A runestaff (MIC p. 223) allows a character who's attuned to it to sacrifice one of their spell slots to cast a spell of equal or lower level from the staff. This allows characters to cast spells that they don't know, though they must still be spells from their class spell list. From MIC p. 224:

By expending a prepared arcane spell or arcane spell slot, the wielder can cast a spell of the same level or lower from the runestaff’s list, as long as that spell also appears on the wielder’s class spell list.

Per my previous question on this topic, it's possible for a multiclassed spellcaster to use a runestaff to cast a spell that's on the spell list of Spellcasting Class A, but using a spell slot from Spellcasting Class B. For instance, a multiclassed Duskblade/Wizard using a Runestaff of Enchantment could use expend a 1st level Duskblade spell slot to cast Sleep, a spell that appears on the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list, but not on the Duskblade spell list.

Normally, a spell cast via a runestaff uses the character's caster level. Again from MIC p. 224:

The spell is treated exactly as if the wielder cast the spell herself, including caster level, save DC, and any other effects related to the spell.

However, in the case of the Duskblade/Wizard above, the character has two different caster levels. When casting Sleep from a Runestaff of Enchantment, does this character use their Duskblade caster level, or their Wizard caster level?

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have my doubts about the answer to the linked question, precisely because of this question: if you were allowed to do this, the answer to this question ought to be clear. It isn’t.

But anyway, I would say that if you are using the answer to the previous question, you would use the caster level of the class whose spell slot you are using, not the class that has the spell on its list. My reasoning is that having the spell on the other class’s spell list allows you to use the runestaff at all, but the spell slot is the thing actually powering the spell—therefore you should use its power, that is, its caster level, to determine the spell’s effect.

This is far from clear or definitive, however; it is merely my ruling.

  • 1
    If your doubts about the answer to the other question can be solidified enough to turn into an answer, I'd be interested in seeing it there as well! – A_S00 Jul 16 at 20:21
  • 1
    @A_S00 I don’t really think they can. I’d previously upvoted that answer because the wording does support that interpretation, and it was only now that I’m run up against “well OK, then how does that work?” Arguably, this should be allowed and the error is in not covering how it does so, rather than the error being in the wording allowing it when it wasn’t meant to; impossible to say for sure. – KRyan Jul 16 at 20:24

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.