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I'm planning to play a Cleric with the Variant Class "Spontaneous Divine Caster." I'm considering choosing the Spell Domain, and I want to know if the spell "Anyspell" (and its greater version) would be useful for my character.

I understand that the description of "Anyspell" says, "The prepared spell occupies your 3rd-level domain spell slot." However, as a spontaneous divine caster, I don't actually prepare spells in the traditional sense. Instead, I can spontaneously cast spells from my list of known spells. This leads to the concern that there might be a conflict with the "Anyspell" mechanics since it refers to "prepared spell slots."

Could someone clarify if "Anyspell" can still be used effectively by a spontaneous divine caster with the Spell Domain? And if there is a conflict, how can it be resolved or house-ruled to work in such a case?

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2 Answers 2

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By the rules, Anyspell doesn't work if you don't have a domain slot.

The effect of Anyspell is to choose an arcane spell you have access to, and prepare it into your domain slot. From the spell description (Spell Compendium p. 14):

Anyspell allows you to read and prepare any arcane spell of up to 2nd level...

...The prepared spell occupies your 3rd-level domain spell slot.

If you don't have a domain slot, then you can't do this, so by a strict reading of the spell, it doesn't work for you.

Holt Warden arguably lets you get around this.

The Holt Warden PrC (Complete Champion, p. 84) has the "Plant Affinity" class feature, which gives you the Plant domain, and has some unusual verbiage about what to do if you aren't a Cleric:

If you do not already have bonus domain spells, you now gain bonus spells from the Plant domain (see the cleric spellcasting feature, PH 32) as if you were a cleric with access to that domain.

It's a bit ambiguous (since it says "bonus spells," not anything explicitly about "spell slots"), but some DMs read this to mean that you gain bonus domain slots along with the Plant domain spells (as claimed in this guide). If that's the case, you can probably prepare the arcane spell from Anyspell into the 3rd-level slot gained from Holt Warden.

If I were DMing for you, I would just let it work the way you want.

I don't see any real harm in houseruling this to work. Spontaneous casting is already weaker than standard Cleric casting (having access to your entire spell list is very good). There's no compelling reason to further nerf a spontaneous divine caster, just because Anyspell was written in a way that didn't anticipate the possibility of being cast by someone other than a Cleric.

I would simply allow you to cast Anyspell the same way you cast any domain spell, resolve its effect as preparing the arcane spell as normal, and not worry about the fact that the "slot" you prepare it into doesn't really exist.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks a lot. Very interesting point. About the Holt Warden, there is a requirement: "Spellcasting: Able to cast 3rd-level divine spells, including the three lowest-level spells of the Plant domain." How can a deal with it? I dont want to lose more spellcasting levels from my cleric class. \$\endgroup\$
    – SoyMavi
    Jul 29, 2023 at 14:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Skypledged (Races of the Wild, p. 126) is probably the best way to gain access to those spells (via its Divine Spellpool feature) without losing caster levels, though it requires you to be a Raptoran, so probably not an option for an existing character. The other methods I can think of all lose caster levels. \$\endgroup\$
    – A_S00
    Jul 29, 2023 at 18:45
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If you cannot prepare spells, Anyspell is not for you

The flavor description of the spell says "you channel divine power through your mind, shaping and transforming this energy into the potential to cast one arcane spell" - the idea is that you can cast an arcane spell instead of a divine spell. When Anyspell says:

Anyspell allows you to read and prepare any arcane spell of up to 2nd level.

you do not literally gain the ability to prepare spells if you cannot prepare spells. You gain the ability to prepare an arcane spell, instead of a divine spell.

Once you choose and prepare an arcane spell, you retain it in your mind

Again, you need to have the spell prepared, and a spontaneous caster has no way prepare spells.

The prepared spell occupies your 3rd-level domain spell slot

You also have no 3rd-level domain slot to occupy.

The metagame intent of divine spontaneous casting

This option trades versatility—one of the divine spellcaster's strengths—for sheer spellcasting power (much like the difference between sorcerers and wizards). Since the cleric and druid spell lists depend on versatility of effect, particularly defensive or utilitarian spells the spontaneous-casting divine caster is allowed to know more spells per spell level than the sorcerer (by adding domain spells or summon nature's ally spells on the list of spells known). No longer is the divine caster the character who can come up with any effect under the sun; instead, he becomes a much more specialized member of the adventuring group.

Anyspell goes squarely against this idea, giving you access to a huge amount of spell effects - any arcane spell up to second level - which you then could cast using your third level slots if you allowed this. You would get the versatiltiy of prepared arcane casting, with the sheer casting power of a spontaneous caster. This is exactly what is not intended by spontaneous casting. The intent is to only allow a much more limited spell selection to balance it out.

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