Divine Magic in Starspeaker
In Starspeaker, divine magic has replaced the arcane magic in everyday life. The advent of the Holy Triad meant the end of the free experimentation with arcane energies. People have come to rely more and more on divine favor for their daily existence, just as the Church believes things should be.
Divine spells in Starspeaker are actually prayers. Unlike the precise rites and ritualistic movements that wizards once practiced to channel magical energies, clerics and other divine spellcasters entreat their deities for divine favor. So long as the cleric is asking for something appropriate and in the proper manner, the god or goddess will respond by opening the floodgates of divine energy through his or her supplicant and the required spell will take effect. To many, there is little difference between the way a cleric prays for spells and the way a layperson asks for a boon from the gods. However, the effects of divine spellcasting prove that there is definitely a difference. While there are plenty of stories of simple men and women whose prayers were answered as miracles, only clerics, through their devotion to a deity, can expect their prayers to be answered regularly. Unlike favored souls, whose divine spell selection is more limited, clerics in Starspeaker have full access to the spell lists available to the traditional cleric of the standard d20 rules system. However, as explained below, clerics cannot simply prepare any spell on the cleric spell list. For clerics, study and meditation are still required to gain access to the powers of the gods.
New Rules for Divine Spellcasting
In Starspeaker, clerics and other divine spellcasters do not specify which spells they will "memorize" during their daily prayers. The morning prayer still takes the same amount of time (one hour), but instead of assigning spells to spell slots, praying prepares the caster to channel the divine energy of his or her deity. Once the prayers are completed, the caster can simply select any spell he or she knows how to cast. In effect, this makes divine spellcasting more like sorcerous magic than wizardly magic.
Metamagic feats are applied to divine spells at the time of casting just as they are to spells cast by a sorcerer. The decision to cast a metamagically altered spell can be made at the moment of spellcasting, but doing so uses a spell slot of the required level and increases the casting time. If its normal casting time is 1 action, casting a metamagic spell is a full-round action. For spells with longer casting times, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the spell.
Spontaneous casting of Cure spells, however, still applies to good-aligned clerics (and Inflict spells still apply for evil ones). However, unlike sorcerers, divine spellcasters may give up a higher level spell slot to cast only Cure (or Inflict) spells of lower level. In other words, the cleric can use up a spell slot to cast a cure or inflict spell of the same level or lower, but may not do the same thing for any other type of spell.
The divine spellcaster also does not have access to every divine spell out there. 1st Level spellcasters start with knowledge of all Zero-Level spells on their spells list (if they can cast them) and a number of First-Level spells equal to his or her wisdom modifier times two, plus his one First-Level domain spell. Upon gaining a new class level, the divine caster automatically gains a number of additional spells per spell level equal to his or her wisdom modifier times two. The spells can be taken from the character's class spells list from any published game supplement, so long as the DM approves of spells from non-Core Rules spells. For clerics, these spells are in addition to the domain spells granted at each level. Good aligned clerics automatically gain knowledge of Cure spells, and evil clerics automatically know their opposing Inflict spells. Typically, if the number of spells known exceeds the number of spells on a given list, the caster simply knows all spells available to him or her. The addition of more spells at that point requires magical research of unique spells.
Example One: A 1st Level good-aligned cleric with a Wisdom of 14 starts off with knowledge of all Zero-Level and 6 First-Level spells [Wisdom Modifier (+2) times 2 equals 4 plus one domain spell plus Cure Light Wounds]. When he attains 2nd Level, he gains knowledge of four more 1st-Level Spells (10 spells known). Upon attaining 3rd Level, the cleric gains four more First-Level Spells (14 spells known) and 6 Second-Level spells (four spells plus one domain spell plus Cure Moderate Wounds). This 3rd-Level cleric can still cast only 5 Zero-Level, 3+1 First-Level, and 2+1 Second-Level spells per day. However, he has a selection of all Zero-Level, 14 First-Level, and 6 Second-Level spells to choose from.
Example Two: A character with Wisdom 16 attains a level of Paladin and with it gains the ability to cast one First-Level spell per day. He also automatically gains knowledge of 6 divine spells [Wisdom modifier (+3) times 2 equals 6]. When he reaches 8th Level, he will have knowledge of 30 First-level divine spells. (Remember: These spells are selected from the Paladin and Two Domain Spell lists. If the number of spells known exceeds the number of spells on these lists, the paladin knows all spells available to him from that list.) At 8th Level, the paladin also knows 6 Second-Level spells. Regardless, he can cast only 2 First-Level, and 1 Second-Level spell per day.
A divine spellcaster is not forever limited to the spells he automatically knows upon gaining a new level. The addition of new spells prior to level advancement does, however, require a time commitment. In order to learn what to ask a deity for, and how to go about asking properly, divine spellcasters must spend time studying and praying (in the case of clerics and paladins) or communing with nature (for druids and rangers). For spells that exist in any published game supplement, adding a spell to a casters' repertoire takes one day of study per spell level and costs nothing in material components so long as the caster has access to scripture or other divine inspiration. Alternatively, the caster can simply buy a scroll from his or her order and learn the spell from that, using up the scroll in the process. For completely new spells (or cases where the caster does not have access to holy archives), the basic rules for researching spells apply (see PHB, pg 156 and DMG, pp. 42 & 95).
Example Three: The cleric from Example One can gain knowledge of more than 6 Second-Level spells by spending the time to research them. If he wishes to learn how to ask his god for a Magic Weapon spell, he must spend two days in study, learning how to channel the divine energy in a certain way. When he is finished, he has knowledge of 7 Second-Level spells at 3rd Level. However, if he wishes to create a First-Level spell that has never been seen before, the cleric must still spend one week, the 1000 gp and pass the Spellcraft check (DC 11) to successfully conduct the magical research. If he is in a land far from outside of the influence of his church and wants to learn Magic Weapon, the cleric must research it as though it were a new spell, since he does not have access to the teachings of his order to guide him.
Paladin Spell Lists
In Starspeaker, the Paladin Spells list can be augmented by domain spells. When a paladin gains the ability to cast divine spells he or she must choose two domains from those available to the deity worshipped. Spells (through Fourth-Level only) on those domain spells lists can be learned by the paladin in the same fashion as any other divine spellcaster in the campaign.
Paladins DO NOT receive domain spells nor do they get domain powers. They merely gain access to a slightly wider selection of spells. If a domain spell is already on the Paladin spell list for that level, then the paladin gets no additional spell from the list at that level.