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Rituals: What Should Become of Them?

Felon

First Post
4e introuduced the concept of rituals, and I personally found it to be one the finest concepts the edition had to offer. It's one of those things that seem obvious in hindsight, that a leomund's tin hut is not the same type of resource as a fireball, and thus they shouldn't be drawn from the same resource pool. Likewise, once a spellcaster reaches a point where he can now cast a powerful game-changer spell (like teleport or certain divinations), he can't just use downtime to milk it from his spells-per-day allotment.

Now, mind you I said it was a fine "concept". That's separate from execution, which I found some issues with both as DM and player. I felt like some rituals existed just to make sure characters could fast-forward to what some 4e dev's would insist on calling the "important" or "fun" parts of the game (which really means "combat"). Unrestricted by any cost but money, parties could skip portions of the game which might otherwise have highlighted problem-solving skills, created a race against time, or simply a evoked bit of scenery and atmosphere. You might have rules for hunger, thirst, starvation, and climate, but low-level cheap-o rituals would render such struggles against the environment obsolete. Unseen servant became a low-tier party's unlimited disposable henchman.

But all-in-all, I'm a big fan of keeping the long-prep-time utility spells separate from the pool of heat-of-battle spells. What do you guys think?
 
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