Comments on: The Next D&D Homebrew: Reformation for Rituals http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/the-next-dnd-homebrew-reformation-for-rituals A D&D 4e Blog Dedicated to Dungeonmasters & Players Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:54:57 -0400 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 hourly 1 By: Editor-in-Chief http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/the-next-dnd-homebrew-reformation-for-rituals/comment-page-1#comment-41833 Editor-in-Chief Tue, 27 Mar 2012 20:13:37 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=6881#comment-41833 @Dave - I just can't get over the cost issue being the driving reason that rituals are not utilized. There are so many times during an adventure when a ritual could solve a problem faster, give a clue, help out after a combat, and so on, and the characters never even consider looking to rituals as an option. I'm trying to fix that. @Alphastream - I agree on the type of adventure/campaign there. The more sand-boxy an adventure/campaign is, and the more rituals can play an active part. But even in a linear adventure, a ritual can provide solutions, often surprising the DM. I want to bring back and enhance that magical part of D&D when characters start using all the resources at their fingertips to resolve the adventure/campaigns problems... and those times when they completely surprise you, and make you scramble to keep up with them for once! I noted that I did not add a section on controlling the use of rituals, and more specifically their overuse, in my blog. I did not consider it a priority at the time of the posting, because right now I have zero ritual use and can't imagine the day when I will say "Ok guys... enough with the rituals already... I'm sending in monsters to stomp on your magic circles!" I'm editing the blog with a discussion of other limitations than hard currency, which I can only assume the designers intended when they made the ritual casting so expensive. Limiting the casting to X number of rituals per day per tier would make sense, or tying it to healing surges, or to INT/WIS ability score bonuses - all those limits I think are better than just making them a huge money drain on the heroes! @Dave – I just can’t get over the cost issue being the driving reason that rituals are not utilized. There are so many times during an adventure when a ritual could solve a problem faster, give a clue, help out after a combat, and so on, and the characters never even consider looking to rituals as an option. I’m trying to fix that.

@Alphastream – I agree on the type of adventure/campaign there. The more sand-boxy an adventure/campaign is, and the more rituals can play an active part. But even in a linear adventure, a ritual can provide solutions, often surprising the DM. I want to bring back and enhance that magical part of D&D when characters start using all the resources at their fingertips to resolve the adventure/campaigns problems… and those times when they completely surprise you, and make you scramble to keep up with them for once!

I noted that I did not add a section on controlling the use of rituals, and more specifically their overuse, in my blog. I did not consider it a priority at the time of the posting, because right now I have zero ritual use and can’t imagine the day when I will say “Ok guys… enough with the rituals already… I’m sending in monsters to stomp on your magic circles!” I’m editing the blog with a discussion of other limitations than hard currency, which I can only assume the designers intended when they made the ritual casting so expensive. Limiting the casting to X number of rituals per day per tier would make sense, or tying it to healing surges, or to INT/WIS ability score bonuses – all those limits I think are better than just making them a huge money drain on the heroes!

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By: Dave Wainio http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/the-next-dnd-homebrew-reformation-for-rituals/comment-page-1#comment-41796 Dave Wainio Tue, 27 Mar 2012 15:30:51 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=6881#comment-41796 There is a plus side to ritual costs..... Currently my players have found a female noble cursed into horse form by a hag. The city leaders have not just sent the temple cleric to throw a free "remove curse" spell. They are debating who should pay the cost of the ritual. (Her family is far away and can't easily be billed for the service). And the way remove affliction is written in 4E there is a significant chance the ritual might kill the girl unless the players find something that will improve the odds. (Which is free form house ruling by me, I devised a few ways to grant a bonus to the ritual skill check the players can go try to find). So the current ritual system can be used drive story and role play. There is a plus side to ritual costs…..

Currently my players have found a female noble cursed into horse form by a hag. The city leaders have not just sent the temple cleric to throw a free “remove curse” spell. They are debating who should pay the cost of the ritual. (Her family is far away and can’t easily be billed for the service). And the way remove affliction is written in 4E there is a significant chance the ritual might kill the girl unless the players find something that will improve the odds. (Which is free form house ruling by me, I devised a few ways to grant a bonus to the ritual skill check the players can go try to find).

So the current ritual system can be used drive story and role play.

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By: alphastream http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/the-next-dnd-homebrew-reformation-for-rituals/comment-page-1#comment-41715 alphastream Tue, 27 Mar 2012 03:49:11 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=6881#comment-41715 I agree on the issues. Rituals are one of my remaining major areas of discontent with the edition (skill-challenge-disarm traps is technically another, though there are enough options to mitigate the issue). I've found I used them in campaigns were there was a heavy amount of exploration, a non-linear campaign style, and plenty of gold. In those situations you have the freedom to define what happens through a ritual rather than having the ritual be inconsequential. This is because in addition to what you mentioned, a ritual does very little in a linear game. Either the adventure does not expect a ritual, in which case the "problem" can be resolved without the ritual, or it does and the party is in trouble if they don't use it (or its use seems scripted and forced). For me, all of this makes rituals a disposable part of the game. I generally ignore rituals unless a player brings them up. If they do then I try to incorporate them. But on the whole I just look for other ways to represent choice and clever problem solving. I would probably take a similar tack if I had to really include them, or maybe just a limit like "3 per day" with exceptions for very powerful ones. An additional issue is that some are strong and cheap at high levels - Comrades Succor is an example (it wipes out single-PC surge issues). In a future edition I would rather see them gone. Either make these spells/powers and clarify the language as needed or create a better system so you limit overuse but encourage creativity. I agree on the issues. Rituals are one of my remaining major areas of discontent with the edition (skill-challenge-disarm traps is technically another, though there are enough options to mitigate the issue).

I’ve found I used them in campaigns were there was a heavy amount of exploration, a non-linear campaign style, and plenty of gold. In those situations you have the freedom to define what happens through a ritual rather than having the ritual be inconsequential. This is because in addition to what you mentioned, a ritual does very little in a linear game. Either the adventure does not expect a ritual, in which case the “problem” can be resolved without the ritual, or it does and the party is in trouble if they don’t use it (or its use seems scripted and forced).

For me, all of this makes rituals a disposable part of the game. I generally ignore rituals unless a player brings them up. If they do then I try to incorporate them. But on the whole I just look for other ways to represent choice and clever problem solving. I would probably take a similar tack if I had to really include them, or maybe just a limit like “3 per day” with exceptions for very powerful ones. An additional issue is that some are strong and cheap at high levels – Comrades Succor is an example (it wipes out single-PC surge issues).

In a future edition I would rather see them gone. Either make these spells/powers and clarify the language as needed or create a better system so you limit overuse but encourage creativity.

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By: Geek Ken http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/the-next-dnd-homebrew-reformation-for-rituals/comment-page-1#comment-41700 Geek Ken Tue, 27 Mar 2012 01:30:47 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=6881#comment-41700 I've posted plenty of tweaks about 4E rituals and have to agree that it's something typically ignored by players. It's a shame too. I've constantly asked my players to consider using them. They break the game for the DM and can totally throw a wrench into your plans. Every DM should push for their PCs to use em. I’ve posted plenty of tweaks about 4E rituals and have to agree that it’s something typically ignored by players. It’s a shame too. I’ve constantly asked my players to consider using them. They break the game for the DM and can totally throw a wrench into your plans. Every DM should push for their PCs to use em.

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By: Dave Wainio http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/the-next-dnd-homebrew-reformation-for-rituals/comment-page-1#comment-41697 Dave Wainio Tue, 27 Mar 2012 00:56:13 +0000 http://www.neuroglyphgames.com/?p=6881#comment-41697 In my campaign one player has stated an intent to collect every ritual he can find. I've tossed quite a few his way and he's bought a few. But he has yet to actually use any of them. My canmpaign already has all magic at 1/2 PHB list price (and a roughly halved treasure haul so the net effect for using them was the same as base). I will take a look at the cast costs and reduce them again, maybe to 0 under a certain level. As a side note, I'm abou to start letting my players spend 3 healing surges to regain a daily during a short rest. They're about to head into an expansive underground and I am looking for ways to keep them from wanting to find a side cavern and sleep for 6 hours after every other fight. Plus maybe speed up combat a bit by getting them to use their high damage attacks more often per session. In my campaign one player has stated an intent to collect every ritual he can find. I’ve tossed quite a few his way and he’s bought a few. But he has yet to actually use any of them. My canmpaign already has all magic at 1/2 PHB list price (and a roughly halved treasure haul so the net effect for using them was the same as base).

I will take a look at the cast costs and reduce them again, maybe to 0 under a certain level.

As a side note, I’m abou to start letting my players spend 3 healing surges to regain a daily during a short rest. They’re about to head into an expansive underground and I am looking for ways to keep them from wanting to find a side cavern and sleep for 6 hours after every other fight. Plus maybe speed up combat a bit by getting them to use their high damage attacks more often per session.

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