I was looking at the new shadowcaster archetype. Taking the archetype has a prerequisite of being able to cast a spell.

Can a ranger take it, since they have the Warden spells and take the shadow hound animal companion?

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In the Ranger Class Description Warden Spells are defined as a type of focus spell.

Certain feats grant you warden spells, which are a type of focus spells.

And the rules on Focus Spells define this for non-spellcasters:

You gain the ability to Cast a Spell and use any spellcasting actions necessary to cast your focus spells (see below). However, you don’t qualify for feats and other rules that require you to be a spellcaster.

The prerequisites on archetypes are quite precise in what you need to fulfill them. While some call for a specific class (Runelord) others call for the spellcasting class feature (Hellknight Signifier). There are also archetypes that require spell slots (Geomancer) or a spell repertoire (Wellspring Mage).
And then there is those that require the ability to cast spells from a defined tradition (Soulforger) or to cast Focus Spells (Magic Warrior).

Shadowcaster doesn't specify any of this. It just requires you to be able to cast a spell. Even a Innate Spell gained from a ancestry would fulfill this requirement, as they allow you to cast spells.

You can cast your innate spells even if you aren't a member of a spellcasting class.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ by extension would that also apply to ancestry feats that grant cantrips? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14 at 11:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point! I expanded my answer to cover that as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Biv
    Sep 14 at 14:49

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