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First-time DM running a group of first-time players through the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure. My group is in Cragmaw Castle, and I know that one of our players has a personal goal to "Reconsecrate the Defiled Altar" in the castle. My question is simply, is there are right or wrong way to execute this as a DM?

To define the question a little more: should the DM consider the altar reconsecrated after all things Maglubiyet in the shrine are destroyed, or should all goblins within Cragmaw Castle be vanquished as well?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a spell for that. - "consecration" is that somehow unsuitable? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jasen
    Feb 25, 2023 at 7:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jasen: Are you talking about the level 2 cleric/paladin spell 5esrd.com/spellcasting/3pp-spells/spells-grimlore-entertainment/… ? It's a 3rd-party spell from Grimlore’s Grimoire, 2018. But yes, after the 1 minute duration expires, the area apparently becomes consecrated ground, so that would work if your DM is using that sourcebook. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 26, 2023 at 2:45

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… is there are right or wrong way to execute this as a DM?

Yes. The way you decide is the “right way” - you’re the DM.

… consider the altar reconsecrated after all things Maglubiyet in the shrine are destroyed

Probably no.

… should all goblins within Cragmaw Castle be vanquished as well?

Probably irrelevant.

What is consecration?

"Consecration" literally means “to associate with the sacred” and is common across many of the real world’s religions. It almost always involves some kind of ceremony or ritual performed by somebody with the religious authority to do so.

So, to my mind, removing the Muglubiyet desecration is a necessary prerequisite but it is not consecration. By the same token, clearing the castle of goblins is an irrelevancy - it might be more convenient to perform the consecration ritual without goblin interruptions but it’s not strictly necessary.

You need to decide what the ritual is, who can perform it, how long it takes, and what materials (incense, holy water etc.) it needs. You can look to real religious traditions here or just make something up. If you want it over and done you can make it easy. If you want to make it an epic quest for the breath of an angel or the essence of the Earth’s heart (whatever they are), you can do that.

Or, you could just require a Hallow spell to be cast on the altar. Admittedly, its a 5th-level spell, so it could be a bit of a challenge for low-level PCs.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A lower level spell that might be extended slightly to cover this would be Ceremony from Xanathar's Guide to Everything. It doesn't include a consecration ritual by default, but it might be an easier homebrew to add one (with few, or time-limited mechanical effects, so as no to usurp Hallow), rather than making up something from scratch. \$\endgroup\$
    – Blckknght
    Feb 25, 2023 at 17:50

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