This is a book review of Azagar’s Book of Rituals, a D&D 4e compatible rules supplement by Goodman Games.

160 pages, softbound, list price $14.99. Color cover, B&W interior.

ISBN 978-0-9841127-1-5

About a year ago I was browsing the enworld forums and on a whim decided to peruse the industry news section. I came across an announcement from Goodman Games. It was an open call for authors for a new product, a book of rituals for D&D. I thought, ” Neat! maybe I should submit something.”

Then I looked at the deadline.

All submissions must be sent in via email by midnight that day. It was 9pm.

So I cranked out four submissions, with a careful eye for balance. One of them was accepted (Radiance Infusion), and here we are almost a year later with a review copy in my hand.

Things I didn’t like:

I think a  few of the rituals in the books are somewhat unbalanced.

Armor of the Blessed (pg 7) for example is a 2nd level ritual that has the potential to grant armor of up to +3 quality. An 11th level item doesn’t really belong with a 2nd level character.

Sun’s Renewal (pg 106) is an 18th level ritual that allows the party to gain the benefits of an extended rest in only one hour by standing in sunlight. Oh, and since it isn’t technically an extended rest, you get to keep any action points you’ve accrued. At 18th level, the cost is hefty at 5,000gp and an action point. But since there’s no level limitation, there’s no reason an epic level character can’t cast this spell over and over again after every encounter. Of course, there’s the hour long casting time, but if time is an issue, then thankfully epic characters have access to a 5 minute version, Time Compression. Granting back daily powers outside of long rests is just a bad idea from a balance perspective in my opinion.

There’s also a couple of editing mistakes I came across, but they’re minor and overall the book was well put together.

Things I liked:

This book is filled with 300+ rituals! Players can finally customize their casters with unique and varied spells. You can find a ritual for any occasion. The Batman build is back!

DMs can also benefit since a lot of the rituals are custom made to spark adventure ideas. Seriously, I came up with several potential adventure ideas by just reading the first chapter on creation rituals.

The art is pretty good. Certainly better than anything I can do ;)

Azagar the hobgoblin introduces each chapter with a short story and he’s one entertaining dude. I’d certainly be interested in hearing more about him.

Overall, I’d give this book a thumbs up.

Probably 95% of the book can be used as is, with the rest needing DM adjudication due to balance or campaign issues (Defile Soul for example should be an NPC only ritual…unless you want PCs harvesting souls to make residuum).

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