5th Edition Spells – Ceremony

Ceremony

Cleric, Paladin, Warlock, Wizard - 1 Level Spell

School: Abjuration
Casting Time: 1 Hour
Range: Touch
Components: Verbal, Somatic, and Material
Duration: Instantaneous
Attack/Save: None
Reference: XGE 151
Ritual

You perform a special religious ceremony that is infused with magic. When you cast the spell, choose one of the following rites, the target of which must be within 10 feet of you throughout the casting.

Atonement. You touch one willing creature whose alignment has changed, and you make a DC 20 Wisdom (Insight) check. On a successful check, you restore the target to its original alignment.

Bless Water. You touch one vial of water and cause it to become holy water.

Coming of Age. You touch one humanoid who is a young adult. For the next 24 hours, whenever the target makes an ability check, it can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the ability check. A creature can benefit from this rite only once.

Dedication. You touch one humanoid who wishes to be dedicated to your god’s service. For the next 24 hours, whenever the target makes a saving throw, it can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the save. A creature can benefit from this rite only once.

Funeral Rite. You touch one corpse, and for the next 7 days, the target can’t become undead by any means short of a wish spell.

Wedding. You touch adult humanoids willing to be bonded together in marriage. For the next 7 days, each target gains a +2 bonus to AC while they are within 30 feet of each other. A creature can benefit from this rite again only if widowed.

* – (25 gp worth of powdered silver, which the spell consumes)


My Comments: Well, this is an odd one. I feel like someone said “We should make a spell to reflect what priests do in real life !”

Okay, to be fair, a lot of things in D&D are supposed to be based on stuff people have done in real life, or at least stories of what they’ve done. But, some things just aren’t going to translate well or be that interesting. For example, real fighters often had to dig a lot of ditches for defense and such, but I don’t think anybody is going to take a martial ability of “Dig Ditches” when other things are available.

I mean, I get it. Any common (non-adventurer type) priest can do one of these rituals, but having a hero-priest or paladin (as in adventurer) do it can give a special bonus. Okay, sure. But, is it worth learning?

The buffs are actually useful, in small ways. Let’s take a look.

Atonement will remove any annoying alignment change you might afflicted by. Okay, cool enough.

Except, hardly anyone plays much with alignment, so it’s not that useful.

Bless Water can help you make holy water, which can be awesome, right?

Except, every cleric or paladin already has this ability. Looking under the description of Holy Water we find:

A cleric or paladin may create holy water by performing a special ritual. The ritual takes 1 hour to perform, uses 25 gp worth of powdered silver, and requires the caster to expend a 1st-level spell slot.

Coming of Age will give a youngster an extra d4 to add to a roll for a day is handy.

Except it is only for one day and can only be cast on a young adult.

Oh, okay- Dedication is pretty much the same thing and can be cast on anybody who wishes to follow your god.

But you can only benefit from this once, like many of these.

Funeral Rite seems like it would be useful in an undead-infested area.

Annnnnd, not so useful otherwise.

Getting a +2 to AC for 24 hours is always a good thing, right? Really makes going through a Wedding worthwhile, right?

But, you can only get it once, unless your partner dies. It doesn’t mention divorce, so … maybe divorce isn’t a thing in D&D? No, I get it- they don’t want people getting married and divorcing over and over again to get that big +2 AC that costs 25gp every time you do it. Um, I don’t think there was any worry there.

The upside is that this spell can be cast by clerics and paladins as a ritual, so it doesn’t have to take up a spell slot. This actually adds 10 minutes, but hey, the difference isn’t that much when you already have an hour casting time.

D&D 5e Ceremony SpellAlso, 25gp worth of silver is pretty expensive for what you get, and since that’s basically 250 silver coins, it’s a pretty substantial pile of powdered silver. I guess the lucky couple is going to provide it as part of their wedding ceremony, maybe?

It does occur to me that it doesn’t specify that weddings are just of two people. This means you could marry any number of people to each other in one go. This makes me want to re-flavor the wedding ceremony into a “Battle Sworn” ritual, where a group of people are sworn to protect each other in battle and get the bonus.

Even then, it’s just not making me jump up and down.

I think this spell might have been better as either a set of cantrips, or a more serious spell. Either way would take some modification, but it could be doable.

Final score: Not the worst spell ever, but not really worth taking unless you have a specific situation you’re going to use it for. Could be fun for a role-playing situation, but in that case, the role-playing would probably have been just as much fun without a tiny-buff.

Let me know if you’ve ever seen this used in a game!

Dave Goff

Writing and creating in my spare time to avoid going crazy in this mad, mad, world. Check out some of my materials on DMsGuild and let me know what you think! subscribe to keep up with new posts and leave comments to keep the conversation going.

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