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My question is about how much and what spells I can use, I'm new to Pathfinder and unclear on a few points about how much I can use spells, for example, say I can cast 4 level 0 spells a day and I can prepare 4 level 0 spells (might not be book accurate, its just an example), say I prepare like ray of frost and three other spells for the day and I use ray of frost in combat, would I be able to use it again that day in combat, or would I have to prepare it in two of my four slots when I prepare my spells for the day to be able to cast it twice a day?

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Cantrips and spells with positive level actually work different in Pathfinder. I answered according to cantrips, because you only mentioned cantrips, and edited the title accordingly. However, if it is not your intention (e. g. You also want to know about how 1st-level or beyond spells are prepared and used), then feel free to rollback my edit and state you are also looking for answers for leveled spells. – Arle Camille Feb 10 '14 at 8:27
up vote 18 down vote accepted


Wizards can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Wizard under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A wizard can prepare a cantrip from an opposition school, but it uses up two of his available slots (see below).

(Source: Wizard, from d20 Pathfinder SRD.)

In Pathfinder, unlike in D&D 3.5, zeroth-level spells (or cantrips, for sake of simplicity) are not expended by using it. Thus, you have unlimited usage for four (or three, if you are at level 1) kinds of spells you can prepare. You don't have to prepare ray of frost twice to use it twice.

Of course, if you have barred the school of the spell you are preparing, that spell counts as two-slot-worth as you normally do. For example, if you have barred Evocation, you are left with only two cantrips remaining, instead of three, if you prepare ray of frost.

However, leveled spells are different. Obviously, spells with positive levels can only be used the number of times you have prepared. For example, if you have prepared magic missile twice, you can only use it twice, as you have thought initially. The universal rule of using two slots for one spell from your barred school applies normally.

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Well you answered my question but kinda brought up one on 1st lvl spells, Ok, so it's 1st lvl or greater spells that expend the spell and require time to prepare it again, from what it seems... – Douglas Feb 10 '14 at 9:16

No. That's a 3.5e thing, not a Pathfinder thing. You still prepare cantrips in Pathfinder, but they don't expend the slot when you use them. Because of this, you can cast cantrips at will, though only those which you actually have prepared. You can switch them out whenever you prepare spells.

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