[RPG] School of Abjuration Arcane ward feature and ritual abjuration spells


Regarding the Arcane Ward wizard class feature it states

Whenever you cast an abjuration spell of 1st level or higher, the ward regains a number of hit points equal to twice the level of the spell.

A player of mine is, probably correctly, asserting that RAW this means he can, for example, ritual cast Alarm to regain his Arcane Ward's HP as there is no specification that a spell slot needs to be expended.

The player and I are in agreement that for balance reasons this wont be happening, but I am curious about whether he is technically (the best kind of) correct or if we both missed something in the rules.

Best Answer

That is correct

As you have quoted, there is no difference in a spell cast via Ritual or spell slots and both refill the Arcane Ward.

But, it is not as bad balance-wise as you think. You still have the hard cap of (PHB, 115)

The ward has a hit point maximum equal to twice your wizard level + your Intelligence modifier.

This is also confirmed via published Sage Advice

Q: Does casting alarm as a ritual heal Arcane Ward?

A: Any abjuration spell of 1st level or higher cast by an abjurer can restore hit points to his or her Arcane Ward. As is normal for healing, the ward can’t regain more hit points than its hit point maximum: twice the wizard’s level + the wizard’s Intelligence modifier.

But it's not that bad

It'll never pass that and that's okay. This is what the abjuration wizard does! However, as DM, you can always say there isn't enough time to complete the ritual spell (which is 11 minutes.)

Mearls has said this isn't intended

rules as written yes, as intended no