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Ritual casting does not expend a spell slot, I know that. However, the Mage class feature does not say anything about whether you should prepare the subject spell to cast it as a ritual. On one side, it is anyway "casting" a spell, so you can say "yes, you should prepare." On the other hand, (although it is just about how mages cast rituals,) your ritual involves your spellbook, so you can see the ritual ceremony "from the spellbook", which removes the need to prepare the spell.

My question is: Should I prepare the subject spell in advance to perform it?

Edit: This is only about Mages. Clerics, Druids, Bards have these problems nailed down explicitly. Clerics' and Druids' ritual casting requires you to prepare the spell in advance, and Bards' rituals can only be drawn from what they know.

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I'd assume that the point of the spells-as-rituals rule is to get away from the traditional problem of "Well, I can cast Knock… tomorrow" in which case you wouldn't need to prepare it. – Quentin Feb 5 '14 at 12:34
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Below is the Mage listing:

Ritual Casting

You can cast any mage spell as a ritual if you have the spell in your spellbook and the spell has a ritual version. To cast a spell as a ritual, you must add 10 minutes to the spell’s casting time, during which you undertake a prescribed ceremony that includes your spellbook.

Now, what differs the description for Clerics from Mages, (since clerics prepare spells as well) is that for mages this sort of things is right in their wheelhouse. Other spell casting classes don't have the rituals spelled (hah) out for them in a guide. They carry a token that channels the ritual, and thus I don't believe it has to be a prepared spell as a class feature for the mage in question. I've combed the wording, and the only bit they really seem to c/p is the middle bit about taking an extra 10min, the rest looks fairly deliberate.

After reading multiple times from spell casting and the class descriptions, there seem to be two requirements to ritual cast for a wizard:

  1. Do you have your spellbook?
  2. Is the ritual in it?
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