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I've read the effect from Reincarnate repeatedly, but there seem to be missing parts or contradictions.

For the purposes of the question, consider a level 4 Sorcerer.

First, the spell states :

"A reincarnated creature recalls the majority of its former life and form. It retains any class abilities, feats, or skill ranks it formerly possessed. Its class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and hit points are unchanged.[...] The subject of the spell gains two permanent negative levels when it is reincarnated."

This specifically states that the character doesn't lose feats, skill points, hit points, etc.

Reading the rules for Negative Levels

"For each negative level a creature has, it takes a cumulative –1 penalty on all ability checks, attack rolls, combat maneuver checks, Combat Maneuver Defense, saving throws, and skill checks. In addition, the creature reduces its current and total hit points by 5 for each negative level it possesses. The creature is also treated as one level lower for the purpose of level-dependent variables (such as spellcasting) for each negative level possessed. Spellcasters do not lose any prepared spells or slots as a result of negative levels. If a creature's negative levels equal or exceed its total Hit Dice, it dies."

The first part seems to contradict Reincarnate, so do I take the penalties mentioned here?

Back to the Reincarnation spell:

"A spellcasting creature that doesn't prepare spells (such as a sorcerer) has a 50% chance of losing any given unused spell slot as if it had been used to cast a spell."

That would be regained by resting, as usual.

Since the Sorcerer gained use of a 2nd level spell at level 4, does this mean he can not cast that spell until gaining two levels (or being the target of Greater Restoration), or is there any change in the spell DC of the sorcerer's spells, or do I just calculate things that depend on the Caster Level as being 2 lower?

I realize the RAW for Reincarnate was left a little vague on purpose. There was a good deal of discussion on Paizo's forum indicating that many aspects are up to the discretion of the DM. I'm just looking for a guideline to give my DM. He usually is very agreeable, but I don't want to take undue advantage of that.

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Reincarnation's effect specifies that you keep a bunch of things, which is an exception to being, well, a totally different creature than before.

However, it also gives you two negative levels and it nowhere does it alter the effect of having negative levels.

Notably, negative levels don't remove any abilities, they instead add effects that alter your abilities (for the worse). Having two negative levels is not the same as losing two levels. You still have everything that reincarnation preserved, but you don't have access to some of it, as it's locked away behind negative levels that you must first clear away.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So I don't lose hit-points from being Reincarnated, but I do lose hit points from having negative levels, which came from being Reincarnated? \$\endgroup\$ – David Wilkins Oct 30 '14 at 18:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidWilkins Yes. Though they're not really lost, just overridden: you get those back as soon as you clear the negative levels, such as via the 4th-level spell restoration. Contrarywise, if it was being reincarnated that directly lost you the hit points, there'd be no way to get them back. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 30 '14 at 19:14

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