Rules Index


Chapter 7: Spells

Spellslots

Source Core Rulebook pg. 298
Characters of spellcasting classes can cast a certain number of spells each day; the spells you can cast in a day are referred to as spell slots. At 1st level, a character has only a small number of 1st-level spell slots per day, but as you advance in level, you gain more spell slots and new slots for higher-level spells. A spell’s level indicates its overall power, from 1 to 10.

Prepared Spells

Source Core Rulebook pg. 298
If you’re a prepared spellcaster—such as a cleric, druid, or wizard—you must spend time each day preparing spells for that day. At the start of your daily preparations, you select a number of spells of different spell levels determined by your character level and class. Your spells remain prepared until you cast them or until you prepare spells again.

Each prepared spell is expended after a single casting, so if you want to cast a particular spell more than once in a day, you need to prepare that spell multiple times. The exceptions to this rule are spells with the cantrip trait; once you prepare a cantrip, you can cast it as many times as you want until the next time you prepare spells. See page 300 for more information on cantrips.

You might gain an ability that allows you to swap prepared spells or perform other aspects of preparing spells at different times throughout the day, but only your daily preparation counts for the purpose of effects that last until the next time you prepare spells.

Spontaneous Spells

Source Core Rulebook pg. 298
If you’re a spontaneous spellcaster—such as a bard or a sorcerer—you choose which spell you’re using a spell slot for at the moment you decide to cast it. This provides you with more freedom in your spellcasting, but you have fewer spells in your spell repertoire, as determined by your character level and class. When you make your daily preparations, all your spell slots are refreshed, but you don’t get to change the spells in your repertoire.

Heightened Spells

Source Core Rulebook pg. 299
Both prepared and spontaneous spellcasters can cast a spell at a higher spell level than that listed for the spell. This is called heightening the spell. A prepared spellcaster can heighten a spell by preparing it in a higher-level slot than its normal spell level, while a spontaneous spellcaster can heighten a spell by casting it using a higher-level spell slot, so long as they know the spell at that level (see Heightened Spontaneous Spells below). When you heighten your spell, the spell’s level increases to match the higher level of the spell slot you’ve prepared it in or used to cast it. This is useful for any spell, because some effects, such as counteracting, depend on the spell’s level.

In addition, many spells have additional specific benefits when they are heightened, such as increased damage. These extra benefits are described at the end of the spell’s stat block. Some heightened entries specify one or more levels at which the spell must be prepared or cast to gain these extra advantages. Each of these heightened entries states specifically which aspects of the spell change at the given level. Read the heightened entry only for the spell level you’re using or preparing; if its benefits are meant to include any of the effects of a lower-level heightened entry, those benefits will be included in the entry.

Other heightened entries give a number after a plus sign, indicating that heightening grants extra advantages over multiple levels. The listed effect applies for every increment of levels by which the spell is heightened above its lowest spell level, and the benefit is cumulative. For example, fireball says “Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d6.” Because fireball deals 6d6 fire damage at 3rd level, a 4th-level fireball would deal 8d6 fire damage, a 5th-level spell would deal 10d6 fire damage, and so on.

Heightened Spontaneous Spells

Source Core Rulebook pg. 299
If you’re a spontaneous spellcaster, you must know a spell at the specific level that you want to cast it in order to heighten it. You can add a spell to your spell repertoire at more than a single level so that you have more options when casting it. For example, if you added fireball to your repertoire as a 3rd-level spell and again as a 5th-level spell, you could cast it as a 3rd-level or a 5th-level spell; however, you couldn’t cast it as a 4th-level spell.

Many spontaneous spellcasting classes provide abilities like the signature spells class feature, which allows you to cast a limited number of spells as heightened versions even if you know the spell at only a single level.