Old Edition House Rule = New Edition Feat?

22 posts / 0 new
Last post
Under previous versions of the game, I used to allow a cleric to leave open the spell slots granted by Wisdom, so that a cleric wouldn't just memorize all healing spells but would use some other spells as well.  I basically envisioned it as, "thanks you to your high Wisdom, you memorized" whatever spell the cleric found useful to cast from that slot.  I used the rule in 1st and 2nd Ed, and perhaps as far back as when I ran original D&D. In 3rd Ed terms, I was allowing the cleric to cast spontaneously from a Wisdom-bonus slot any spell that the cleric could normally have memorized in that slot.

I dropped the rule for 3rd Ed because 3rd Ed allows the cleric to spontaneously cast cure spells, so a cleric is much more likely to memorize non-cure spells.  

I'm running an epic campaign now and the party's main cleric is a 30th-level caster.  He uses most of his 9th- through 11th-level slots to memorize mass heal spells, and his 12th- and 13th-level slots to memorize amplified mass mass heal spells.  (Amplify Spell is a metamagic feat that doubles the non-variable hit-point effects of a spell and raises the level of the slot needed by 3.) He does get some use out of other spells to be sure, but with the large number of non-core and house spells, the party often laments that he doesn't have memorized this or that spells that could have been useful.

I was thinking of just reinstating my old house rule, or allowing clerics to cast heal spells spontaneously, but that would increase his flexibility (and arguable his power) with no cost.  Since 3rd Ed tends to allow improvements at a cost, I was thinking instead of allowing the following feat:

Wisdom Bonus Spontaneity
You can cast spontaneously spells granted by your Wisdom bonus.

Prerequisite: Ability to memorize divine spells based on Wisdom

Benefit: Wisdom Bonus Spontaneity allows you to cast spontaneously any spell from your class list using a bonus slot granted by your Wisdom score in which you could normally memorize the spell.



What do you think?  

If I allow it, should I require that it apply to only one class (and allow it to be taken multiple times, once for each Wisdom-based spell-memorizing divine class)?
My thoughts are there are a couple other things you could try that are already in the rules.

For starters you do know that while a cleric "prepares" all of his spell slots once each day he does NOT need to FILL those slots at that time?  It may not be "spontaneous" but with a short break he can fill those previously unfilled spell slots.  This is really useful for less used spell slots when there may be a bunch of potential utility spells (and healing spells really are utility spells) that could fill those slots.  In a worst case scenario you just use the unfilled slot for a sponteneous spell.

The next thing I'll point out is the Spontaneous Domain variation.  I don't recall which book it is in or the exact details but what this variation does is that it replaces your normal ability to spontaneously convert prepared spell into cure/cause wonds into one that will let you spontaneously cast the spells off of one of your domain lists.  If the chosen domain happens to be Healing you give up some Cure spells for those all mighty Heal spells.

The last things I'll say now is that you're running in epic levels and that really starts to mess with a bunch of normal rules and assumptions.  Normally casting healing spells during battle isn't the best strategy (although Heal may be an exception) and if that is ALL your cleric is using his top spells for I'm wondering if something else isn't broken.
 

He can take the spontaneous spell feat for mass heal. If he has the community domain (Spell Compendium), healing domain, or life domain (Eberron Campaign Setting), he can take the spontaneous domain access feat instead.


This thread may be of interest.

I originally wasn't going to involve myself in this thread, since our group does not play epic, so I have no leg to stand on about any of it, never even read any of the rules in the SRD.

But my two cents is that it's too powerful, at any table.  Basically, a sorcerer with "All spells known".  

The Unearthed Arcana even addresses the idea and includes a paragraph titled "Metagame", explaining some of the game balance takes, I'll just go ahead and link it for ease. --->*<---
I originally wasn't going to involve myself in this thread, since our group does not play epic, so I have no leg to stand on about any of it, never even read any of the rules in the SRD.

But my two cents is that it's too powerful, at any table.  Basically, a sorcerer with "All spells known".  

The Unearthed Arcana even addresses the idea and includes a paragraph titled "Metagame", explaining some of the game balance takes, I'll just go ahead and link it for ease. --->*<---

There is a feat called Alacritous Cogitation, that allows you to keep any one spell slot open which you can spontneously cast any spell known out of.


You can also suggest he pick up Scribe Scroll so he can write a few spells in scrolls.  
Thanks everyone for the great replies!

My thoughts are there are a couple other things you could try that are already in the rules.

For starters you do know that while a cleric "prepares" all of his spell slots once each day he does NOT need to FILL those slots at that time?  It may not be "spontaneous" but with a short break he can fill those previously unfilled spell slots.  This is really useful for less used spell slots when there may be a bunch of potential utility spells (and healing spells really are utility spells) that could fill those slots.  In a worst case scenario you just use the unfilled slot for a sponteneous spell.

The next thing I'll point out is the Spontaneous Domain variation.  I don't recall which book it is in or the exact details but what this variation does is that it replaces your normal ability to spontaneously convert prepared spell into cure/cause wonds into one that will let you spontaneously cast the spells off of one of your domain lists.  If the chosen domain happens to be Healing you give up some Cure spells for those all mighty Heal spells.

The last things I'll say now is that you're running in epic levels and that really starts to mess with a bunch of normal rules and assumptions.  Normally casting healing spells during battle isn't the best strategy (although Heal may be an exception) and if that is ALL your cleric is using his top spells for I'm wondering if something else isn't broken.
 



Alas filling empty slots does no good when you need healing in combat.  The cleric doesn't memorize all of his 9th- through 13th-level spells as healing spells, although he does use most of them.  He gets 17 spells of 9th-level through 13th-level (not including his 9th-level domain spell).  Of those he normally memorizes 6 mass heals and 6 amplifed mass heals.   He's never needed them all in one fight, but he's come close.  They've recently finished a series of 5 encouters with sirrushes and three-headed sirrushes, and frequently he needed to cast a mass heal just to unstun most of the rest of the party.  Also a sirrush can easily deal out 150 points of damage in a round, so if you're fighting two at once, you can easily take 300 in one round, more than the ability of even one mass heal to cure.  The three-headed sirrushes do even more damage, and the cleric definitely needed at least a couple of those amplfied mass heals, which do 500.  Two of the party members actually have more than 500 hit points, at least while they're raging (the sirrushes have 900, or 1100 for the three-headed sort, plus fast healing 20 and 25), so that even an amplified mass heal won't actually restore the two of them to full hit points if they've taken enough damage.  If there's anything broken, it's probably either epic creatures having so many hit dice more than CR, or the rule that the DC of special abilities uses half the HD instead of half the CR.  Most of the party members simply couldn't make the DC 47 Fort save against the sirrushes' stunning roar, to say nothing of the DC 51 Fort save for the three-headed sirrushes' stunning roar.


He can take the spontaneous spell feat for mass heal. If he has the community domain (Spell Compendium), healing domain, or life domain (Eberron Campaign Setting), he can take the spontaneous domain access feat instead.


This thread may be of interest.




Thanks, I forgot about the Spontaneous Spell feat.  That's a good option. He's a cleric of Thor, so Spontaneous Domain Access doesn't help for healing, although it might be valuable for other reasons.  It's a better option than the non-epic Domain Spontaneity.

I originally wasn't going to involve myself in this thread, since our group does not play epic, so I have no leg to stand on about any of it, never even read any of the rules in the SRD.

But my two cents is that it's too powerful, at any table.  Basically, a sorcerer with "All spells known".  

The Unearthed Arcana even addresses the idea and includes a paragraph titled "Metagame", explaining some of the game balance takes, I'll just go ahead and link it for ease. --->*<---



I really think at low levels that the feat would be fine.  At low levels you typically get only one bonus spell per level.  At 31st level, however, the cleric has 4 bonus spells of 1st-4th levels, 3 bonus spells of 5th-8th levels, 2 of 9th-11th levels, and 1 of 12th and 13th.  Allowing spontaneous casting out of all those spells is a different matter. That's why I asked the question.  For his Improved Spell Capacity spell levels he would actually have as many more more spontaneous spells than memorized spells.  If it were just a bonus spell per spell level I wouldn't have worried much about it.

I originally wasn't going to involve myself in this thread, since our group does not play epic, so I have no leg to stand on about any of it, never even read any of the rules in the SRD.

But my two cents is that it's too powerful, at any table.  Basically, a sorcerer with "All spells known".  

The Unearthed Arcana even addresses the idea and includes a paragraph titled "Metagame", explaining some of the game balance takes, I'll just go ahead and link it for ease. --->*<---

There is a feat called Alacritous Cogitation, that allows you to keep any one spell slot open which you can spontneously cast any spell known out of.


You can also suggest he pick up Scribe Scroll so he can write a few spells in scrolls.  



Thanks. As I don't have Complete Mage, I wasn't familiar with the feat.

I put the question to the guys at Dicefreaks, and Kain over there said,

I think the problem could be alleviated quicker by allowing Heal and related such to count as a cure spell for the purpose of spontaneous casting.

If you think about it, the problem was fixed in low to mid level DnD 3.0 by allowing clerics to spontaneously cast all those cure spells they'd been previously preparing exclusively.

In high to epic level DnD, you have the issue of cure spells being made obsolete by the far superior heal spell and its improved versions. Like before, curative magic is the cleric's thing, so all those spell slots are going exclusively to curative magic...just now it is heal rather than cure.

If the problem is the same, the solution is the same. Let heal count as cure spells in epic.



That makes sense, so I emailed the proposed rule change to my current players to see what they think of it.  I suspect they'll like the idea that the cleric an spontaneously cast heal and mass heal the way he can a cure spell (one of which he hasn't cast in many, many levels), but we'll see.  Thanks again! Smile
I'm suprised the characters couldn't make the saves. Getting Epic Saves to the +40 level isn't very hard.


There are what, nearly a score of modifiers that can be used to boost saves? And you can stack them all on a ring, and won't even get into Epic Pricing since you can just keep them each at +5.

A CRISPE-CLAM  Ring of Competence, Resistance, Insight, Sacred, Profane, Epic, Circumstance, Luck And Morale bonuses to saves would be on the line of 375,000 gp, and provide a +40 bonus to saves. Chump change at their levels.  Sub Deflection for Resistance, and you get the same bonus to AC.

==Aelryinth
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
I like the idea of allowing Heal spells to count as Cure spells. I would have said "any Conjuration (Healing) spell", but that opens up way too much. Keeping it to the 8 Cures & 2 Heals is good.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
I'm suprised the characters couldn't make the saves. Getting Epic Saves to the +40 level isn't very hard.


There are what, nearly a score of modifiers that can be used to boost saves? And you can stack them all on a ring, and won't even get into Epic Pricing since you can just keep them each at +5.

A CRISPE-CLAM  Ring of Competence, Resistance, Insight, Sacred, Profane, Epic, Circumstance, Luck And Morale bonuses to saves would be on the line of 375,000 gp, and provide a +40 bonus to saves. Chump change at their levels.  Sub Deflection for Resistance, and you get the same bonus to AC.

==Aelryinth



What's "CRISPE-CLAM?"  They actually don't have that sort of money; the most expensive item anyone has is the wizard's robe of the archmagi with an additional +5 resistance bonus and +6 enhancement bonus to Charisma tacked on.

I like the idea of allowing Heal spells to count as Cure spells. I would have said "any Conjuration (Healing) spell", but that opens up way too much. Keeping it to the 8 Cures & 2 Heals is good.



I thought about that too, but agree with you that it's better to keep it at the cures and heals.
Ael defines the anagram immediately after its use: Competence, Resistance, Insight, etc.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Ael defines the anagram immediately after its use: Competence, Resistance, Insight, etc.



Ah, thanks.
wait a minute. You're playing level 30 characters, and they can't afford something that a level 21 character should be able to get made?


No wonder they are having problems.

==Aelryinth  
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
wait a minute. You're playing level 30 characters, and they can't afford something that a level 21 character should be able to get made?


No wonder they are having problems.

==Aelryinth  



Total PC wealth by level should be 975,000 at 21st level, so it's unlikely someone at that level would spend 375,000 gp on a single item.  At 30th level nobody has spent more than the 292,000 gp or thereabouts that the wizard spent on his improved vest of the archmagi. The party actually has not gotten all the treasure that I've put out there because the party is extremely good-aligned and just doesn't worry that much about maximizing its treasure.  When it got Hewardy's handy haversack completely full of hundreds of thousands of gold pieces worth of potions with the symbol of a deity on it, they gave the whole thing to the local temple of the deity instead of selling it.  When they fought four red dragons, two ancient and two wyrms, they gave half the treasure to two dragons (a mature gold and a mature silver) who helped the party. Recently they killed a green great wyrm and four sirrushes it was fighting, and while they took the sirrushes' treasure, they made no effort to try to find the green dragon's treasure. 

I've tried hard to increase the amount of treasure so that they don't keep falling behind, but they're surprisingly hard to give treasure to.  It didn't help either that they had a character for a while with the Vow of Poverty so that all this share of the treasure was, in a metagame sense, poured down the drain rather than buffing his character.  I do reward them for playing a good alignment well with experience point bonuses, but that just exacerbates the problem by making them level up faster. Indeed a big part of the reason that they have less treasure per person than the 4,300,000 gp for 30th level is that I give out a great deal of roleplaying and storyline experience so that it's more the case that they have "too much" experience than that they have "too little" treasure, but either way it works out the same. I went out of my way with the red dragons to make sure that each one had no less than average treasure, and some of them had quite a bit more.  I rolled the sirrushes' treasure randomly and actually ended up with far, far more treasure than average.  The party hasn't yet cashed out all the sirrush treasure, and they've finally gone to visit the gnomes who years ago promised to reward the party for saving them from kobolds, so they're going to get more treasure yet.  They just haven't been bothered with going before now--too many lives to save and too much tyranny to oppose. Laughing

Part of the problem too is that my players don't spent time looking at the books between sessions and coming up with new ideas for non-standard magic items.  The leader of the party ever really did more than look at spells during the week (he plays a wizard), and now he's got two kids he doesn't even have time for that, plus he's half asleep during most of the sessions.  I warned him that he wouldn't sleep for a year when he had his first kid, and he didn't, but he wanted to rush right out and have a second one, so no sleep for another year (which is almost over).  Laughing  I've actually tried to push ideas for better items--the improved vest of the archmagi was my idea--with various party members, although I've concentrated more on pumping up weapons and armor class items.  Now that they've come in to more money, I'm going to suggest they do the same with saving throw items.

The SRD actually lists, for saving throws, resistance, luck, insight, sacred and profane.  Are there any magic items in WoTC books that grant morale or circumstance bonuses to saving throws?   Other than the epic saving throw bonus progression, I'm not familiar with something called an "epic bonus."

A cloak that granted a +5 resistance bonus, a +5 luck bonus, a +5 insight bonus, and a +5 sacred bonus (for a total of +20, or +15 more than everyone has now, although a couple of the characters have +1 or +2 luck bonuses as they found standard or better luckstones [on those red dragons]) would have a market price of 25,000 + (50,000 * 1.5)*3 = 250,000 gp.  I think once the party finishes selling what they did get from the green great wyrm (it had a bunch of magic items, albeit only a portion of its hoard) and the sirrushes (that's the big score), get their rewards from the gnomes, and sell to the gnomes a ton of small-sized kobold magic times they party has been carting around for a while in search of small humanoids as customers,  each party member should have enough, and maybe more than enough, to get a 250,000 gp cloak that grants a total of +20 in bonuses on saving throws.  I'm actually going to make it my latest suggestion to them. Laughing
You figured the price wrong.


You take the most expensive bonus, and that's the base. So, one of the non-Resistance items, for 50k. Furthermore, the MIC notes that Resistance bonuses on cloaks stack without the +50% mod, so we're at 75k.

Now the two remainder bonuses cost 75k each, 50k + 50% markup, for 225k total. It's a slight difference, but a difference nonetheless. It's why a 6 bonus item is 375k...150k higher then your 4 bonus item. Also note the DISMAL prefix is AC based for a Ring, since it has Deflection.

There are items that grant morale bonuses in several locations, but Circumstance is largely DM fiat. Most people use Competence instead.

The game has many, many bonuses. Epic bonuses are generally not available until epic levels.

Note that giving experience levels instead of loot by level is fine, but you have to adjust effective level for not having magic items.  So being 30th with level 21 gear is going to make them effectively 23-24 or so in terms of what they can handle, esp with saves being what they are.

As far as not being able to afford it at level 21...it's all in your priorities. Not failing a save at Epic levels is hugely powerful, because so many of them are save or suck/die. You don't NEED a +6 weapon, although it's nice. 


And anyways, if they are having fun, that's all that is really important.

==Aelryinth              
Fighter vs Warblade analysis http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19573526/Analyzing_the_Fighter_vs_The_Warblade The Lockdown F/20 iconic build http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19856162/A_little_Lock_build_for_you
You figured the price wrong.


You take the most expensive bonus, and that's the base. So, one of the non-Resistance items, for 50k. Furthermore, the MIC notes that Resistance bonuses on cloaks stack without the +50% mod, so we're at 75k.

Now the two remainder bonuses cost 75k each, 50k + 50% markup, for 225k total. It's a slight difference, but a difference nonetheless. It's why a 6 bonus item is 375k...150k higher then your 4 bonus item. Also note the DISMAL prefix is AC based for a Ring, since it has Deflection.

There are items that grant morale bonuses in several locations, but Circumstance is largely DM fiat. Most people use Competence instead.

The game has many, many bonuses. Epic bonuses are generally not available until epic levels.

Note that giving experience levels instead of loot by level is fine, but you have to adjust effective level for not having magic items.  So being 30th with level 21 gear is going to make them effectively 23-24 or so in terms of what they can handle, esp with saves being what they are.

As far as not being able to afford it at level 21...it's all in your priorities. Not failing a save at Epic levels is hugely powerful, because so many of them are save or suck/die. You don't NEED a +6 weapon, although it's nice. 


And anyways, if they are having fun, that's all that is really important.

==Aelryinth              



Thanks for the corrected computation. I had previously seen both the errata changing the DMG formula (and indeed have it penciled into my DMG) but I often forget that it's now the lower rather than higher one that gets the modifier.  I'd also seen the MIC change to various basic types of enchantments, and even given my player "refunds" of gp and xp for items they make under the pre-MIC rules, but forgot this one too.  Having three jobs, oddly, doesn't enhance my memory for D&D rules.

The only item I found granting a competence bonus to saving throws is one of the ioun stones, which grants a +1 competence bonus to virtually every d20 roll. 

I liked the idea of giving them more experience, so for the last 4 sirrushes and the green great wyrm, I gave them 1.5x experience.

Nobody has an epic item yet.   Party members who rely on weapons have non-epic weapons with a total bonus equivalent of +10, +5 enhancement bonus plus other stuff.  Everyone has +10 bracers of armor (which some folks years back argued should be non-epic since the ELH starts with +11, and since my party has always been cash poor I went along with it), in some cases with the greater bracers of archery enchanment as well.  Most of the party members have various items granting +6 enhancement bonuses to various ability scores, and all have at least one +5 inherent bonus from reading a magic book.  Nobody really has one big, expensive magic item, although the party's wizard's vest of the archmagi with bonuses improved to maximum non-epic and with +6 bonuses to Intelligence and Charisma (or something like that) had a market price of 292,000 gp, which is beyond the standard 200,000 gp maximum for non-epic items.

I think pretty much everyone's having fun. I mean two guys have been with me for going on 10 years now.  Smile

Three of the characters have made +15 saving throw items for themselves.  One of them is going to make one for another party member.  Then the three crafters are pretty much out of craft points so the other party members are going to try to see if they can buy similar items.

Alas, one of our long-term players, who'd been with us for 10 years and actually had the best attendance of any of my players, died suddenly when we were on break for the holidays.  He was only 41 and it's very upsetting.  

For starters you do know that while a cleric "prepares" all of his spell slots once each day he does NOT need to FILL those slots at that time?  It may not be "spontaneous" but with a short break he can fill those previously unfilled spell slots.  This is really useful for less used spell slots when there may be a bunch of potential utility spells (and healing spells really are utility spells) that could fill those slots.  In a worst case scenario you just use the unfilled slot for a sponteneous spell.



Where does it say that a Cleric can do this? The Cleric in my game would really like to take advantage of this rule, I'm sure.

Looking in the PHB, though, seems pretty clear to me that "A cleric must choose and prepare his spells in advance" and "he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation". His daily meditation being "1 hour each day in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain his daily allotment of spells" described in the same paragraph on pg.32.


For starters you do know that while a cleric "prepares" all of his spell slots once each day he does NOT need to FILL those slots at that time?  It may not be "spontaneous" but with a short break he can fill those previously unfilled spell slots.  This is really useful for less used spell slots when there may be a bunch of potential utility spells (and healing spells really are utility spells) that could fill those slots.  In a worst case scenario you just use the unfilled slot for a sponteneous spell.



Where does it say that a Cleric can do this? The Cleric in my game would really like to take advantage of this rule, I'm sure.

Looking in the PHB, though, seems pretty clear to me that "A cleric must choose and prepare his spells in advance" and "he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation". His daily meditation being "1 hour each day in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain his daily allotment of spells" described in the same paragraph on pg.32.




From the SRD:  

Spell Selection and Preparation

A divine spellcaster selects and prepares spells ahead of time through prayer and meditation at a particular time of day. The time required to prepare spells is the same as it is for a wizard (1 hour), as is the requirement for a relatively peaceful environment. A divine spellcaster does not have to prepare all his spells at once. However, the character’s mind is considered fresh only during his or her first daily spell preparation, so a divine spellcaster cannot fill a slot that is empty because he or she has cast a spell or abandoned a previously prepared spell.




It's on page 180 of the PHB.  


Ok, it seems weird that the PHB would contradict itself in those sections but I'll accept it. 

It doesn't mention how long a divine caster needs to pray in order to fill slots that were left empty during his primary meditation. Does it mention it somewhere in another source?  If not, what would be reasonable? Another hour each time is too much, yet a Standard Action, or even a Full Round Action, seems an abuse of text that is already questionable (considering the contradiction). Perhaps a FRA per spell level being filled?
Ok, it seems weird that the PHB would contradict itself in those sections but I'll accept it. 

It doesn't mention how long a divine caster needs to pray in order to fill slots that were left empty during his primary meditation. Does it mention it somewhere in another source?  If not, what would be reasonable? Another hour each time is too much, yet a Standard Action, or even a Full Round Action, seems an abuse of text that is already questionable (considering the contradiction). Perhaps a FRA per spell level being filled?



It doesn't contradict itself; indeed the two passages say nearly the same thing, except that the second one clarifies that alone there's a time of day when the spells reset, the cleric needn't memorize all the daily spells at that time.

The passage I quoted does mention how long it takes a cleric to memorize spells.  I takes an hour to memorize a full selection of spells, and proportionately smaller time for a portion of the spells, but never less than 15 minutes:

Spell Preparation Time

After resting, a wizard must study her spellbook to prepare any spells that day. If she wants to prepare all her spells, the process takes 1 hour. Preparing some smaller portion of her daily capacity takes a proportionally smaller amount of time, but always at least 15 minutes, the minimum time required to achieve the proper mental state.




I copied the rule of of the SRD and it appears on page 178 of the PHB.   
 
OK, cool. To be honest I never paid much attention to these sections of the Magic chapter because I thought the Spellcasting description for each class was pretty clear about when and how their spells were prepared. It's never come up in any of our games either so I assume no one else at the table thought it would say any different either. 

Thanks for the info, I'm sure our Cleric and Wizard will be very pleased with their new found flexibility. 
OK, cool. To be honest I never paid much attention to these sections of the Magic chapter because I thought the Spellcasting description for each class was pretty clear about when and how their spells were prepared. It's never come up in any of our games either so I assume no one else at the table thought it would say any different either. 

Thanks for the info, I'm sure our Cleric and Wizard will be very pleased with their new found flexibility. 



Sure thing. There are lots of little rules under the magic section that aren't fully detailed under the classes. I didn't know until last year, for instance, that a cleric need not rest to regain spells.  There's also an often-overlooked rule that the area of effect of a spell cannot extend beyond the spell's range.  The last time I mentioned the rule as a player, the DM and all the other players looked at me like I was crazy, until I found the passage and showed it to them. Sealed