How do my spells work when multi-classing Ranger and Druid? [duplicate]

I've been reading through posts online and the multi-classing rules over the last couple of hours. And good lord, either I'm an idiot (highly likely) or this stuff is tough. Anyway:

In a campaign I'm playing with some friends, I am multi-classing UA Ranger and PHB Druid. I'm having a few problems with this since there are conflicting sources, I'm also having a hard time understanding that Druids prepare spells yet Rangers in 5e do not. More on that later.

Both of these classes can only learn Druid spells, and Rangers only gain spell slots at level 2. I'm having a hard time figuring out how all these rules fit together with these two specific classes.

For this example, a level 7 Ranger and a level 6 Druid with a Wisdom modifier of +2. Their base spell slots would be:

$$\begin{array}{lccc} & 1st & 2nd & 3rd \\ Ranger & 4 & 3 & - \\ Druid & 4 & 3 & 3 \end{array}$$

Which normally would total:

$$\begin{array}{lccc} & 1st & 2nd & 3rd \\ Sum & 8 & 6 & 3 \\ \end{array}$$

... but calculating where the character would be on the multi class table would be: (Druid level) + ((Ranger level)/2) which would be 9.5 rounded down to 9. So on the multi-class table the character would have:

$$\begin{array}{lccccc} & 1st & 2nd & 3rd & 4th & 5th\\ Multiclass & 4 & 3 & 3 & 3 & 1 \\ \end{array}$$

However neither of my classes at their level can learn 4th or 5th level spells.

Am I correct in saying that I can't learn 4th and 5th level spells but I could cast a spell such as Cure Wounds in that 5th level slot?

The other problem I run into is that Druids prepare spells (their Druid level + wisdom modifier), which in the case of level 6 could prepare 8. Yet my Ranger does not have to prepare spells how: does that work? Since BOTH classes can only learn Druid spells anyway, can I just stick to "you don't need to prepare Ranger spells".

I'm sorry this post is so long but I feel like either I'm doing something HORRIBLY wrong or I've just chosen the two most hardest to integrate classes.

• Dec 1, 2017 at 14:52
• Also FWIW, unless I missed something, the UA ranger is identical to the basic and PHB ranger in this regard. Dec 1, 2017 at 20:33
• Also @mattdm fixed the spell slots at your request, entirely my bad, thanks for pointing it out. Had a rough couple of hours getting my head around multi-classing. Dec 2, 2017 at 1:33
• This is ostensibly a duplicate of my more general question: If I multiclass into 2 or more spellcasting classes, how do I determine my known/prepared spells? Aug 24, 2019 at 7:39
• @Medix2: Probably. When I made the broader question, I just changed the dupe target of the ones that that were already closed as dupes of a specific version; I didn't close as duplicates the ones that weren't already closed. I leave that determination to other users. :) Oct 27, 2019 at 6:31

Am I correct in saying that I can't learn 4th and 5th level spells but, I could cast Cure Wounds in that 5th level slot?

This is correct. You can only learn those spells once one of your classes progression allows you to, but you can cast a lower level spell at those higher slots until then.

If you have more than one spellcasting class, this table might give you spell slots of a level that is higher than the spells you know or can prepare. You can use those slots, but only to cast your lower-level spells. (PHB p. 164)

The way I might think about this in-fiction is that your character has accrued enough magical acumen to cast the spells you know at higher power levels, but hasn't studied enough in any one discipline (Druid magic or Ranger magic) to know new and more powerful spells.

My Ranger does not have to prepare spells; how does that work?

You determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single-classed member of that class.
(PHB p. 164)

You will have your known Ranger spells as normal for a single-classed Ranger which will just always be there ready to cast. Your Druid spells will have to be prepared each morning as normal for a single-classed druid. You will prepare, for the Druid, the appropriate number of spells that you would be able to prepare as if you were only a Druid of your Druid level. The only difference will be that your Druid and Ranger spell slots are shared so you can cast from either using slots as determined by the table you referenced in you question.

Especially since BOTH classes can only learn Druid spells?

This is incorrect. Druids and Rangers have their own separate spell lists. They might have some overlap, but they are never considered the same list (even in the UA version)

By the time you reach 2nd level, you have learned to use the magical essence of nature to cast spells, much as a druid does. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the ranger spell list. (UA Revised Ranger p. 3) {emphasis mine}

Spell Types

Your fundamental issue here is the misconception that Rangers use Druid spells. Each class has its own spell list, starting on page 207 of the PHB. There are certainly overlaps between classes, but each class has a specific list. A spell is a "Druid spell" when it is cast from a feature in the Druid class and a "Ranger spell" when cast from a feature in the Ranger class.

Spell Slots

Per the Multiclassing rules, you've correctly figured out your spell slots. Spellcasting1 characters in 5E have a single pool of spell slots.

If you have more than one spellcasting class, this table might give you spell slots of a level that is higher than the spells you know or can prepare. You can use those slots, but only to cast your lower-level spells. - PHB p164

You've correctly realized that you'll have bigger slots than you have spells for, and you can upcast to make use of them.

Spells Available

You determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single-classed member of that class. - ibid

Different classes have different rules for how they handle known spells and prepared spells. Per the multiclassing section referenced above, you handle each class entirely separately, as if you are a single-classed character.

• Clerics, Druids, and Paladins know all the spells on their respective lists, and prepare a certain number of them each day.
• Wizards collect a book full of spells from their list, and prepare a certain number of them each day. Given time and money for copying, a Wizard can learn the entire Wizard list.
• Most other classes have a limited selection of known spells from their class list, and can cast any of them, given available spell slots.

1Warlock's Pact Magic is not Spellcasting and is treated separately.