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Spell Perfection - Pick one spell which you have the ability to cast. Whenever you cast that spell you may apply any one metamagic feat you have to that spell without affecting its level or casting time, as long as the total modified level of the spell does not use a spell slot above 9th level.

Magical Lineage - Pick one spell when you choose this trait. When you apply metamagic feats to this spell that add at least 1 level to the spell, treat its actual level as 1 lower for determining the spell’s final adjusted level.

Assume I want to cast an Empowered (+2) Maximised (+3) Lightning Arc (5th level spell); can I use Magical Lineage's metamagic level reduction to treat the "total modified level" of the spell as 9 before further lowering it by -3 (free maximised from Spell Perfection)?

By my reading, a Lineage Empowered Lightning Arc is a 6th level spell, modified to 9th level were Maximised added.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I thought for sure this would be a duplicate but I wasnt able to find another asking about this interaction \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jul 18, 2023 at 18:49

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Your reading is correct: Magical Lineage reduces the effective spell level for the purposes of Spell Perfection.

Terms like "actual level", "total modified level", and "final adjusted level" aren't given explicit definitions in the metamagic rules. The only definition of what "level" means for a spell with metamagics applied is from this errata:

The spell counts as the level of the spell slot necessary to cast it.

Even though the wording of the rules may be unclear, I think this errata clearly confirms that the intent is fairly simple. Any time the metamagic rules refer to level, they all mean the same thing: the spell's effective level (which is equal to the spell slot required to cast) it once all metamagics and modifiers have been applied. Magical Lineage reduces this, so it should be considered when calculating the spell's level for the purposes of Spell Perfection.

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