Some classes have access to spellcasting.

Class level[]

Class level determines spell progression (spells per day and spells known) as well as caster level. Ranger and paladin levels only count as ½ for caster levels.

Spellcasting ability[]

Each of these classes rely on a single "mental" ability to determine the power, quantity and variety of their spells. (except for favored souls and spirit shamans, as shown in the table)

Ability Classes
Charisma Bard, Favored soul (for quantity), Sorcerer, Spirit shaman (for DC)
Intelligence Wizard, Artificer
Wisdom Cleric, Druid, Favored soul (for DC), Paladin, Ranger, Spirit shaman (for quantity)

Learning requirements[]

In order to gain access to spellcasting of a specific spell level the character must have an equal or higher ability score of 10 + spell level for the class spellcasting associated ability. This means that a spellcaster must have at least 10 in the ability score in order to be able to spellcast at all.

For a wizard to gain access to 8th level wizard spells he needs at least 18 intelligence.

This ability also determines how difficult it is for a caster's target to resist the effects of his spells.

Spell DC[]

The DC for a saving throw against a caster’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the caster's spellcasting ability modifier + focus/class feats.

For a cleric with 16 points of wisdom, which grants a +3 modifier, has a DC, for a level 5 spell, of 18 (10 + 5 + 3).

Some feats such as Spell Focus can also increase the DC.

Max spell level[]

spell level||4th||6th||9th
Classes Paladin
Bard Cleric
Favored Soul
Spirit Shaman


Spells known[]

Sorcerers, Bards, Favored Souls, and Spirit Shamans have a limited set of spells known derived from their level. This is unaffected by ability score and won't increase from a high score. At level-up, additional new spells are chosen, while currently known spells may also be swapped from new ones (with limitations).

A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (including those from her prohibited spell schools) plus three chosen 1st-level spells. For each point of intelligence bonus the wizard has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice (except any prohibited spell schools). At each new wizard level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels (except prohibited spell schools) that she can cast (based on her new wizard level) for her spellbook. At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizards’ spellbooks to her own.

Clerics, druids, paladins and rangers automatically know all spells at the spell levels that they have access.

Spell list[]

Each spellcasting class has a specific spell list which matches the type of spells they focus in. Usually a class may only learn and cast spells which appear on their particular spell list.

Spells per day[]

Spellcasters gain an amount of spells per day they can cast at each spell level derived from their class level.

A high enough ability score will also grant bonus spells to the number of spells which can be cast per day. Some equipment may also increase this number.

Arcane spell failure[]

Wizards and sorcerers suffer arcane spell failure when attempting to cast spells with somatic components in any armor other than cloth robes.

Bards and warlocks are granted the Armored Caster feat, which means they only suffer arcane spell failure when attempting to cast spells with somatic components in armor heavier than light armor. However, they may take the Battle Caster feat to permit them to cast spells with somatic components in medium armor as well.

The divine classes suffer no somatic spell failure in any armor.

Other beneficial classes[]

While Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep, arcane trickster, Doomguide, eldritch knight, harper agent, pale master, Red Wizard of Thay, sacred fist, stormlord, and warpriest levels do not directly provide spellcasting abilities, they do enhance the spellcasting abilities of a character's existing spellcasting classes by increasing the caster level.


While the Warlock does not have access to spellcasting in the same way as other classes mentioned, they can create spell-like effects using invocations, which can suffer arcane spell failure in armor heavier than light armor. However, the Battle Caster feat will permit casting invocations in medium armor without incurring risk of spell failure.

NWN comparison[]

  • The indirect spellcasting bonuses from pale master and red dragon disciple levels were not included in NWN.

DnD 3.5 comparison[]

  • Assassins and blackguards in DnD 3.5 are proper spellcasters, with a spell list and associated rules, instead of limited to the handful of pre-chosen spells of NWN and NWN2.
  • The spirit shaman normally uses spell retrieval to switch out known spells once per day, instead of only at level up. Due to to engine limitations, they use the same method as the other three spontaneous casters in NWN2.