When do Druids gain the ability to cast each spell level?

I understand spells and that spell levels don’t correspond with character level but on this website it says:

Spell level and character level don’t correspond directly. Typically, a character has to be at least 17th level, not 9th level, to cast a 9th–level spell.

I understand this, but what character level is a Druid required to be to cast a spell at any given spell level?

Just to be clear, I am not asking about spell slots here.

Does the off-hand gauntlet of the Guardian Artificer gain the bonus Intelligence modifier?

I’m trying to figure out in D&D 5e if an Artificer, choosing armorer and guardian, can add their intelligence modifier to attack and damage rolls with their off-hand gauntlet.

Each model includes a special weapon. When you attack with that weapon, you can add your Intelligence modifier to the attack and damage rolls.

Thunder Gauntlets

Each of the armor’s gauntlets.

Would the off-hand gauntlet be considered a part of the special weapon mentioned in the first quote to gain the bonus?

can a rogue with the minor magic talent take the extra cantrips to gain other spells?

RAW states that for a character to take the extra cantrip feat they must have the ability to cast cantrips or orisons as a pre-req. the minor magic rogue talent states that "A rogue with this talent gains the ability to cast a 0-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list." would the feat then let me choose a total of 3 cantrips to use with the minor magic talent but limited to a total of 3 times a day?

If your class gives you a choice of skills to be trained in, can you choose a skill you’re already trained in to gain a free skill choice?

I know that if a class would make you trained in a skill you’re already trained in, you can select another skill to become trained in.

My question is about classes that let you pick between certain skills to be trained in, for example the Fighter lets you pick between Acrobatics and Athletics.

If I’m already trained in Athletics because of my background, can I choose Athletics as my Fighter skill, so that I gain another free skill choice, thus having 4+Int skill choices, instead of the usual 3+Int for a Fighter? Or would I be forced to choose Acrobatics?

Do you gain XP based on your “level” or your XP total?

Let’s say a 3rd-level character with 5900 XP (100 away from reaching 4th level) clears two EL 5 encounters during an adventure. The PHB says on page 58 that XP is handed out at the end of each adventure, so this means they were in both of these encounters while they were 3rd level.

According to the table on page 38 of the DMG, a party of four 3rd-level characters gains 450 XP per character from an EL 5 encounter, whereas a party of four 4th-level characters gains 400 XP per character.

So, at the end of the above example, would the character have gained 900 XP (they were treated as a 3rd level character during the second encounter, because at the time of the encounter they had 3 HDs and the class features of a 3rd-level character, etc.) or 850 XP (they were treated as 4th level during the second encounter, because at the time of the encounter they had between 6000 and 9999 XP)?

Do Life Domain Clerics Gain Access to Any Non-Cleric Spells in 5e?

PHB pg 60 lists the domain spells that Life domain clerics gain access to each odd level from 1 through 9, but these spells are all spells that clerics automatically have available anyway. For example, at level 3, all clerics learn 2nd level cleric spells and at level 3 when you’ve chosen Life domain, the two spells you gain access to are Lesser Restoration and spiritual weapon. But these are both included in the 2nd level cleric spells that you would have access to automatically under any other domain.

Conversely, other domains get access to spells not available to other clerics at odd 1-9 levels (such as Mirror Image and Pass Without a Trace at 3rd level for the Trickster domain, just as an example).

So do Life domain clerics just get the short end of the stick? Or do those Life domain spells in particular get some sort of bonuses or something?

How can my Cleric gain the Shield spell, and cast it using spell slots?

I am looking to build a order domain cleric, and looking at ways to obtain the shield spell. Specifically I hope I can learn it in a manner that allows me to spend my spell slots on it.

So far I have found the following:

  1. Multiclass – I don’t like this because I am struggling to justify it RP wise, would likely need to take at least 13 points in a dump stat, and it delays my progression, but is the only method I have found that meets my main criteria
  2. Magic initiate – Apparently I can’t use my spell slots so this is 1/day only
  3. Aberrant dragonmark – Counts as a sorcerer spell so I still can’t use my spell slots on it (probably)
  4. Talk to my DM – Unlikely to work because he knows I am a bit of a powergamer (hence wanting the shield spell on top of heavy armour, a standard shield and probably a shield of faith spell too)
  5. Cheat – Just hope my DM doesn’t notice it isn’t a cleric spell or doesn’t know the rules around class spells and spell slots – not my style
  6. Get a magic item (I am not sure there even are any) – this isn’t really an option even if one does exist, because the DM rolls for loot

I can use all legal source books, but have I misinterpreted anything I have above, or missed any options?

Bonus points if someone can find a way that also gets me booming blade 🙂

is the requirement of being in a lightly obscured area to gain the benefit of the Nature’s Mantle works in a heavily obscured area?

I want to make sure I’m not creating a problem by allowing heavily obscured areas to meet the requirement of being in a lightly obscured area for the Nature’s Mantle benefit of hiding as a bonus action. Since it is a more obscured area I intended to allow it but I’m not sure if I should since it is not explicitly written.

thanks again.