Ritual magic for D&D

A wizard can cast a spell without spending a spell slot (or spell points or whatever) . This ritual requires:

  • 10 minutes per spell level squared in the casting. During this time, the caster must devote all their energies into this: they cannot be riding, or be interrupted, or eat (they may drink, if the drink is handed to them).
  • Incense and so forth equaling 10gp per spell level (in addition to any other material components required by the spell). Each assistant reduces the cost by 1gp.
Spell Level Casting Time
1st 10 minutes
2nd 40 minutes
3rd 1.5 hours
4th 2 hours 40 minutes
5th 4 hours 10 minutes
6th 6 hours
7th 8 hours 10 minutes
8th 10 hours 40 minutes
9th 13 hours 30 minutes

If the spell wasn’t prepared, the caster must succeed at an INT check (DC 10 + spell level, or with a penalty = spell level, whichever is more appropriate). Otherwise the spell fails and the time and incense are wasted.

[This has the effect of making spells like detect magic much easier to use – there’s no need to skip it because you want an extra magic missile. 5e came close, but it only allowed a few spells to be rituals (which I feels stifles creativity). Also, I quite like the idea of high-level spells being cast as all-day rituals.]

Another option: allow PCs to study/pray to swap out memorised spells during the day: this takes 10 minutes per spell level, and a successful INT/WIS check (as above).


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