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A Shaman has to choose a spirit, in my case Life, which in turn grants them a list of spells. Since a Shaman can prepare any spell from their spell list (provided they can cast spells of that level), they do not have to research or otherwise learn a specific spell.

In my concrete example, the Life spirit grants the Shaman the 5th level spell "Breath of Life", but this spell is on the Shaman list anyways? Is this a mistake, just "useless" or am I interpreting something wrong?

As far as I understand the way spirit magic works, I don't get to cast spirit magic any differently than I would cast a normal spell (e.g. not counting against my daily limit)

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Note that the spells from Spirit Magic are in addition to the normal prepared spells. Thus they do not count against your normal spells per day:

A shaman can spontaneously cast a limited number of spells per day beyond those she prepared ahead of time. She has one spell slot per day of each shaman spell level she can cast, not including orisons. (emphasis mine)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So for a 5th level Shaman who can cast 3rd level spells, I just get to cast detect undead, lesser restoration and neutralize poison, each once per day, in addition to my prepared spells? \$\endgroup\$ – user23707 Apr 28 '17 at 12:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MechMK1 Yes but it is slightly more versatile than that since the feature says you get a slot of each level so you could also choose to use detect undead three times, for example, or apply metamagic feats. \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Apr 28 '17 at 12:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I understand! Thanks a lot for your help! \$\endgroup\$ – user23707 Apr 28 '17 at 12:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Once you get your wandering spirit you get the spells from that, too. So you have two spells to choose from for each spell level. \$\endgroup\$ – Umbranus May 1 '17 at 20:07

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