What do Rituals add to the game?


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I'm sitting down to my morning coffee working on world building, and I start with my World 365 project. I had the idea this year that wouldn't it be amazing to have a book of 3 or 400 npcs to throw into my game? Yeah, well what if I made up one every day? I'd be done in one year! World 365.

So I'm working on a nature based court wizard who tends to the land and its health, and I decide to look up the PF2 version of Control Weather. I see it's a ritual. I haven't delved into these too much, so I look at the reqs and give it some thought. Now I'm doubting the place of rituals in the game. Let's look at Control Weather:

It's Level 8 - This is a late game ability now (vs. L7 in PF1 and L6 earlier).
It takes 3 people to cast - Already we're making this more situational.
It takes 8 hours to cast - Even more situational.
Requires Master level proficiency in Nature - Again more situational. Does someone have this req? No? Can't use my L8 spell.
Only affects a 2 mile radius - This isn't land affecting. It's one town or a farm or two, a small locale. For a Level 8 spell, this isn't realm-changing.
Duration is 4-48 hours - Potentially pretty random, but averages 1 day.

Looking at this as a sum, you have to be really high level to cast it, it takes 3 people and a really high Nature proficiency to cast, AND it takes all day. Now putting the effects aside, when does something like this come into play for a player? I'm reading this and wondering how changing this from a 10 minute casting time to an 8 hour casting time for 3 people adds anything to the game.

Locking away neat (non-direct-combat-damage-dealing) spells behind higher levels is something I haven't appreciated in PF2, but taking it out of the realm of the tactical (10 min.) and making it take all day? When am I ever going to use this? Pretty rarely. As a very high level wizard just gaining 8th level spells, do I even waste one of my two new learned spells on a spell with so many situational reqs that I could never use spur of the moment anyway?

I can see this is testing out the concept of the ritual as a long, drawn out magical process to achieve a result, but is it worth it? What is this doing for the game? Anything fun? I'm asking that to see if anyone else is envisioning cool ideas coming from this. I'm drawing a blank from a player's perspective. Could an npc be drawing down a hurricane on your favorite city threatening to destroy it? And you need to reach him and stop him in 1 day? Sure, but as a GM I can come up with my own plot ideas without needing to restrict a spell from being a player ability to an npc/plot mechanism. How can the idea of rituals be fun for players?


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I have encountered Control Weather twice in my campaigns. In both cases, it was cast by NPCs hired by the main villain. The second one was homebrew and I largely copied the first one.

The first instance was in the 7th-9th level module Hook Mountain Massacre. The clouds were raining throughout the multi-day adventure. It was not simply a soggy week, it was a Control Weather spell cast by hags. Hags are one way to get around the spell level of Control Weather, because hag covens gain Control Weather as a spell-like ability. However, with PF2's Control Weather ritual, the hags would have to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week repeatedly casting the 1-day Control Weather ritual, with an occasional nap when they rolled high on duration. Except that the Green Hag and the Night Hag in the Playtest Bestiary no longer gain Control Weather, anyways.

The second instance I added myself in the 15th-16th level module The Empty Throne. The party had gone to the island of the Imperial Shrine. When they emerged from that dimensional pocket 2 hours later, they discovered that the sky had become darkly overcast. I had added an encounter where one of the villains attacked their ship with a sea bonze, a CR 15 undead sea serpent that hates daylight. The wealthy villain had hired some sea hags to cut off the daylight with thick clouds. He had had days to plan this, but only 2 hours to implement it. (spoiler-laden chronicle).

EDIT: I made a mistake. The Ritual section on page 274 of the Playtest Rulebook says, "Each day of casting requires 8 hours of participation in the ritual from all casters, with breaks in between for multi-day rituals to allow for rest." Thus, in the first instance, the coven would not need 24-hour workdays to maintain nonstop Control Weather for a week.

Though that seems rather lackluster. A 24-hour ritual sounds like a difficult vigil for a difficult spell. Discovering that a 24-hour ritual would be split into three 8-hour standard workdays is too convenient to be impressive.


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The big thing rituals add doesn't benefit wizards. It benefits non-casting classes who can now utilize important magical affects. This opens up a lot of new avenues for stories, where the arch-villain who binds a demon to his will could be a fighter, for example.

Whether control weather should be a ritual (or should be nerfed as hard as it was) is a completely separate issue from rituals as a concept.


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Control weather is one of those spells that give 9th level spellcasters a disproportionate control over the narrative of the game. If you have a 9th level prepared caster at the table, a GM is forced to accept that weather will not be a meaningful factor in the campaign frin a certain level because the cost to negate any negative effects of weather is fairly trivial. However if you lack a prepared 9th level caster then weather continues to be relevant all the way up to level 20.

That's a really strong power for a wizard/druid/cleric to have over the narrative of the game that non-casters don't get anything in return to compensate them for that. By making control weather a ritual it means the PC has to make a meaningful deliberately investment in the ritual and by having it take a long time and a small radius it means the PCs won't simply cast it to negate minor negative effects at the drop of a hat "simply because they can" but instead means that casting the ritual will be a significant moment in the adventuring workday.


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Agreed with Captain Morgan. And while a GM may be able to come up with their own ideas like "Villain calling down a hurricane on city" having it as a ritual prompts the idea for inexperienced GMs or those who like having a conveniently-built way to have such things manifest.

I think it's important to give regard to how things like this benefit inexperienced GMs. Because honestly really experienced GMs need the rulebook a lot less. They will have a lot memorized and will have made changes to mold the game to the best for their table. Things like Rarity and Rituals and Exploration Mode may not be necessary for experienced GMs but can be excellent guidelines and prompts to those with less experience or even GMs with a few years of experience like me who like having guidelines or fresh ideas that can lighten my workload a bit.

And I love the idea of rituals in general, it gives these big magics a more significant feel, they can't just be popped off by an appropriate level wizard every day, they require work and planning, but can be done by anyone willing to put in the work and requirements.

That is to say they work more as a storytelling element than a gameplay feature but I think they also have much value in gameplay, particularly in that they open the potential to allow parties without casters to access certain important magical effects.


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Rituals serve to make magic available to everyone. Spell slot magic is "on demand" magic, whereas it's beneficial to allow a bunch of people to create a potentially powerful magical effect without actually being a high level spellcaster. We can reproduce the old trope of "cultists summon some powerful outsider and get more than they bargained for, and leave a mess the heroes have to clean up."

Plus some effects like "raising the dead" or "opening a planar gate" or "teleporting long distances" should be more involved than "I use a spell slot."


Between raise dead being made into a ritual, blindness/deafness being permanent only on a critical failure and the substantially number of reduced spell slots (and thus the substantially reduced number of times you can recover from negative effects via spells), clerics are a lot less powerful (and therefore mandatory) on the adventuring day beyond HP recovery.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

The big thing rituals add doesn't benefit wizards. It benefits non-casting classes who can now utilize important magical affects. This opens up a lot of new avenues for stories, where the arch-villain who binds a demon to his will could be a fighter, for example.

Whether control weather should be a ritual (or should be nerfed as hard as it was) is a completely separate issue from rituals as a concept.

And the demon couldn't be a fighter? Or Barbarian before? It HAD to be a spell caster?

It's the fact you're summoning a DEMON not the class attached to it that should allow for a gain in power. High class demons should be able to get away with such effect because they are High Class Demons, and even lower level ones could try to either fake the effect, use magic items to compensate, or call in a favor if they think the gains are worth it.

Granted this sounds more like Devil talk not Demons. And we don't have Demons yet.

Rituals just seem like a way to let the All Martial Party happen that everyone seems to want to do.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Plus some effects like "raising the dead" or "opening a planar gate" or "teleporting long distances" should be more involved than "I use a spell slot."

And what's involved with a Ritual besides time now? Heck it's just time now as people waved away Components for years and PF2 seemes to want to take them out so unless you keep players on a strict time table to the point they can't use Rituals, they are going to use and possibly spam them if they can.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

The big thing rituals add doesn't benefit wizards. It benefits non-casting classes who can now utilize important magical affects. This opens up a lot of new avenues for stories, where the arch-villain who binds a demon to his will could be a fighter, for example.

Whether control weather should be a ritual (or should be nerfed as hard as it was) is a completely separate issue from rituals as a concept.

And the demon couldn't be a fighter? Or Barbarian before? It HAD to be a spell caster?

It's the fact you're summoning a DEMON not the class attached to it that should allow for a gain in power. High class demons should be able to get away with such effect because they are High Class Demons, and even lower level ones could try to either fake the effect, use magic items to compensate, or call in a favor if they think the gains are worth it.

Granted this sounds more like Devil talk not Demons. And we don't have Demons yet.

Rituals just seem like a way to let the All Martial Party happen that everyone seems to want to do.

...I think there was miscommunication here, Captain Morgan seems to be saying that the Summoner could be a Fighter. The Demon (or Devil or whatever Extraplanar creature is getting summoned) can be whatever, as normal.


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Good points by Captain Morgan. I'm still struggling with the hit to a wizard or druid who could previously cast something like Control Weather in 10 minutes. Why does it have to be ritual only? I'd consider house ruling this to the old L6 or L7 spell (depending on version) and potentially allowing the ritual for others.

One thing I'm still having trouble with is the wording for the definition of a ritual which says it's still clearly a 'spell.' How does someone devoted only to martial prowess learn to cast it? What's to stop them from spending 8 hours to cast magic missile?


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The DM of wrote:
How does someone devoted only to martial prowess learn to cast it?

They don't. They learn how to swim fast, climb well and acrobatically move around the battlefield. They don't learn anything about primal magic or how to cast rituals.

Someone who is a master in nature is someone who has studied primal magic. Being a master of nature allows you to identify the properties of a magic item by analyzing the magical enchantment that has been cast on the item and learn a primal spell and copy it into a spellbook. Someone who is trained in nature is someone who has most definitely not devoted themselves only to martial prowess.

The DM of wrote:
What's to stop them from spending 8 hours to cast magic missile?

Ritual magic cannot be cast using spell slots and spells cannot be cast using ritual magic. It's like asking what stops a wizard from learning cure light wounds in Pathfinder 1e, or for using 2 1st level spell slots to cast a 2nd level spell slot. It simply cannot be done.

The DM of wrote:
Why does [control weather] have to be ritual only?

IMO it's about balancing the power over the narrative of the game. Giving casters the ability to ignore weather effects whenever they feel like doesn't increase their combat power, but it does increase their narrative power. Non-spellcasters don't get anything on a comparable level in PF1e and I'd be buggered if I could work out what they could get in PF2e.

By making it a ritual only that requires master in a skill someone has to devote substantial resources into learning (unless they're a druid or ranger) and then substantial resources into using.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
It simply cannot be done.

I don't ordinarily post a response like this, but this is the playtest, so a comment like this is not helpful. PF2 is all about doing things better. There is no room for "that's the way it is" comments.


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The DM of wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
It simply cannot be done.
I don't ordinarily post a response like this, but this is the playtest, so a comment like this is not helpful. PF2 is all about doing things better. There is no room for "that's the way it is" comments.

If it is your intent to make suggestions on how the rules could be changed please clearly identify them as such to ensure that they do not go missed by the devs.

Your question "why can't we" wasn't clearly a change request for the rules. As such I answered the question within the framework of the rules in the current playtest.

Furthermore I explained a potential reason as to why the playtest rules are the way they are. If you want your request for the change to be implemented you might do well to explain why the reasons I outlined are invalid and why they don't apply to your suggested change.


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I really like the concept of rituals, but the implementation needs some work. As stated by others it does let non-spellcasting classes in on performing magic instead of twiddling their thumbs. It also moves some effects out of needing your slots. Spontaneous casters can use their precious few spells known for spells that get more use and still have access to things that they'd only use in certain situations. I'd actually probably move a few more spells into rituals. Unseen Servant for one (with a much longer duration and no concentration requirement). Rituals can also open up role-playing opportunities. The quest to find and perform a ritual needed for the plot is a pretty classic trope that this can formalize in to the system.

But the details aren't quite there yet. The effects don't always justify the time investment required. If anything, rituals should probably be more powerful and longer lasting than PF1 spell equivalents, because you're more limited on when and how often you can use them. Or rituals need to abandon the idea that they're downtime only activities, that require at least a full day of work. I'd like to see some rituals castable in a number of hours instead of days. Considering APs tend to have very little downtime, and often have extreme time-pressure, there often isn't a chance for PCs to be able to use them. There's probably also room for some things to be available in both ritual and spell form. Like how we currently have Raise Dead as a spell and Resurrect as a ritual.

The example of control weather is pretty instructive, it basically requires you to dedicate all your time to it if you want to keep it active for any real length of time, and has a higher level than before. But if it could be cast in a couple of hours and last a day or two, or take a day and last a week, then it's actually something that might see use by anyone but a full time weatherman. Options to increase the range would also be helpful. I think rituals have a place, but they need more work, and sadly they didn't get touched on by the formal playtest at all.


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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.


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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.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
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.

os an even duller system with less options amd suffering from the table top mmo plague even more?


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One other consideration is that while rituals open doors to non-casters, casters will usually be the ones with the required proficiency anyway, or at least be more likely to already be invested in the skill. So they do indeed have a leg up on martials in practice.

The DM of: You're really focusing your contempt on the wrong things. Your thread title is pretty misleading with what you are actually upset about, and you are now criticizing John Lynch 106 in a way that doesn't actually have anything to do with what he wrote. You might want to spend a little more time reflecting on what you want, because as is you've been painting yourself into corners you probably don't want to be in. Being able to articulate what your actual problems are will help everyone to be able to respond to you. Doktor Weasel's post here, for example, is critical while also being more clear with what the actual issue is and what changes they'd like to see.

Shinigami02 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

The big thing rituals add doesn't benefit wizards. It benefits non-casting classes who can now utilize important magical affects. This opens up a lot of new avenues for stories, where the arch-villain who binds a demon to his will could be a fighter, for example.

Whether control weather should be a ritual (or should be nerfed as hard as it was) is a completely separate issue from rituals as a concept.

And the demon couldn't be a fighter? Or Barbarian before? It HAD to be a spell caster?

It's the fact you're summoning a DEMON not the class attached to it that should allow for a gain in power. High class demons should be able to get away with such effect because they are High Class Demons, and even lower level ones could try to either fake the effect, use magic items to compensate, or call in a favor if they think the gains are worth it.

Granted this sounds more like Devil talk not Demons. And we don't have Demons yet.

Rituals just seem like a way to let the All Martial Party happen that everyone seems to want to do.

...I think there was miscommunication here, Captain Morgan seems to be saying that the Summoner could be a Fighter. The Demon (or Devil or whatever Extraplanar creature is getting summoned) can be whatever, as normal.

Indeed, you are correct.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

One other consideration is that while rituals open doors to non-casters, casters will usually be the ones with the required proficiency anyway, or at least be more likely to already be invested in the skill. So they do indeed have a leg up on martials in practice.

The DM of: You're really focusing your contempt on the wrong things. Your thread title is pretty misleading with what you are actually upset about, and you are now criticizing John Lynch 106 in a way that doesn't actually have anything to do with what he wrote. You might want to spend a little more time reflecting on what you want, because as is you've been painting yourself into corners you probably don't want to be in. Being able to articulate what your actual problems are will help everyone to be able to respond to you. Doktor Weasel's post here, for example, is critical while also being more clear with what the actual issue is and what changes they'd like to see.

Shinigami02 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

The big thing rituals add doesn't benefit wizards. It benefits non-casting classes who can now utilize important magical affects. This opens up a lot of new avenues for stories, where the arch-villain who binds a demon to his will could be a fighter, for example.

Whether control weather should be a ritual (or should be nerfed as hard as it was) is a completely separate issue from rituals as a concept.

And the demon couldn't be a fighter? Or Barbarian before? It HAD to be a spell caster?

It's the fact you're summoning a DEMON not the class attached to it that should allow for a gain in power. High class demons should be able to get away with such effect because they are High Class Demons, and even lower level ones could try to either fake the effect, use magic items to compensate, or call in a favor if they think the gains are worth it.

Granted this sounds more like Devil talk not Demons. And we don't have Demons yet.

Rituals just seem like a way to let the All

...

except all rituals require secondary casters, so you can't secretly make a deal or bind anything.


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.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
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?')


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Captain Morgan wrote:
The DM of: You're really focusing your contempt on the wrong things. Your thread title is pretty misleading with what you are actually upset about, and you are now criticizing John Lynch 106 in a way that doesn't actually have anything to do with what he wrote. You might want to spend a little more time reflecting on what you want, because as is you've been painting yourself into corners you probably don't want to be in. Being able to articulate what your actual problems are will help everyone to be able to respond to you.

No contempt. I think I've been clear from the start:

The DM of wrote:
I can see this is testing out the concept of the ritual as a long, drawn out magical process to achieve a result, but is it worth it? What is this doing for the game? Anything fun? I'm asking that to see if anyone else is envisioning cool ideas coming from this. I'm drawing a blank from a player's perspective. Could an npc be drawing down a hurricane on your favorite city threatening to destroy it? And you need to reach him and stop him in 1 day? Sure, but as a GM I can come up with my own plot ideas without needing to restrict a spell from being a player ability to an npc/plot mechanism. How can the idea of rituals be fun for players?

I've heard lots of responses on how this opens up the door for plot mechanisms I have no need for as an experienced GM, but I do see the other side as being viable: Newer folks get some ideas for plots and adventures. That's positive. Seeing how non-caster classes can get access to some effects could be positive, but I'm not sure I agree. I posted this to have a conversation about it and hear others' ideas, which I'm listening to.

Overall the current Ritual system has the following failings to me still:
* Why should non-spellcasters have access to spells? Fighters get Legendary weapon proficiency. Wizards don't. Why does a Fighter get to cast anything?
* Casting time, duration, effect - These are all over the place in terms of viability for level of effort.
* Casters are losing tactical application of spells... for what? This was one of my original points. As a wizard or druid, for example, why is my Control Weather access later now? Why is the duration possibly 4 hours, and it now takes me 8 hours to cast? Why does it take so many people and Mastery in Nature?

How are Rituals making the game better, fixing a problem, or adding fun? If they're not doing one of these things, why are they a part of PF2? Should they be?


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The DM of wrote:
Why should non-spellcasters have access to spells? Fighters get Legendary weapon proficiency. Wizards don't. Why does a Fighter get to cast anything?

Wizards can hit things with weapons; they're just not as good at it. Fighters can do magic, given the right materials, they're just not as good at it.

Let's say I'm writing an adventure. I want the party to be able to do magic in order to complete the story. Their quest leads them to find a ritual in a book for how to seal the demon, repair the flying castle, cleanse the haunt, that kind of thing.

But as an adventure writer, I can't guarantee that any given group players will have the right kind of caster in the party. Rituals free me up from having to worry about that kind of thing.

Grand Lodge

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Matthew Downie wrote:
The DM of wrote:
Why should non-spellcasters have access to spells? Fighters get Legendary weapon proficiency. Wizards don't. Why does a Fighter get to cast anything?

Wizards can hit things with weapons; they're just not as good at it. Fighters can do magic, given the right materials, they're just not as good at it.

Let's say I'm writing an adventure. I want the party to be able to do magic in order to complete the story. Their quest leads them to find a ritual in a book for how to seal the demon, repair the flying castle, cleanse the haunt, that kind of thing.

But as an adventure writer, I can't guarantee that any given group players will have the right kind of caster in the party. Rituals free me up from having to worry about that kind of thing.

As an adventure writer, bemoaning the fact that a caster is required for the plot-specific "ritual" that you're written sounds like something that you could fix by writing it differently.


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Running the resentful loner doing the ritual is still pretty easy by RAW. Have them use Dominate (or whatever combination of appropriate enchantment magic) to force people into doing their bidding, then dispose of them afterwards. Admittedly, this is only doable by a Caster or someone with trick magic item, but that was true in PF1 anyway so it hasn't lost any ground.

I suppose a scary enough martial could also Coerce people into helping him as well.

The DM of wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
The DM of: You're really focusing your contempt on the wrong things. Your thread title is pretty misleading with what you are actually upset about, and you are now criticizing John Lynch 106 in a way that doesn't actually have anything to do with what he wrote. You might want to spend a little more time reflecting on what you want, because as is you've been painting yourself into corners you probably don't want to be in. Being able to articulate what your actual problems are will help everyone to be able to respond to you.

No contempt. I think I've been clear from the start:

The DM of wrote:
I can see this is testing out the concept of the ritual as a long, drawn out magical process to achieve a result, but is it worth it? What is this doing for the game? Anything fun? I'm asking that to see if anyone else is envisioning cool ideas coming from this. I'm drawing a blank from a player's perspective. Could an npc be drawing down a hurricane on your favorite city threatening to destroy it? And you need to reach him and stop him in 1 day? Sure, but as a GM I can come up with my own plot ideas without needing to restrict a spell from being a player ability to an npc/plot mechanism. How can the idea of rituals be fun for players?

I've heard lots of responses on how this opens up the door for plot mechanisms I have no need for as an experienced GM, but I do see the other side as being viable: Newer folks get some ideas for plots and adventures. That's positive. Seeing how non-caster classes can get access to some effects could be positive, but I'm not sure I agree. I posted this to have a conversation about it and hear others' ideas, which I'm listening to.

Overall the current Ritual system has the following failings to me still:
* Why should non-spellcasters have access to spells? Fighters get Legendary weapon proficiency. Wizards don't. Why does a Fighter get to cast anything?
* Casting time, duration, effect - These are all over the place in terms of viability...

All of these have been responded to already. The answers are extremely straightforward and frankly kind of indisputable. The actual issue just seems to be if those benefits are worth the costs.

The second and third point also aren't criticisms of rituals as a concept, just criticism of specific examples of rituals.

Rituals not feeling strong enough doesn't even feel like a complaint about rituals so much as a the common complaint that magic is too weak on the whole. We also know that Paizo is going to be adding more punch to spells in the final rulebook, and I see no reason for them not to include rituals in that makeover.

I'll also add that rituals are significantly more interesting than most spells, and making endeavors like raising the dead a risky process that involves the entire party makes for a better story than just popping a scroll.


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I like what rituals offer, but they do seem a bit too hard to cast successfully at the moment. Unless you are quite a few levels above what is needed for the ritual you will likely fail some of the secondary rolls resulting in a near impossible level dc for the primary roll. Casting planar binding for instance seems to result in a attacking demon or something similar almost all the time, unless the primary caster is at a level where he would wreck the demon regardless.

Dark Archive

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Skill dcs being broken isn't really fault of rituals though, since DCs being impossibly hard is common in this version anyway <_<

But yeah, I personally like rituals for the main reason for them: Flavor and allowing GM control powerful effects and opening the possibility of doing magical things without it just being "casting a spell".


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CorvusMask said wrote:

Skill dcs being broken isn't really fault of rituals though, since DCs being impossibly hard is common in this version anyway <_<

But yeah, I personally like rituals for the main reason for them: Flavor and allowing GM control powerful effects and opening the possibility of doing magical things without it just being "casting a spell".

Most of the broken DC's is more due to the rolls being opposed by monsters with too high bonuses as far as I understand (and some issues with jumping, but that is pretty far off-topic).

But the issue is not only the high DC for the rituals but the fact that they require multiple rolls. Anything where you need to roll 2-4 rolls in a row, hoping to get high rolls on all makes the odds go way down.

But yes hopefully that will be addressed in the final version. But a quick fix I would employ at the moment would be to make secondary checks go off medium dc and the primary check go off the hard dc instead, making level appropriate rituals more durable. And maybe house-rule some kind of option to cast rituals above your level at a penalty. I want to see some below level 12 cast planar binding with disastrous results.


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The old Control Weather also was only a radius of 2 miles and lasted for 4d12 hours (unless you were a druid in which case it was 3 miles and double duration). You can also now crit and affect a 5 mile radius for up to 16d12 hours (ridiculous!). It's also interesting to note that you get up to two effects at once. And as a 9th level ritual you can even do impossible combos of things like extreme cold and hurricanes and summon them from any of the lists - that sort of stuff was only achievable by high level mythic play. But it's now available to everyone!

Before you had to put it in a spell slot. A spell that takes 20 min to come online and is super situational. Unless you knew ahead of time what you were walking into, you usually didn't prep that spell. Which means that if you encountered a surprise weather phenomenon, it would take you just as long to do something about it with pretty comparable results (unless it was a Druid).

In PF2 I would absolutely hate devoting one of my very limited spell slots to this. Even if it was the old 20min to take effect spell.

Honestly, this spell specifically makes a lot of sense as a ritual. Even besides all the story/plot reasons for this, it's better for player power fantasies as well as it's not really that big of a nerf.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
The DM of wrote:
Why should non-spellcasters have access to spells? Fighters get Legendary weapon proficiency. Wizards don't. Why does a Fighter get to cast anything?

Wizards can hit things with weapons; they're just not as good at it. Fighters can do magic, given the right materials, they're just not as good at it.

Let's say I'm writing an adventure. I want the party to be able to do magic in order to complete the story. Their quest leads them to find a ritual in a book for how to seal the demon, repair the flying castle, cleanse the haunt, that kind of thing.

But as an adventure writer, I can't guarantee that any given group players will have the right kind of caster in the party. Rituals free me up from having to worry about that kind of thing.

Look at the requirements for Rituals, they tend to dictate a very focused skill set. So while you don't require a caster, you do require someone hyper focused on that specific ritual to make it work .


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Even before the Occult books introduced rituals to Pathfinder, I've always wanted to see them in the game. They're just such an iconic part of magical fantasy that it feels lacking if they aren't somewhere in the rules. I mean, what's an evil cultist supposed to do if they're not able to prepare to attempt some risky and grand ritual? That said, I still think they need work along with some lower level/shorter duration rituals. (Heck, I've always interpreted the hour long spell preparation in the morning as basically a flexible ritual for spellcasters to pre-set complex magic for quicker completion when needed later in the day.)

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.

While I'd probably agree that some more spells could be converted into rituals, especially any which take longer than 1 round to cast, I really don't want to see all spells become combat-only. For me, that'd take part of the magic out of magic.

My personal preference for changes to rituals would be:

  • Remove the rarity restriction in that they always must be uncommon or greater. That's fine as a baseline for higher level or grander rituals, but it really limits design space.
  • Remove the downtime-only restriction. Again, appropriate for bigger rituals, but prevents the design of any type of "minor" ritual. With the addition of Treat Wounds and the expectation of a roughly 10 min "break" between combats, there is a good design space available for minor 10min rituals that can be performed by a single character while others are treating wounds or identifying items.
  • Add more interesting costs rather than just things that can easily be translated into a gp value. Part of the appeal of big rituals is needing to locate hard-to-find materials or set up during a certain time (full-moon, eclipse, etc.) to even attempt it in the first place.
  • Add some type of common cantrip-esque level 0 rituals, the type of stuff a wizard-in-training would learn prior to mastering 1st level spells.
  • Add costs to purchase the common-rarity minor rituals so that characters can have some expectation to be able to reliably access the system. Again, uncommon+ is fine for the big rituals, but if everything is uncommon+ then many groups will never even try rituals in the first place.

  • Exo-Guardians

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    Charon Onozuka wrote:

    My personal preference for changes to rituals would be:

  • Remove the rarity restriction in that they always must be uncommon or greater. That's fine as a baseline for higher level or grander rituals, but it really limits design space.
  • Remove the downtime-only restriction. Again, appropriate for bigger rituals, but prevents the design of any type of "minor" ritual. With the addition of Treat Wounds and the expectation of a roughly 10 min "break" between combats, there is a good design space available for minor 10min rituals that can be performed by a single character while others are treating wounds or identifying items.
  • Add more interesting costs rather than just things that can easily be translated into a gp value. Part of the appeal of big...
  • One thing a DM of mine accidentally did was create a Monk specific ritual for a character I was playing. I was able to meditate for a time and then sense the life energy around my character. It was pretty fluffy and even got us into a combat encounter or two when the Lawful Good Blacksmith suddenly darted off to try and save some travelers who were getting attacked. I really enjoyed that little ability and I think it brings about the idea of

    Class specific rituals as well. Like the Monk's meditation, or a Fighter's battle rites, a Barbarian doing some sort of war dance and a cleric praying to their deity before a fight. Little stuff that's fun to use and confers some minor benefit.


    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    CorvusMask wrote:
    But yeah, I personally like rituals for the main reason for them: Flavor and allowing GM control powerful effects and opening the possibility of doing magical things without it just being "casting a spell".

    These are basically my thoughts with regard to Rituals. Often, I will work with the various components of a ritual, and work them more deeply into the story, and also any other sort of "massaging" for dramatic effect. But, that is really the job of the DM for everything, I suppose :)

    It is useful to have the mechanical examples to assist the story I am trying to tell. They are a tool I am happy to have in the DM toolbox.


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    I'm a big fan of "exploration mode relevant rituals". Like Ultimate Wilderness had a ritual where you basically secure your campsite. It's not doable at low levels, but at mid-levels this saves you on alarm spells and having to set a watch.

    More things like this, where magic exists as a convenience for people in the world, would be nice. Magic that keeps bears out of your food pack is the sort of thing all sorts of people would gladly share with anyone, less so anything usable offensively.


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    Setting plot mechanisms and fluff/non-spell rituals aside, I'm seeing only one player usage idea: Non-casters get access to spells.

    I think it's fair to set these two use cases aside, because you don't need to reduce slot spells to rituals to achieve either of them. You can plot whatever you want as a DM, and you can create any rituals to do neat new effects.

    Allowing non-casters access to previously class-locked slot spells is a large new benefit for non-casters, and it comes at the expense of the caster's class. Where previously a caster could use a slot to cast any of these non-combat spells immediately or in short time, they now need a higher level, lots of time, multiple helpers, and a master level skill or higher in some cases. Master level skills are very uncommon for most classes which adds yet another gate to what a caster could previously cast on demand.

    Rituals are another downgrade to casters without reason. Coming up with a way for non-casters to put a lot of effort forth to perform one is one thing. Taking them away from a class is another, and it's unnecessary. Rituals could be effects added to the game. They don't have to also be spells taken away from a caster.

    I'm curious to see how PF2 finalizes on these, but in my PF2 campaign, I'll be house ruling the rituals as normal spells for their original caster classes while maintaining them as rituals for the time being for non-casters to see if it's worth anything.

    Edit: I'll take this one step further. Not only does this take away spells from the slots of caster, rituals actually take every spell slot you have, potentially for days. You can memorize all you like, but if you spend the entire day ritualing, you can't cast any of them. You could say the same for a fighter spending days on a ritual, but I don't see any rituals a bunch of casters could perform to get Legendary ability with weapons or armor for any duration. Those continue to be locked behind the non-caster classes while spells are unlocked for pure martials at the cost of the caster.


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    I'm a big fan of "exploration mode relevant rituals". Like Ultimate Wilderness had a ritual where you basically secure your campsite. It's not doable at low levels, but at mid-levels this saves you on alarm spells and having to set a watch.

    More things like this, where magic exists as a convenience for people in the world, would be nice. Magic that keeps bears out of your food pack is the sort of thing all sorts of people would gladly share with anyone, less so anything usable offensively.

    Or you know, take Nature/Survival checks to prepare the camp site against bears. Or good role play. Or any number of ways that could guard against bears.

    Alchemical item that might cause bears to not like coming close like some sort of repellent? NAH, break out the Ritual, we live in high magic that everyone likes but everyone complains about breaking the game, why do we need that?

    EDIT; I would like to say however, this is worry for the future. Not know. To try and build off it a bit;

    You have enough skill and characters to pull off this "Protection" Ritual out in the wild. Why bother with anything else? Why roll Survival which might fail and the GM doesn't need to tell you if it did or not? Why bother describing plans about how you set up camp and going through the actions as the characters? Why bother bringing items that might push you into Overencumbered.

    Throw the Ritual down, problem solved, take your Rest.

    I'm not opposed to the Rituals as of right now(I see them as not really adding much either but eh). But going forward, the issue is that Rituals will have to be weighed against Skills, Class Feats, other Spells, and even Items.

    And I would hate to see Rituals win out basically all the time.


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    The DM of wrote:


    Edit: I'll take this one step further. Not only does this take away spells from the slots of caster, rituals actually take every spell slot you have, potentially for days. You can memorize all you like, but if you spend the entire day ritualing, you can't cast any of them. You could say the same for a fighter spending days on a ritual, but I don't see any rituals a bunch of casters could perform to get Legendary ability with weapons or armor for any duration. Those continue to be locked behind the non-caster classes while spells are unlocked for pure martials at the cost...

    I think it's a pretty non controversial comment to say that in PF1e casters have a disproportionate amount of power compared to no casters. Both in and out of combat. You very well may disagree with that assessment, but I think it's safe to say that this puts you in the minority.

    Requiring a master rank in Nature for rituals is a deliberate gating effect of rituals and is most definitely designed to make it harder for casters to learn every ritual in the book. As a wizard you become trained in 8 skills at 1st level, that's a huge benefit. But you can only become legendary in a maximum of 3. That's a deliberate nerf to wizards. Incidentally a 20th level wizard can have the following Proficiencies in skills:
    Trained: Society, Craft, Military Lore
    Master: Occultism, Nature, Religion
    Legendary: Arcana

    This gives you access to every ritual in the game, something that a caster could never achieve in PF1e.

    If you don't think that casters have disproportionate power in PF1e then you are going to disagree that rituals are necessary. If you do agree that they ave too much power then I'd be curious to see what your proposed solution is.


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    The DM of wrote:

    Rituals are another downgrade to casters without reason. Coming up with a way for non-casters to put a lot of effort forth to perform one is one thing. Taking them away from a class is another, and it's unnecessary. Rituals could be effects added to the game. They don't have to also be spells taken away from a caster.

    I'm curious to see how PF2 finalizes on these, but in my PF2 campaign, I'll be house ruling the rituals as normal spells for their original caster classes while maintaining them as rituals for the time being for non-casters to see if it's worth anything.

    That sounds like how 5E handled it. Certain spells (such as Detect Magic or Water Breathing) also have the Ritual tag. They can still be cast as normal spells by the caster (using a spell slot and taking effect right then), or anyone capable of using Rituals (most casters, anyone else who has Ritual Caster as a feat, and a few other cases) can cast them without using up a spell slot (especially if they don't even have spell slots) by adding ten minutes to the casting time.


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    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).


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    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    I think it's a pretty non controversial comment to say that in PF1e casters have a disproportionate amount of power compared to no casters. Both in and out of combat. You very well may disagree with that assessment, but I think it's safe to say that this puts you in the minority.

    This thread poses the question, "What do rituals add to the game?" It's not a thread about your opinions on which classes are the most powerful or whether classes in a team fantasy rpg need mmo power parity because they have to fight each other at some point. Please start your own thread if you want to discuss that.

    Looking through the rituals list last night, I found it a pretty bizarre grouping. Powerful spells like Wish, Disintegrate, Wall of Stone, Lightning Bolt, Teleport weren't there but class-required or defining spells like Atone and Resurrect were. Planar Ally was L5, but Nature's Ally was L6. Control Weather was never a game breaker. Controlling the weather is not an I-win button, and it's highly situational. However, it could previously be cast at L13. Now it's an L8 ritual which means L16 minimum. None of this shows any reason or thought put into what exactly is being accomplished with the playtest Ritual system.

    Thus the question, and I'll pose it again: Other than plot hooks or fluff/net-new cool effects for specific players, what does the formalized Ritual system add to PF2?

    I've given my summary. I'll leave it there to listen for anyone's ideas.


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    The DM of wrote:
    This thread poses the question, "What do rituals add to the game?" It's not a thread about your opinions on which classes are the most powerful or whether classes in a team fantasy rpg need mmo power parity because they have to fight each other at some point. Please start your own thread if you want to discuss that.

    Your trying really hard to avoid that point, so here it is in black and white: rituals make the most powerful classes less powerful without removing those spell's from the game.

    The DM of wrote:
    Looking through the rituals list last night, I found it a pretty bizarre grouping. Powerful spells like Wish, Disintegrate, Wall of Stone, Lightning Bolt, Teleport weren't there but class-required or defining spells like Atone and Resurrect were.

    Its bizarre to you because you're refusing to understand why rituals have been added to the game. It is about removing important spell's from a world building perspective away from the most powerful classes and making them something anyone can achieve that is willing to put the investment in.

    The DM of wrote:
    Controlling the weather is not an I-win button,

    No one said it was. If you were willing to read my posts you would understand why it's a ritual.

    The DM of wrote:
    None of this shows any reason or thought put into what exactly is being accomplished with the playtest Ritual system.

    Only because you refuse to see why rituals have been put in.

    The DM of wrote:
    Other than plot hooks or fluff/net-new cool effects for specific players, what does the formalized Ritual system add to PF2?

    It has been out in for "fluff" reasons. You either accept that or you don't. Disregarding it will get you nowhere.

    I've given my summary. I'll leave it there to listen for anyone's ideas.


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    I like the idea of rituals. The Things that actually became Rituals are indeed very strange.

    What it should be is a number of Quality of Life spells that nobody ever took as prepared spells but were interesting nonetheless, thereby freeing up the reduced spell Slots while still making you feel magical.

    In Addition, do like the link to skills instead of Slots, theoretically opening it up to other classes as well. To make this interesting, there need to be a number of lower Level rituals. Things like the aforementioned Unseen Servant, Create Food & Water, Tongues, Sanctify, are all Things I could see as interesting rituals.

    Summon Spells and Gate Spells belong there.

    Control Weather is perfectly placed as a ritual, as it is so situational that nobody ever prepared it off Hand.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    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.


    Oh wow, the new control weather has no limits/considerations based on the climate your in. You can now flood the desert if you wanted to. I think it's perfect reasonable to bump up the level of it. Even before it's a pretty powerful spell. Not so useful for combat and whatnot, but you could use it to completely ruin a small town if you felt like it. Just pop by and spend 10 min once a day/every other day and keep it in perpetual rain/drought for a while. And that seems pretty strong for a level 13 character. Now you can't just do that on a whim and that's not an issue for me. Not to mention a better version than the previously mythic version of it is available to 9th level casters.

    Most of the spells they picked make very reasonable sense as rituals. Atone is definitely something that should take a long time to go through. Raise Dead still exists so it's just neat that now you can do a complicated ritual to bring people back from the dead. All of those "Summon a planar being for help" are definitely thematic as rituals.

    Casters really aren't losing out on much power, these things being rituals feel much more thematically appropriate, and it's neat that you don't necessarily need to be a caster to do these things. It opens up a lot of fun "stop the cult from summoning the bad guy" plots". Which were a thing before, but there weren't really any mechanics explaining why it was like that. It also allows for "break up the coven that's cursing us with drought". Which was definitely not a real thing before as it only takes 10min to cast and you had no real reason to stick around long enough to get caught/stopped.


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    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.


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    I never liked "summon more demons as a full round action" honestly. While "more demons enter the fray" should be a possibility when fighting a gaggle of them, this seems like a thing the demonic frontline should be invested in protecting the back line while they do it.

    I prefer "the PCs stumble on a ritual to summon more demons that is near completion" (for fun, start the clock when they start the dungeon in order to make those 10 minute rests more expensive) to "the demon can take a round to call in reinforcements just whenever."


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    Anyone else think rituals really don't have much space in the playtest? I've been thinking back, we haven't used them at all. There isn't time or resources to learn and use rituals it seems. I'm a bit sad that they didn't cut rituals out of the playtest and use that page space for something that could be playtested more effectively.

    If there were 10 minute rituals, and more ways to learn rituals, maybe someone would have done them. Heck, even 1 hour rituals would be tolerable. But needing a whole day to do them is a bit difficult to work into the scenario time crunches, which makes it hard to gauge how much more powerful some rituals would be if they were a bit quicker.

    Alternatively, if there was more downtime for rituals in doomsday dawn, along with robust provisions for acquiring rituals, possibly even with a scenario that wants to test rituals to some extent, that would make the ritual section seem more useful too. Players could reasonably employ them and give feedback on whether they actually work in-play or there are flaws which are hard to notice without playtest.

    Like, the system is fine (ish, it could use work IMO), and with some more support with things like ritual based feats I'm sure the system is fantastic, but it seems like it is a waste to include in the playtest. I suppose there needs to be atonement and ressurection to help explain the parts 1/4/7 party surviving deaths/violations of codes, but otherwise I don't see how they help the playtest.


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    I mean yeah, none of my groups have used Rituals yet either because of the time. If that gets shaved down, I'm a bit worried how they will interact with skills and items but as I said before, they aren't in a bad spot. I don't mind the selection of spells being moved over to Ritual.

    But yeah if they are locked to 8 hours, I question how used these are going to be by the player. Sure the GM can use them but GM is GM, they can bend or explain things away on their end.

    Data from PFS is gonna be interesting.


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    Paradozen said wrote:

    Anyone else think rituals really don't have much space in the playtest? I've been thinking back, we haven't used them at all. There isn't time or resources to learn and use rituals it seems. I'm a bit sad that they didn't cut rituals out of the playtest and use that page space for something that could be playtested more effectively.

    If there were 10 minute rituals, and more ways to learn rituals, maybe someone would have done them. Heck, even 1 hour rituals would be tolerable. But needing a whole day to do them is a bit difficult to work into the scenario time crunches, which makes it hard to gauge how much more powerful some rituals would be if they were a bit quicker.

    Alternatively, if there was more downtime for rituals in doomsday dawn, along with robust provisions for acquiring rituals, possibly even with a scenario that wants to test rituals to some extent, that would make the ritual section seem more useful too. Players could reasonably employ them and give feedback on whether they actually work in-play or there are flaws which are hard to notice without playtest.

    Like, the system is fine (ish, it could use work IMO), and with some more support with things like ritual based feats I'm sure the system is fantastic, but it seems like it is a waste to include in the playtest. I suppose there needs to be atonement and ressurection to help explain the parts 1/4/7 party surviving deaths/violations of codes, but otherwise I don't see how they help the playtest.

    Well having the rituals in the document lets the players see it and comment on it a bit. It could have been put in as quest for one of the adventures, but that wouldn't really test the mechanics of it I think unless the players were supposed to do it or help with it.

    I would assume they just printed it to give us a sort of a preview of it, kinda like level 10 spells or class feats above level 17, they won't have any impact on the actual playtesting but it did let us get some kind of idea of it and the chance to comment on it like this thread does.

    I do personally see them being more used by the GM, but I do like that they printed actual mechanics for it to inspire GMs or make it easier to implement for newer GM's that would be unsure how to do it otherwise. In general I think Paizo is trying to make the game easier for newer GMs with stuff like exploration mode and downtime mode to get a feel for the more non-mechanical aspects of the game (while letting experienced GMs just house-rule it to better fit their tables).


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    Paradozen wrote:
    Anyone else think rituals really don't have much space in the playtest?

    Yes. They were underdeveloped and pretty much ignored as far as feedback goes (I can't remember any of the general surveys addressing them directly)

    It's the kind of system that needs to be committed to, as it changes the landscape and assumptions of the game dramatically (for the better, provided it is done well- 5e's 'free spells any time you have 10 minutes' is not, particularly)

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