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    Default Rituals - Potential house rules

    I've been thinking a lot about rituals lately. In my mind they have a few key problems:
    • Cost too much to be plausible to use
    • Take too long to be plausible to use
    • The Ritual Skill rarely actually matters
    • Effects are terrible for many rituals.


    A good example of all of these is the Passwall ritual, which is one of my favorite examples of a bad ritual:
    Level 12, Costs 1000 gp (1/13th of a Level 12 item) a go. Skill does nothing. Takes 10 minutes to do (How long until a guard walks by?), and lasts 1 minute. That isn't even an encounter.

    So what should be done to fix them, assuming we don't want to rewrite all rituals?
    Reduce Cost: The group has a pool of ritual points that they may use per level. A ritual takes out some number of points, possibly equal to twice their level. This replaces the entire GP cost. This does include GP costs associated with Magic item creation.
    Reduce Time & Skill: Allow skill checks with the Ritual skill to speed up the ritual, up to a minimum of half a minute.
    Skill: If the skill does nothing in the ritual, see if it makes sense to add in an effect. Arcana with Passwall could determine how hard it is to find, for example.
    Effect: Pretty much requires rewritting rituals. So, keep effects the same for now, maybe a few duration increases.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    I have been thinking of giving all classes some version of bards ritual feature. Meaning first x rituals each ay are free.

    That or doing away with cost all together (apart from item creation rituals ofc)

    (I always ban raise dead anyway)
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    This is what I've come up with; I feel it solves most if not all issues associated with Rituals:

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188861

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    "Surge Casting" is a common solution to Ritual Casting problems.

    For reference, here's a thread I made on the matter.

    I think my houserule is fairly straightforward so feel free to use it. Also, look at the concerns raised in the thread when considering your own house rules.

    EDIT: I've also given other Ritual Classes "free casting" abilities. Currently, my Clerics can cast Gentle Repose At-Will for free. IMHO Gentle Repose is a very flavorful Ritual for Clerics to have but it simply isn't all that powerful; there's little hazard in granting it At-Will to them while giving the Class a nice flavor.
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2011-03-17 at 02:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    "Surge Casting" is a common solution to Ritual Casting problems.

    For reference, here's a thread I made on the matter.

    I think my houserule is fairly straightforward so feel free to use it. Also, look at the concerns raised in the thread when considering your own house rules.

    EDIT: I've also given other Ritual Classes "free casting" abilities. Currently, my Clerics can cast Gentle Repose At-Will for free. IMHO Gentle Repose is a very flavorful Ritual for Clerics to have but it simply isn't all that powerful; there's little hazard in granting it At-Will to them while giving the Class a nice flavor.
    One of the biggest problems I can see with this solution is producing consumables via surge powered Brew Potion, though this issue is diminished somewhat in the higher tiers due to the monetary value of the caster's surges failing to scale.

    Overall, the idea of being able to fuel same/higher level rituals with surges is a scary thought. While it isn't at all practical beyond heroic given the lack of surge scaling, I feel it's worth mentioning, particularly if you do plan to have surge monetary value scale with the tiers.

    Lastly, I'm not sure allowing for performance time manipulation as a universal rule is a good idea; this is a little murkier but I am leery about meddling with time frames too freely and overtly.

    Finally, I do like the idea of allowing for permanent effects, but terminating them with an extended rest; I might snatch that myself, though I'd use it in addition to an outright ban on surge powering the creation of anything permanent with a monetary value.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    One of the biggest problems I can see with this solution is producing consumables via surge powered Brew Potion, though this issue is diminished somewhat in the higher tiers due to the monetary value of the caster's surges failing to scale.
    Rule #1 :Can't use Blood Rituals on Creation Rituals like Brew Potion

    Scaling was raised as an issue in the thread. The idea was to raise the value of Surges to 500 GP at Paragon and 5000 GP at Epic. I'll admit I haven't taken a close look at how this would work across 30 levels but IIRC that seemed like an easy scaling mechanism.

    Time manipulation is a handy "panic button" option. It gives Ritualists the ability to react to emergencies - albeit at a heavy cost to themselves. 4 Surges to "stage down" the casting time a single time (e.g. hours -> minutes; minutes -> rounds) is a nice trick to have around but it isn't going to destroy a game.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    I think it's best not to have a universal rule about how you alter rituals: allowing someone to cast Gentle Repose for free is not a problem; allowing them to cast Raise Dead is, and letting them cast Enchant Magic Item free is just silly.

    The way I do it is this: I have a large list of rituals that are "simple." You can cast these rituals for free if you take the full casting time, or you can spend the component cost ahead of time, create a scroll, and cast from the scroll in 1/10th the time. The general guidelines I use for which rituals are simple are:

    -Can't create something with monetary value (Can't do Enchant Magic Item or Bloom, which creates food)
    -Can't have a permanent effect (Can't do Create Teleport Circle)
    -Can't remove a status effect (Can't do healing rituals in general, including Raise Dead)

    But I can envision exceptions.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by kieza View Post
    I think it's best not to have a universal rule about how you alter rituals: allowing someone to cast Gentle Repose for free is not a problem; allowing them to cast Raise Dead is, and letting them cast Enchant Magic Item free is just silly.

    The way I do it is this: I have a large list of rituals that are "simple." You can cast these rituals for free if you take the full casting time, or you can spend the component cost ahead of time, create a scroll, and cast from the scroll in 1/10th the time. The general guidelines I use for which rituals are simple are:

    -Can't create something with monetary value (Can't do Enchant Magic Item or Bloom, which creates food)
    -Can't have a permanent effect (Can't do Create Teleport Circle)
    -Can't remove a status effect (Can't do healing rituals in general, including Raise Dead)

    But I can envision exceptions.
    I think you already see why it's not fun to work with an exception-based rule

    General rules allow the Players to know how the game works while saving time for the DM. Making individual rulings for every Ritual is the sort of headache that I'm glad I left behind in 3.5

    Also: Surge-casting Raise Dead and Cure Disease isn't as bad as you think in 4e. There are already Paragon/Epic level powers that let you do that 1/day for "free" - spending 10 Surges (!) to cast Raise Dead for free at Heroic is in-line with those expectations.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Rule #1 :Can't use Blood Rituals on Creation Rituals like Brew Potion

    Scaling was raised as an issue in the thread. The idea was to raise the value of Surges to 500 GP at Paragon and 5000 GP at Epic. I'll admit I haven't taken a close look at how this would work across 30 levels but IIRC that seemed like an easy scaling mechanism.

    Time manipulation is a handy "panic button" option. It gives Ritualists the ability to react to emergencies - albeit at a heavy cost to themselves. 4 Surges to "stage down" the casting time a single time (e.g. hours -> minutes; minutes -> rounds) is a nice trick to have around but it isn't going to destroy a game.
    Ah, missed the non-creation bit, but then that has the separate problem of being draconian since there are creation rituals that don't create permanent effects.

    I definitely think it's too much to allow players as a blanket rule to surge cast any ritual of around their level or higher; easily see that being abusable. This is why I limited surge casting to 'mastered' rituals of half of the caster's level or lower (rounded down).

    Time manipulation makes me uncomfortable; high cast time rituals are generally prohibitive in this respect for good reason, but I can at least countenance that, given that you're exchanging the normal gold limiter for surges. That said though, it's one thing to substitute gold as a limiter (which impacts frequency of use) and time as a limiter (which impacts when and where you can do these rituals). While a mastered ritual has its initial cast time reduced to an encounter/5 minutes, that ritual must still be half your caster level or lower.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Gralamin View Post
    I've been thinking a lot about rituals lately. In my mind they have a few key problems:
    • Cost too much to be plausible to use
    • Take too long to be plausible to use
    • The Ritual Skill rarely actually matters
    • Effects are terrible for many rituals.


    A good example of all of these is the Passwall ritual, which is one of my favorite examples of a bad ritual:
    Level 12, Costs 1000 gp (1/13th of a Level 12 item) a go. Skill does nothing. Takes 10 minutes to do (How long until a guard walks by?), and lasts 1 minute. That isn't even an encounter.
    Huh? Skill determines how far your tunnel goes. That's nothing?

    That's HOW YOU USE THE RITUAL TO BYPASS THE GUARDS! You cast it from arround two corners and go to a spot well past them. "The passage is 1 square wide and tall. The passage can be a number of squares deep equal to your Arcana check result divided by 5."

    Sure sounds like a skill effect.

    Rituals aren't really intended for combat use. They're how you get to the combat or avoid the combat.

    The cost is less than 1% of a standard item at level 19, it's a level 15 consumable's cost. Level 12 is the earliest you can get it, and it's expensive then, but a couple of levels later it's a triviality.

    I think most rituals take too long to cast, 1 minute is fine to say "Not during a battle", and there's a mental block to casual use from the fact that when you first get a ritual it's often expensive, but in fact the cost is negligable within a few levels, and the time typically just says "not in combat".
    Last edited by Doug Lampert; 2011-03-17 at 03:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    Ah, missed the non-creation bit, but then that has the separate problem of being draconian since there are creation rituals that don't create permanent effects.
    How is this draconian? The Non-Creation Ritual clause is to preserve the balance in cost for things like Enchant Magic Item. Non-Creation Rituals that create permanent effects (e.g. Magic Circle) expire at the end of an Extended Rest if cast as a Blood Ritual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    I definitely think it's too much to allow players as a blanket rule to surge cast any ritual of around their level or higher; easily see that being abusable. This is why I limited surge casting to 'mastered' rituals of half of the caster's level or lower (rounded down).
    How so? It's all well and good to say something is abusable but I'd need an example before altering the rules. Besides, the main concern with Ritual Cost is casting level-par Rituals; you're not going to increase Ritual use with Surge Casting if it only applies to Rituals that are half the caster's level. When you're Level 10, spending 100 GP to cast Magic Circle is a trivial cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    Time manipulation makes me uncomfortable; high cast time rituals are generally prohibitive in this respect for good reason, but I can at least countenance that, given that you're exchanging the normal gold limiter for surges. That said though, it's one thing to substitute gold as a limiter (which impacts frequency of use) and time as a limiter (which impacts when and where you can do these rituals). While a mastered ritual has its initial cast time reduced to an encounter/5 minutes, that ritual must still be half your caster level or lower.
    It was originally just as a sop to people who think Rituals take too long to cast but IMHO the ability to cast Rituals faster at a great cost is a fun mechanic to introduce into a game. Again, I'd need an example before I can engage with the argument that costly time reduction would create problems in-game.
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2011-03-17 at 04:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    First, I'll give the other potential solutions a read over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Huh? Skill determines how far your tunnel goes. That's nothing?

    That's HOW YOU USE THE RITUAL TO BYPASS THE GUARDS! You cast it from arround two corners and go to a spot well past them. "The passage is 1 square wide and tall. The passage can be a number of squares deep equal to your Arcana check result divided by 5."

    Sure sounds like a skill effect.
    Whoops this is what I get for posting during class. But at any rate, that is still maxing out at generally 12 squares, which should be enough for most walls if you can keep guards off your back for 10 minutes.

    Rituals aren't really intended for combat use. They're how you get to the combat or avoid the combat.
    If I make a passwall, and get into combat on the other side, I'd kinda like to be able to, you know, retreat through it. And I would also like for the possibility to have the ritual caster start casting the ritual to get out, while everyone else desperately attempts to keep foes away from them.

    The cost is less than 1% of a standard item at level 19, it's a level 15 consumable's cost. Level 12 is the earliest you can get it, and it's expensive then, but a couple of levels later it's a triviality.
    If you are going to argue that the cost becomes trivial, then I'll argue that it Should be at the level the cost is trivial at then, not earlier.

    I think most rituals take too long to cast, 1 minute is fine to say "Not during a battle", and there's a mental block to casual use from the fact that when you first get a ritual it's often expensive, but in fact the cost is negligable within a few levels, and the time typically just says "not in combat".
    1 minute is a pretty good time, definitely.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    How is this draconian? The Non-Creation Ritual clause is to preserve the balance in cost for things like Enchant Magic Item. Non-Creation Rituals that create permanent effects (e.g. Magic Circle) expire at the end of an Extended Rest if cast as a Blood Ritual.
    In the sense that such a blanket restriction is excessive. For example, I forbid rituals that produce permanent items/effects with a defined monetary value. This allows surge casting of Creation Rituals without permitting Brew Potion or Enchant Magic Item abuse.

    How so? It's all well and good to say something is abusable but I'd need an example before altering the rules. Besides, the main concern with Ritual Cost is casting level-par Rituals; you're not going to increase Ritual use with Surge Casting if it only applies to Rituals that are half the caster's level. When you're Level 10, spending 100 GP to cast Magic Circle is a trivial cost.
    You certainly will increase Ritual Use; not having to estimate your component consumption, and purchase, track and carry them in the first place is by itself a draw. Second, ritual costs, even ones that are ostensibly cheap for your level definitely stack up. Third, you can be guaranteed that in many cases, there is always something competing for that gold, whether it be a consumable, or a cheap, but useful magic/wonderous item.

    Furthermore, essentially unlimited same level Scries doesn't seem overpowered to you? Portals? Succor (not Comrades)? Raise Dead? Loremaster's Bargain? Ease Spirit? Voice of Fate? Bigby's Construction Crew? Soul Guard? Arcane Barriers? The list goes on. These can all be incredibly broken at the same or close level without any limiters.

    It was originally just as a sop to people who think Rituals take too long to cast but IMHO the ability to cast Rituals faster at a great cost is a fun mechanic to introduce into a game. Again, I'd need an example before I can engage with the argument that costly time reduction would create problems in-game.
    Casting portals/setting up Arcane Locks/Barriers in essentially no time whatsoever readily comes to mind. The same goes with Magic Circles and the like. Essentially you now have the time to use rituals to either perform quick escapes or create nearly impenetrable defenses as just a few examples. Not so bad if you're throwing around rituals half your level, but when the level is comparable, that's a very bad thing.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    Furthermore, essentially unlimited same level Scries doesn't seem overpowered to you? Portals? Succor (not Comrades)? Raise Dead? Loremaster's Bargain? Ease Spirit? Voice of Fate? Bigby's Construction Crew? Soul Guard? Arcane Barriers? The list goes on. These can all be incredibly broken at the same or close level without any limiters.
    Raise Dead costs 10 Surges to cast. If you have more than 10 Surges per day, then good for you

    Loremaster's Bargain might be more problematic for 5K GP per Surge so we can tone that down to 1K per Surge (so 50 GP, 250 GP, 1000 GP) which means 13 Surges per casting.

    Remember that Surges are a limited resources. These aren't "unlimited" by any means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    Casting portals/setting up Arcane Locks/Barriers in essentially no time whatsoever readily comes to mind. The same goes with Magic Circles and the like. Essentially you now have the time to use rituals to either perform quick escapes or create nearly impenetrable defenses as just a few examples. Not so bad if you're throwing around rituals half your level, but when the level is comparable, that's a very bad thing.
    Arcane Lock still takes 10 Rounds to cast after spending 4 Surges on it - or 1 minute. That's hardly "no time at all" and it certainly isn't for free. Also, those Arcane Locks/Barriers end after an Extended Rest.

    * * * *
    On the other hand, the maximum level you can Master under your proposed system is 15. While a nice incremental improvement, it's not going to fix the base problems of low-level characters never using Rituals - and therefore never learning to use Rituals.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Raise Dead costs 10 Surges to cast. If you have more than 10 Surges per day, then good for you

    Loremaster's Bargain might be more problematic for 5K GP per Surge so we can tone that down to 1K per Surge (so 50 GP, 250 GP, 1000 GP) which means 13 Surges per casting.

    Remember that Surges are a limited resources. These aren't "unlimited" by any means.
    They're a _lot_ less limited than gold, and 10 Surges is easily manageable for any Con or Charisma specced (using the Ring of Tenacious Will, which they will certainly get in a Surge Casting environment) caster.

    Arcane Lock still takes 10 Rounds to cast after spending 4 Surges on it - or 1 minute. That's hardly "no time at all" and it certainly isn't for free. Also, those Arcane Locks/Barriers end after an Extended Rest.
    1 minute vs 10 minutes can easily make the difference between impractical and employable. A well placed Arcane Barrier can easily be an encounter crusher, and can be easily (and now quickly) employed for a safe Extended Rest. I'm sure there's also items and powers that further reduce the cast time which makes this even more broken.

    On the other hand, the maximum level you can Master under your proposed system is 15. While a nice incremental improvement, it's not going to fix the base problems of low-level characters never using Rituals - and therefore never learning to use Rituals.
    What? Are you kidding? There are plenty of extremely useful Rituals in the span of 1-15 that remain useful throughout your adventuring career. Here are a bunch of low level ones literally off the top of my head: Comrade's Succor, Tenser's Floating Disk, Gentle Repose, Delay Affliction, Transfer Enchantment, Cure Disease, Endure Elements, Eye of Alarm, Create Campsite, Make Whole, Comprehend Language, Fool's Gold, Water Walk, Last Sight Vision, Lower Water, Detect Secret Doors, Shadow Bridge, Speak With Dead, Knock, Arcane Lock, Hand of Fate, Arcane Barrier, Magic Circle, Hallucinatory Item, Linked Portal, Remove Affliction, etc...

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    What? Are you kidding? There are plenty of extremely useful Rituals in the span of 1-15 that remain useful throughout your adventuring career. Here are a bunch of low level ones literally off the top of my head: Comrade's Succor, Tenser's Floating Disk, Gentle Repose, Delay Affliction, Transfer Enchantment, Cure Disease, Endure Elements, Eye of Alarm, Create Campsite, Make Whole, Comprehend Language, Fool's Gold, Water Walk, Last Sight Vision, Lower Water, Detect Secret Doors, Shadow Bridge, Speak With Dead, Knock, Arcane Lock, Hand of Fate, Arcane Barrier, Magic Circle, Hallucinatory Item, Linked Portal, Remove Affliction, etc...
    Yes, they're useful but is there much difference between spending gold and Surges at that point?

    Anyhow, the point of Surge Casting is to make Rituals more usable. The fact that PCs will start thinking about using Rituals in situations where they didn't before is rather the point, wouldn't you say?

    Also: Note that the Caster is the only one who can spend Surges. A Con spec'd Ritualist is likely to be less useful than an Int spec'd one who can actually get usage out of things like Divination.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    I'd say so, Ritual components are inconvenient, require access to shops, and have permanent opportunity costs, while surges do not. Again, I'd much rather have additional low level Wondrous Items/consumables/magic items or even save towards my next big purchase than whittle my gold away with components.

    And yes, encouraging Ritual use by making it palatable is the idea, but at the same time you want to respect the original reason why Rituals were made so prohibitive: because they have campaign destroying power. I feel my houserule strikes the balance, enabling and encouraging Ritual use without making it too unrestrained and impactful.

    By Con/Cha specced I am also referring to casters who feature Con/Cha as their secondary ability, such as Warlords, Warpriests, Summoners, or Illusionists/Enchanters. Also there are Con/Cha primary casters that have Int or Wis secondary focuses, like the Bard.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    I'd say so, Ritual components are inconvenient, require access to shops, and have permanent opportunity costs, while surges do not. Again, I'd much rather have additional low level Wondrous Items/consumables/magic items or even save towards my next big purchase than whittle my gold away with components.
    Still - are your Players going to think about using LV 1-2 Rituals when they hit LV 4? Aside from the "basic Rituals" (e.g. Raise Dead, Cure Disease, Linked Portal) why would your Players bother to learn new LV 6 Rituals at LV 12?

    If they already know and use those Rituals at LV 6, then there is no reason to incentivize them to use Rituals more - they're happy with the default Ritual rules. Your rules only incentivize learning low-level Rituals when casting those Rituals is a trivial expense.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Gralamin View Post
    I've been thinking a lot about rituals lately. In my mind they have a few key problems:
    Ah yes, one of the common design problems with 4E. Rituals see near-zero use in most campaigns I've heard of, except with extensive handwaving or houseruling.

    The primary problem is the time required: this practically ensures that any situation that can be solved with a ritual, can be resolved faster without one. Of course, many good DMs solve this by handwaving the time required. Half a minute is pretty good, actually: it still makes using rituals in combat impractical, and actually allows using them for other purposes.

    The secondary problem is the effect; many rituals have pointless restrictions on them. The answer here is probably to simply ignore the restrictions. For example, is it really a problem to cast Comprehend Languages on a language you haven't heard in the past day?
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The secondary problem is the effect; many rituals have pointless restrictions on them. The answer here is probably to simply ignore the restrictions. For example, is it really a problem to cast Comprehend Languages on a language you haven't heard in the past day?
    I maintain that those restrictions aren't pointless - they're there to make Magic more magic and less like technology. It has a very 2E feel to it, actually - where seemingly arbitrary restrictions or effects (e.g. bouncing Lightning Bolts) kept Magic from just being something you slapped onto any problem to fix it.

    Plus, magic isn't supposed to be used to solve all problems - that's the precise point of 4e Rituals.

    That said, I admit there is some room to making Rituals more usable - but I'd argue that we should focus on the money or time dimension.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Still - are your Players going to think about using LV 1-2 Rituals when they hit LV 4? Aside from the "basic Rituals" (e.g. Raise Dead, Cure Disease, Linked Portal) why would your Players bother to learn new LV 6 Rituals at LV 12?

    If they already know and use those Rituals at LV 6, then there is no reason to incentivize them to use Rituals more - they're happy with the default Ritual rules. Your rules only incentivize learning low-level Rituals when casting those Rituals is a trivial expense.
    I certainly do. Hell I took Ritual Caster as a Mage in one game running this just so I could take advantage of Surge Casting for L1-2s at L5.

    Other L6 Rituals I'd have a use for at L12? Speak With Dead, Sending, Phantom Steed, Wizard's Escape, Wyvern Watch (since the cast time is now 5 minutes), Shrink, etc...

    Second, higher level Rituals (those level 15 & below) eventually become lower level Rituals for the purposes of this solution, and they're incentivized by the power they feature relative to these lower level Rituals. You do not need to further incentivize the (at least at the moment) campaign abbreviating (possibly quest circumventing) powerful scry Ritual.

    Third, I dispute the notion that all rituals at around half your level feature 'trivial' costs. This is probably more true of a ritual that's a third of your level than it is half (I'd _much_ rather save 100 gold than spend it on an L2 Ritual as a Level 4-5 character), and in any event, whether trivial or not, they come at a permanent, cumulative opportunity cost that just grows as you continually use them (and there are many that _are_ consistently beneficial).

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    The one thing I don't like about rituals is they can't be cast during an encounter, even short ones like Tenser's Floating Disc. I've had that many players who say "I want to cast this" and they end up deciding against it as I point out that with the 10 minute casting time, they're doing nothing all encounter.
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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    There's usually a good reason. Imagine being able to throw down an Arcane Barrier or Magic Circle as a Standard or even Full Round Action; would be super broken.

    That said, there are quite a few which wouldn't be problematic if made usable in combat, but one would have to specifically modify them rather than apply any sort of blanket fix.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    The problem with such houserules is that there are so many rituals, and some of them are very good. For example, if you can ignore component costs rituals like Fantastic Recuperation are thrown arround like candy and your players will double their daily powers. Every day.

    This problems increase if you can trivialize the casting time. Your group had a hard time fighting through the evil guys to the throne room of lord Scaryguy Doom? Well no - half a minute later they have full healing surges, dailys and their action points back.

    But that does not help them...The evil guy has brought his friends Mr. Dark and Mr. Bad via teleport to himself. Or created a magic circle so you can not attack him. Or is teleported away, and there is nothing you can do. Hey, you had have 5 rounds to come to him, wasn't this a fair chance? Maybe try the adventure tomorrow again?

    Or try a investigation adventure instead. It will be fun, because 3 minutes after it has started you know who has killed kittys father and robbed the little girl. In fact you have seen it. No problem though. You already know where she is.

    There are good reasons why the casting time of rituals is high, and the cost is not trivial (at least for rituals of your level, that you have not mastered long ago). Because while all this applications of magic can be a interresting part in a story they shouldn't dominate or break this story.

    It is nice if one evil guy teleports out of his dungeon if you do not find him within 1 hour. It will gave the group time pressure. But it will be stressed if every magical competent evil guy teleports out within 5 rounds because it cost him nothing. If one magic item is hidden with conceal object this is cool. Not so if every magic item you are searching is hidden that way.

    The same is true for the player side. It is nice to be concealed from wandering monsters on your way to the evil guys, flying and without the need of resting, and teleporting home when your in danger. But it shouldn't be something everyone will always do.

    If i have a group of players that are within a investigation adventure divination rituals are still a very powerfull option. But you will have at least to decide if you are using them because they could be expensive.

    The restrictions on rituals exist to provide space for different solutions. To balance rituals against those solutions. Passwall takes long and is expensive? Yes - but it could be less dangerous than to fight his way through the guards. Especially if you are for example trying to free some hostage that might be killed if someone rings the alarm bell.

    And if you fear guards that could visit you during your ritual casting: Wizard's courtain only takes 10 minutes and creates you a hidden spot for 24 hours.

    I do not claim that there are no rituals that are too weak or situational or have to high restrictions. But a general solution like reducing casting time or component cost in general seems to create many problems.
    Last edited by Leolo; 2011-03-18 at 04:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    That is precisely why I limited surge casting and cast time reductions in my own ruleset to those rituals which are half the caster's level or less. Generally at the level you can surge cast something in this way, it is no longer campaign shattering.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    I think this is a good rule, although it does not do that much. For example at level 20 the 80gp from phantom steed will not be noticable. If i rule that the players don't have to pay them i do not really change the way players judge their rituals.

    Casting time reduction might be a greater deal. But it will be more abuseable, too. Magic circle is the most common example for this, but there are plenty more.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Of course a Ritual approximately 1/4th of a character's level will feature essentially negligible costs. Rituals 1/2 a character's level probably will not however, especially if they're constantly used.

    And yes, there are rituals even half a caster's level or lower that remain powerful, but probably none that are campaign breaking with 5 minute cast times/surge casting.

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    Default Re: Rituals - Potential house rules

    Yes. I think it is also positive (if you use this houserule) that players does not have to track meaningless gold amounts for their level.

    Most of the times i tend to let rituals simple as they are. If a ritual has a longer duration than 5-10 minutes this might have a reason. But as you have said...it does not really break a campaign if you can reduce it to a time that is still sufficient to avoid in combat use.
    Last edited by Leolo; 2011-03-18 at 07:54 AM.

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