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For example, a paladin of the ancients learns the ritual spell Speak with animals as an oath spell and thus has it always prepared. If I multiclass as Wizard, I gain the ability to cast ritual spells as rituals. Can I cast Speak with animals as a ritual?

Now, if I multiclass as Druid instead of Wizard, I know the spell as a druid spell but still have it prepared as a paladin spell. Can I cast it as a ritual now? And if yes, which spellcasting ability do I use for it?

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No

As a wizard you gain the ability to cast wizard ritual spells as rituals, see ritual casting feature PHB page 114:

You can cast a wizard spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook.

And the spellcasting subsection of multiclassing in the PHB says they are separate sets of spells for each class (page 164):

Spells Known and Prepared. You determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single-classed member of that class.

The druid ritual casting feature is worded in a similar manner, so that they can only ritual cast druid spells.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Druid ritual casting isn't worded the same; druids don't have a spellbook. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Apr 6 '16 at 12:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Point, I was referring to the exclusivity of the class spells. Let me tweak that \$\endgroup\$ – KMallory Apr 6 '16 at 16:19
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You don't gain "the ability to cast ritual spells as rituals".

You can cast a wizard spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell in your spellbook. You don’t need to have the spell prepared.

Your Paladin spells do not fulfill these requirements. As for the Druid:

You can cast a druid spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell prepared.

So if you have it prepared, and it's a Druid* spell, you can cast it as a ritual. It doesn't matter which class you prepared it as.

*Note: A Druid spell is a spell from the Druid spell list. While this is never formally defined, we have this:

You prepare the list of druid spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the druid spell list. When you do so, choose a number of druid spells equal to your Wisdom modifier + your druid level (minimum of one spell).

If a spell had to be prepared as a Druid in order to be a Druid spell, it would be impossible to prepare any spells, since you would have to have them prepared in order to prepare them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @lord_sembor I added a note on what counts as a Druid spell, since I think that's the root issue here. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Apr 6 '16 at 7:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Follow up, adding it to the question: What attribute would it be casted with? \$\endgroup\$ – ammut Apr 6 '16 at 9:16
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The general rule in this case is that a PC cannot cast spells as rituals for classes which do not have the ritual casting class feature.

The Oath of the Ancients Paladin does not have ritual casting, and thus could not cast speak with animals as a ritual.

If the paladin multiclassed into wizard, he could cast speak with animals using his wizard spell slots per the multiclass casting rules, but he could still not cast it as a ritual because it is not in his spellbook (and likely won't ever be, since it's not a wizard spell).

If the paladin instead multiclassed into druid, he could cast speak with animals as a ritual following the normal process for druid ritual casting. Speak with animals is on the druid spell list as a level 1 spell and is tagged as a ritual spell.

Unlike spell slots, multiclass characters do not share prepared spells across classes. In order to cast speak with animals as a ritual you would need to have it prepared in your druid prepared spells. You could not cast it as a ritual from your paladin prepared spells.

This means that even though the Oath of the Ancients always has speak with animals prepared, he cannot ever cast it as a ritual without preparing it separately with a class that has the ritual casting feature.

On the other hand, even though it is limited to a number of uses per day by the character's spell slots, the Oath of the Ancients paladin always has speak with animals prepared and it does not count against his prepared spells.

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Wizard:

No, as Speak with animals is not on the Wizard spell list as per the Wizard ritual casting rules.

Druid:

Short answer: No

Slightly longer answer: RAW yes, RAI most likely not

Explanation: The Druid ritual casting rules specify that a spell must have the ritual tag, be a druid spell and you must have it prepared. Preparing it as a Paladin spell changes nothing about the fact that Speak with animals is still a druid spell for you. The PHB says under Multiclassing, Spellcasting

You determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single-classed member of that class.

but considering the example right afterwards, this is only concerned with what spells you can prepare.

It also says, further down,

Each spell you know and prepare is associated with one of your classes, and you use the spellcasting ability of that class when you cast the spell.

so the spellcasting ability would still be charisma.

However, given how pedantic the rules are about separating your spellcasting options when multiclassing, it's pretty safe to assume that this was not intended to be possible.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I've thought long and hard about this and I'm definitely not happy with the answers provided thus far, so I wrote down what I think is correct and accepted it as the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – ammut Apr 6 '16 at 21:54

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