Wednesday, June 11, 2008

PHB - Rituals

Since I was at the end of the book for the Combat chapter, I figured I'd read the last chapter, which is on Rituals.

Rituals were definitely a good move. The long casting time and occasional utility of certain spells in 3rd edition meant that they were something that you only memorized (as a cleric or wizard) if you really knew you were going to use them, and often led to delays in adventuring when you had to rest to get that one utility spell you needed. Sorcerers were pretty much left out of the whole deal, not wanting to waste on of their precious slots on an occasional spell. Granted, scrolls were possible, but who thought ahead for those?

I was bit disappointed, though, that the rituals are being restricted to the arcane and divine powers. With the idea of power sources being stretched across all classes, it seems unfair that those with martial powers are denied rituals.

At first I thought that perhaps it was to let the "spellcasters" keep themselves special from the brawlers, but the role is supposed to dictate how the character contributes to the party, not restrictions because of your career choice.

Why couldn't fighters have rituals? Some sort of meditation, or calisthenic routine, or focused weapon practice? Benefits could include a 24 hour bonus to AC, or to to-hit; Leaders could give a morale bonus to the party members that witness their amazing prowess during this training ritual. An hour of deep, focused breathing could give the striker a bonus to their ranged attack or opportunity attack.

It wouldn't make sense to allow these rituals to exist on scrolls, of course. The idea of a scroll is that some of the arcane or divine power has been stored within the parchment. But a ritual book for martial adventurers doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

Perhaps the idea of practice, meditation and deep breathing is planned more for a different power source, such as the ki power source hinted at for a future monk class. And I'm sure the psionicists will have rituals of the mind. In fact, it seems that as more power sources are introduced in further sourcebooks, the martial character is going to be left out more noticeably.

I've not really given any thought to cost, level, or anything else except for the end result for this proposed martial ritual.

Weapon Familiarity

You hone your primary weapon to perfection, making its keen blade an extension of yourself.

Level: 3
Category: Attack
Time: 1 hour
Duration: 24 hours

Component Cost: 25gp
Market Price: 150gp
Key Skill: Athletics

You focus all of your training on one weapon you possess, getting a feel for every little nuance. For the ritual's duration, you get a +1 ritual bonus to attacks with this weapon only. This does not carry across to another weapon of its type; practicing with one longsword does not give this bonus when using any other. A new weapon may be chosen each time this ritual is performed, but you lose any Weapon Familiarity you previously had when you perform this ritual.


Cruces said...

To me rituals represent something special that cannot be done any other way. The +1 bonus mentioned in your ritual can come (easily??? or expensively) from a feat or an equipment bonus.
All the rituals I've read so far are for things like ressurecting making items or as you mentioned other things that in 3rd edition you would have to expect in order to prepare

as a side note, I do not know if it is the phrasing or if I understood it incorrectly, but it seems to me that as long as you have the ritual caster feat and an appropriate skill training(which if I understood correctly you can get with a feat) you can perform a ritual. Does this mean that a warrior can now remove disease? a rogue will be able to create magic items? who knows, maybe I missed something

Crwth said...

Damn it, I knew there was something else I wanted to discuss -- I, too, caught that wording, where it was unclear whether or not anyone could perform a ritual that didn't "match" their typical power source.

Additionally, the skill requirements for rituals to determine the success or strength of the ritual would often provide the prerequisite needed for Ritual Caster if they don't already have it, so Skill Training might become a more popular feat that I suspected. Exceptions include Arcane Lock performed by a cleric, who can take Arcana as a trained skill already.

Anonymous said...

Yes anyone with the feat, and the appropriate feat can cast rituals. In addition anyone can cast from a ritual scroll no matter if they have the skill or feat. Note that in the recently published Adventurers Vault Alchemy has been introduced as an alternate to Rituals. Alchemy has skills such as nature, religion, and Thievery associated with them in additon to Archana.