Before you can perform a ritual, you need to acquire a ritual book that contains it and master the ritual, or you need to acquire a ritual scroll.
Mastering a Ritual
Owning a ritual book isn’t enough to let you perform the ritual or rituals in it. You must first master a ritual by studying it for 8 uninterrupted hours. (If you gained a ritual by creating its book yourself you have already mastered it.) You must meet two requirements to master a ritual. You must have the Ritual Caster edge, and your rank must equal or exceed the ritual’s rank. If you meet those requirements and spend 8 hours studying a ritual, you can add it to your list of mastered rituals. As long as you have the ritual’s book handy, you can perform a mastered ritual whenever you want. There’s no limit to the number of rituals you can master.
Performing a Ritual
To perform a ritual that you have mastered, you spend a certain amount of time (specified in the ritual description) performing various actions appropriate to the ritual. The actions might include reading long passages out of the ritual book, inscribing complex diagrams on the ground, burning special incense or sprinkling mystic reagents at appropriate times, or performing a long set of meticulous gestures. The specific activities required aren’t described in most ritual descriptions; they’re left to your imagination. A ritual requires certain esoteric components, which you purchase before you perform the ritual and which are expended when the ritual is complete. Each ritual specifies the cost of the components you need. Ritual offten require a skill check, the check usually determines the ritual’s effectiveness. On a failed roll the ritual components are wasted, but if the result is high, you can usually achieve better effects.
Assisting in a Ritual
Unless a ritual specifies otherwise, up to four of your allies can help you perform a ritual. Everyone assisting you must be within 5 squares of you, and each assistant must actively participate in the ritual for the entire time required to complete it. Your assistants need neither the Ritual Caster edge nor knowledge of the specific ritual. Your allies can assist you in two ways. First, if the ritual requires spending health or some other resource, willing allies can contribute those resources. (Certain rituals might allow unwilling participants to pay those costs as well, but such rituals involve sacrifices to malevolent gods or demon lords and are not found in the ritual books of most player characters.) Second, your allies can assist with the skill check you make to complete a ritual, using the normal rules for cooperating on another character’s skill check.
A ritual is classified in one or more categories, which describe the ritual’s general nature and function. Each of the nine ritual categories is associated with one or more skills (given in parentheses in the following list).
Binding (Knowledge Arcana or Knowledge Religion): These rituals seek to lure, ensnare, control, or protect you from other beings, sometimes from other planes.
Creation (Knowledge Arcana or Knowledge Religion): These rituals are used to craft magic items and other special objects.
Deception (Knowledge Arcana): Deception rituals cloak reality behind various facades.
Divination (Knowledge Arcana, Survival, or Knowledge Religion): These rituals provide advice, information, or guidance.
Exploration (Knowledge Arcana, Survival, or Knowledge Religion): A catch-all category, exploration rituals include a variety of effects useful in everyday adventuring.
Restoration (Heal): These rituals remove ill effects from the living or bring back the dead.
Scrying (Knowledge Arcana): Scrying rituals let the caster spy on locations, objects, or creatures.
Travel (Knowledge Arcana): Travel rituals transport characters from one place, or plane, to another.
Warding (Knowledge Arcana): These rituals provide various forms of protection.