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In a detail that came up as I asked this question I'd like to know how Find Familiar works for a Warlock who casts spells at levels above first level.

Pact of the Chain

You learn the find familiar spell {a first level spell} and can cast it as a ritual. The spell doesn’t count against your number of spells known.

A Warlock at level 4 knows 5 spells, has two spell slots and all spell slots are at level 2. (PHB table "The Warlock"). The Pact of the Chain find familiar does not count against spells known.

  1. The Warlock gets this spell at third level after choosing Pact of the Chain. Is it a second level spell(per the table) or -- since it doesn't count against spells known and is cast as a ritual -- does it remain a first level spell?

The Warlock table shows how many spell slots you have. The table also shows what the level of those slots is; all of your spell slots are the same level. {snip} ... 5th level, you have two 3rd‑level spell slots. To cast the 1st-level spell Thunderwave, you must spend one of those slots, and you cast it as a 3rd‑level spell.

Is this Pact Boon outside of the limitations of the spells on the table?

Rules for spell casting, Rituals, includes this text:

The ritual version of a spell takes 10 minutes longer to cast than normal. *It also doesn’t expend a spell slot, which means *the ritual version of a spell can’t be cast at a higher level**.

This makes great sense for spells that have "at higher level." Find Familiar doesn't have that feature, so I am not sure if this applies.

Since it doesn't cost a spell slot, and is a ritual (not eligible to be cast at a higher level) would that Pact of the Chain boon remain a first level spell (regardless Warlock's level who casts it), or does the Warlock table drive the spell level up?

The answer help a question about how to fill up all of the spell slots in a Ring of Spell Storing. (If it stays at first level, this represents an exception to the general requirement that Warlock spell are always cast at the same level).

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What level find familiar is cast at depends on how the warlock casts it.

When she gains the Pact of the Chain class feature, the warlock learns find familiar. It doesn't count against her spells known, but nothing in the ability text prevents her from casting it with her spell slots. If she casts it with her spell slots, it works exactly like any other spell she knows how to cast. If she is 5th level when she casts it, she casts it as a third-level spell.

In addition, the warlock gains the ability to cast find familiar -- and only find familiar -- as a ritual. When a spell is cast as a ritual, it always uses the normal spell level of a spell. When the warlock casts find familiar as a ritual, she casts it as a first-level spell no matter what her warlock level may be.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer made me reread the pact boon description and realize that the warlock can cast f.f. either way, which hadn't quite registered before. My original understanding was that it was cast as a ritual, but there's an option based on the "and" construction. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 5 '16 at 18:07
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It would be cast as a 1st-level spell when cast “for free” as a ritual via the Pact class feature. (This is ideal for the Ring of Spell Storing.)

A spell's level is that listed in the PHB, and only changes by casting it with a higher-level spell slot. Since no spell slots are involved in the casting in this case, it remains a 1st-level spell.

If for some reason it is cast via a spell slot instead of the Pact's normal ritual method (perhaps the Warlock is in a hurry?), it would count as a spell of a level equal to the slot used to cast it (PHB, p. 201):

Casting a Spell at a Higher Level

When a spellcaster casts a spell using a slot that is of a higher level than the spell, the spell assumes the higher level for that casting.

You can do this because the Pact of the Chain makes you know the spell, not only able to use it as a ritual.

(This would be less ideal for a Ring of Spell Storing, taking up more space for the same effect.)

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