What do Rituals add to the game?


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Dire Ursus wrote:
I think you're confused as to the point of that ritual. It's a replacement for those creatures ability to summon other creatures of their type in 1e. In 1e it was a flat percentage if the summon would work. It's to give them a way to still have the ability to call other creatures of their type to their side while in different planes. Otherwise the plot of a lot of 1st edition adventures would not be able to be converted over easily.

Not confused about the reason for it at all, I just don't think that the Ritual treatment accomplishes what it set out to do to replace that 1e summoning ability.

As it stands, the ability as written basically is useless. Either the ritual has already successfully summoned demonic allies for the villain prior to the arrival of the PCs (in which case it is really just a matter of setting the encounter appropriately), or they have not. The time frame to summon allies makes it extremely unlikely it will ever impact an encounter if they have not already done so (unless the PCs take an awfully, awfully long time to kill the demon.)

Likewise, the Critical Success/Success/Failure/Critical Failure effects will never come into play unless a DM is really intent on playing some kind of random game of chance with (essentially) himself, and have the PCs show up while the demon is battling with other demons, weakened from that battle, dead(?) from that battle, or the PCs show up while the Critically Successfully summoned allies are serenading their summoner because they are so ecstatic to be called on. Or he feels like deciding randomly if the demon succeeded or failed.

I get the intent, but using the Ritual mechanic for this purpose is very silly in this situation. It should either have its casting time reduced to a point that it is useful in combat, or should be changed from a Ritual back into some other natural ability (or just disregarded entirely and replaced with some kind of staging suggestion for how to build encounters representing demons with already summoned allies).


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure if you want only one of the casters to have a deal with the demon they binded, you could always have that one betray the rest of the casters after the ritual is done.

If all the rest of the casters are not available, the deal would be a secret.

true, but it does make the 'disaffected or desperate outcast makes a pact' storyline completely nonviable (yes I know GMs can ignore the rules, but it gets rapidly to the point of 'why have rules at all then?')

Perhaps the secondary casters should be optional. Maybe make the ritual require a harder roll or longer casting time if they aren't available, or possibly a Skill Feat in the relevant skill that removes or reduces the need for secondary casters. I can see the value in having them, it lets your party-members participate instead of just waiting on the primary caster to do their thing for a few days, but they can also be too much of a restriction at times. And a solitary caster doing some dark ritual alone is a really classic trope that should have support.


Cthulhudrew wrote:
Either the ritual has already successfully summoned demonic allies for the villain prior to the arrival of the PCs (in which case it is really just a matter of setting the encounter appropriately), or they have not. The time frame to summon allies makes it extremely unlikely it will ever impact an encounter if they have not already done so (unless the PCs take an awfully, awfully long time to kill the demon.)

Maybe it's supposed to balance out the time requirements of the PCs' rituals? If the party stops for a couple of days to summon angels / change the weather / ritually raise the dead, then the bad guys have a couple of days to finish summoning extra demons.


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My main play experience with rituals comes from 4E. Rituals there were of decent levels, but too costly both to acquire, use, and in terms of time. In later books, there was what felt like desperate attempts to save the ritual magic system with rituals taking minutes instead of hours. Still, except some memorable luxuries, rituals remained largely unused.

It seems the PF2 rituals are falling into the same traps, with casting times in hours and limited utility. Rituals are effectively NPC-only spells. That makes them pretty much a waste of space - the GM can let NPCs do any magic shenanigans they need without using rules. Rules are for PCs.

I would suggest focusing on what I see as the main problem, casting time. The base time unit in exploration mode is 10 minutes. I feel rituals should take 10 minutes, or multiples of ten minutes. When a medic is providing healing and any shield users are repairing their shields, the ritual casters get down to prepare for what they think might be ahead.

There are several spells in the playtest that could be rituals, or perhaps even better, have the option of being cast as rituals. Water breathing is the first that comes to mind, but things like resist energy, death ward, and wind walk could also work. Making these rituals, and thus outside the daily preparation system, would give advance scouting more value, if you can find out what you are about to face, a timely ritual allows you to prepare.


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Rituals don't feel like NPC only to me. Certainly not more than the original spells did in PF1. Often those HAD to be done by NPCs in case your party didn't pack the right type of caster, leading to needing to hire someone to do it. (Which has always felt strange to me, as the level of spellcasting services rarely seems to line up with listed NPCs.)

In my current AP, their is an overarching side quest to find out how to do Resurrection to revive dead party members. Needing to travel to the nearest large settlement has dovetailed nicely into taking them towards the next major quest hook.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
Rob Godfrey wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I figure if you want only one of the casters to have a deal with the demon they binded, you could always have that one betray the rest of the casters after the ritual is done.

If all the rest of the casters are not available, the deal would be a secret.

true, but it does make the 'disaffected or desperate outcast makes a pact' storyline completely nonviable (yes I know GMs can ignore the rules, but it gets rapidly to the point of 'why have rules at all then?')
Perhaps the secondary casters should be optional. Maybe make the ritual require a harder roll or longer casting time if they aren't available, or possibly a Skill Feat in the relevant skill that removes or reduces the need for secondary casters. I can see the value in having them, it lets your party-members participate instead of just waiting on the primary caster to do their thing for a few days, but they can also be too much of a restriction at times. And a solitary caster doing some dark ritual alone is a really classic trope that should have support.

Those all seem like decent ideas.

You know, it's interesting, I assumed when rituals were announced they would cost a skill feat. I was kind of stoked to hear it just required a certain level of proficiency. As it turns out, getting a skill past trained feels much more costly than a skill feat, though part of that is skill feats just need to be better.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:

To add to the topic-

I still find myself shaking my head over the demon/devil summoning rituals from the Bestiary. As written, they can't be used by PCs which really makes the failure/success element of the rituals pointless, not to mention just the oddity of making them a part of their combat statistics anyway (since it isn't something the demon/devil is going to cast in combat; it should just be mentioned as encounter building to set the level of difficulty of an encounter appropriately).

I think you're confused as to the point of that ritual. It's a replacement for those creatures ability to summon other creatures of their type in 1e. In 1e it was a flat percentage if the summon would work. It's to give them a way to still have the ability to call other creatures of their type to their side while in different planes. Otherwise the plot of a lot of 1st edition adventures would not be able to be converted over easily.

Save that it takes longer, so maybe not as many demons when you go to storm the castle/base/ruins/what have you.

Although hmm, how does this work? I mean really work. Most Demons could summon forth more demons but those demons usually couldn't summon more otherwise you'd get a snowball.

But um depending on how this goes, couldn't you summon a couple demons, have them do the ritual, and then have those new demons start up another Ritual the moment they get in? The Ritual in question doesn't say they have the Summoned Trait. Granted they're supposed to last 1d4 days, but it's a Devil using it(And thus the GM). I can see a lot of things being bent here.

Also the ability to summon on creature lists seemed to be more a "Battle" power than a story one. Something PF2 monsters don't seem to have. No if this is a good thing or not depends on your own views on the matter. I see it as a loss of power but at the same time don't want fights vs tons of monsters cause the demon or two in the back spammed summon. So toss up.

Creatures with the summoned trait can't summon other things.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you ask me, not all rituals should have to be uncommon. For instance, Consecrate should be something any senior priest would have access to. (and I'm saying priest, not necessarily just clerics) That might still be able to be considered 'uncommon-ish' if you wanted to limit its access to normally people who have specifically made such a commitment or connection to such a religious institution.

However, another example I can think of. Wizards should have a ritual. It would be used, in combination of a set of 'focus' items they will have crafted and have had built into a building. The effect of the ritual is that it creates a number of Unseen servants that will last for a timeframe, similar to a week or so. The unseen servants are limited to being able to act within the space defined by the boundaries based on the placement of the created and installed focuses. The casters, or individuals whom have tokens (additional crafted items) are capable of making requests of the unseen servants.

The ritual would allow a magician's tower or manor to have a magical nature to it.

The focuses would not get used up in the ritual, but the investment in focuses would be a limiting factor in how large an area the servants can assist, and how many people can be assisted. However the ritual would probably also have some consumed cost that powerful wizards would be willing to pay to not necessarily have to deal with people.

There should also be a Blessings ritual. It would be a one day ritual which grants all attendee's of the ritual, a +1 conditional bonus to any saves while either within a building containing a concreted altar, or within the home (place/building/area the individual consistently sleeps) of the cast person.

A War Council ritual, which might give those who attend the culmination of the ritual lower the DC of flat checks to recover from dying for the next 24 hours.

There would be potential for Sowing rituals, to boost eventual harvest, or any number of other potential rituals.

There could be a Dedication ritual, that grants a 'neutral/not against' person the benefits of someone who is a believer of the faith of the caster for a certain time from then.

Honestly, I would be happy to rituals have an element that might allow some of their times to go down into 10 minute, or 1 hour blocks at times. However, it is workable leaving them at working day (downtime) blocks.

If there were 10 minute rituals allowed, I could see some things, such as blessing/purify food being an example that could provide a bonus to offset any negative effect of any of the food blessed. And this isn't to say you couldn't have a short time ritual, that there isn't a 'spell' that has some similar abilities. The spell would give you fast/almost instant access while rituals would have to be known, and would require more time, and potentially require other investments, such as ritual focuses.

Requiring Ritual Focuses might be a great finer tune controller for rituals. Sometimes rituals may be known, but it may be more rare to know how to make the actual Ritual Focus. This would actually make a lot of sense. In fact some rituals might only be uncommon knowledge, as they are written in 10% of all necromancers villains books, but the problem is that they require unique relics or artifacts that have been long lost.

Shadow Lodge

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Also, as to What Rituals Add: letting non-magically-adept people use magic is not only handy for not making an arcane or divine caster required (allowing for more varied groups to work), they also open up more characterization. I like the idea that non-spellcasters can do some magic by slapping together magical equipment they got elsewhere under the proper circumstances, but there's a good chance that something will go horribly wrong, and wizards complain that this is why everyone should just leave tinkering with mysterious forces to the trained scholars.
While I do agree that stuff like Unseen Servant would work better as a 10-minute ritual, maybe of Common rarity, and how there could be stuff like The King In Yellow: An Occult Ritual Disguised As A Play, it doesn't break immersion or anything for me. Sure, you could have rogues use the Unseen Servant ritual to move things around and make it look as if they're invisible when they're just hiding, but if they have to rush the ritual because you're attacking their safehouse, they might botch it and have to fight you while papers and stuff are whirling haphazardly around.
Or your fighters and barbarians could just not bother with them in the first place.


Someone said wrote:

If you ask me, not all rituals should have to be uncommon. For instance, Consecrate should be something any senior priest would have access to. (and I'm saying priest, not necessarily just clerics) That might still be able to be considered 'uncommon-ish' if you wanted to limit its access to normally people who have specifically made such a commitment or connection to such a religious institution.

However, another example I can think of. Wizards should have a ritual. It would be used, in combination of a set of 'focus' items they will have crafted and have had built into a building. The effect of the ritual is that it creates a number of Unseen servants that will last for a timeframe, similar to a week or so. The unseen servants are limited to being able to act within the space defined by the boundaries based on the placement of the created and installed focuses. The casters, or individuals whom have tokens (additional crafted items) are capable of making requests of the unseen servants.

The ritual would allow a magician's tower or manor to have a magical nature to it.

The focuses would not get used up in the ritual, but the investment in focuses would be a limiting factor in how large an area the servants can assist, and how many people can be assisted. However the ritual would probably also have some consumed cost that powerful wizards would be willing to pay to not necessarily have to deal with people.

Well uncommon isn't rare. So I would assume every single church has the knowledge of doing a consecration ritual, maybe having some senior clergy of the church travel the lands to consecrate the churches different locations and anyone high-ranking enough in the church would have access to learning said ritual.

I do like the wizards ritual but it kinda exist as a spell already (Magnificent Mansion), so either the GM could easily house-rule that to be existing in the regular plane instead, which makes the ritual sort of moot. I don't know if the level is appropriate but I do imagine most wizards that own a magical tower would have access to 7th level spells either in his spellbook or by the use of scrolls.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

It would be my personal preference that every spell which is not castable in six seconds and has no direct application to "someone is trying to stab you" situations be recontextualized as a ritual.

Effectively this would solve most of the caster/martial disparity in terms of "narrative power" since it would mean skills govern everything out of combat.

This is how 4th ed did it and to be honest given how spells are shaping up in PF2e it wouldn't hurt to go all in on rituals for non-combat magic.

Perhaps evoking 4E isn’t the most glowing recommendation...


Arnim Thayer wrote:
Perhaps evoking 4E isn’t the most glowing recommendation...

The course for Pathfinder 2e has been set. They might use additional survey data to fine tune certain parts, but based on the comments from devs and the frequency of locked threads all of the major decisions have been made.

It's not about saying whether the system is good or bad. It's about understanding it and either accepting it or rejecting it.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Not confused about the reason for it at all, I just don't think that the Ritual treatment accomplishes what it set out to do to replace that 1e summoning ability.

2e Rituals look a lot like 1e rituals, and I NEVER felt like the reason was to "replace that 1e summoning ability."

Rituals are their own "thing" in 1e (and in 2e from what i can tell).


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The difference between the proposed ritual and Magnificent Mansion (or the 9th level variant Resplendent Mansion) is that those spells create the structure magically, instantly either in an alternate plane, or this plane depending on the spell. There is also the matter of the duration being one day, although the resplendent spell has the option of not regaining your spell slot and having that extend the duration of the magical structure.

The ritual I was proposing, the caster had to provide a structure to begin with, and provide focus items (an investment cost) spread throughout the structure to expand the area. Then getting the effect of having magical servants within it. Then the idea was... a day of magical work, the home is then powered by magical servants the rest of the week. This seems perfectly in line with how I could imagine life of someone who wants such magical servants, either for privacy, loyalty, envy, attention, or social standing.

There could even be variants of this that might, instead of unseen servants might summon very minor other-planar servants(divine), perhaps another where small animals that might not be out of place in the environment are summoned and act as the servants(think snow white), or even a necromatic variation that might summon non-combat, minor, undead that take the place of the servants. All these variant rituals could provide a fascinating narrative aspect to the game without necessarily creating a big shift in power. And yes, this ritual would be unnecessary when using the powerful 7th level or 9th level spells that would already include its effects (albeit, shorter time-frame, with vastly shorter casting time)

Another possibility that could be a ritual could be a sort of Arcane Mark which would be able to place a semi-permanent mark on an item or person. The mark would tie the person or item to the caster, or designated participant. Anyone directly handling an item with the mark within a mile of the linked person will cause the individual to become aware of the tampering, an potentially the manner. (damaging/moving/examining) If a 'lost' item comes within a mile of the person and the mark is still active (semi-permanent, might be permanent for the life of the linked person for most items, but something like a year for living creatures) the linked individual would become aware of the new presence of the marked item, and get an impression of what linked item has just come within range. Heightened versions might include effects on marked persons, causing them to get a conditional penalty to fear saves vs. the linked person, and reduce the recovery rate of frightened conditions from such a source.

Yet another ritual, which would fall sort of within such a family would allow a 'linked' person to have items created, such as rings, that allow the possessor to act as the linked individuals surrogate. Allowing them to sense the presence of the primary individuals linked objects/people. This could easily be used to mark spell books or other personal items to aid in their recovery. There could also be applications in the foul slavery trade, or used to track some of the most foul criminals in a kingdom that perhaps doesn't believe in execution. All this seems perfectly in narrative realm we would expect of 'magic' but need not be spells.


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Arnim Thayer wrote:
Perhaps evoking 4E isn’t the most glowing recommendation...

Games are complex beasts, which work or don't work through the interplay of a great number of mechanics, market, and social factors. It's a much stronger claim that "literally everything this game did was bad" than "this game had several good ideas even if it wasn't ultimately successful."

Nobody should be afraid of borrowing, poaching, appropriating, adapting, etc. good ideas from any game.


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Bringing up Magnificent Mansion, why did those not become rituals in the first place? Nevermind my dislike of these spells (which makes them being uncommon a good start), they scream ritual to me.
Of course it wouldn't make sense to have them as a day long ritual, that would completely remove their use, but something like an hourlong ritual would fit in there very well.


It's just me or rituals should also be able to substitute weapon enchantments and similar things(for someone who wants a vow of poverty)? I mean it just seems like a perfect way to put a char without items in a campaign. Something like a ritual where you train and spray some kind of special dust on a weapon to make it so you treat it as a +1 weapon for today. And then lock them behind a donation/achivement wall.


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DerNils wrote:

Bringing up Magnificent Mansion, why did those not become rituals in the first place? Nevermind my dislike of these spells (which makes them being uncommon a good start), they scream ritual to me.

Of course it wouldn't make sense to have them as a day long ritual, that would completely remove their use, but something like an hourlong ritual would fit in there very well.

Well, most of the rituals right now aren't something you need to use in the course of a normal adventuring day, which means it doesn't matter whether you burn a spell slot on them. Magnificent mansion would be something you'd use every day, so making it a ritual would effectively be a no cost extra spell slot. (Unless it costs material treasure to use, but at that point it becomes way less appealing.)

Also,thematically, it runs opposite to the theme of rituals: esoteric and mysterious spells which carry an inherent risk to perform. Magnificent Mansion is risk mitigation in an extremely controlled fashion.

I'm just speculating here, and don't have a specific stake in this issue. But if I had to guess....


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DerNils wrote:

Bringing up Magnificent Mansion, why did those not become rituals in the first place? Nevermind my dislike of these spells (which makes them being uncommon a good start), they scream ritual to me.

Of course it wouldn't make sense to have them as a day long ritual, that would completely remove their use, but something like an hourlong ritual would fit in there very well.

I think the key reason is that Rituals are supposed to be Downtime events and are supposed to take a day to cast. Then as pointed out the 7th level spell has a duration of 1 day, so if made exactly as is for a ritual it would be a never-ending wheel. They would be casting for an entire workday to make their castle to live in for a day. It seems the intent behind the spells are to almost instantly have an awesome place to live, no matter where you happen to land for the night.

I don't know that rituals are supposed to inherently be risky things to preform. Do you have a reference of that is supposed to be an aspect of rituals. Granted, rituals for summoning horrible creatures, to try to bind them to your will, are going to be inherently dangerous concepts. However, I figured that things like atonement and consecration weren't really intended to be risky. And my prior examples, based on that premise, were not intended to be risky items, but things that some communities might even incorporate as part of their culture and daily life.


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Rituals were described as risky and dangerous in occult adventures, and it stated that many spellcasters feared them because anyone who knows them can use them without any real knowledge of magic. Paraphrasing because I don't remember the exact quote right now.

Edit: found it on the srd.

occult adventures wrote:

Most traditional spellcasters consider these rituals dangerous and uncontrollable, something to be avoided or used as a last resort. They fear the power these ceremonies grant to the uninitiated, as the rituals allow those with only a glimmering of understanding the ability to interact with the underlying fabric of magic.

While anyone can attempt to cast occult rituals, the process is fraught with peril. The strange and intricate incantations are often challenging to perform with precision, and failure can weaken the casters or even unleash horrors upon the world. Even when successfully performed, each occult ritual has a price—a backlash that affects at least the caster leading the ritual, and often those assisting in its performance

But that doesn't seem to carry over very well because you normally need knowledge of magic to learn them in pf2. You just don't need to actually be a spellcaster.


Dire Ursus wrote:
Creatures with the summoned trait can't summon other things.

This is 100% true. And that's the problem here.

Both Summon Monster and Summon Nature Ally say "The Creature gains the Summon Trait."

Abyssal Pact however, makes no mention of this.

And even if it did, how would this work? A Duke is able to get a demon summoned to him(For extended time somehow). The duke now has, 2 actions now till the demon is killed?

And if a demon summons up "3 demons lower level than itself", hows it going to command them all or does the Demon have to sit there, giving it's actions to it's minions?

I feel adding the Summon tag to the ritual would cause more of a head ache but at the same time, it doesn't seem to have the fail safes that normal summoning does.

But I suppose you're summoning Devils and later Demons/Deamons so that's a risky idea to run with.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Creatures with the summoned trait can't summon other things.

This is 100% true. And that's the problem here.

Both Summon Monster and Summon Nature Ally say "The Creature gains the Summon Trait."

Abyssal Pact however, makes no mention of this.

Interestingly, Abyssal Pact actually does make mention of the summoned Demon(s) gaining the Summoned trait... but only in the Critical Failure effect. Which makes things all the weirder, given how the Summoned Trait works with Action Economy, since Summoned trait creatures are only supposed to act when the caster (the person they are currently hostile to and presumably actively attacking) Concentrates on the spell, and otherwise are supposed to take no actions.

Meanwhile the Infernal Pact (the Devil counterpart) has no such clause at all, and in fact its Crit Fail effect is as simple as the ritual failing and the Devil you tried summoning "[sending] word of its displeasure to your master."

It is notable though that you physically can't move up to summoning Demons/Daemons from Devils by Ritual, given that both Infernal and Abyssal Pacts require being a Devil or Demon respectively to even use the Ritual... probably just so that there's no realistic way for PCs to make use of them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Creatures with the summoned trait can't summon other things.

This is 100% true. And that's the problem here.

Both Summon Monster and Summon Nature Ally say "The Creature gains the Summon Trait."

Abyssal Pact however, makes no mention of this.

And even if it did, how would this work? A Duke is able to get a demon summoned to him(For extended time somehow). The duke now has, 2 actions now till the demon is killed?

And if a demon summons up "3 demons lower level than itself", hows it going to command them all or does the Demon have to sit there, giving it's actions to it's minions?

I feel adding the Summon tag to the ritual would cause more of a head ache but at the same time, it doesn't seem to have the fail safes that normal summoning does.

But I suppose you're summoning Devils and later Demons/Deamons so that's a risky idea to run with.

It's probably an oversight but the Summoned trait description itself is where the rule comes from. It says that any creature called with a conjuration effect gains the summoned trait. That bit of text should probably be moved to the Conjuration section in the magic section. As for why the failure effect of the abyssal pact specifically calls out the summoned trait. Idk. Probably a bit of confusion between the person who decided that every conjuration effect gives the summoned trait and the person who made that ritual.


Shinigami02 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Creatures with the summoned trait can't summon other things.

This is 100% true. And that's the problem here.

Both Summon Monster and Summon Nature Ally say "The Creature gains the Summon Trait."

Abyssal Pact however, makes no mention of this.

Interestingly, Abyssal Pact actually does make mention of the summoned Demon(s) gaining the Summoned trait... but only in the Critical Failure effect. Which makes things all the weirder, given how the Summoned Trait works with Action Economy, since Summoned trait creatures are only supposed to act when the caster (the person they are currently hostile to and presumably actively attacking) Concentrates on the spell, and otherwise are supposed to take no actions.

Meanwhile the Infernal Pact (the Devil counterpart) has no such clause at all, and in fact its Crit Fail effect is as simple as the ritual failing and the Devil you tried summoning "[sending] word of its displeasure to your master."

It is notable though that you physically can't move up to summoning Demons/Daemons from Devils by Ritual, given that both Infernal and Abyssal Pacts require being a Devil or Demon respectively to even use the Ritual... probably just so that there's no realistic way for PCs to make use of them.

Given the fact it's in the Bestiary and thus I would fully assume it's a GM tool, why should we worry if the PCs can use it or not?

Unless we're worried about players just finding it online and going "Oh I want this" which I thought the "Rare" tag was supposed to disallow.

But yeah, having the Critical Failure be "It has the summoned tag now" isn't a bad way to do it but otherwise the Rituals have their own issues besides having that tag.


i like rituals my only problem is when they detract from the caster experience, why cant we have it both ways


Dire Ursus wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Creatures with the summoned trait can't summon other things.

This is 100% true. And that's the problem here.

Both Summon Monster and Summon Nature Ally say "The Creature gains the Summon Trait."

Abyssal Pact however, makes no mention of this.

And even if it did, how would this work? A Duke is able to get a demon summoned to him(For extended time somehow). The duke now has, 2 actions now till the demon is killed?

And if a demon summons up "3 demons lower level than itself", hows it going to command them all or does the Demon have to sit there, giving it's actions to it's minions?

I feel adding the Summon tag to the ritual would cause more of a head ache but at the same time, it doesn't seem to have the fail safes that normal summoning does.

But I suppose you're summoning Devils and later Demons/Deamons so that's a risky idea to run with.

It's probably an oversight but the Summoned trait description itself is where the rule comes from. It says that any creature called with a conjuration effect gains the summoned trait. That bit of text should probably be moved to the Conjuration section in the magic section. As for why the failure effect of the abyssal pact specifically calls out the summoned trait. Idk. Probably a bit of confusion between the person who decided that every conjuration effect gives the summoned trait and the person who made that ritual.

That still runs into the problem of whatever Devil/Demon the evil duke made an alliance with has to basically sit there while giving it's actions to the 2-3 smaller demons it called forth.

That said, looking it over some more; Planar Ally and Primal Call also lack the Summon Trait. And those are Summon Rituals most likely used by the PCs.

Which I actually don't mind. Summon is just a quick and dirty, "Get over here" call. Ritual is a longer and more delicate process and even then can still fail, but the creature you end up with is stronger and has more options.


MerlinCross wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Creatures with the summoned trait can't summon other things.

This is 100% true. And that's the problem here.

Both Summon Monster and Summon Nature Ally say "The Creature gains the Summon Trait."

Abyssal Pact however, makes no mention of this.

Interestingly, Abyssal Pact actually does make mention of the summoned Demon(s) gaining the Summoned trait... but only in the Critical Failure effect. Which makes things all the weirder, given how the Summoned Trait works with Action Economy, since Summoned trait creatures are only supposed to act when the caster (the person they are currently hostile to and presumably actively attacking) Concentrates on the spell, and otherwise are supposed to take no actions.

Meanwhile the Infernal Pact (the Devil counterpart) has no such clause at all, and in fact its Crit Fail effect is as simple as the ritual failing and the Devil you tried summoning "[sending] word of its displeasure to your master."

It is notable though that you physically can't move up to summoning Demons/Daemons from Devils by Ritual, given that both Infernal and Abyssal Pacts require being a Devil or Demon respectively to even use the Ritual... probably just so that there's no realistic way for PCs to make use of them.

Given the fact it's in the Bestiary and thus I would fully assume it's a GM tool, why should we worry if the PCs can use it or not?

Unless we're worried about players just finding it online and going "Oh I want this" which I thought the "Rare" tag was supposed to disallow.

But yeah, having the Critical Failure be "It has the summoned tag now" isn't a bad way to do it but otherwise the Rituals have their own issues besides having that tag.

A PC could still potentially learn it even though it is a Rare option from the Bestiary. Heck, in certain circumstances I could even see it being a plot twist of a bound Devil teaching you how to 'call on favors from other devils' in exchange for something, just to have the knowledge imparted be useless to a 'mere mortal' like the PCs.


I was re-reading my copy of the 3.0 era novel Oath of Nerull. The main villain is a Monk named Sosfane, and her plot is to bring down her order of Monks from within by making tham all magically bound to serving Nerull. The summoning of Abyssal Childs is also involved. And while she does have spellcasting cohorts, she herself is the one primarily responsible for all this evil magic.

But when we get into her actual Monk abilities, she remains comparable to the Monk main character of the novel, Ember. Sosfane's abilities are superior, but part of her edge is explained by how Ember had to fight minions before fighting her (making Ember worn down while Sosfane was fresh), and the gap was bridgeable after Ember used what was probably a Potion of Heroism.

I.e., Sosfane probably only had a couple more levels in Monk compared to Ember. But if we also add the levels in spellcaster necessary for her to do the magic she would have to do in the story, we wouldn't see this bridgeable gap. Even a Wizard's meager attack bonus and hit points would put her outside Ember's abilities.

Rituals, on the other hand, allow her to be the Monk described in the story AND wield the magic she has AND let this be something the game can express.


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And explaining that she got the power from whatever devil/God doesn't?

I'm just wondering why PF2 is shaping up to be Magus the game.

No I kinda understand what you're going with Tectorman but that just seems like a hard and fast excuse. "Oh she can Ritual now". Just straight up magic.

No empowered chosen powers, no back room deals with demons/other worldly powers, no strange artifacts, no obtuse ritual that's probably a bad idea for PCs to actually try their own hand it.

Sosfane just used magic ritual X on page Y of the player's handbook. Please don't use players, it's rarity is beyond what you should be able to get.

I find the inclusion of Rituals as "Immersion" answers to problems weakens possible solutions I could come up with. Because why design something, when "Ritual" is the answer.

I'm sorry, I see Villains as inverse PCs. PCs don't work within the same boundaries as NPCs and the world at times. Why should Villains, who have a habit of risky gambles, infernal deals, and outright cheating at times; be expected to function just like any other NPC?


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The only thing rituals add to the game is page count.


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Because, since every character can now sneak and use his Knowledges and is basically feeling the same, the ability to cast spells was the only thing to make some classes stand out. And the Gods forbid that some classes provide variety and difference. So rituals are a way to let characters, whose players willingly chose to create as martials and not as spellcasters, to perform magic, because somehow it is unfair that they can't.
It is absurd, really, that choice don't matter any more


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I personally find it absurd that martials should aspire to any level of narrative control; they should know their place and leave it to people that actually can make an impact. It isn't realistic that they should be able to do anything besides swing weapons at enemies 3-4x their size.

/s


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Cyouni wrote:

I personally find it absurd that martials should aspire to any level of narrative control; they should know their place and leave it to people that actually can make an impact. It isn't realistic that they should be able to do anything besides swing weapons at enemies 3-4x their size.

/s

I personally find it absurd that people fully believe martials have no impact at all in the narrative; they should know their place as discount summons and stand in the corner until called.

/s

I'm assuming the slash S means sarcasm. I generally question how people play the game if, as Martials, everyone picks to do nothing outside of combat because "Well I'm not a spell caster". Even dropping spells, it seems extremely common for the group to just default to "Let the best person do it". And Rituals are going to fix that how?

Why yes, Your Fighter CAN do a Ritual. But last I checked it's still going to need a Skill level and a roll. And if your Wizard is better than you at doing it, why would the group let your Fighter do the Ritual?

I see what they would LIKE for it to do but given how I've seen the forum act, I don't know if they are going to work that way. And we really didn't have enough time to really test them out. The playtest material we were given was pretty "Gotta go fast" along with the deadline for testing anyway.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

Because, since every character can now sneak and use his Knowledges and is basically feeling the same, the ability to cast spells was the only thing to make some classes stand out. And the Gods forbid that some classes provide variety and difference. So rituals are a way to let characters, whose players willingly chose to create as martials and not as spellcasters, to perform magic, because somehow it is unfair that they can't.

It is absurd, really, that choice don't matter any more

I mean, rituals literally have a proficiency gate set at expert or master higher. So your 10 Int fighter who wants to cast Planar binding has to invest 3 precious skill ups in Arcana, which I feel like is a choice.

Even so, the 10 Int Master of Arcana is going to be at a significant disadvantage here compared to the 18+ Int Wizard. I mean, we have people on this board complaining something isn't viable because it's 1-2 points less than some benchmark.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

Because, since every character can now sneak and use his Knowledges and is basically feeling the same, the ability to cast spells was the only thing to make some classes stand out. And the Gods forbid that some classes provide variety and difference. So rituals are a way to let characters, whose players willingly chose to create as martials and not as spellcasters, to perform magic, because somehow it is unfair that they can't.

It is absurd, really, that choice don't matter any more

You know, I see all these posts by you about how everything feels the same and there's no choice, etc. etc., and all I can think is man, you really need to work on your character building if that's the case. Because somehow neither myself nor any of my 4 players have run into any of these alleged problems, and yet we're playing the same system and coming from years of playing PF1, so there's no lack of comparison.

Something in the new system is apparently slipping by you. Because we know you couldn't possibly just be going to thread after thread and decrying the game with buzzwords and inaccurate allegations and ignoring valid counterarguments just to cause trouble...


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Edge93 wrote:


Because somehow neither myself nor any of my 4 players have run into any of these alleged problems, and yet we're playing the same system and coming from years of playing PF1, so there's no lack of comparison.

And there were a lot of percieved problems with PF that I never ran into. different tables, different games.

And if your fine with your shiney new game, more power to you, I hope you enjoy it.


Hythlodeus wrote:
Edge93 wrote:


Because somehow neither myself nor any of my 4 players have run into any of these alleged problems, and yet we're playing the same system and coming from years of playing PF1, so there's no lack of comparison.

And there were a lot of percieved problems with PF that I never ran into. different tables, different games.

And if your fine with your shiney new game, more power to you, I hope you enjoy it.

Fair enough.

And likewise hopefully you can find at least something from PF2 that can be used to enrich your own games.


Edge93 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Edge93 wrote:


Because somehow neither myself nor any of my 4 players have run into any of these alleged problems, and yet we're playing the same system and coming from years of playing PF1, so there's no lack of comparison.

And there were a lot of percieved problems with PF that I never ran into. different tables, different games.

And if your fine with your shiney new game, more power to you, I hope you enjoy it.

Fair enough.

And likewise hopefully you can find at least something from PF2 that can be used to enrich your own games.

I'm not Hythlodues, but I'm looking into porting back the poisons and trinkets.

But Rituals? Well I kinda use them NOW, just mostly as NPC help or as a way to explain stuff.

Like allowing a better explaination to events of book 2, Mummy's Mask.

Having something I've done/played around with Codified..., feels off. And I don't think will fix the issue of Martials not having any effect on the story. If someone has a better skill than the martial, the martial is going to sit out of the Ritual.


MerlinCross wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Edge93 wrote:


Because somehow neither myself nor any of my 4 players have run into any of these alleged problems, and yet we're playing the same system and coming from years of playing PF1, so there's no lack of comparison.

And there were a lot of percieved problems with PF that I never ran into. different tables, different games.

And if your fine with your shiney new game, more power to you, I hope you enjoy it.

Fair enough.

And likewise hopefully you can find at least something from PF2 that can be used to enrich your own games.

I'm not Hythlodues, but I'm looking into porting back the poisons and trinkets.

But Rituals? Well I kinda use them NOW, just mostly as NPC help or as a way to explain stuff.

Like allowing a better explaination to events of book 2, Mummy's Mask.

Having something I've done/played around with Codified..., feels off. And I don't think will fix the issue of Martials not having any effect on the story. If someone has a better skill than the martial, the martial is going to sit out of the Ritual.

So what about full martial parties? Or ones that don't have a cleric/wizard/bard? And that's not even getting into the fact that a given caster isn't likely to have all the skills needed for every ritual.


Cyouni wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Edge93 wrote:


Because somehow neither myself nor any of my 4 players have run into any of these alleged problems, and yet we're playing the same system and coming from years of playing PF1, so there's no lack of comparison.

And there were a lot of percieved problems with PF that I never ran into. different tables, different games.

And if your fine with your shiney new game, more power to you, I hope you enjoy it.

Fair enough.

And likewise hopefully you can find at least something from PF2 that can be used to enrich your own games.

I'm not Hythlodues, but I'm looking into porting back the poisons and trinkets.

But Rituals? Well I kinda use them NOW, just mostly as NPC help or as a way to explain stuff.

Like allowing a better explaination to events of book 2, Mummy's Mask.

Having something I've done/played around with Codified..., feels off. And I don't think will fix the issue of Martials not having any effect on the story. If someone has a better skill than the martial, the martial is going to sit out of the Ritual.

So what about full martial parties? Or ones that don't have a cleric/wizard/bard? And that's not even getting into the fact that a given caster isn't likely to have all the skills needed for every ritual.

I believe half the fun of doing full martial parties would be finding solutions to the problem at hand without outright magic or magic on demand. Ritual just gives the Martial the same answer as the Caster.

And let's not forget you can cross class for magic quite easily to get more answers anyway.

Now you're right about a Caster not having the right skills for the Ritual. I don't see why Mr Fighter is leading the Ritual though, Ms Monk or Mr Rogue has the higher skill. It doesn't matter the actually class set up of the group, if the Martial that suggests the Ritual has the lowest skill, they aren't helping in the ritual, don't want to criticality fail.


Edge93 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Edge93 wrote:


Because somehow neither myself nor any of my 4 players have run into any of these alleged problems, and yet we're playing the same system and coming from years of playing PF1, so there's no lack of comparison.

And there were a lot of percieved problems with PF that I never ran into. different tables, different games.

And if your fine with your shiney new game, more power to you, I hope you enjoy it.

Fair enough.

And likewise hopefully you can find at least something from PF2 that can be used to enrich your own games.

idk. maybe the 3 action economy, but that's an Unchained thing anyway. I had hopes for the Ancestry/Heritage feats, but those need a lot of fixing. Other than that, I'll stay with the houserules I always use and hope some other company will pick up the 3.5 legacy


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You know how you handle "need secondary casters"? Homebrew a minor ritual that requires a (possibly a handful of) living sentient sacrifice(s) to make an item that will stand in for a secondary caster.

So now you have a plot hook, people are disappearing.


Parduss wrote:

You know how you handle "need secondary casters"? Homebrew a minor ritual that requires a (possibly a handful of) living sentient sacrifice(s) to make an item that will stand in for a secondary caster.

So now you have a plot hook, people are disappearing.

A sacrifice option could be nice for option for evil characters. It could replace secondary casters, and maybe material components. There could also be rules to use various qualities of the victim as a replacement for the skill roll. So that would be why cultists seek out particular favored victims instead of just grabbing any schmuck off the street, all the time.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Parduss wrote:

You know how you handle "need secondary casters"? Homebrew a minor ritual that requires a (possibly a handful of) living sentient sacrifice(s) to make an item that will stand in for a secondary caster.

So now you have a plot hook, people are disappearing.

A sacrifice option could be nice for option for evil characters. It could replace secondary casters, and maybe material components. There could also be rules to use various qualities of the victim as a replacement for the skill roll. So that would be why cultists seek out particular favored victims instead of just grabbing any schmuck off the street, all the time.

This is a cool idea. As has been mentioned in this thread. You don't need rules for rituals to write them into your games as a GM. This is the "rituals are for npcs" argument, and although it may be fine for Paizo to write that into a book to give GMs ideas, they're stealing power from player casters to do it. That's not necessary. Balancing spell power should be separate from giving GMs plot hooks and ideas.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The DM of wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Parduss wrote:

You know how you handle "need secondary casters"? Homebrew a minor ritual that requires a (possibly a handful of) living sentient sacrifice(s) to make an item that will stand in for a secondary caster.

So now you have a plot hook, people are disappearing.

A sacrifice option could be nice for option for evil characters. It could replace secondary casters, and maybe material components. There could also be rules to use various qualities of the victim as a replacement for the skill roll. So that would be why cultists seek out particular favored victims instead of just grabbing any schmuck off the street, all the time.
This is a cool idea. As has been mentioned in this thread. You don't need rules for rituals to write them into your games as a GM. This is the "rituals are for npcs" argument, and although it may be fine for Paizo to write that into a book to give GMs ideas, they're stealing power from player casters to do it. That's not necessary. Balancing spell power should be separate from giving GMs plot hooks and ideas.

Rituals aren't just for NPCs however. Things like atonement are not things that NPCs are often coming around and looking for from the PCs... thought I guess that could be an interesting story.

Things like that and Consecration and the like are mechanics that can and should help explain thing about how some things work in the game world. I have on more than once case had characters who took over places and consecrated them to their patron. I'd be disappointed if a new game system didn't some information about it.

Honestly, creating holy water should probably be a ritual that takes the raw ingredients and blesses them making them into holy water. (it being a potential ritual that need not 'have' to be considered uncommon in my opinion)

As an example. Last step in creating a spellbook should be a ritual that many wizards would learn, even as an apprentice. Which would take the physical book and impart it with the ability to properly hold not just the writings, but aspects of the magical patterns needed for the spell.

Honestly although right now rituals have to be at least a full work day activity, an aspect of me sees all casters' daily preparations could be seen as a form of a ritual in this sense to me. Given they aren't that long, I'm not going to push for that, but it would make sense if we opened up the potential for shorter time-period rituals.

Interesting idea, what if there were a ritual that allowed multiple spell casters to come together who all know a particular spell. After the ritual, it allows the lead spellcaster to cast a given spell using his highest slot he has available, and utilize slots spent by secondary casters to pay for spell heightening's applied to the spell, making it a higher level spell and/or higher DC. Such a thing might be really useful for certain dispels, if the effect isn't immune to such heightening.

In my opinion, there should be a few rituals that are downright ingrained in some/various cultures. Such as potentially blessings imparted by tattoos for the Shoanti. Weekly blessings by priests on their congregants. Harvest and Sowing festivals and blessings. Naming or christening of children, vessels, or structures. All of these can be baseline rituals that could provide narrative structure to various plots, and provide interesting potential minor game effects, and help fill out the fluff of the world as well. If I did define such rituals, I'd probably leave some options in them so that moving from one culture, into the next, the effect of a particular blessing might work out to be a little bit different.

The ones listed in the playtest were pretty limited, but they covered a few of the important aspects related to players and cleric/temples for instance. I think there is plenty of purpose for them, even to the point that while 'many' rituals may typically be uncommon (or maybe even specific versions of individual rituals) some of them could easily be nearly every day occurrences in normal people's daily life.

Some of that daily life and extending of the use of rituals could potentially easily wait until future books and Gazetteers and such, I think the foundation deserves to be in place, with things such as the Geas, Consecration, Atonement, and such belong in the core. [I think spell book creation and other potential options also deserve a consideration, but they could come later.]

Sacrifices as a potential option for rituals certainly seem like a in theme requirement or option for various rituals. It also gives you an ability to then have things NPCs can do that PCs could do, if they would resort to such evil ways, but presumably would not do so. Leaving a balancing point, but keeping to a more level playing field which others could find otherwise problematic.


I like rituals in the game as plot devices. Like in designing an adventure that involves traveling back and forth to planes, rather than insisting that the party have a spellcaster who can manage casting plane shift (and they might not be high enough level to cast it), having an NPC tag along to cast the spell for them, or giving the party a magical gewgaw that might get lost, stolen, or sold just have the party go to the haunted library to go research the ritual that gets them where they need to go.

Not only do you give the party the tool they need, but you also don't distort PC wealth, pressure the party into making character building choices they might not want, or run the risk of stealing their spotlight with an NPC who solves the problem for them.


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Actually, you take the tool away from the spellcasters who already had it.


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The DM of wrote:
Actually, you take the tool away from the spellcasters who already had it.

I feel like rituals benefit casters (who likely already have the investment in the appropriate stat and skill) much more than they do non-casters.

Like every wizard is going to have high Int and eventual mastery of Arcana, but very few Barbarians or Rangers will. So this is essentially a free resource for spellcasters, as they will have the stat and skill for other reasons and it does not expend spell slots.

What it does, however, is guarantee that you never need a specific class on hand to raise the dead or bind a demon. A cleric is always going to be your #1 choice if you need a resurrection, but if you need to resurrect the Cleric then anybody else who has mastered religion and has a good wisdom score (the druid or the monk perhaps?) has a chance.


Loreguard wrote:
As an example. Last step in creating a spellbook should be a ritual that many wizards would learn, even as an apprentice. Which would take the physical book and impart it with the ability to properly hold not just the writings, but aspects of the magical patterns needed for the spell.

Basically, make Wizards do the same thing with spell books most classes do for Familiars or Animal Companions.

If only because the processes of replacing a spellbook is tedious. But there's debate about targeting the spellbook anyway so maybe not get into that right now.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

Like every wizard is going to have high Int and eventual mastery of Arcana, but very few Barbarians or Rangers will. So this is essentially a free resource for spellcasters, as they will have the stat and skill for other reasons and it does not expend spell slots.

What it does, however, is guarantee that you never need a specific class on hand to raise the dead or bind a demon. A cleric is always going to be your #1 choice if you need a resurrection, but if you need to resurrect the Cleric then anybody else who has mastered religion and has a good wisdom score (the druid or the monk perhaps?) has a chance.

Has a chance.

If they built right. I don't expect average people to put the resources into that doesn't make their numbers more numbery. Nor do I see Guides suggesting what Rituals to pick up or shoot for.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
pressure the party into making character building choices they might not want

"Hey does anyone actually want to pick up Arcane up to X level? We're really gonna need it later. Oh and a couple people with decent Arcane or Occultism. Oh you all put your focus on Athletics, Survival or something else? Yeah I guess that makes sense for your builds and or characters but now we're stuck here so someone has to change."

Still pressuring players to hit the goal that is Ritual and also the secondary casters to make sure they won't mess it up either. So that's probably 3 players putting points/feats into something they don't want. But it's good for them so they should shut up and do it anyway, otherwise they go to the dark corner that is "no narrative impact".


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Okay, can we acknowledge that there is, or (prior to rituals) was, a difference between a caster contributing outside his role and a martial contributing outside his role? The party face, he with the highest Persuasion/Diplomacy/whatever modifier whether a Bard, Rogue, or other class, is the go-to guy for greasing the wheels socially. But on the rare occasions where he isn't available or is otherwise occupied, someone else, even if they be a Wizard, even if their Persuasion isn't as high or even high at all, can step in if need be. Ditto physical challenges that are usually the territory of the Fighter or Barbarian.

Yes, even with rituals, the character with the highest skill mod that the individual ritual asks for is still the point man for leading the ritual, and that individual will probably still be a caster. But at least now, non-casters can try. The dark corner of "no narrative impact" didn't always occur, but I'm still glad to see it go away further.


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MerlinCross wrote:

Has a chance.

If they built right. I don't expect average people to put the resources into that doesn't make their numbers more numbery. Nor do I see Guides suggesting what Rituals to pick up or shoot for.

I feel like this is a case where Nature and Religion are much better off than Occultism and Arcana, since with PF2's stat growth a whole lot of people are going to be buffing their wisdom every 5 levels, since it governs will saves and perception checks. So at that point it's a question of "are you going to put skill ranks in Relgion/Nature" since the stat will already be in an okay place.

Intelligence is another matter since aside from Arcana, Occultism, Society, and Crafting checks there is not much use for it. I've found most people will increase their 3 save-relevant stats and their main stat (if different) or their charisma. But I guess this means Alchemists can get fairly easy access to rituals.

As for "are guides gonna recommend rituals" I figure it will be much like how guides recommend UMD now- they just say "it's really useful" and never go into why or how.

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