The House Rule

  • The prerequisite for the Ritual Caster feat changes to “Trained in Arcana, Heal, Nature, or Religion”.
  • In order to master a ritual, a player must be trained in the relevant skill (e.g. Nature for Animal Messenger or Arcana for Comprehend Languages).

The Intent Behind the Rule

The intent behind the first change is to give nature-based classes (like Ranger or Warden) easier access to rituals like Speak with Nature and Bloom. RAW, that would require two feats - one to gain training in Arcana or Religion, and another to unlock ritual casting. With this house rule, a Ranger could take Ritual Caster at level 1 if they'd like.

The intent for the second change is to prevent the first change from breaking class identity. I'm happy for Rangers to be casting Animal Friendship, as that fits how I imagine the character. However, having them be able to cast Speak with Dead for the cost of only one feat seems to be stepping on Cleric's toes a bit too much for comfort.

This change would also mean that characters are a bit more specialized than RAW in which rituals they can cast. This is a positive effect to me. From what I can tell, rituals are one of the main non-combat-focused abilities that characters can access (alongside skill checks and a few utility powers). Having more characters able to use rituals and having rituals more closely aligned with class identity seems like it will lead to an improved experience for out-of-combat play.

The Questions

  • Will this house rule break the game in some way? I'm new to 4th edition, so I'm not nearly as familiar with the mechanical systems.
  • Will this house rule effectively accomplish its intended effect?

1 Answer 1


Rituals mostly exist to allow people to participate in certain plots. It's fine to just put plot gates on them, not mechanical ones.

Honestly you'd probably be fine just with removing any trained skill requirements for taking the Ritual Caster feat and for learning rituals. Ritual casting gives characters noncombat capabilities, but the main way that 4E characters act in structured ways out of combat is to participate in skill challenges, something that ritual casting doesn't help too much with.

Unlike many class features that give ritual casting, the Ritual Caster feat doesn't actually come with any rituals for free, or grant them on level-up. Characters still have to find and pay to transcribe any rituals they want to learn for themselves, so for anyone who takes Ritual Caster, access to learning rituals is left up to the joint discretion of the DM and any PCs who already know them.

If you have concerns about class identity, exercising that discretion is a good way to preserve it - and if your cleric is fine with teaching the ranger how to speak with dead, there's not much point in enforcing a concern that they don't share.


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