How do bonus spells work?

Bob is a Level 2 Cleric with a 16 Wisdom.

The class table grants him the following spells per day

[O:4] [L1:2+1]

But his high casting stat grants him the following Bonus spells per day

[O:0] [L1:1] [L2:1] [L3:1]

What is the earliest level that Bob can cast a level 2 spell?

Is there a citation for this in the actual rules?


1 Answer 1


In short, No.

To quote Pathfinder's FAQ:

Bonus Spells from a High Ability Score: Can I use these even if my spellcasting class level isn't high enough to give me access to those spell levels?

No. You only get the bonus spells if your class level grants you access to those spell levels. You can't even use them for lower-level spells. See page 16, Abilities and Spellcasters section: "In addition to having a high ability score, a spellcaster must be of a high enough class level to be able to cast spells of a given spell level. "

For example, a 1st-level wizard with 18 Intelligence has (according to table 1–3: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells) 1 bonus spell at spell levels 1, 2, and 3. However, he can only use the 1st-level bonus spell because as a 1st-level wizard he only has access to 1st-level spells (his class-based number of 2nd- and 3rd-level spells per day are "—", meaning "no access to spells of this level"). As soon as he becomes a 3rd-level wizard, he gains access to his 2nd-level spell slots and can use that bonus 2nd-level spell slot from his high Intelligence, and likewise for 3rd-level spells and bonus spells at wizard level 5.

Basically, ignore the columns for higher-level spells on table 1–3: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells until your class grants you access to those spell levels.


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