10:12 AM
I don't think the casting prices of rituals are too bad. The players can do some sort of a skill check to hide components on their person even when they are captured or imprisoned, and ten minutes isn't a long time except in a battle.


Battlefield Elocation:
It can be used to do important announcements in big cities. PCs can use it relatively early to impress huge crowds. Villain can use it to taunt the PCs after he becomes aware that they are in his lair. It can also be used as a general alarm that tells that PCs that they have been found out, if they tried sneaking, or to cause confusion or spread propaganda. And it's only 25 gp!

OotS just featured an excellent example of Chameleon's Cloak in action. You need to plan how to use it, but 200 gp won't bankrupt you even if the plan fails.

The rope from Mordenkainen's Ascent comes into being already tied to some nearby object. You can go sideways or downwards as well as straight up. Or you can makeit appear tied to the box into which the guard put the keys, so that you can just pull them to you. The rope can also be used as a make-shift timer to drop bags of flour into a fire to cause an explosion, when the rope disappears after an hour. 75 gp.

Mordenkainen's Joining is a great way to disable an artifact weapon. You only need to have it for ten minutes to glue it to its scabbard, or a wall or a stone. It can be used to combine a sword to a gauntlet, to make disarming impossible, or to make it impossible to lower a portcullis. 50 gp is often a bargain.


Overland Flight can affect many people, and they don't have to travel the same way. It can be used to spread information very far, very quickly. Could someone calculate just how many people "within five feet" can affect?

Kurald Galain
2008-08-13, 10:52 AM
The players can do some sort of a skill check to hide components on their person even when they are captured or imprisoned,
Because stealth is a class skill for both clerics and wizards?


Battlefield Elocation:
It can be used to do important announcements in big cities.
Only if the city fits in a 1005 feet square.



PCs can use it relatively early to impress huge crowds.
Only if you have the time to stand still for ten minutes. Any number of skill checks can do that better.



Villain can use it to taunt the PCs after he becomes aware that they are in his lair.
Only if his lair fits in a 1005 feet square, AND the villain has ten minutes while the PCs aren't doing anything WHILE said villain is standing right in front of them.


It can also be used as a general alarm that tells that PCs that they have been found out,
It will tell them ten minutes after they are found out.

See, the problem here is that you're looking for cool applications of "throwing your voice over a large area", when the ritual doesn't actually do that. Only its fluff supports what you're attempting; its crunch prohibits it.



Or you can makeit appear tied to the box into which the guard put the keys, so that you can just pull them to you.
Only if the guard is doing absolutely nothing for ten minutes (and won't spot your chanting).


The rope can also be used as a make-shift timer to drop bags of flour into a fire to cause an explosion
There are easier ways to time things that don't require ten minutes to set up the trap.


It can be used to combine a sword to a gauntlet, to make disarming impossible,
I don't think disarming is possible in 4E, period.


or to make it impossible to lower a portcullis.
Only if the portcullis is completely unattended for ten minutes - and a disable device (thievery) check could accomplish the same, faster and cheaper; as could bashing the mechanism. See the pattern here? Most of these uses aren't even remotely practical, precisely because they cost so much time to set up. And don't forget that you have to prepare for these contingencies in advance, or you won't have the components around.

FoE
2008-08-13, 11:47 AM
Only if the city fits in a 1005 feet square.

Kurald, as a couple people mentioned on the previous page, I'm pretty sure your math is off.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that every "square" as defined by the spell is one square foot. (A bit small, but this is just an exercise.) The radius is then 100 square feet. And then let's assume the spell covers an area equivalent to a circle.

If the area of a circle is the radius squared multiplied by pi, then you should reach an area of more than 30,000 square feet.

@V: I stand corrected.

MammonAzrael
2008-08-13, 12:07 PM
I agree that most of these ritual are pretty useless, which is disappointing.

As for Battlefield Elocution...

It stats that all creatures within 100 squares can hear you. That means every creature within a square area 201 squares to a side. A single square is generally accepted as 5 feet (or a 25 ft/sq area). The ritual affects 201 x 201 -1 squares or 40,400 squares total. It therefore affects a 1,010,025 ft/sq square (not circle) centered on you.

Thanks to 4e counting diagonal squares the same distance as adjoining square, this can make large powers like this a little odd. But remember, circles don't exist in 4e.

Arius
2008-08-14, 01:02 AM
Kurald, as a couple people mentioned on the previous page, I'm pretty sure your math is off.

Grrr, I just wrote a lengthy reply and had my session time out ... so this one will be shorter ;)

Kurald is right, the error is in communication, think of a 1005 foot square, not 1005 square feet (201 squares x 5 ft per square per side)

As for rituals, I have a character whose secondary focus was to use rituals, and after significant investment of starting funds, it feels like a total waste, I should have bought something to do HP damage .... that would have been useful.

Example: We sneak up on some kobolds having a discussion with the head honcho, I proceed to cast comprehend languages, thinking great, a little intel always helps. < 10 min later, the conversation is over, I'm still casting my spell--brutal!

FoE
2008-08-14, 01:31 AM
Kurald is right, the error is in communication, think of a 1005 foot square, not 1005 square feet (201 squares x 5 ft per square per side)

I don't follow. How did you get to 201 squares?

EDIT: I think you guys are interpreting the spell differently than I am. I read the ritual as emanating 100 squares in every direction from the caster. That's a square with a total diameter of 1000 square feet (not including the centre square).

MammonAzrael
2008-08-14, 01:32 AM
I don't follow. How did you get to 201 squares?

Everyone within 100 squares can hear you. Therefore 100 squares in front of you, 100 behind you, and the 1 square you're standing in.

Colmarr
2008-08-14, 02:14 AM
Kurald,

Overall, I think you've underestimated some of these rituals.

I agree that some of them seem underpowered, and some of them will see infrequent use (I'm looking at you Delver's Fire), and I personally feel that the casting times of most of them are WAY to long, but...

EDIT: Removed reference to Battlefield Elocution because it's been done to death already by others.


Bolster Object makes a neglegible difference in the "crushability" of an object.

The accuracy of this statement depends dramatically on the original hp of the object. It won't do much for a potion vial, but the iron portcullis in the flavour text is probably going to gain in the vicinity of 20% hp from a trained ritual caster of high enough level to cast the spell. That's not negligible.


The rampart is poorly worded but appears to affect 2 squares + 2 per 10 points on your check, which is small enough for most forces to walk around.

At level 6, you probably get 3 2-square walls (check result 20) for 80gp. That's easily enough to plug gaps in a castle wall during a seige or to prepare funnels in preparation for an impending attack. Hell, the ritual would probably work to allow you to "collapse" the entrance to a dungeon by causing the tunnel floor to rise up. Hell, this ritual is probably the easiest and fastest (and probably cheapest) way to build a permanent perimeter wall in the game.

Sebastian
2008-08-14, 02:19 AM
That would be because it's evil, and characters in 4E are expected to be awesome great heroes (shady past optional if you're a tiefling).

No, it is because it can be useful in combat, when they'll do necromancy stuff either will be ritual, but rigorously non-combat only, or based on the power system.
Or maybe they will do like with alchemy, take a feat and use specific (and expensive) rituals to create undead. I'm curious how they'll do it, but not really interested, I really can't se how they would fit things like summoning, necromancy, or everything that is not plain damage or inflict condition in the 4e frame, the few examples I have seen (the illusion article, bag of tricks) are even worse that the usual 4e stuff. IMHO, of course.

Sebastian
2008-08-14, 02:23 AM
The accuracy of this statement depends dramatically on the original hp of the object. It won't do much for a potion vial, but the iron portcullis in the flavour text is probably going to gain in the vicinity of 20% hp from a trained ritual caster of high enough level to cast the spell. That's not negligible.

it is, if someone had a chance to break the portcullis before the ritual, after it he'll just need 1-2 extra hit. "the ram can batter itself to flinders" is, in the best case, an exageration.

Sebastian
2008-08-14, 02:25 AM
Kurald, while I agree with you that rituals could have done better the objection that you must have the component ready is a moot point, ritual component are generic you use the same for Detect Door and for Planar Gate as long as they use the same skill, and at worse there is always residuum, what any adventurer worth his salt will do is to buy appropriate components for the rituals he know, or even better residuum, any time he have the chance for an appropriate part of his wealth, exactly like in 3.x any adventurer would buy a diamond appropriate for raise dead at the first chance he have, as a life insurance.

Colmarr
2008-08-14, 02:30 AM
it is, if someone had a chance to break the portcullis before the ritual, after it he'll just need 1-2 extra hit.

Even if we accept your maths (which assumes that the attacker is taking out approximately 10% of a portcullis' hp per round), the ritual provides the defenders with one to two more rounds within which to kill the bad guys before they're in your castle that's pretty good for a 150gp outlay.

Sebastian
2008-08-14, 02:43 AM
Even if we accept your maths (which assumes that the attacker is taking out approximately 10% of a portcullis' hp per round), the ritual provides the defenders with one to two more rounds within which to kill the bad guys before they're in your castle that's pretty good for a 150gp outlay.

How many HPs does have a portcullis anyway?

Kurald Galain
2008-08-14, 03:25 AM
The accuracy of this statement depends dramatically on the original hp of the object. It won't do much for a potion vial, but the iron portcullis in the flavour text is probably going to gain in the vicinity of 20% hp from a trained ritual caster of high enough level to cast the spell. That's not negligible.
I maintain that anything capable of taking down a portcullis is likewise able to take down a 120%-strength portcullis. At best, it buys you one extra round; probably, not even that.



At level 6, you probably get 3 2-square walls (check result 20) for 80gp. That's easily enough to plug gaps in a castle wall during a seige
I seriously doubt you'd have ten minutes during the part of a siege where there are holes in the wall - logically, the attacker would be charging them.



or to prepare funnels in preparation for an impending attack.
For that, a few two-square walls just won't cut it. Remember that with the diagonal-movement rules, you can simply walk around most obstacles anyway. But yes, the ritual has possibilities in architecture (provided it doesn't time out). It's just not practical for player characters, and for NPCs it's horrendously more expensive than manual labor.


ritual component are generic you use the same for Detect Door and for Planar Gate as long as they use the same skill
I'm afraid that would depend on your DM, then. The way I read the ritual rules, you need to have bought the component for that specific ritual, in advance. Although residuum should probably work, yes.

Sebastian
2008-08-14, 03:46 AM
I'm afraid that would depend on your DM, then. The way I read the ritual rules, you need to have bought the component for that specific ritual, in advance. Although residuum should probably work, yes.

That would be nice, and probably how I'd play it, too, but I'm quite sure that it is not the way the rules are written. (don't have the book here, so I can't check)

Totally Guy
2008-08-14, 04:54 AM
Don't forget that you can halve the time it takes by casting from a scroll. Can't read the new rituals myself as it just won't work.

The problem I'm having with rituals as a DM is that all my spell caster npcs use them. So the PCs ask "what kind of magic user are you?" and the spellcaster says "I specialise in rituals." and then the players start discussing whether Mr Ritual Warlock knows Mr Ritual Wizard or knows Mr Ritual Professor or Mrs Ritual Witch. Then a theory they may all be the same person. Then I have to find a way to say that meeting a wizard that blows things up with encounter powers isn't an interesting utility NPC, if the NPC did that I'd need to tell them why they don't solve their own problems.

Sebastian
2008-08-14, 05:55 AM
Don't forget that you can halve the time it takes by casting from a scroll.

but then you need the scroll (which cost as much as the manual for the ritual).
And IIRC you still need the components, so the price goes up.

And how those scrolls are made anyway? I don't remember seeing rules for that anywhere.

Mercenary Pen
2008-08-14, 06:19 AM
And how those scrolls are made anyway? I don't remember seeing rules for that anywhere.

PHB p298, basically equivalent to casting the ritual using double the minimum time (though you presumably need a scroll to do so, though that could be considered a component...)

Colmarr
2008-08-14, 07:11 AM
I maintain that anything capable of taking down a portcullis is likewise able to take down a 120%-strength portcullis. At best, it buys you one extra round; probably, not even that.

But how many things are there that can do that, and how many of them will be present at the same time? Logistics aside, you are getting 20% added hp to a defensive structure for 150gp. That's a pretty damn good bargain.


I seriously doubt you'd have ten minutes during the part of a siege where there are holes in the wall - logically, the attacker would be charging them.

Seige warfare was often fought in waves. With this ritual, a breached wall does not stay a breached wall.



For that, a few two-square walls just won't cut it. Remember that with the diagonal-movement rules, you can simply walk around most obstacles anyway.

You miss the point. The walls are placed like this:

XXXX XXXX

.....XXXX

XXXX XXXX

Enemies may be able to walk around them, but that costs them extra movement. Plus, they have to end their move somewhere and with a funnel-like structure in place, you force them to bunch up so your catapults/wizards/dragons can AoE them much more effectively than on open ground. This sort of funnelling has been a core defensive tactic since at least WWII (and probably much earlier than that).


But yes, the ritual has possibilities in architecture (provided it doesn't time out). It's just not practical for player characters, and for NPCs it's horrendously more expensive than manual labor.

And here is the real crux of the issue. I agree with you that many of the rituals aren't terribly practical for PCs. But that's not the same as them being worthless.

As for them being "horrendously" more expensive than manual labour, they're also a LOT faster than manual labour.

Jayabalard
2008-08-14, 07:54 AM
Everyone within 100 squares can hear you. Therefore 100 squares in front of you, 100 behind you, and the 1 square you're standing in.That's makes no sense unless you live in a 1 dimensional world so that people can only be in front of or behind you.

in a 2d world, Everyone within 100 squares would br everyone in a 100 Squares radius; That covers an area of pi r[sup]2[/sup or approximately 31,415 squares; alternately, it's a 500 foot radius, or 785,398 square feet.

In a 3d world, you're looking at everyone within a 100 square radius sphere; that would cover a volume 4/3 Pi r[sup]3[/sup or 4,188,790 cubic "squares" (cubes really 5'x5'x5') or 523,598,775 cubic feet. It might be reasonable to assume that only people above ground can hear you, so you could cut that in half: 2,094,395 cubic "squares" / 261,799,387 cubic feet

TwystidMynd
2008-08-14, 08:22 AM
That's makes no sense unless you live in a 1 dimensional world so that people can only be in front of or behind you.

in a 2d world, Everyone within 100 squares would br everyone in a 100 Squares radius; That covers an area of pi r[sup]2[/sup or approximately 31,415 squares; alternately, it's a 500 foot radius, or 785,398 square feet.

In a 3d world, you're looking at everyone within a 100 square radius sphere; that would cover a volume 4/3 Pi r[sup]3[/sup or 4,188,790 cubic "squares" (cubes really 5'x5'x5') or 523,598,775 cubic feet. It might be reasonable to assume that only people above ground can hear you, so you could cut that in half: 2,094,395 cubic "squares" / 261,799,387 cubic feet


While in reality, you'd be correct (assuming your math is valid; I haven't actually checked it)... the problem is that in D&D 4e, Pi is exactly 1. So your numbers are a little off.

Sebastian
2008-08-14, 08:28 AM
While in reality, you'd be correct (assuming your math is valid; I haven't actually checked it)... the problem is that in D&D 4e, Pi is exactly 1. So your numbers are a little off.

do you mean 4, right? ;) :D

Oracle_Hunter
2008-08-14, 11:45 AM
I'm afraid that would depend on your DM, then. The way I read the ritual rules, you need to have bought the component for that specific ritual, in advance. Although residuum should probably work, yes.


You can use the components associated with a key skill for any ritual that uses that skill. For example, if you stock up on alchemical reagents, you can use them when you perform any Arcana-based ritual. Ritual
components are not interchangeable; you canít use alchemical reagents to perform a ritual requiring sanctified incense, for example. But you can use residuum for any ritual.

Seems to me that you just need to stock up on Arcane reagents to use with any of your Arcane Rituals.

LordOkubo
2008-08-14, 12:13 PM
Honestly which components you have isn't a big deal at all, there is no lost money in converting all your gold to residuum and back. So you might as well just walk around with X gold and Y residuum and ignore all the other components.

Residuum is a currency in 4e, not an item.

Now the staggeringly crap cost of even the simplest ritual, that's annoying.

Tormsskull
2008-08-14, 12:21 PM
So you might as well just walk around with X gold and Y residuum and ignore all the other components.

Residuum is a currency in 4e, not an item.


Yeah, but doesn't the PHB state something to the effect that Residium is rare? I thought I remembered reading something to the effect of "In some extraplanar worlds, Residium is even used as a form of currency".

MammonAzrael
2008-08-14, 12:27 PM
That's makes no sense unless you live in a 1 dimensional world so that people can only be in front of or behind you.

in a 2d world, Everyone within 100 squares would br everyone in a 100 Squares radius; That covers an area of pi r[sup]2[/sup or approximately 31,415 squares; alternately, it's a 500 foot radius, or 785,398 square feet.

In a 3d world, you're looking at everyone within a 100 square radius sphere; that would cover a volume 4/3 Pi r[sup]3[/sup or 4,188,790 cubic "squares" (cubes really 5'x5'x5') or 523,598,775 cubic feet. It might be reasonable to assume that only people above ground can hear you, so you could cut that in half: 2,094,395 cubic "squares" / 261,799,387 cubic feet

First, that post was just telling Face of Evil how we can up with 201 squares, not the total number of squares covered.

And as TwystidMynd pointed out, while you math would be accurate in the real world, and 3.5, that's not what it would look like in 4e. As I said in a previous post, there is no such thing as circles or radius's in 4e. The ritual would effect a 201 square length cube, centered on the caster (assuming that squares on 5' tall). So you can affect, in total, 201^3 - 1 squares, a total of 8,120,600 squares or 1,015,075,000 cubic feet. Of course, since you'll usually be standing on the ground, as will nearly everyone you're addressing, it's easier to just go with the area affected I posted eariler.

fractic
2008-08-14, 12:38 PM
Yeah, but doesn't the PHB state something to the effect that Residium is rare? I thought I remembered reading something to the effect of "In some extraplanar worlds, Residium is even used as a form of currency".

Is Residium rare? Yes and no. Yes you can't buy it in a shop but a party that uses a lot of rituals will probably have quite a bit because of the disenchant item ritual. It produces residium with a value of one fifth of the item price. That is the same price you would get if you sold it. An added benifit is that you don't have to find a merchant with that kind of cash on hands. Page 225 strongly suggests that you could split the residium from one ritual to pay specific amounts.

TwystidMynd
2008-08-14, 12:43 PM
do you mean 4, right? ;) :D

I didn't do any math, I just spit that out... let's see

Using the equation for area, we know that Area = pi * r * r
So we see that pi = Area/(r*r)
Given: a radius of 1, then in 4e D&D a "circle's" area is 2*2 (a square).

So, pi = 4/1*1 =4

Alternatively, we can use the equation for circumference... circ = 2*pi*r
So we see that pi = circ/(2*r)
Given a "circle" of radius 1, a "circle" is a 2x2 square and has a circumference of 8.
pi = 8/(2*1) = 4

It'd seem that you're right.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-08-14, 12:46 PM
Is Residium rare? Yes and no. Yes you can't buy it in a shop but a party that uses a lot of rituals will probably have quite a bit because of the disenchant item ritual. It produces residium with a value of one fifth of the item price. That is the same price you would get if you sold it. An added benifit is that you don't have to find a merchant with that kind of cash on hands. Page 225 strongly suggests that you could split the residium from one ritual to pay specific amounts.

Heck, I plan to start adding in bottles of Residuum into my treasure piles, particularly when the PCs are raiding wizards' keeps and so forth.

I have to say that I think Kurald is making a tempest in a teapot here. Rituals are things that you should plan for, and should be a last resort, not a first resort. If you are in a "kick down the door" type party, you'll probably only use a few rituals (like the teleportation ones) and be done with it. But, if you're running a slower-paced game, I know that you can find a lot of interesting uses for many of the rituals he has dismissed as useless.

Plus, as has been insinuated, most of these rituals work really, really well for the DM, which gives the DM more tools for making encounters. I, for one, have already used Arcane Lock as a plot hook in my LV 1 Campaign :smallbiggrin:

Totally Guy
2008-08-14, 01:25 PM
I have a BBEG that is going to conquer a city using "Wizard's sight".

Then another Bigger BBEG is going to come along and wreck it using "Knock".

FoE
2008-08-14, 01:29 PM
Actually, in the preview they had for the eladrin city of Mithrendain, they said residuum settles on the city like dust. (That said, it's illegal to gather it or horde it without permission, since most of it goes to powering the various wards around the community that keep Mithrendain safe from the dangers of the Feywild.)


Plus, as has been insinuated, most of these rituals work really, really well for the DM, which gives the DM more tools for making encounters. I, for one, have already used Arcane Lock as a plot hook in my LV 1 Campaign :smallbiggrin:

See? That's what I was saying! Arcane Barrier, Bolster Object, Conceal Object, Signal of Pursuit, Statis Shell and Teleport Catcher may not be that useful for players, but they're great for designing dungeons.

Kurald Galain
2008-08-14, 03:38 PM
I have to say that I think Kurald is making a tempest in a teapot here.
I'd say that "tempest in a teapot" is a good description of most rituals.


Plus, as has been insinuated, most of these rituals work really, really well for the DM, which gives the DM more tools for making encounters.
Yes, because as we all know DMs are not allowed to make up stuff when designing encounters... :smallbiggrin: but yeah, these are more like tools for beginner DMs, than that they're actually useful for player characters.

Aquillion
2008-08-14, 03:39 PM
Is Residium rare? Yes and no. Yes you can't buy it in a shop but a party that uses a lot of rituals will probably have quite a bit because of the disenchant item ritual. It produces residium with a value of one fifth of the item price. That is the same price you would get if you sold it. An added benifit is that you don't have to find a merchant with that kind of cash on hands. Page 225 strongly suggests that you could split the residium from one ritual to pay specific amounts.
Plus, you can use it on items you'd never be able to drag with you and sell. An enchanted doorway? A magic rotating room? A defeated enemy warforged (not him himself, but you can probably chop-shop any enchanted natural weapons the same way an artificer could in 3.5)?

The disenchant ritual is an adventurer's dream come true -- a 'convert object to gold' spell that works on anything as long as it's magical (which are usually the only things worth converting to gold anyway.) Remember all those absurdly over-enchanted things in the Tomb of Horrors that were too much of a bother to remove? Yeah.


Actually, in the preview they had for the eladrin city of Mithrendain, they said residuum settles on the city like dust. (That said, it's illegal to gather it or horde it without permission, since most of it goes to powering the various wards around the community that keep Mithrendain safe from the dangers of the Feywild.)
Like that ever stopped an adventurer before. Heck, even a good adventurer can just say it's for the greater good and go wild. It's not like stealing enough to power a few True Portals is going to make a huge difference to wards that big, right? (An evil adventurer will just Disenchant the wards, then loot the remains of the city after it gets overrun. Yes, I know there are no evil adventurers in 4e. Shut up.)

FoE
2008-08-14, 03:41 PM
Yes, because as we all know DMs are not allowed to make up stuff when designing encounters... :smallbiggrin:

True, but it's nice to be able to pull out the article you got the ritual from if one of your players starts wailing "I never heard of that spell before!" and crying like a little girl. :smalltongue:

fractic
2008-08-14, 03:44 PM
Plus, you can use it on items you'd never be able to drag with you and sell. An enchanted doorway? A magic rotating room? A defeated enemy warforged (not him himself, but you can probably chop-shop any enchanted natural weapons the same way an artificer could in 3.5)?

The disenchant ritual is an adventurer's dream come true -- a 'convert object to gold' spell that works on anything as long as it's magical (which are usually the only things worth converting to gold anyway.) Remember all those absurdly over-enchanted things in the Tomb of Horrors that were too much of a bother to remove? Yeah.


Come on, no DM is going to let that fly.

DM: "The passage ends in a door, as you approach a mouth appears on the door and asks who wants to enter"
player "I get out my ritual components and start casting disenchant magic item thereby destroying the door."

Aquillion
2008-08-14, 03:49 PM
Come on, no DM is going to let that fly.

DM: "The passage ends in a door, as you approach a mouth appears on the door and asks who wants to enter"
player "I get out my ritual components and start casting disenchant magic item thereby destroying the door."That is no more valid an answer in 4e than it was in discussions for 3e. And, anyway, I can see DMs allowing it to a certain extent, if the player's don't go wild... it just means you have to start incorporating the price /5 of the magical things players encounter into the treasure you distribute. It's not so bad when you realize that most of these things will have no listed price, so you can just make it suspiciously low (the players will still be happy as long as it isn't absurdly low, since they'll feel like they're pulling one over on you... while you happily deduct that much gold from the next treasure pile they come across to keep things balanced.)

And attempting to disenchant a magical trap before it's disarmed would probably set it off as often as not, unless the trap's designer was a total idiot. You could even let the players work that disenchant attempt into a larger skill check to disarm the trap safely.

fractic
2008-08-14, 03:53 PM
I know, I know, Oberoni fallacy and whatnot. Still it could be argued that a magic trap hardly quallifies as a magic item.

FoE
2008-08-14, 03:54 PM
Come on, no DM is going to let that fly.

DM: "The passage ends in a door, as you approach a mouth appears on the door and asks who wants to enter"
player "I get out my ritual components and start casting disenchant magic item thereby destroying the door."

"The door begins to scream: 'HELP! HELP! INTRUDERS! INTRUDERS!'"

fractic
2008-08-14, 03:57 PM
"The door begins to scream: 'HELP! HELP! INTRUDERS! INTRUDERS!'"

Now a good riddle got turned into a combat encounter.

Sebastian
2008-08-14, 04:32 PM
Honestly which components you have isn't a big deal at all, there is no lost money in converting all your gold to residuum and back.

Actually, there is. the more common way to get residuum is to disenchant magic items, at a 1/5 ratio. so to get 200 gp of residuum you need a 1000gp magic item, and that should reflect on the price, I doubt you can buy 100 gp of residuum for 100gp. probably more 300 or 400.

fractic
2008-08-14, 04:36 PM
Actually, there is. the more common way to get residuum is to disenchant magic items, at a 1/5 ratio. so to get 200 gp of residuum you need a 1000gp magic item, and that should reflect on the price, I doubt you can buy 100 gp of residuum for 100gp. probably more 300 or 400.

Selling items you don't want goes at a 1/5 ratio aswell. Residium can't normally be bought in a store but it is treated as currency. So if you would find a place to buy it it would be at a 1-1 rate.

Aquillion
2008-08-14, 05:11 PM
Selling items you don't want goes at a 1/5 ratio aswell. Residium can't normally be bought in a store but it is treated as currency. So if you would find a place to buy it it would be at a 1-1 rate.But why would you ever want to convert Residium to gold?

Residium can be used to fuel any sort of ritual, or to create any sort of magical item for its exact cost. What else is there to spend meaningful amounts of money on? In fact, Residium seems almost strictly superior to currency, outside of a small purse used to pay innkeepers or bribes or the like.

fractic
2008-08-14, 05:15 PM
I was only suggesting buying it. But selling it could be neccesary to trade with less magically savy people.

MammonAzrael
2008-08-14, 05:17 PM
I was only suggesting buying it. But selling it could be neccesary to trade with less magically savy people.

But...you're PCs. If they're that low on the magical totem pole (so to speak) shouldn't you just kill them and take their stuff? Assuming they have anything worth diddly? :smallbiggrin:

fractic
2008-08-14, 05:19 PM
But...you're PCs. If they're that low on the magical totem pole (so to speak) shouldn't you just kill them and take their stuff? Assuming they have anything worth diddly? :smallbiggrin:

That would prove troublesome with less substantial things such as knowledge. Of course you can kill them afterwards and get your gold back.

Colmarr
2008-08-14, 05:21 PM
Yes, because as we all know DMs are not allowed to make up stuff when designing encounters... :smallbiggrin: but yeah, these are more like tools for beginner DMs, than that they're actually useful for player characters.

I don't know whether you were one of the people complaining about the "different rules" for PCs and NPCS in 4e, but this line of argument seems to be a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" for WotC.

If they say "just let the BBEG have something", they are cried down with "why can't my PC do that?!"

If they say "these are the rules for how the BBEG has something", they are cried down with "what use is that to my PC?!"

Aquillion
2008-08-14, 05:25 PM
I was only suggesting buying it. But selling it could be neccesary to trade with less magically savy people.Oh. Yes.

Well, as far as that goes, yeah, the rules are pretty clear... for some reason, you just can't buy it.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-08-14, 07:07 PM
Oh. Yes.

Well, as far as that goes, yeah, the rules are pretty clear... for some reason, you just can't buy it.

Well, it's considered rare enough outside of the Feywild for people not to normally sell it. Other reagents are collected and made normally, so they're for sale - Residuum seems to only come from the Feywild and from Disenchant Rituals... it's just too rare and useful for someone to want to sell it instead of using it, normally.

Now, maybe there's a NPC wizard-forger who makes magical items regularly and has a constant demand for Residuum. Makes a good plot hook, no?

Jayabalard
2008-08-14, 08:23 PM
DM: "The passage ends in a door, as you approach a mouth appears on the door and asks who wants to enter"
player "I get out my ritual components and start casting disenchant magic item thereby destroying the door."
DM: Ok, you've destroyed the magical item that created a door at the end of this passage; you're now standing at the end of a passage; there's a burned looking spot where the mouth was, but otherwise it appears to be solid stone just like the other walls.


Yes, because as we all know DMs are not allowed to make up stuff when designing encounters... :smallbiggrin:.I know you mean this in jest, but it really appears that many people think this way.