A Nature Domain cleric has the Acolyte of Nature feature (PHB, p. 62):

At 1st level, you learn one druid cantrip of your choice. [...]

I picked up shillelagh for my Nature Cleric 1 / Ranger X using this feature, so I can attack with Wisdom. I then realized that Acolyte of Nature is missing a phrase that the bard's Magical Secrets has:

Choose two spells from any class, including this one. [...]

The chosen spells count as bard spells for you [...]

Does the druid cantrip granted by cleric's Nature Domain count as a cleric spell, or is it still a druid spell?

Cleric and druid are both Wisdom-based spellcasters, so my only real concern is the components for shillelagh. If it's a cleric spell, my holy symbol-emblazoned shield takes care of the material components, and the somatic components can be done with my shield hand. If it's a druid spell, I would have to use a component pouch.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What's disappointing about this cantrip is that the club itself isn't the material component (ref original manifestations of the spell ...) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 1 '19 at 20:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast It is one of the material components, though, in addition to mistletoe and a shamrock leaf. \$\endgroup\$ – Red Orca Nov 1 '19 at 22:19

No, it's not a cleric spell for you

First, let's look at the full Acolyte of Nature, just in case we missed anything.

At 1st level, you learn one druid cantrip of your choice. You also gain proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: Animal Handling, Nature, or Survival.

Strictly speaking, the druid cantrip learned from Acolyte of Nature does not count as a cleric cantrip for you. You cannot substitute your holy symbol for a druidic focus and would, therefore, be required to provide the relevant material component in a DDAL game.

If you're looking for offensive cantrips, you can choose from create bonfire, frostbite, magic stone, poison spray, primal savagery, produce flame, and thunderclap. Or you can freely pick from any of the other half-dozen utility cantrips.

If it's not a DDAL game and them DM lets you wave the material component cost, then you can pick cantrips like shillelagh and thorn whip. But since you're multiclassing as a ranger, anyway, you'll need a component pouch if you want to cast ranger spells with a material cost.

And one more thing: by RAW, you can't cast shillelagh with a shield up. You need a free hand to manipulate the material components, and you cast the spell on a club or quarterstaff you're already holding.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe this interpretation is correct, but could you find any supporting evidence (beyond the lack of a statement saying it counts as a cleric spell)? Also, I don't believe that the final paragraph is correct, since the club or quarterstaff is one of the material components. \$\endgroup\$ – Red Orca Nov 1 '19 at 22:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Specific beats general, always. Interacting with the component pouch to make use of the mistletoe and shamrock leaf requires one hand. You also need another hand to wield the club or quarterstaff. Honestly, it's a small trade-off. The only other spell which can magic up a weapon is, well, magic weapon. And that requires a 2nd-level spell slot. Druids can circumvent this limitation because one of the potential druidic foci is a wooden staff; which can be wielded as a quarterstaff. link \$\endgroup\$ – TestYourMettle Nov 2 '19 at 1:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ So if you already have one piece of a spell's material components (the quarterstaff) in-hand, you can't use that same hand to retrieve the other material components? I'm not sure I agree with that. \$\endgroup\$ – Red Orca Nov 2 '19 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I have an eldritch knight with a sword and shield at the ready, I'm not reaching into my component pouch to cast, let's say haste, with the sword still in hand. The fact that the sword isn't a material component for the spell is irrelevant. The hand is occupied. One hand reaches into the pouch while the other holds the weapon. Either hand can perform the somatic component, but it's just too many components for a single hand. link \$\endgroup\$ – TestYourMettle Nov 2 '19 at 3:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to clarify, let's say a ranger wants to cast wind wall. They already have "a tiny fan" in one hand and a shield in the other hand. Would they be able to reach into a component pouch, grab "a feather of exotic origin", and cast the spell? \$\endgroup\$ – Red Orca Nov 2 '19 at 5:40

I do believe this is an oversight of the Acolyte of Nature feature. The cantrip should count as a cleric cantrip for you.

AFAIK, every class features that gives spells from another class' spell list specifies that, for your character, this spell counts as one of your class' spells.

Another example beside Bard's Magical Secrets class feature is the Arcane Initiate feature of the Arcana domain Cleric:

When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill, and you gain two cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. For you, these cantrips count as cleric cantrips.

I'm convinced this is an oversight, else what would that mean? That you can't cast a cantrip you know? That this is a bonus cantrip in case you multiclass one level in Druid?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would it being a Druid spell make you unable to cast it? Additionally the Acolyte of Strength from PlaneShift: Amonkhet similarly lacks the phrase \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 31 '19 at 19:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Totem barbarian can cast the bard/druid/ranger spell speak with animals, and it isn't clear what spell list it comes from. Magic Initiate feat also lets you select from a spell list that isn't your own, and that seems intentional. I don't believe that there would be a problem casting the spell, but I could be wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – Red Orca Oct 31 '19 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, when you say it "should" count as a cleric cantrip, do you mean that (1) RAW says it doesn't count, but by rules-as-intended it should, (2) RAW is unclear, but by rules-as-intended it should count, or (3) something else? \$\endgroup\$ – Red Orca Oct 31 '19 at 19:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RedOrca I meant that RAW is unclear and I believe it is due to an editing mistake. Without that 'and it is considered a cleric spell for you' sentence, if we interpet it as RAW then this is class feature that basically gives no ability (and we might as well remove it from the class). \$\endgroup\$ – Catar4 Oct 31 '19 at 19:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I know it is a bit absurd and maybe even a 'false equivalency' but ... well ... clerics cannot cast druid spells/cantrips. So getting a spell from the Druid spell list that is NOT considered a cleric spell would 'logically' mean the cleric can't cast it ... which makes no sense for the character to get a spell he can't use. \$\endgroup\$ – Catar4 Oct 31 '19 at 20:00

Consider the following:

(Arcana Cleric) Arcane Initiate:

When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill, and you gain two cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. For you, these cantrips count as cleric cantrips.

(Celestial Warlock) Bonus Cantrips:

At 1st level, you learn the sacred flame and light cantrips. They count as warlock cantrips for you, but they don't count against your number of cantrips known

(Undying Warlock) Among the Dead:

Starting at 1st level, you learn the spare the dying cantrip, which counts as a warlock cantrip for you. You also have advantage on saving throws against any disease.

All of the examples above specify the spells belonging to the class you are playing simply because it alters the stat being used as the modifier. If a Wizard uses INT and a Warlock chose CHA, it has to be specified to use CHA as the modifier.

In your case both use WIS. This is why it does not tell you that it counts as a Cleric spell, as both modifiers are the same. However, you are a Cleric. It is a Cleric ability that grants you the Cantrip, therefore you treat it as a Cleric spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "All of the examples above specify the spells belonging to the class you are playing simply because it alters the stat being used as the modifier" It doesn't alter anything. Spellcasting stats are determined by the feature that gives you the ability to cast a spell, never by the spell itself. \$\endgroup\$ – Cubic Nov 1 '19 at 12:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ It does alter it. It's saying that a Wizard spell that uses INT will now use CHA for a Warlock. That is altering something. It specifies it for a reason. The Cleric vs Druid does not specify because they use the same modifier. \$\endgroup\$ – Just Another Guy Nov 1 '19 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is no such thing as a "wizard spell". There are only spells. Spells aren't bound to any particular spell casting modifier, or any modifier at all for that matter - they only requires a spell attack bonus and a spell save DC, and technically both could use different abilities or be fixed values not related to abilities at all. The spell doesn't care. \$\endgroup\$ – Cubic Nov 1 '19 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Wizard spell" when used in the rules is just a shorthand for "spells that wizards have access to". It's not a quality of a spell, it's a property of wizards. Many wizard spells are also on the cleric or sorcerer spell lists, that doesn't mean they're suddenly some weird frankenstein hybrid thing by default until a rule saying otherwise shows up. \$\endgroup\$ – Cubic Nov 1 '19 at 12:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Cleric and druid spells are not equivalent just because they use the same spellcasting modifier. The material components are different. For example, if a cleric somehow knew a druid spell that required a material component, they would not be able to cast that spell using their holy symbol unless that spell counted as a cleric spell for them. (And they also couldn't cast it with a druidic focus, because they're not a druid. They would need a component pouch, or the individual component itself.) \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan C. Thompson Nov 1 '19 at 19:53

It makes no difference

Druids and clerics are both wisdom based casters so that part makes no difference. Being a druid cantrip doesn't stop a cleric from being able to cast it. Consider the cantrip ability a High Elf gets:


You know one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.

It doesn't matter what non-wizard classes a high elf takes, they can always still cast that cantrip even though it was drawn from the wizard cantrip list.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What about using a focus or things that benefit "Cleric Spell" or "Druid Spells"? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 31 '19 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2: Yep. In fact, spellcasting foci/material components are specifically mentioned in the question as something that is affected by the class the spell is associated with. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 2 '19 at 10:37

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