I am a cleric who recently had their holy symbol stolen from them (my backup was in my backpack). I needed to cast a spell. From my list of prepared spells I had summon monster, which has both a focus and DF. As a divine spellcaster am I allowed to cast the spell using its focus instead of the divine focus?


1 Answer 1


To cast a divine spell that possesses a divine focus (DF) component, a typical caster must employ a divine focus even if the same spell also possesses an arcane focus component

On Magic on Components on Divine Focus says

If the Components line [of a spell] includes F/DF or M/DF, the arcane version of the spell has a focus component or a material component (the abbreviation before the slash) and the divine version has a divine focus component (the abbreviation after the slash).

In other words, a typical divine caster cannot opt to use the arcane focus instead of a divine focus. For example, a typical level 1 cleric must have a holy symbol to cast a summon monster spell, while a typical level 1 wizard must have a tiny bag and a small candle.

Note: A spell's Components entry can be confusing because sometimes a spell (like the summon monster spells) seems to require a divine focus other than a the cleric's typical divine focus, when, in actuality, the spell doesn't. For example, a summon monster spell's components of V, S, F/DF (a tiny bag and a small candle) include only the necessary arcane focus, boldly assuming the reader knows that the divine caster will need, instead, his divine focus. However, some spells mandate only a focus (e.g. the destruction spell), and both arcane and divine casters must employ such a focus! This isn't helped by a spell like scrying that's just all sorts of confusing. In fact, I find a spell's whole Components entry an alienating jargon issue that I hope is one day cleaned up for ease of use.

  • \$\begingroup\$ And what does a level 1 wizard/level 1 cleric multi-class need? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Jan 22, 2017 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @daleM what do you mean there? as both spell lists are separate from each other......summon from wizard needs different things than the summon form cleric \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jan 22, 2017 at 13:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM: That depends on which class you're using to cast a particular spell. Divine spells require devine components, arcane spells require the arcane components, as mentioned in the entry of each spell. Note: losing your Devine Focus is about the worst that can happen to a Cleric, don't be surprised if some atonement is in order. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2017 at 13:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM A divine focus to cast his cleric summon monsters but, instead, a tiny bag and small candle to cast his wizard summon monsters . I thought title, though long, was clear. Should I clarify that? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2017 at 17:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @agodwithoutananswer While the holy symbol has "spiritual significance," I've not heard that losing one requiring a creature to atone for its loss. It's 1 gp; just buy a new one. In fact, why by level 2 a cleric didn't have a dozen secreted about his person (like the Joker does knives) seems, to me, a bit strange! This probably comes down to playstyle, though, so it's cool. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2017 at 17:29

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