Atonement is on the list of rites you can select when casting the Ceremony spell.  This 1st-level spell can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. Here’s a list of the effects of the spell:

Atonement, a thing a cleric like this one can do.
A cleric as depicted in the 5e PHB
  • Atonement – You can reset the alignment of a willing creature to factory default with a successful Wisdom (Insight) check.  I’m not sure why an evil creature would want you to make it good again, or why an good creature would want to go back to being evil.  But hey, I’m sure it’ll work out.
  • Bless Water – You can make a vial of holy water.  As the spell burns 25 gp of powdered silver, the same price as a vial of holy water costs, I’m not sure what the benefit is exactly. This is especially true considering that, according to the basic rules, a cleric or paladin can already create a vial of holy water without expending a spell slot.
  • Coming of Age – “You touch one humanoid who is a young adult”  Personally, I wouldn’t risk it, but if you want to give a shot, you can let them add a d4 to their ability checks for 24 hours.
  • Dedication – Same as above, but for any age, and the bonus applies to saving throws instead of ability checks.
  • Funeral Rite – One dead body can’t become an undead for 7 days.
  • Wedding – You can officiate a wedding. The targets have to be willing to get married.  When it’s all done, they get a +2 AC bonus.  One of them has to die before the other can get married again.  Being a married person, I can confirm that this is not how the ceremony works. IRL.

What to do with Atonement and the Rest of Ceremony?

This spell is mostly useful from a utility standpoint.  Maybe the PCs need to perform a wedding or a baht-mitzvah or something as part of the story. Although the wording of the spell doesn’t specifically state it, as a DM I would allow the caster to propose their own rites to give the spell a little more flexibility.

The caster might choose to use dedication on their party members in preparation for a fight.  That said, it seems like they would be better off using bless.  The bless spell doesn’t burn a spell slot, affects both saving throws and attack rolls, and can be cast on up to 3 creatures. 

Now that we’ve looked at the Ceremony spell, take a look at my Basic Rules quizzes!

Categories: Spelling Test


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