"Casts spells as" and class levels.


Rules Questions


Various creatures exist which cast spells as a given caster. e.g., a nymph "casts spells as" a 7th level druid, without the summoning swap-out.

If you advance a casts-spells-as creature with class levels, do those levels stack? For instance, if a nymph took sorcerer levels and then mystic theurge levels, would the mystic theurge levels increase her druid casting ability? What if she tried to take a druid level? Would she gain the other abilities of a druid of 1st level, and cast at 8th? Would she gain the ability to swap in summoning spells for all her druid spells, or only the ones her class levels gave her access to?


They stack, yes. This is new to Pathfinder; they did not stack in 3.5.

A Nymph druid1 would cast spells as a level 8 Druid, but would have the class abilities, BAB, saves, skills of a level 1 Druid. Her animal companion is as a level 1 Druid. She could not yet Wild Shape.

Due to gaining her 9th Hit Die, she would gain a feat and would count as a level 9 character for that purpose (I think).

Note that this makes adding sorcerer levels to a dragon a great way to make them particularly dangerous opponents while keeping their size and age smaller.


Is this an explicit rule or a FAQ ruling, or what? I wasn't aware of it.

I'm still getting used to PF's quirks.


I couldn't find the exact rule, but in the table in Monster Advancement for "Key" classes, it notes that a spellcasting class only counts as "key" if it stacks with the base creature's spells. I can't imagine that note being there if it never happened.


They also stacked in 3rd edition. Common for dragons to get a couple extra sorcerer levels.

Might be an explicit rule, not sure. Should check the Bestiary. However, it's pretty ingrained that you can't get the same spell-casting twice (i.e. take 3 levels in Illusionist, then take 3 levels in Evoker). There's no where else for those caster levels to go.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Majuba wrote:
Bizbag wrote:

They stack, yes. This is new to Pathfinder; they did not stack in 3.5.

A Nymph druid1 would cast spells as a level 8 Druid, but would have the class abilities, BAB, saves, skills of a level 1 Druid. Her animal companion is as a level 1 Druid. She could not yet Wild Shape.

Due to gaining her 9th Hit Die, she would gain a feat and would count as a level 9 character for that purpose (I think).

Note that this makes adding sorcerer levels to a dragon a great way to make them particularly dangerous opponents while keeping their size and age smaller.

They also stacked in 3rd edition. Common for dragons to get a couple extra sorcerer levels.

Yup. You see this all the time in published Paizo adventures, and it was true in 3.5 products as well.

NPC Example from original Rise of the Runelords (3.5 OGL):
Xanesha the lamia matriarch in Skinsaw Murders was listed as a "lamia matriarch sorcerer 2." Lamia matriarchs cast spells as a 6th-level sorcerer, so Xanesha cast spells as an 8th-level sorcerer. Her other sorcerer abilities were as a level 2 sorcerer. (Pathfinder #2, pp. 53-4,92)

NPC Example from Wrath of the Righteous (PFRPG):
Uesathella, another lamia matriarch, is listed as being a "lamia matriarch fighter 1/eldritch knight 5", which adds 4 levels to her sorcerer spellcasting abilities, making her CL10th. (Pathfinder #76, pp. 17-8) Note that her innate spellcasting abilities as a lamia matriarch satisfied the spellcasting requirements for the prestige class.

The PRD wrote:

Under the section Adding Class Levels...

Step 2: Add Class Levels
Second paragraph: "Next, add the class levels to the monster, making all of the necessary additions to its HD, hit points, BAB, CMB, CMD, feats, skills, spells, and class features. If the creature possesses class features (such as spellcasting or sneak attack) for the class that is being added, these abilities stack. This functions just like adding class levels to a character without racial Hit Dice."


Oh they DID stack in 3.5? I always thought that was our house rule.


Bizbag wrote:
Due to gaining her 9th Hit Die, she would gain a feat and would count as a level 9 character for that purpose (I think).

I believe that the Hit dice have nothing to do with it. She is a Nymph Druid Lvl 1. She gets all her Nymph racial traits (including what amounts to a bonus 7 caster levels to Druid class (casting as an 8th level Drd), plus all the beginning things any adventurer gains when starting out at character class 1.

She'll get a bonus Hit die (likely not maximized due to her already having racial hit dice), a feat, and progress normally as any other race. Just much, much more powerful.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Bizbag wrote:
Oh they DID stack in 3.5? I always thought that was our house rule.

They did indeed.

d20 SRD v3.5 wrote:

From section Improving Monsters...

"A spellcasting class is an associated class for a creature that already has the ability to cast spells as a character of the class in question, since the monster’s levels in the spellcasting class stack with its innate spellcasting ability."

The language in PFRPG is MUCH clearer than than in the 3.5 SRD, but they mean the same thing.


Nice job Haladir.

As for the Nymph Druid 1, she would get everything a 9th level character gets (5 feats total), everything an 8th level fae gets (4 BAB, skill points, etc.), and everything a 1st level druid gets (0 BAB, 2 Fort/Will, skill points, etc.), and stack the spellcasting.


Majuba wrote:


As for the Nymph Druid 1, she would get everything a 9th level character gets (5 feats total), everything an 8th level fae gets (4 BAB, skill points, etc.), and everything a 1st level druid gets (0 BAB, 2 Fort/Will, skill points, etc.), and stack the spellcasting.

I'm sorry, Majuba, but I don't see where the Nymph Druid would get anything other than its 1st Level Character traits and racial traits. I'm under the impression that this type of "Casts spells as..." is similar to prestigeing into Mystic theurge, for example, mechanically. If you were a sorcerer, you wouldn't advance your Bloodline traits, Clerics wouldn't gain extra channels.

It seems to indicate that the Nymph would simply cast spells as a 9th level druid, but be a 1st level. Or am I missing a rule somewhere?

The NPC Example from Wrath of the Righteous (PFRPG) that Haladir seems to concur; you are only adding one level's worth of BAB, Base Saves, HD, Feats, etc. and the one spellcasting level.


The nymph starts with 8d6, so it is an 8th level character. Adding a Druid class Level raises its character level to 9, giving it its 5th feat. The 1st level Druid bab, saves, etc, would be added to whatever it has as an 8th level fey.


Brf wrote:
The nymph starts with 8d6, so it is an 8th level character. Adding a Druid class Level raises its character level to 9, giving it its 5th feat. The 1st level Druid bab, saves, etc, would be added to whatever it has as an 8th level fey.

thanks for the clarification. :)


Kingmaker spoilers:

BBEG of kingmaker for an EXACT example of a nymph with increased spell casting due to character levels.

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