[RPG] If I learn Chill Touch from the Death Cleric’s Reaper ability, does it count as a Cleric cantrip


The Death Domain cleric's 1st-level feature, Reaper, does the following (DMG, p. 96):

At 1st level, you learn one necromancy cantrip of your choice from any spell list.

If the Death Domain cleric chooses chill touch from the Sorcerer/Wizard/Warlock spell list, does chill touch become a cleric cantrip that uses Wisdom as the spellcasting ability for that character?

Best Answer

You use your (Wisdom) Spellcasting Ability, and the cantrip counts as a Cleric cantrip

Since the text doesn't explicitly say to count the spell as a Cleric spell, the first thing we need to do is consider the counterpositive: What if we asserted that it wasn't a Cleric Cantrip when learned through this feature?

Well, we couldn't rule that the spell must use Charisma (as though learned by a Warlock or Sorcerer) or Intelligence (as though learned by a Wizard) because the rules don't give us a way to decide which we would use. Chill Touch is not a "Wizard Spell/Warlock Spell/Sorcerer Spell", it's "A Spell that appears on the Spell Lists for Wizards, Warlocks, and Sorcerers". There's no intrinsic property of a spell that makes it a "[X-class] Spell", that terminology is just colloquial jargon (and not formally defined at all) for "spells you have learned as a [X-class]".

Furthermore, the Cleric class doesn't give us a way to use Intelligence or Charisma as our Spellcasting modifier. These are properties of the Wizard and Warlock (and Sorcerer) classes, levels in which the Cleric has (for the purposes of our example, assuming a single-classed character) not taken.

So if a Death Domain Cleric were to learn this spell through a Cleric feature, the fact that it's neither on their class list nor a "Domain Spell" is irrelevant: you learned it as a Cleric, and it doesn't make sense to treat it as anything other than a Cleric Spell. You therefore use your Wisdom ability as your Spellcasting modifier for this spell, same as any other Cleric spell.