Something I read in a post on Paizo forums is that clerics always have their full spell list prepared (excluding ones locked by alignment). However, when I went into the SRD that wasn't reflected in it; was the post I read wrong, or am I just blind?

Do clerics always have their full spell list prepared?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Whenever asking “I saw someone claiming this thing that seems wrong to me,” please add a link to the context in which such a thing was said. It leads to vastly better answers for your question. I’ve made some guesses about what they might have meant, but guesses are way better when we can actually see what they’re saying. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    May 17, 2020 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan sadly I have no idea where I read that. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2020 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


Clerics must select a limited number of spells to prepare, but can prepare any spell from their spell list.

The cleric must select and prepare a limited number of spells from their spell list. How many spells she can prepare is limited by how many she can cast. They do NOT have all spells prepared. The spellcasting class feature makes this clear.

Like other spellcasters, a cleric can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Cleric. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

Clerics meditate or pray for their spells. Each cleric must choose a time when she must spend 1 hour each day in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain her daily allotment of spells. A cleric may prepare and cast any spell on the cleric spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during her daily meditation.

However, clerics do not have a spellbook or a list of spells known. When choosing what spells to prepare, they can choose any spell from their class spell list. Contrast with prepared arcane spellcasters like magi and wizards, who can only prepare spells recorded in their spellbooks. This is a major perk to the cleric's spellcasting.

The forum poster is likely referring to this ability and/or misunderstanding how it works.


No, clerics do not have their full spell list prepared—it’s not even clear what that would look like in Pathfinder, where spell preparation requires not only choosing spells, but also how many copies of each. A statement like that really only makes sense when discussing a scheme like D&D 5e, where you choose spells to prepare but cast “spontaneously” among the spells prepared—though of course, the 5e cleric does not have all of its spells prepared, since that would defeat the purpose of preparing them. I suspect either you or the person you were reading was mistaken about which game was under discussion.

A cleric is limited in the number of spells they can prepare by their spells per day—even if they prepare only one copy of each spell, they soon run out of spell slots in which to prepare spells and there are always going to be many, many spells on the cleric spell list that they haven’t been able to prepare. However, a cleric can choose among all cleric spells when choosing which spells to prepare—they don’t have any mechanism limiting their options when preparing spells, like wizards do. It’s plausible that the person you were reading was misusing the word “prepared” to refer to “spells they can prepare”—which are, indeed, the contents of the full cleric spell list (barring alignment conflicts).

Either way, whatever you read was wrong; clerics definitely cannot have every spell prepared, much less always do by default.


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