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For a prestige class that grants domains and increases caster level for a previous class, if it grants an extra domain, what is the effective cleric level for that domain? For example, if you are a sorcerer, and you take four levels of Rainbow Servant, you gain access to the Air domain. What is your effective cleric level when you turn/rebuke Air/Earth creatures? Is it your level in Rainbow Servant only? Or is it your effective Sorcerer caster level? Or is it your total character level?

Edit: this came up when the Rainbow Servant came across a wyrmling Green dragon, and she remembered she had access to the Air domain, so she turned Air creatures. She is Sorcerer 6/Rainbow Servant 4. If the effective cleric level is 4, she can roll to turn the 5 HD Air creature. If the effective cleric level is Sorcerer Caster Level, then it is 8. If it is Sorcerer + Rainbow Servant levels, then it is 10, and in the last one, it is possible that the little dragon goes pop (I said it was 4 = Rainbow Servant level).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that strictly speaking, a 6th-level sorcerer/4th-level rainbow servant has sorcerer caster level 10th, not 8th—the official rule for rainbow servant is that every level progresses the spellcasting, despite what the table says. If your game has ruled that it prefers the table, though, never mind me; I just wanted to point out the RAW. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan yes, we are aware of the RAW ruling, and we have allowed full casting progression for the Rainbow Servant in previous campaigns. This is the first campaign we are trying with the 6/10 progression to see which we prefer. So far, the sorcerer prefers the 10/10 while the other players say it is more fun this way. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 19:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ My personal opinion is that—especially for a sorcerer—rainbow servant isn’t worth 10 levels even at 10/10. Basically nothing is worth 6/10. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 19:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 9, 2021 at 21:01

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The game offers no rules for this

Complete Divine is the primary authority on gaining additional domains, and says nothing about how the granted abilities work beyond the simple fact that you get them.

Previous sources that covered the concept of extra domains—such as Defenders of the Faith or Draconomicon—had described them as “prestige domains,” and specified that they were special from regular domains. They also did not address the cleric level that some granted abilities keyed upon.

Deities & Demigods undid the “prestige domain” concept, but only discusses such domains being available to clerics.

And no errata covers this situation.

So yeah, your guess is as good as mine, or anyone else’s. Sorcerer caster level makes the most sense to me for a sorcerer/rainbow servant, but that’s just my personal opinion.

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