The Archivist class (Heroes of Horror) has the ability to copy any divine spell from a scroll to their prayerbook. But how does one calculate the spell level? Lesser Restoration, for example, is a level 2 spell for Clerics and a level 1 spell for Paladins. Can I count it as a 1st level spell, then?
RAW is unclear
A review of the SRD suggests that any relevant determination is not part of the scroll itself.
A review off Heroes of Horror did not find any clarifications either.
An Archivist learns the spell at the same spell-level as a Cleric would learn the spell. And then a Druid, Paladin, and Ranger, in that order.
An Archivist learns the spell based on the spell-level of the scroll's author. The SRD provides guidance for determining the likely author of various scrolls that are randomly generated.
An Archivist learns the spell at the spell-level the scroll is set to. This ruling would allow the Archivist, through great expense, to bypass learning the feat Heighten, by instead simply learning relevant spells at various spell levels.
An Archivist learns the spell level at the lowest spell-level at which he could cast it.
Archivists are exceedingly strong, and any ruling here wouldn't hurt their ability to compete with Wizards, Druids and Clerics. Thus, a restrictive ruling is best. Additionally, I'd prefer a rule that didn't 'break' something.
The #4 ruling would, imho, 'break' the Archivist, allowing them to have significantly better spell access than was intended for their class, with minimal effort. Its also exceedingly unwieldy, as a player would need to do a comprehensive sweep of the rulebooks allowed before knowing which spell level he copied the scroll at.
The #3 ruling is slightly better, but has the problem of "breaking" the Heighten Spell feat for Archivists. While this wouldn't be a problem in a vacuum, this also violates my other criteria, as being more powerful than #1 or #2.
The #2 ruling is the standard, common way I see Archivists interpreted by community optimizers on forums I read. It provides an unambiguous and non-breaking way of interpreting the rules presented. I thought this was RAW until I double-checked my book.
The #1 ruling is my personal preference, now that its clear this ambiguity is here. The ruling is, like #2, unambiguous and non-breaking, but it is the most restrictive of the rulings I think RAW would support. The Archivist will still, even with this ruling, be a match for other party casters.
He learns it as it is written on the scroll. For randomly-generated scrolls found as lot, the rules provide helpful guidelines to determine the author.
This has extremely high-power potential, and a DM might consider a houserule the just has the archivist use the spell’s level as found on “common” classes if it looks to be a problem. However, the rules themselves don’t support such officially, and a DM should let an archivist player know about such a change.