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I understand spells and that spell levels don't correspond with character level but on this website it says:

Spell level and character level don’t correspond directly. Typically, a character has to be at least 17th level, not 9th level, to cast a 9th--level spell.

I understand this, but what character level is a Druid required to be to cast a spell at any given spell level?

Just to be clear, I am not asking about spell slots here.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As the answers below indicate, that website is wrong. Spell Level and Character Level (assuming a single-class character) do in fact directly correspond (there is an equation in which one can input class level and get spell leave) - it just isn't 1:1. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Apr 3 '18 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it’s important to note that the website in question (Roll20) is not wrong - indeed it is quoting from the official rules (Chapter 9 of the Player’s Handbook or Basic Rules, under “Spell Level”). The text is using “correspond” as regular English, meaning “equivalent”, not the mathematical term “correspondence”. You are right there’s a direct mathematical relation between them though. \$\endgroup\$ – Guybrush McKenzie Mar 5 at 21:41
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In order to cast a spell of level x you need a spell slot of at least x in order to cast it.

Your max spell slot level as a full caster can be calculated by adding 1 to your character level then dividing by two.

Hence level 3 spellcasters can cast 2nd level spells, for example.

Another way to figure this out is to open up your Player's Handbook and look at the Druid class. On the table that shows when you get class features, it also shows you your spell slot progression.

Note: this works a little differently when you are multiclassing

When multiclassing, your maximum spell slots are determined by your effective spellcaster level. This is calculated by adding the number of class levels of full casters (bard, druid, sorcerer, wizard, cleric), number of levels/2 of Half-caster levels (paladin, ranger), and the number of levels/3 of 1/3 casters (trickster, Eldritch knight).

So a character who has cleric 3/druid 5, could prepare up to 2nd level cleric spells and up to 3rd level druid spells. They can cast any of these spells using up to 4th level spell slot. This can be figured out using the Multiclass Spellcaster table in the PHB or by using the formula above: (3 + 5 + 1)/2 = 4.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should probably add this this is limited when multiclassing to only the spell slots as if you were a single class druid. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 2 '18 at 0:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's funny, I always did the "equation" in reverse of this: Double the spell level and subtract one. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Apr 2 '18 at 12:05
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For a straight druid, the highest level spell you can prepare is equal to your highest slot available. For single class characters, this is a fairly straightforward rule. If you are interested only in playing a straight druid, you need read no further. However...

The answer is more complicated if you include multiclassing. For a druid, look up your druid level on the chart in the Players Handbook. That gives you the number of slots you have available and again the highest level of spell you can prepare equals the highest slot you have available in the druid class.

But, if you are multiclassed into another spellcasting class, then you prepare your druid spells as if you were a character of the druid levels you have achieved, but you prepare (for example) sorcerer spells according to the level of sorcerer spells you have achieved. In each case, the highest level of spell you can prepare is equal to the highest slot you have available within that class. Thus if you were druid 5/sorcerer 4, you could memorize up to 3rd level druid spells and 2nd level sorcerer spells, even though your total character level is 9. According the the PHB multiclassing chart you have slots available of up to 5th level. But you can only use them to cast up to a 3rd level druid spell or a 2nd level sorcerer spell. It is wise to choose spells that give you increased effectiveness if cast with higher level slots.

It works slightly different if you multiclass with warlock, since they do not have the spellcasting feature, but Pact Magic, however that is getting too far afield.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you for reminding me of multiclassing so i could clarify my answer \$\endgroup\$ – ArchersCat Apr 1 '18 at 21:50
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The interesting thing about Clerics and Druids is that they technically have access to every spell on their lists from level 1, but can only cast spells they have spell slots for. This means, once you have 17 Caster levels (which is when you gain 9th tier spell slots), as long a you have at least one level in Cleric or Druid, you can cast 9th tier spells from their respective lists. This also works for Wizards; as long as you have 1 level in Wizard, you can copy down any Wizard spells you find into your spellbook, and cast it if you have the appropriate spell slot. Do note this does have some limits. Paladins and Rangers only gain one Caster level for every evenly numbered Class level (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.), Artificers are the same but for oddly numbered levels (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.), Eldritch Knights and Arcane tricksters only get one Caster level for every three Class levels (3, 6, 9, 12, etc.), and Warlocks don't gain any Caster levels.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is not true because multiclassing means that the spells you know/prepare are determined entirely separately for each class. This excellent answer has examples of such a scenario, where a Paladin/Bard does not consult their multiclass spell slot table to determine what spells the Paladin prepares but instead consults the Paladin spell slot table \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Mar 5 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, thank you. That information regarding clerics (and by extension, paladins, druids, and wizards) is not available in the Players Handbook (my only source of information on any such subjects, as it should be), so I was not aware of them at all. I very much do not like it when I am not given all of the details on a subject. It's actually part of the reason I like some spells and abilities, like the monk ability [Shape the Flowing River]. If the rules aren't clearly laid out (or there are obvious loopholes) in the primary source material, they can be manipulated. \$\endgroup\$ – Shadow JAFF Mar 5 at 23:43

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