I have a question about caster level and sorcerer level in Pathfinder and the Ultimate Magic book.

I know what a caster level is, kinda, and I know what a character level is.

But it's a bit confusing in the books. I have created a Sorcerer, Bloodline Efreeti and my 1st level ability in that bloodline is this:

Fire Ray (Sp): Starting at 1st level, you can unleash an elemental ray as a standard action, targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. This ray deals 1d6 points of fire damage + 1 for every two sorcerer levels you possess. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

My question is about the part that says "+ 1 for every two sorcerer levels you possess."

I have a trait, Magical Knack, that says:

Pick a class when you gain this trait—your caster level in that class gains a +2 trait bonus as long as this bonus doesn't raise your caster level above your current Hit Dice.

So my current caster level with my Level 1 Sorcerer is 3, does this mean that I get a +2 for my bloodline ability?


3 Answers 3


No, because your current Hit Dice is 1.

Magical Knack essentially allows you to take two levels of something that wouldn't add to your caster level, while still casting spells as though they did. At Level 1, it doesn't really do anything.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The bolded part of your answer is right, but the rest of it kind of implies that if he did have 2 non-caster levels the result would be different (like access to bloodline powers and spell slots). \$\endgroup\$
    – Colin D
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ColinD That is what the answer is saying. And AFAIK it's correct. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2014 at 18:23
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie: I don't think it is, because the Efreeti bloodline doesn't care about the caster level, it cares about the Sorcerer level and Magical Knack doesn't raise that \$\endgroup\$
    – 3Doubloons
    Mar 3, 2014 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @3Doubloons It does: "Caster level in that class gets a +2 Bonus" (emphasis mine). "caster level in that class" in this case = "sorcerer level". \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2014 at 18:28
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Caster level is different than sorcerer level actually. A Sorcerer 5 / Fighter 2 with Magical Knack would cast spells as a 7th level caster, but would have the abilities of a 5th level sorcerer. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2014 at 19:02

No. Caster levels are different from class levels.

Magical Knack will never boost your bloodline powers.


It never affects:

  • Spells known by the caster
  • Spells per day
  • Any other class feature dependent upon class level (Familiar benefits, bonus feats, and so on)

The Knack has no effect yet.

As far as the spell/spell-like ability you possess, the Knack would almost certainly have a beneficial effect, as it does effectively increase your caster level in that class (i.e. your Sorcerer level counts as being two levels higher for casting spells). However, it cannot, because you've ignored or overlooked the part about Magic Knack not taking effect if your caster level is too high relative to your hit dice.

To clarify: Your sorcerer caster level is still 1. Were your character's overall level higher, they would be able to take advantage of Magic Knack, but unless they multi-class you don't have many options to get them the additional levels of proficiency.

Magic Knack will only take effect in certain situations:

Hit dice almost always is just a fancier way of saying "total levels", though there are a few outlier cases in which you can see extra hit dice occur in other ways (typically for monsters).

Typically, this happens when one multiclasses; you could give your sorcerer a couple levels of Barbarian to give him a health buff, but still have him effectively cast spells like he had stayed in the Sorcerer class the whole time (of course, he doesn't get the additional spells, but the spells he has are just as strong).


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