Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rituals in D&D 4E

Rituals in Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition


Rituals as written were never used in my gaming group.
They had the following problems:
  • casting time was too long to be used in an encounter.
  • gold cost was either too high at lower levels or too low at higher levels.
  • some rituals are broken or unusable.

Suggested Solution

I house-ruled the following changes:


You need to be trained in the skills listed to be
able to perform the ritual. 
This is to prevent strange combinations: 
Wizards casting Raise Dead or Cure Disease or Clerics casting portal rituals.
They are able to do so but they must be trained
in the skill for that to be possible.
This makes skill training more important, otherwise
everyone would become a ritual caster to spread the
cost of casting rituals.

Casting Time

This is often phrased in standard actions.
That way rituals can be cast during combat.


This is often in the form of healing surges instead of gold.
This is like rituals in Martial Power 2 and done to balance
some powerful rituals.


This is often altered to be dependent on skill check results.

Specific Rituals

Enchant Magic Item

I made it so that this ritual is not usable by player characters (PCs).
Only non-player characters (NPCs) are able to use it.
This is because the gaming group usually consists of different type
of players.
Some like to optimize their character, some don't.
In order to keep everyone on the same power level I don't let PCs
use this ritual.
Another problem I have with it is that magic items become
too common. I'd rather surprise the PCs with usable magic items
instead of them shopping around and making combo's out of them.

Linked Portal, Planar Portal

Portals require 13 symbols in a circle to create.
Each symbol must be crafted by someone that knows portal rituals.
The crafting of symbol costs a minor action, the portal itself
costs a standard action to activate.
This way, it is usable in combat.

Raise Dead

I've kept this ritual almost as written.
This should take long as it is intended to be used out of combat.

Secret Chest

As written, this ritual puts no limit on the chest nor if it can
cross planes.
Unless vetoed by the DM, the PCs could obtain a planar-traversing
chest-fortress which would be cool but probably not intended.

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