Chapter 9 - Rituals

Rituals are complex ceremonies that create magic effects. You don’t memorize or prepare a ritual; a ritual is so long and complex that no one could ever commit the whole thing to memory. To perform a ritual, you need to read from a book or a scroll containing it. A ritual book contains one or more rituals that you can use as often and as many times as you like, as long as you can spare the time and the components to perform the ritual.

A ritual scroll contains a single ritual, and you can perform the ritual from that scroll only once. After that, the magic contained in the scroll is expended, and the scroll turns to dust. Anyone can use a ritual scroll to perform the ritual it contains, as long as the appropriate components are expended. This chapter explains the following:

Acquiring and Mastering a Ritual: All about ritual books and scrolls, how you acquire them, and
how you master a ritual.

Performing a Ritual: How to perform a ritual, whether from a ritual book or scroll.

How to Read a Ritual: The specifics on how to understand a ritual’s description and effects.

Ritual Descriptions: Descriptions of a wide variety of rituals, from binding rituals to warding rituals.

Acquiring And Mastering A Ritual

Before you can perform a ritual, you need to acquire a ritual book that contains it and master the ritual, or you need to acquire a ritual scroll.

Acquiring a Ritual Book

You can buy ritual books or find them as treasure. You can also make a copy of an existing ritual book, and some classes give you free access to a number of rituals. Wizards hold both their spells and their rituals in their spellbooks.

Buying a Ritual Book: You can buy a ritual book for 50 gp. A ritual book is 128 pages long. Each ritual takes up a number of pages equal to its level. The description of each ritual gives its market price, which is the gold piece cost for a book containing that ritual or the cost to add the new ritual to your existing ritual book or spellbook (if there’s enough room in it).

Finding a Ritual Book: When you explore a ruined library, delve into a lost temple, or do away with a villainous wizard, you might discover tomes on arcane philosophy that contain rituals. Such ritual books are part of the treasure you acquire while adventuring.

Creating a Ritual Book: You can create a new ritual book by copying an existing one. You can’t make a ritual book for a ritual that’s higher level than you are, and you can’t make a book by copying a ritual scroll, because the scroll doesn’t contain the entire ritual.

When you create a ritual book or copy a ritual into an existing book, you don’t just write a series of words on each page; you bind some of the ritual’s magic into the book. Therefore, you need a book of the highest quality, exotic inks, and expensive components, with a total cost equal to the ritual’s market price. You don’t save any gold by creating a ritual book instead of buying it.

In addition to requiring gold, creating a ritual book or copying a ritual into an existing book takes time: 8 hours for a heroic tier ritual (1st–10th level), 16 hours for a paragon tier ritual (11th–20th level), and 24 hours for an epic tier ritual (21st–30th level).

If you copy a ritual that you haven’t already mastered, the time you spend copying it enables you to master the ritual.

Mastering A Ritual

Owning a ritual book isn’t enough to let you perform the ritual or rituals in it. You must first master a ritual by studying it for 8 uninterrupted hours. (If you gained a ritual by creating its book yourself or by obtaining it as a class feature, you have already mastered it.)

You must meet two requirements to master a ritual. You must have the Ritual Caster feat (clerics and wizards get this feat at 1st level), and your level must equal or exceed the ritual’s level. If you meet those requirements and spend 8 hours studying a ritual, you can add it to your list of mastered rituals. As long as you have the ritual’s book handy, you can perform a mastered ritual whenever you want.

There’s no limit to the number of rituals you can master.

Acquiring a Ritual Scroll

A ritual scroll is a single page of parchment, vellum, or paper.

Buying a Ritual Scroll: Like a ritual book, a ritual scroll can be purchased for the given market price.

Finding a Ritual Scroll: Ritual scrolls can also be found as treasure.

Creating a Ritual Scroll: You can create a ritual scroll by transcribing a ritual you have mastered. Creating a ritual scroll takes twice the amount of time as creating a ritual book but costs the same price.

Limitation: Even though a ritual scroll lets you perform a ritual, you can neither master a ritual from a scroll nor copy a scroll into a ritual book. A scroll is a condensed version of a ritual, partially cast and primed so that it only takes up a single page.

Performing a Ritual

To perform a ritual that you have mastered, you spend a certain amount of time (specified in the ritual description) performing various actions appropriate to the ritual. The actions might include reading long passages out of the ritual book, scribing complex diagrams on the ground, burning special incense or sprinkling mystic reagents at appropriate times, or performing a long set of meticulous gestures. The specific activities required aren’t described in most ritual descriptions; they’re left to your imagination.

A ritual requires certain esoteric components, which you purchase before you perform the ritual and which are expended when the ritual is complete. Each ritual specifies the cost of the components you need.

If a ritual requires a skill check, the check usually determines the ritual’s effectiveness. Even if the check result is low, a ritual usually succeeds, but if the result is high, you can usually achieve better effects.

Assisting in a Ritual

Unless a ritual specifies otherwise, up to four of your allies can help you perform a ritual. Everyone assisting you must be within 5 squares of you, and each assistant must actively participate in the ritual for the entire time required to complete it. Your assistants need neither the Ritual Caster feat nor knowledge of the specific ritual.

Your allies can assist you in two ways. First, if the ritual requires spending healing surges or some other resource, willing allies can contribute those resources. (Certain rituals might allow unwilling participants to pay those costs as well, but such rituals involve sacrifices to malevolent gods or demon lords and are not found in the ritual books of most player characters.) Second, your allies can assist with the skill check you make to complete a ritual, using the normal rules for cooperating on another character’s skill check

Interrupting a Ritual

At any time before a ritual is completed, you can stop it and suffer no ill effect. You don’t expend any components or pay any costs until a ritual is completed. You can’t resume a ritual that was interrupted, however, so you do lose the time you spent on an interrupted ritual.

Using a Ritual Scroll

A ritual scroll holds one use of a particular ritual. You can perform a scroll’s ritual even if you don’t have the Ritual Caster feat, regardless of the level of the ritual. You still have to expend the components and supply any focus required by the ritual, and you can enlist your allies’ assistance. Once you have finished performing the ritual on a scroll, the scroll turns to dust. If the ritual is interrupted, the scroll remains intact.

Time: Casting a ritual from a scroll takes half the time indicated in a ritual’s description, since the creation of the scroll has primed the magic.

How to Read a Ritual

Rituals are described in a consistent format, the elements of which are outlined below.

Name a Flavor Text

Beneath a ritual’s name is a short passage of flavor text that tells what a ritual accomplishes, sometimes expressing that information in terms of what the ritual looks like or sounds like as it’s being performed.


Each ritual has a level. You have to be that level or higher to perform the ritual from a book or to copy it.


A ritual is classified in one or more categories, which describe the ritual’s general nature and function. Each
of the nine ritual categories is associated with one or
more skills (given in parentheses in the following list).

Binding (Arcana or Religion): These rituals seek to lure, ensnare, control, or protect you from other beings, sometimes from other planes.

Creation (Arcana or Religion): These rituals are used to craft magic items and other special objects.

Deception (Arcana): Deception rituals cloak reality behind various facades.

Divination (Arcana, Nature, or Religion): These rituals provide advice, information, or guidance.

Exploration (Arcana, Nature, or Religion): A catch-all category, exploration rituals include a variety of effects useful in everyday adventuring.

Restoration (Heal): These rituals remove ill effects from the living or bring back the dead.

Scrying (Arcana): Scrying rituals let the caster spy on locations, objects, or creatures.

Travel (Arcana): Travel rituals transport characters from one place, or plane, to another.

Warding (Arcana): These rituals provide various forms of protection.


Performing a ritual takes the specified amount of time. Using a scroll cuts that time in half.


This entry shows how long a ritual’s effects last after the completion of the ritual. The effects of a ritual usually last longer than those of a power.

Component Cost

This is the value of the components that must be expended to perform a ritual. A ritual’s key skill determines the kind of components required.

• Alchemical Reagents (Arcana): Typically these are small vials full of powdered metals, rare earths, acids, salts, or extracts from creatures such as dragons or basilisks.

• Mystic Salves (Heal): Restoration rituals use mystic salves, dabbed or painted on the creatures to be healed. These salves come in small jars and include blessed oils and unguents made from rare spices

• Rare Herbs (Nature): Rare herbs are usually collected and preserved during certain times of year, such as when the moon is full.

• Sanctified Incense (Religion): Sanctified incense is prepared during certain religious rites and is burned as a powder or a stick.

• Residuum (Any): The concentrated magical substance that results from performing the Disenchant Magic Item ritual, residuum can be used as a component for any ritual. You can’t usually buy it on the open market; you acquire it by draining it out of magic items.

You can use the components associated with a key skill for any ritual that uses that skill. For example, if you stock up on alchemical reagents, you can use them when you perform any Arcana-based ritual. Ritual components are not interchangeable; you can’t use alchemical reagents to perform a ritual requiring sanctified incense, for example. But you can use residuum for any ritual.

You can buy ritual components at some shops, your allies can provide them (sharing the cost of a ritual with you), or you might find them as treasure. However you acquire components, record their value on your character sheet. When you perform a ritual, mark off the ritual’s cost from the appropriate components.

Some rituals’ descriptions note other costs, including healing surges or a focus item (such as a mirror or a crystal ball for a scrying ritual). A focus item is not expended when you perform a ritual.

Market Price

This entry is the cost to purchase a ritual book containing the ritual or to copy a ritual into an existing ritual book. A scroll containing a ritual costs the same amount.

Key Skill

A ritual’s key skill determines the type of components required to perform the ritual, and if a ritual requires a skill check, the key skill is used for the check. If this entry ends with “(no check),” then the ritual does not require a skill check.

If a ritual has more than one key skill, you choose which skill to use. Your choice determines both the components you use and the skill you use for any checks required by the ritual.

Unless a ritual’s description says otherwise, you make your skill check when you finish performing a ritual. You can’t take 10 on one of these skill checks.


The text that follows the foregoing information describes what happens when you finish performing a ritual.

Ritual Descriptions

The ritual descriptions use the words “character” and “creature” interchangeably.

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