Ritual Caster 5e

Published on August 25, 2023, Last modified on September 28th, 2023

Unlock the power of ritual casting in D&D 5e with our comprehensive Ritual Caster feat guide!

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What Is Ritual Caster 5e?

Ever wanted to cast spells without expending a spell slot? Ritual Caster is the feat for you! This feat allows you to learn a number of spells from a specific class’s spell list and cast them as rituals. Whether you’re a rogue looking to add some magical utility or a wizard wanting to expand your repertoire, Ritual Caster opens up a world of possibilities. So, grab your spellbook, it’s time to get ritualistic!

How Does Ritual Caster Work?

This feat allows you to choose from the bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard classes and gain a ritual book containing two 1st-level ritual spells from that class’s spell list. You can also add more spells to your ritual book as you find them.

One thing to keep in mind, this feat is only available to characters with a minimum of 13 Intelligence or Wisdom, so you’ll have to devote some resources to pick this up.

Here’s a quick overview of your choices. If you’re unfamiliar with our color rating scheme, see the Which 5e Classes Make the Most of Ritual Caster? section below.

  • Alarm: This spell is relatively useful whenever you’re resting.
  • Ceremony: Interesting spell that allows for a number of one-time buffs. These buffs have very specific circumstances like the target being a young adult or a someone looking to be dedicated to your god’s service.
  • Comprehend Languages: Been able to read and understand any language will have its uses at some point. Is it worth it to keep the spell stocked for your whole campaign? Probably not.
  • Detect Magic: Every party should roll with at least one character who has access to detect magic.
  • Detect Poison and Disease: Being able to detect poison or disease within 30ft of yourself is definitely a situational effect. Only stock when you think you’ll need it.
  • Find Familiar: Familiars can do everything except actually attack. They can provide help actions in combat, steal things, scout for your party, and even be used to deliver touch spells on your behalf.
  • Floating Disk: Being able to carry 500lbs is typically out of the question for most player characters not being buffed by enlarge/reduce or something similar. Getting this ability for an hour at the cost of a 1st-level provides a lot of utility, especially if you need to carry treasure out of a dragon’s horde.
  • Identify: You can spend a short rest in physical contact with a magical item to identify it. In addition, most cursed items are not revealed to be cursed when this spell is cast. The main purpose this spell serves is to identify something quickly, which is rather situational.
  • Illusory Script: Much more of a DM, story-based spell than a player-focused one. Pick it up if you need to write a secret message that you can’t relay telepathically using message or sending.
  • Purify Food and Drink: If you’re DM likes to poison you via food or drink a lot, this could be a good pickup? Otherwise, save it for when you go to a political banquet in enemy territory.
  • Speak with Animals: Situationally useful to learn more about a place or to get something done.
  • Unseen Servant: Not really much more effective than a mage hand at the end of the day.

As you adventure, you can learn new ritual spells through finding spell scrolls or a wizard’s spellbook. But, keep in mind that the spell has to be on the spell list of the class you chose (another good reason to take the wizard spell list) and the spell’s level can’t be higher than half your level, rounded up).

The process of copying the spell into your ritual book takes 2 hours per level of the spell, and costs 50 gp per level. The cost represents the material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it.

Is Ritual Caster Good?

We gave Ritual Caster a C Tier rating In our 5e Feats Tier List, making it a below-average feat in D&D 5e.

Ritual Caster is a decent feat, but is usually outshone by Magic Initiate. Usually, the best combination of ritual spells to take would be detect magic and find familiar from the wizard spell list, as these are both powerful 1st-level spells to be able to cast whenever you want (as long as you have 10 minutes).

This feat really begins to shine if you start to find ritual spells throughout the campaign. Keep in mind, this may need discussion with your DM to ask if they could include spell scrolls or spell books as loot.

Now, this feat does have a fairly high trade-off. Having to pump your Intelligence or Wisdom when you are not usually using those for other class abilities will use a fair amount of resources to get up to 13 + taking a feat.

It’s worth keeping in mind that this feat can also be useful for spellcasters that already have the Ritual Casting ability, but that want to pick up a couple of 1st level spells from another class’s spell list. Unfortunately, most of the time, these casters are usually better off picking up Magic Initiate instead.

Ritual Caster 5e Interactions

Magic Initiate vs Ritual Caster

While both of these feats allow you to gain access to the incredibly powerful find familiar spell, which one is better? The answer to this question is, it depends.

Cards on the table, Magic Initiate is just a plain better feat, which is why we gave it an A-Tier rating, while Ritual Caster got a C-Tier rating. In most cases, Magic Initiate will provide a lot more value, as it gives access to eldritch blast, hex, vicious mockery, dissonant whispers, hunter’s mark, or find familiar. Ritual Caster’s list of spells is much worse, but it does have some situations that make it a more reasonable choice than Magic Initiate.

You’ll want to take Ritual Caster over Magic Initiate if:

  • Your class doesn’t have the ability to cast spells and therefore can’t pick up Magic Initiate
  • You want the ability to expand your spell list by finding spell scrolls and books as loot (campaign/DM dependent)
  • You’re already stacked into Intelligence or Wisdom

Casting the Spells Your Learned With the Ritual Caster Feat

Casting the spells you picked up with this feat can be complicated. One important thing to note is, if you have the necessary spell slots to cast the spells you picked up with this feat, you don’t have to cast them as rituals.

Another important thing to note is the spellcasting ability modifier for the spells you pick up are based off the spell list you chose from. This means it would be Charisma for bard, sorcerer, or warlock, Wisdom for cleric or druid, or Intelligence for wizard. This won’t come into play very often, as these spells don’t require attack rolls or saving throws to use, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Which 5e Classes Make the Most of Ritual Caster?

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good the Ritual Caster 5e feat is for a specific class/subclass.

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

This is a great feat for builds that normally stack into Intelligence or Wisdom, but don’t get the Ritual Casting feature. This includes Eldritch Knights and Psi Warriors fighters, Arcane Tricksters and Inquisitive rogues, or monks and rangers.

Artificer: Artificers already have Ritual Casting and should just take Magic Initiate if they want access to find familiar.

Barbarian: Barbarians don't want to invest the resources necessary to take this feat, even if find familiar might be useful.

Bard: Bards won't want to invest the Intelligence or Wisdom necessary to take this feat when they could just take Magic Initiate.

Cleric: Clerics already have Ritual Casting and should just take Magic Initiate if they want access to find familiar.

Druid: Druids already have Ritual Casting and can use Wild Companion if they want access to find familiar.

Fighter: Most fighters won't want this feat, but subclasses that use Intelligence, like Eldritch Knights or Psi Warriors, could make good use of it.

Monk: Not a bad feat to increase your monk's versatility. You will likely already meet the Wisdom requirements and can get access to find familiar which could potentially give you advantage on most of your attacks. Plus, you can expand your repertoire by finding spell scrolls and books during your adventures.

Paladin: Paladins won't want to invest the Intelligence or Wisdom necessary to take this feat when they could just take Magic Initiate.

Ranger: Not a bad feat to increase your ranger's versatility and can help you make a pseudo-Beast Master build with access to find familiar. You will likely already meet the Wisdom requirements and you can expand your repertoire by finding spell scrolls and books during your adventures.

Rogue: Rogues are usually single-ability dependent (SAD) enough to invest in Wisdom or Intelligence, this is especially true for Inquisitive or Arcane Trickster rogues who need Intelligence for their subclass features. Find familiar is an absolutely busted spell for rogues to have access to, as it can allow them to activate Sneak Attack with ease by getting their familiar to give them the Help action. Plus, you get access to another interesting spell (most likely detect magic) and can find other ritual spells to build out your repertoire during your adventures.

Sorcerer: Sorcerers won't want to invest the Intelligence or Wisdom necessary to take this feat when they could just take Magic Initiate.

Warlock: Warlocks won't want to invest the Intelligence or Wisdom necessary to take this feat when they could just take Magic Initiate.

Wizard: Wizards already have Ritual Casting and can already access find familiar and detect magic.

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. He is a Adamantine best-selling author of Strixhaven: A Syllabus of Sorcery on DMs Guild and is a contributing author at D&D Beyond. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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