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Premise

This is a viability check for a cleric I am making with plans to move into the Radiant Servant of Pelor PrC. I'm trying to maximize the utility of a class feature and believe I found a non feat intensive method of getting more mileage out of it.


Info Dump / Context

Spontaneous Domain Casting - PHB II (p. 37)

Level: 1st.

Replaces: If you select this class feature, you do not gain the ability to spontaneously convert prepared spells into cure or inflict spells.

Benefit: You can convert stored spell energy into the spells of one of your domains. Pick one of your two domains. You can "lose" any prepared spell (other than a domain spell) to cast any spell of the same level or lower on that domain list. Your choice is permanent unless an alignment change, deity change, or other dramatic event leaves you incapable of accessing the domain.

In addition, when preparing spells you can choose to fill any or all of your domain spell slots with either cure or inflict spells (depending on whether you would normally convert prepared spells to cure or inflict spells) of the same level.

For example, Crucius is a cleric of Heironeous with the Good and War domains. At 1st level, he chooses to spontaneously cast War domain spells. Thereafter, he can lose a prepared 1st-level spell to cast magic weapon, a prepared 2nd-level spell to cast spiritual weapon (or magic weapon), and so on. Furthermore, in each domain spell slot he can prepare a spell from the Good domain, a spell from the War domain, or a cure spell of the same level.

  • It should be noted that this is different from the spontaneous domain Feat.
  • For our purposes we are giving up our spontaneous cure spells for spontaneous Healing Domain spells.

Radiant Servant of Pelor - Empower / Maximize Healing(CD p. 52)

When a radiant servant of Pelor of at least 2nd [6th] level casts a domain spell from the Healing domain, that spell is affected as though by the Empower [Maximize] Spell feat. This spell does not use up a higher-level slot.

Touch of Healing (CC p. 62)

As long as you have a conjuration (healing) spell of 2nd level or higher available to cast, you can spend a standard action to touch a target creature and heal 3 points of damage per level of the highest-level conjuration (healing) spell you have available to cast.


What are we trying to do?

Free up all of our prepared slots for more useful stuff than raw healing - while being able to sacrifice a prepared spell for "Emergency" empowered (or maximized) healing. We have Touch of Healing and a wand of lessor vigor in the backpack for out of combat healing.


The Questions

  • Do the spontaneously cast Healing Domain Spells using a prepared slot meet the requirements for the empowered healing feat?
  • Does the ability to spontaneously cast a Healing Domain "Cure" spell meet the requirement for Touch of Healing?
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello! I edited your question for better performance (I hope so : ) ). If I assidiently changed the meaning of some parts of it feel free to roll back my edit. Have a good time at RPG SE! \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ty Sir, I have no qualms with peeps doing markups on my questions / answers. My spelling and grammar are, non-optimized. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 at 20:54
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Touch of Healing: Definitely Yes

Getting the easy part out of the way first. If you can spontaneously cast a Conjuration (Healing) spell, and have a spell slot available in which to do so, you have it “available” as required by Touch of Healing. The fact that you have something else currently prepared in that slot doesn’t matter in the least when you can ditch that whenever you want.

Otherwise, Touch of Healing would fail entirely for favored souls, and I don’t think anyone wants to make that case.

Empowered/Maximized Healing

RAW, probably Yes

Unfortunately, the rules not only fail to delineate exactly what a “domain spell” is or is not, but also use that phrase to refer to two related, but subtly different, things.

That is, we have that

Each domain gives the cleric access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, from 1st on up...

If a domain spell is not on the cleric spell list, a cleric can prepare it only in his domain spell slot.

where “domain spell” is used to refer to each of the spells on your domain lists, as unprepared, almost abstract concepts—potential spells you have the option of preparing and casting, but before we get to those steps. Tellingly, it says “Each domain” has—or, more accurately, “grants access to,”—a domain spell per spell level—that is important because most clerics have more than one domain, so we are talking about more than one domain spell per spell level. The latter quote here clearly indicates that “domain spell” as a phrase can refer to any of the spells on domain lists, even if they aren’t yet prepared—because it specifies where you can prepare them, which is meaningless if you’ve already done so.

Contrast that with

A cleric also gets one domain spell of each spell level he can cast, starting at 1st level.

Here we’re taking about a real, tangible thing, a prepared spell, that the cleric could cast, or, say, a spellthief could steal. And you only get one of this kind of “domain spell” per spell level per day, unlike the other meaning of that phrase where you got (access to) one for “Each domain,” and there is no “per day” involved because your access to them is permanent and constant. This one domain spell per day is the result of taking the access to domain spells provided by our domain, and preparing them in our domain slot:

When a cleric prepares a spell in a domain spell slot, it must come from one of his two domains (see Deities, Domains, and Domain Spells, below).

(For context, this sentence immediately follows the previous quote. Note that the “Deities, Domains, and Domain Spells” section referenced here is the source of the first two quotations in this answer.)

So we have two subtly-different meanings of the term “domain spell” here—one refers to any and all spells found on domains, and the other refers to the one spell per level per day you can prepare in your domain slot and cast, and both are just “domain spell.” Herein lies our real problem—which of these two meanings of the phrase is radiant servant of Pelor using? Radiant servant of Pelor, itself, doesn’t really give us a lot to go on either way.

However, there is a context that is very important: the one place where “domain spell” is definitively used to refer to the actual prepared-and-cast spell is in a paragraph that is all about discussing how many spells of each level a cleric can cast per day. That is, what they’re discussing here actually is your one “domain spell” per day of each level. In this sense, a “spell per day” is different from a “spell,” in that your “spells per day” (for each spell level) is the number that your domain spells ability adds +1 to, while the “spell” is the actual, ya know, spell, found on the domain list.

Also, importantly, that one time “domain spell” is used to refer to that one spell per day per level is in the spells section—and immediately refers you to the “Deities, Domains, and Domain Spells” section for more details. The section that includes “Domain Spells” in the title, and to which everything else directs you for information about domain spells, uses the term solely to refer to the spells on your domains’ lists, and not your one extra spell per day per spell level that is prepared in your domain slot.

Therefore, it seems to me, that the most likely definition for “domain spell” is “a spell found on your domains,” and not (necessarily and solely) “a spell prepared in your domain slot.” The use of that phrase in the cleric’s spells ability is actually (in context) the result of eliding the “per day” that was already under discussion, and which is indeed limited to one per spell level that corresponds to whatever you decide to put into your domain slot for each level. It is therefore very likely that “properly speaking,” RAW, the radiant servant of Pelor is referring to any spell of the Healing domain list, regardless of how it is cast.

But a strong circumstantial for No being the intent

But we should go back to the radiant servant of Pelor at this point, because while it doesn’t give us a lot to go on, there may be something:

When a radiant servant of Pelor of at least 2nd [6th] level casts a domain spell from the Healing domain, that spell is affected as though by the Empower [Maximize] Spell feat. This spell does not use up a higher-level slot.

If we understand “domain spell” to refer to those spells you got access to because of the domains you have, the use of that phrase here would be entirely redundant with “spell from the Healing domain,” since of course (near-tautologically) a spell from the Healing domain is a spell from a domain. Furthermore, radiant servant of Pelor here is emphasizing that you cast the domain spell, which isn’t quite something you can do with a spell on a list—you have to prepare it in a slot, and then it is the prepared spell that you cast. This is a lot closer to what the spells section is talking about when it says “A cleric also gets one domain spell of each spell level he can cast,” since that prepared spell is the physical manifestation of that extra spell per day (per spell level) that the cleric gets. That makes for a strong, if circumstantial, case for thinking that the authors of radiant servant of Pelor may not have been as careful about this as we may have liked, and were referring specifically to the one prepared in your domain slot.

On top of this, spontaneous domain casting itself even states you cannot use “a domain spell” to spontaneously cast another spell from your chosen domain. again, that only makes sense if they’re talking about the spell prepared in your domain slot—otherwise any spell available from one of your domains, or maybe even from any domain, would be ineligible for being spontaneously converted to one of the spells from your chosen domain, and that certainly doesn’t seem likely at all.

How things work out in each case:

If a “domain spell” is any spell you get access to from a domain, as RAW seems to indicate, then you can use spontaneous domain casting to cast it and it’s still a domain spell, but then at that point you could have just prepared it to begin with (or, in the case of most Healing domain spells, spontaneously cast them using the core cleric spontaneous casting feature).

If a domain spell is specifically the spell prepared in the domain slot—which, again, it probably isn’t RAW, but there’s evidence here that both the authors of radiant servant of Pelor and spontaneous domain casting itself thought it was—then spontaneous domain casting doesn’t really help. Nothing in the ACF specifies that the process of spontaneously casting one of these spells with the ACF made it into a domain spell.

On balance: I’d allow it

It seems pretty clear to me that the authors were not clear on what exactly “domain spell” as a term should refer to. Furthermore, radiant servant of Pelor is a pretty garbage prestige class, and the empowered and maximized healing features are extremely poor. At the end of the day, the real answer is the one that makes for the best game, and that at least is quite clear: cure spells need all the help they can get, and someone dedicating themselves to those spells does likewise. Frankly, I’d nix all mention of “domain spell” from radiant servant of Pelor and allow those features to apply to any of the spells from the Healing domain, regardless of how or when you cast them. So you shouldn’t even need the spontaneous domain casting ACF for it (though you may want it since a few of those spells are superior to the cure spell you’d otherwise be able to cast spontaneously).

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Do the spontaneously cast Healing Domain Spells using a prepared slot meet the requirements for the empowered healing feat?

A: No

Per the cleric spell rules:

Each domain gives the cleric access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, from 1st on up...

Only the "domain spell," meaning the one-per-spell-level-per-day spells that cannot be used for spontaneous casting, can be empowered for free. This is different than spells belonging to a domain. Although you gain the ability to cast spells of one of your domains spontaneously, you do not gain additional "domain spells."

Relevant Domain Spell Rules Clarifications

I see a lot of confusion in the comments about domain spells, so here's a breakdown:
  • Domain Spell: "A cleric also gets one domain spell of each spell level he can cast, starting at 1st level."
    - When referring to casting a domain spell, this is the spell that fills a domain spell slot
    - When referring to a domain spell list of sorts, this refers to a potential domain spell: "Each domain gives the cleric access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, from 1st on up, as well as a granted power." Again, this merely grants access to a domain spell.
  • Domain Spells (plural): "With access to two domain spells at a given spell level, a cleric prepares one or the other each day in his domain spell slot." Again, this refers to the available domain spells, one of which can be prepared in the domain spell slot
  • Domain Spell Slot: "When a cleric prepares a spell in a domain spell slot, it must come from one of his two domains..."
  • Note that a cleric can only prepare a domain spell in a domain spell slot. That is the only way provided in the rules for a domain spell to be prepared.
  • Also note that Spontaneous Domain Casting allows a cure or inflict spell to also be prepared into a domain spell slot. This might turn these in to domain spells -- that would be an answer for a different question. Otherwise, the cleric can prepare all cure spells, then possibly substitute in spells from the domain spell list into those slots spontaneously.

This line from the Spontaneous Domain Casting line is also important:

"You can "lose" any prepared spell (other than a domain spell) to cast any spell of the same level or lower on that domain list."

This clarifies that you are not casting domain spells from the chosen domain list, you are casting spells from that list. You also expressly cannot spontaneously cast from domain spells which, as previously noted, are spells prepared in a domain spell slot.

A domain spell is a specific, defined thing. It can overlap with the cleric's normal list of available spells, but a spell is not a domain spell unless it is one of the spells that is prepared into a domain spell slot.

Does the ability to spontaneously cast a Healing Domain "Cure" spell meet the requirement for Touch of Healing?

A: Yes

Touch of Healing does not require a spell to be prepared, just available to cast. Since your spontaneous casting would allow for you to cast a spell, the requirement is satisfied.

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    \$\begingroup\$ -1: The passage you quoted continues with: "If a domain spell is not on the cleric spell list, a cleric can prepare it only in his domain spell slot." So, it is still a domain spell, even if it isn't prepared in domain spell slot. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 at 20:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @annoyingimp specific vs general. The feat grants the capability to prepare spells from the domain spell list. It does not grant additional domain spells which have a specific definition. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 at 20:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer incorrectly conflates “domain spell” and “domain slot.” In particular, the very first quote describing a “domain spell” describe it as something you get from each domain—that is, with two domains, you get two domain spells per spell level—but clerics only get one domain slot of each spell level, and have to pick which of the two (usually) domain spells they have for that level are going in the one slot that day. Since the rest of the answer follows from the idea that “domain spell” refers to the “domain slot,” none of it is supported. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Sep 11 at 13:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @annoyingimp I updated the answer to include additional info. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 11 at 19:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, “A spell cannot be a domain spell unless it is prepared into a domain spell slot,” does not follow from the quote that this is supposed to be an analysis of. The quoted text actually states the converse of that—that a spell must be a domain spell in order to go into that slot, not (necessarily) that it must go into that slot in order to be a domain spell. (Actually, even saying that much requires reading the word “domain” in between the lines where the quote just says “a spell.”) This is a converse fallacy. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Sep 11 at 20:35

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