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In D&D 3.5, there was a rule that a spontaneous spellcaster had to spend extra time casting a spell if they chose to apply a metamagic feat. Is this also true in Pathfinder, or was this limitation removed?

I noticed that the Quicken Spell metamagic feat specifically notes that this rule doesn't apply; but, I couldn't find the actual rule anywhere. If the rule still exists, please provide an exact reference in the Pathfinder RAW. Thanks!

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2 Answers 2

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Yes. Here's the reference.

Because the sorcerer or bard has not prepared the spell in a metamagic form in advance, he must apply the metamagic feat on the spot. Therefore, such a character must also take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than he does to cast a regular spell. If the spell's normal casting time is a standard action, casting a metamagic version is a full-round action for a sorcerer or bard. (This isn't the same as a 1-round casting time.) The only exception is for spells modified by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat, which can be cast as normal using the feat.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Aha! It's in the Feats chapter, not in the Magic chapter (for anyone looking in the hardcover core rules, it's p. 113). Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – RMorrisey
    Sep 10, 2011 at 2:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is only valid for classes that do not prepare spell in advance (see my answer). The longer casting time is only when the metamagic filed is applied at casting time (and not while preparing the spell) \$\endgroup\$
    – Matteo
    Sep 10, 2011 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, he said "spontaneous" in his question. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Mar 7, 2013 at 13:32
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Yes but only for classes which do not prepare spells in advance.

  • Wizards and cleric have the same casting time (spells are prepared in advance)
  • Bards and sorcerers have a longer casting time (as the metamagic feat is applied on the spot)

From the SRD (emphasis added):

  • Wizards and Divine Spellcasters: Wizards and divine spellcasters must prepare their spells in advance. During preparation, the character chooses which spells to prepare with metamagic feats (and thus which ones take up higher-level spell slots than normal).

  • Sorcerers and Bards: Sorcerers and bards choose spells as they cast them. They can choose when they cast their spells whether to apply their metamagic feats to improve them. As with other spellcasters, the improved spell uses up a higher-level spell slot. Because the sorcerer or bard has not prepared the spell in a metamagic form in advance, he must apply the metamagic feat on the spot. Therefore, such a character must also take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than he does to cast a regular spell. If the spell's normal casting time is a standard action, casting a metamagic version is a full-round action for a sorcerer or bard. (This isn't the same as a 1-round casting time.) The only exception is for spells modified by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat, which can be cast as normal using the feat.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, you will notice he specifically asked about spontaneous casters in his question. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Sep 10, 2011 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk: my apologies, my brain just filtered out spontaneous :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Matteo
    Sep 11, 2011 at 6:52

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