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I understand that bonus spells cannot grant access to higher level spells than a character normally has access to. For example, a level 4 Magus would have access to 4 0-level spells, 3 first-level spells and one second-level spell. Having an INT of 18 would grant one extra spell in levels 1 and 2 but would not grant access to levels 3 and 4.

My question is this: Say I take one of the Magus archetypes that has the Diminished Spellcasting trait (Esoteric, Kensai, etc). In the above example, my base spells per day would be reduced from 4/3/1 to 3/2/0, effectively shutting off access to level 2 spells. Would the bonus spell from INT return my 2nd level spell to me (3/3/1) or does Diminished Spellcasting effectively cut me off from those spells (3/3/0)?

Basically am I considered to have access to level 2 spells, and can simply cast zero of them or do I lose access entirely if my base spells per day are reduced to 0?

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If a number of spells per day is "0" in the table, this means you have access to this level of spellcasting and bonus spells per day from your spellcasting attribute if it's high enough

From the Ranger page :

Like other spellcasters, a ranger can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Ranger. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). When Table: Ranger indicates that the ranger gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level.

This is a specific example from a different class, and the Paladin has the same rule, but this is the only page that clearly explains this situation.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Pathfinder SRD pages on the Kensai and Esoteric also explicitly say "If this reduces his number of spell slots of a particular level to zero, he can cast spells of that level only if his Intelligence allows bonus spells of that level." \$\endgroup\$ – Michaellogg Sep 1 '16 at 21:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good catch! It's even in the Diminished Spellcasting section, no idea how I missed that. \$\endgroup\$ – David Perry Sep 2 '16 at 0:02

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