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As a level 3 cleric with the Darkness domain, I think I get the ability to cast deeper darkness because the spell is listed as a 3rd-level domain spell. Yet as a level 3 cleric I can only cast 2nd-level cleric spells. Am I correct in assuming that domain slots are not bound by the same restrictions as the typical cleric spells? Simply put, can I cast deeper darkness if I'm a level 3 cleric if I prepare deeper darkness in a domain slot, or do I have to wait until I can cast 3rd-level cleric spells before I can prepare and cast it?

Also, is that deeper darkness domain spell bound by the same preparation and casting restrictions as other cleric spells? That is, "to prepare or cast a spell, a cleric must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level," so must I have a Wisdom score of 13 to prepare and cast this domain spell?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. I've edited the question's title as the tag already indicates the system. Thank your for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 14 '16 at 17:05
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A cleric doesn't gain early access to his domain spells

The spell deeper darkness is a 3rd-level spell for a cleric, even if the cleric has the Darkness domain. (In a domain's entry after Domain Spells the 1st, 2nd, and so on aren't the cleric's level but the spell's level.)

A cleric must be at least level 5 to prepare deeper darkness, and the cleric must meet the minimum Wisdom score of 13 to prepare and to cast that 3rd-level spell as described in the cleric's Spells class feature.

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First of all, you are not entitled to cast any 3rd level cleric spells at 3rd cleric level. In Pathfinder spell levels and caster levels are not the same. You can cast 2nd level spells at 3rd cleric level and 3rd level spells at 5th.

But there are cases when you can cast domain spells at lower levels than ordinary cleric spells with the same name.

As far as I can see, Pathfinder has taken the domain system from 3.5 unchanged. And in 3.5 cleric spells and domain spells can have different level. For example the Wind Wall spell entry in 3.5 reads:

Wind Wall

Evocation [Air]

Level: Air 2, Clr 3, Drd 3, Rgr 2, Sor/Wiz 3

Components: V, S, M/DF

Casting Time: 1 standard action

Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)

Effect: Wall up to 10 ft./level long and 5 ft./level high (S)

Duration: 1 round/level

Saving Throw: None; see text

Spell Resistance: Yes

Thus Wind Wall is 3d level cleric spell but 2nd level Air domain spell.

If you take it to Pathfinder (which I think is right) then the Wind Wall spell will be 3rd level cleric spell and 2nd level Air domain spell.

It means that at 3rd caster level (where you get access to 2nd level spells) you'll be able to memorize Wind Wall into your 2nd level domain slot, but not into any other slot you have. You’ll need WIS 12 (10 + 2nd lev) to be able to do it.

At 5th cleric level (where you get access to 3rd level spells) you’ll be able to memorize it into 2nd level domain slot or into 3rd level basic cleric slot. In the later case you’ll need WIS 13.

Just treat domain spells and cleric spells separately. You can memorize domain spells into domain slots, and only that way, and you can memorize cleric spells into any other slot granted by cleric class levels.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Pathfinder lists the spell deeper darkness as a 3rd-level spell of the Darkness domain. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 14 '16 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I Can Chan Oops, have not checked it. Then is my answer correct in general? (Laying aside the fact that there is no conflict in levels of deeper darkness domain spell and cleric spell). Will it work for Wind Wall which is 2nd level Air domain spell and 3d cleric spell in Pathfinder? \$\endgroup\$ – Ols May 14 '16 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. A spell that appears in a domain can be prepared and cast as a domain spell of the level the domain's lists even if the spell appears on the standard cleric spell at a different level or doesn't appear on the cleric's spell list at all. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 14 '16 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I Can Chan Thank you, I've corrected my answer. I've been long using 3.5 but new to Pathfinder and sometimes miss important details. \$\endgroup\$ – Ols May 14 '16 at 18:42

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