Excerpts Archive | 2/27/2009
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Excerpts: PH2 Rituals
Player's Handbook 2

In today’s Player's Handbook 2 preview, we introduce new rituals including Animal Friendship!


From ancient rites and ceremonies to arcane forces bound to music, rituals have many forms and functions in D&D. Rituals create magical effects through the recitation and performance of magical formulas drawn from ritual scrolls and books. This section provides a variety of rituals, many of which are tailored for the new classes in this book. Although these rituals evoke arcane, divine, and primal themes, any adventurer who has the Ritual Caster feat can master and perform most of them.

Although the ritual books described in the Player’s Handbook contain all the instructions necessary to master and perform a ritual, their form may be unappealing to characters who have forsaken the traditional trappings of civilization. Variant ritual book options can reconcile a character’s background with his or her desire to use ritual magic.

Some ritual casters record their rituals in an unorthodox manner. They inscribe rituals on cured hides, etch them into stone tablets, or paint them onto armor or weapons. Remote cultures and isolated ritual casters have even more esoteric methods of storing and encoding their rituals, from patterns of knots tied in rope to tiny statuettes displaying the required body motions, or even tubes of glass that convey the ritual through shape and color. No matter what form it takes, a variant ritual book still requires a 50 gp investment. In addition, a ritual caster must spend the same amount of time to create it and to master the rituals within it as described in "Creating a Ritual Book" on page 298 of the Player’s Handbook. Each of these unusual methods of storing rituals contains the same amount of space for recording rituals as a traditional ritual book.

Rituals by Level

Lvl Ritual Key Skill
1 Create Campsite Nature
1 Glib Limerick* Arcana
1 Traveler’s Chant* Arcana
2 Bloom Nature
2 Pyrotechnics Arcana
2 Tree Shape Nature
3 Affect Normal Fire Arcana or Nature
3 Lullaby* Arcana
4 Snare Nature
5 Animal Friendship Nature
5 Speak with Nature Nature
6 Call Wilderness Guide Nature
6 Fool’s Speech* Arcana
6 Ironwood Nature
6 Tree Stride Nature
6 Wyvern Watch Arcana
8 Song of Sustenance* Arcana
9 Tune of Merriment* Arcana
10 Aria of Revelation* Arcana
10 Chorus of Truth* Arcana
10 Song of Restfulness* Arcana
12 Reverse Portal Arcana
14 Control Weather Nature

*This ritual is usable only by bards.

Animal Friendship

The animal nuzzles your hand, returning the friendship you offer.

Level: 5
Category: Binding
Time: 1 minute
Duration: Special
Component Cost: 50 gp
Market Price: 250 gp
Key Skill: Nature

When you perform this ritual, choose a nonhostile Tiny natural beast, such as a cat, a fox, a fish, a mouse, or a sparrow. This animal must remain within 5 squares of you for the time necessary to perform the ritual. Once the ritual is complete, the animal regards you as a friend and performs simple tasks on your behalf. The tasks are limited to the options below, and assigning a task requires a standard action.

Fetch: The animal retrieves a Tiny object of 10 pounds or less that you and it can see. If the animal is unable to carry the object due to the item’s size or weight, the animal enlists the aid of other creatures of its kind to fulfill the task.

Perform: The animal performs a simple trick, such as rolling over or playing dead.

Seek: The animal scouts ahead and examines an area for anything that’s alive or animate. The animal can travel up to 20 squares away from you and uses your passive Perception check to determine if it notices hidden creatures in the area. When the animal returns, you learn from it whether a creature occupies the area. The animal cannot communicate any other information aside from the presence or absence of a creature.

Watch: The animal remains in its current location and watches that area. When you assign the animal the task, you designate creatures that are allowed to enter the location. If a creature that you have not designated enters the location, the watching animal informs you by coming to you and making a noise. If you move more than 20 squares away from the area, the animal leaves its post and rejoins you.

Unless otherwise commanded, the animal accompanies you for the ritual’s duration, perching on your shoulder, hiding in your pocket, or walking alongside you. The animal has AC 14, Fortitude 12, Reflex 12, and Will 12. The animal has 1 hit point, and a missed attack never damages the animal.

Your Nature check determines the length of time the animal remains in your service, but you can release an animal from your service as a minor action

Nature Check ResultDuration
19 or lower1 hour
20—298 hours
30—391 day
40 or higher1 week

At the heroic tier, you can have one animal at a time bound to your service using the ritual. At the paragon tier, you can have two animals bound using the ritual. At the epic tier, you can have three animals bound using the ritual. You must complete a separate ritual for each animal you bind.

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