Where have all the rituals gone (sung to the tune of where have all the cowboys gone)?!

Essentials classes don’t get the Ritual Caster feat, and there are no rituals in Heroes of the Fallen Lands. Arguably the most important rituals, Raise Dead and Enchant Magic Item, are dealt with in other ways.

Enchant Magic Item is dealt with by not letting PCs enchant magic items. Most magic items are now “uncommon” or “rare”, which means they “are not usually created in the current age of the world”, and the book assumes that “common” magic items are created by NPCs.

Raise Dead is replaced with the 8th level Warpriest class feature, Resurrection, which is pretty much identical, except that

  • it can only be cast on someone who died in the past 24 hours (as opposed to a month for Raise Dead).

  • the death penalty (-1 to all rolls) can be eliminated by 3 milestones or 3 extended rests, which means you can sleep it off; you don’t have to adventure it off.
  • Instead of costing thousands of GP, it’s FREEEEEEE!

    That definitely takes the sting off of dying, especially in the early levels of a tier. 500 gold isn’t much to a level 10 character, but to a level 1 character it’s a small fortune! Similarly, 5,000 gold is a big hit to a level 11 party. One thing I do like about this is that there’s less incentive for people to make new characters when they die, something that I’ve had some trouble with in my campaign.

    Create Water might not have been a ritual, but it should have been. This is now an encounter power available to the storm domain! Crazy and actually pretty powerful. Imagine if you could walk into any desert and start pumping out a gallon of water every five minutes. You and your party would certainly never go without! Unfortunately, Dark Sun is the only campaign world in which this would be super useful, and there are no clerics in Dark Sun.

More Essentials thoughts…


3 Responses to “Where have all the rituals gone (sung to the tune of where have all the cowboys gone)?!”

  1. Gary says:

    I am disappointed by the lack of rituals in the HotF{L,K} sources. A lot of the utility magic of ages yore were subsumed by rituals in 4e. I do think they tend to go underutilized in RPGA organized play. However, in my home game, our party typically uses them at least once a session. Our Wizard was absent last time, and we really could have used knock as well as the other survival related rituals. We are constantly disenchanting old equipment to feed to the hungry ritual machine.

    That being said, I really like the new books. The Essentials builds will never be as powerful as an optimized Core build. On the other hand, it’ll be really hard to screw up an Essentials build: they will always be good and useful. I’m going to keep a stack of Slayer character sheets in my car so I always have something simple and useful to hand the ever-present New Guy. That the most simple build previously was a twin-striking bow ranger was a crime against newbies. I’m sorely tempted to run an Essentials game from level 1 to get the simplified old-school feel* without crusty old-school mechanics.

    * I deny those who think 4e is too soft on PCs, but don’t ask me. Ask my players from Saturday’s game day when I managed to kill no less than three PCs. Or the guys from the Dark Sun game day three weeks ago, where I killed one and nearly got the whole party.

  2. Moon DM says:

    We never use rituals because we are too cheap! Maybe if they cost less they would have been more of a hit with us.

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