5e Domain spell question


4th Edition

Shadow Lodge

Do you gain both domain spells when reach the level for those spells or do you need to choose one of the two spell available?


I play it this way

Both are available each time you prepare spells, you can select from one of them to be the Prepared Domain Spell of the day.

But the free PDF, on line, has this tricky language

"Once you gain a domain spell, you always have it prepared and it doesn't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day"

and this is a little muddy, because it seems to imply that if the level grants more than One domain spell, you would have them both prepared each day automatically.

However, keep in mind another tricky aspect of 5e spell casting is the more developed idea of Spell Slots

As a Cleric you don't get additional Spell Slots with your Domain, just access to more prepared spells, so you still have to decide what spell slots you want to use on what spells you have prepared for the day and it is more than likely that you will have more spells prepared than slots available to cast with.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks for the info.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The PHB doesn't say anything (unless I overlooked it) about choosing, it just says you get them.

I just built a 1st-level Light cleric, and I've got like a bajillion spells prepared but only two slots to cast with. :/

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Jacob Saltband wrote:
gain both domain spells when reach the level for those spells

This is the way we play. I haven't found anything to contradict this. Mind you, the phrasing could be clearer.


Domain Spells are automatically prepared. Otherwise, Domain spells for certain clerics (like Life) would be pointless.

I don't have the PHB in front of me, but the Basic Rules clearly state "Once you gain a domain spell, you always have it prepared, and it doesn't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day."

Only Warlocks don't automatically get their subclass spells, AFAIK.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Right but the poor wording is:

Kalshane wrote:
"Once you gain a domain spell,"

which leaves open the question of, "what about the other spell?" They could have said "Once you gain the domain spells for that level," which would have been clearer.

Shadow Lodge

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Right but the poor wording is:

Kalshane wrote:
"Once you gain a domain spell,"
which leaves open the question of, "what about the other spell?" They could have said "Once you gain the domain spells for that level," which would have been clearer.

Yes, this is why I asked, to see how others read it and if anyone else saw that it was somewhat unclear.

Thsnks all for the responses.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

We play that you get access to any and all domain spells.

To me it helps distinguish clerics by their domain more (and it's really going to suck if you come up against the perfect situation to use your class's defining feature and have happened to prepare the wrong domain spell. I wouldn't want my players spending time on a choice like that).


It seems pretty straightforward. The phrase "once you gain a domain spell" applies to any and every domain spell you gain. It's always prepared and doesn't count against the number of spells you can have prepared at one time. It does, however, still use up a spell slot when you cast it.


Like JoeJ said it's pretty straightforward and I don't see how it could be confusing.

When you gain a domain spell it is always prepared and doesn't count toward your prepared spells. In example, at 1st level, a light domain cleric gain the burning hand spell and the fearie spell, those spell are now always prepared and do not count against the number of spell they can prepare. It also ahhpen that they weren't on the spell list available to cleric.

The wording is fine as it allow future domains to have a single spell, or more than 2 spells at a given level while still being tru as you gain every single spell listed for a given level when you reach that level.


From the basic rules:

"Each domain has a list of spells--its domain spells--that you gain at the cleric levels noted in the domain description. Once you gain a domain spell, you always have it prepared, and it doesn't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.
"If you have a domain spell that doesn't appear on the cleric spell list, the spell is nonetheless a cleric spell for you."

I really don't see any ambiguity here. You gain the spells at the level listed and they're always prepared. There's no mention of choice or hint of a limitation to a single spell.

Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Gaming / D&D / 4th Edition / 5e Domain spell question All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in 4th Edition