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In Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) 5th Edition (5e), the term "ritual" refers to a specific way of casting certain spells. Unlike regular spellcasting, which consumes a spell slot, rituals allow players to cast spells without using any spell slots. This makes rituals incredibly useful for conserving resources, especially during long adventures or in situations where resting to recover spell slots is not an option.

Ritual spells have a unique marker in their descriptions indicating they can be cast as a ritual. When you see a spell with the "Ritual" tag, it means you have the option to perform it in a more extended and ceremonial manner, foregoing the usual spell slot cost. However, this convenience comes with a trade-off: casting a spell as a ritual takes 10 minutes longer than its standard casting time. For instance, a spell that normally takes 1 action to cast would take 10 minutes and 6 seconds when cast as a ritual.

To cast a spell as a ritual, your character must have the ritual casting ability. This is explicitly stated in the class description for classes such as Wizards, Clerics, and Druids. Wizards, for example, can add ritual spells to their spellbook and cast them as rituals as long as the spellbook is accessible during the casting. Other classes, like Clerics and Druids, can cast a spell as a ritual if it's prepared and has the ritual tag.

Ritual casting does not require material components that are consumed by the spell, but it does require any non-consumed components. This means if a spell requires a small silver mirror worth 100 gold pieces that isn't consumed on use, you still need that mirror to perform the ritual.

The practical applications of ritual casting are vast. It allows spellcasters to perform useful magical tasks without depleting their spell slots. Examples include using the "Detect Magic" spell to identify magical auras without using a spell slot or casting "Leomund's Tiny Hut" to create a safe space for your party to rest without spending valuable resources.

For new players, understanding the concept of ritual casting can open up strategic options for managing spell resources and enhancing the group's ability to explore, solve puzzles, and survive in the world of D&D. It emphasizes the versatility and depth of magic in the game, showing that not all spells are meant for combat and that strategic thinking extends to spell management.

In summary, ritual casting in D&D 5e is a method that allows spellcasters to cast certain spells without using spell slots, at the cost of extended casting times. It requires the spell to have the ritual tag and for the caster to have the ritual casting feature. This system encourages strategic use of spells, offering a depth to gameplay that rewards planning and resource management.

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