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Assume a cleric has converted one of their first level spells into cure light wounds, and it was the only spell they have expended. When they use the pearl of power to recover the spell, what is recovered: the original spell, or the cure light wounds?

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The cleric recovers the original spell…

On Spontaneous Casting says

The cleric can 'lose' any prepared spell that is not an orison or domain spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with 'cure' in its name).

The cure spell that was spontaneously cast wasn't prepared. The original spell was. The description of the pearl of power, in part, says

Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast that day. The spell is then prepared again, just as if it had not been cast.

Thus using the pearl restores the original spell… that the cleric can then expend again to spontaneously cast a cure spell, if she so desires.

…Or, strictly, neither spell

A comment by Ilmari Karonen pointed out a quirk in the pearl's description. A GM could read part of the pearl's description—that it "enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast that day" (emphasis mine)—as it forbidding the caster from using the pearl to recall a spell that was "lost" due to spontaneous casting.

This GM and player doesn't endorse such a reading, but in, for example, a campaign dominated by casters with the ability to spontaneously cast spells, this GM could imagine another GM going with such a literal reading.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't a literal reading of your second quote (specifically, the "prepared and then cast" part) imply that a pearl of power is simply not usable in this case, since the spell was "lost" instead of being cast? \$\endgroup\$ – Ilmari Karonen Mar 24 at 8:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IlmariKaronen Sadly, literally it would. However, since that's Third Edition language I think that's an accidental byproduct of cutting down while also expanding the 2e description of the pearl (it "enables the possessor to recall any one spell as desired, even if the spell has already been cast. Of course, the wizard must have the spell to be remembered among those most recently memorized" (Encyclopedia Magica 3538–9)) rather than a purposeful attempt to, for instance, limit the pearl's use due to cleric or druid spontaneous casting. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 24 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TigerDM Um. I don't think that's accurate: "This seemingly normal pearl of average size and luster is a potent aid to all spellcasters who prepare spells (clerics, druids, rangers, paladins, and wizards). Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast." (See here. Pathfinder left the pearl largely untouched.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 24 at 13:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TigerDM (The pearl of power for casters who don't prepare spells at all is in 3.5 the memento magica (Magic Item Compendium 164). At about 25% cheaper than a pearl, it only recalls an empty slot; it specifically "has no effect for spellcasters who prepare their spells." The Pathfinder version of the memento is, I think, the similar runestones of power that aren't less expensive and significantly less versatile.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 24 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I meant “can’t” haha, apologies! That they changed it to the Runestone of power makes sense, good point :) \$\endgroup\$ – TigerDM Mar 24 at 15:20

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