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Do daily spells (spells that include "once per day" the description) recharge after 24 hours, or could they be cast at 23:59 (just before midnight), and cast again at 00:01 (just after midnight)?

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Who says the day starts at midnight? For the Romans, the day started at sunrise. The Jewish day starts at sundown. – Joe Jul 8 '12 at 20:32
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The answer is neither.

Info gleaned from the section on Magic in the PRD.

Recharge Limit

Spells and Daily items have a recharge limit

"Recent Casting Limit: As with arcane spells, at the time of preparation any spells cast within the previous 8 hours counts against the number of spells that can be prepared."

So any spell cast recently counts against the number that can be prepared, and for daily spell-like effects this means once used they cannot be reused (effectively their 'slot' is used) until 8 hours later. This is why casters usually get a night's sleep before preparing their spells!

But why are daily items treated like spells?

How do daily items recharge?

Daily spell-like abilities recharge whenever the caster would normally be able to relearn spells as noted at the bottom of the Magic section by Special Abilities:

(Emphasis mine)

"Spell-Like Abilities: Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armour never affects a spell-like ability's use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component. A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell."

Therefore daily spells will be recovered by the caster whenever they would normally recover a spell and daily items are limited by the recharge limit as well.

Relearning Spells (For completeness)

For arcane spellcasters this would be after an 8 hour period of rest, for divine spellcasters this would be at the set time that they recover spells. For non-spellcasters that have a spell as a special ability I would require them to complete a period of rest to regain their spells.

Added to this the caster needs a small amount of time to prepare their spells.

Wizards Require an hour, or a minimum of 15 minutes to add/remove other spells (proportionally lower)

Sorcerers/Bards Require 15 minutes of concentration to update their spells.

Divine casters have the same praying preparation time as Wizards (1 hour or 15 minutes reduced)

There is a wizard feat to prepare spells faster, I'm sure, but I can't find it at the moment...

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if the caster was a divine caster and they normally rememorized their spells at midnight, nice. I'm going to use this in an encounter that takes place around midnight. – StuperUser Jul 4 '12 at 10:42
Updated slightly; they would be able to cast fifteen minutes later, as the minimum time allowed for praying (for a divine caster) is 15 mins. However there are feats that can reduce this. – Rob Jul 4 '12 at 10:51

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