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I'm new to D&D and roleplaying games in general, so I thought I'd ask here.

  • On page 29 of the Player's Handbook for 4th edition, it says I get the class features, racial traits, 1 feat, 2 at-will attack powers, 1 encounter attack power, and 1 daily attack power
  • The human racial traits (page 46) say I get 1 extra at-will power, 1 bonus feat, and 1 bonus skill.
  • The Wizard class features (page 156) say I get Arcane Implement Mastery, cantrips, Ritual Casting, and a spellbook.
  • Under the section Cantrips, it says "Cantrips are minor spells you gain at first level".
  • Under Spellbook, under Rituals it says "Your book contains three 1st-level rituals that you have mastered"
  • Under Daily and Utility Spellsm it says "You begin knowing two daily spells."

If I take the "Expanded Spellbook" feature (page 195) which grants an extra daily spell per level, do I end up with cantrips, three at-will spells, two encounter spells, three daily spells, and no utility spells, and three rituals or less than this? I bought the source books a day ago and have yet to read through it fully.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes you get to learn all those spells you mentioned, but magic always comes at a price. In this case while you "know" a bunch of spells you can still only cast a specific number of them each day. So at level 2 you can cast your at-wills 1 encounter, 1 utility and 1 daily spell (not including cantrips and rituals). You just get to choose which one you will, for lack of a better term, "charge up" for the day. Like Peteris said, at each extended rest you must choose which of your spells you will prepare for the following in game day. This keeps you at the same power level as other same level characters (except you get +1 at will that you can use at any time).

So, Bob the level 2 wizard opens his spell book in the morning after getting a good night sleep and turns to his "Utility Spells" page. He sees Expeditious Retreat and Shield, not wanting to get too close to enemies, he chooses to memorize the evasive spell Expeditious Retreat absorbing the spells magic for use later that day. He then flips through his spell book and does the same thing for the daily spells he has in his book. He then sets off on his travels with his companions being able to cast 3 at wills, 1 encounter, 1 utility and 1 daily.

The benefit here is if you know you'll be facing a certain creature and you have a spell that will deal lots of damage to it, you can prepare specifically for that engagement.

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Arcanists (PHB1 Wizards) only get 1 encounter/level, so a L1 wizzy will only have the one encounter spell. – wax eagle Mar 18 '14 at 10:02
updated to correct for the mistake. I was going off the memory of the wizard I played years ago, couldda sworn you learn 2 of each kind of spell when leveling up then had to choose up to the max for that level each day. I quickly stopped playing a Wizard as I inevitably chose spells that had minimal to no effect on the situation or creatures facing the group. – MC_Hambone Mar 18 '14 at 10:32
The Mage (Essentials wizzy) gets 2 encounters/encounter level. You then choose to prep 1 of them. Wizards (both kinds) are also unique in that they don't unremember spells the way other classes retrain them, they have the same number of powers, just more choices. – wax eagle Mar 18 '14 at 12:18

The key concept for D&D 4e wizard 'known spells' and spellbook is that you get X daily spells, but you will 'know' more than X - which means, that you (unlike other classes) can choose which of the known spells you will prepare when you take an extended rest, but you can still cast only X per day.

See PHB p. 158. At first level you have one daily spell - your (expanded) spellbook has three, but at each rest you must choose a single one from those three, and it will be the only one available at that point; you can't cast that spell twice without an extended rest, and you can't cast two different dailies without an extended rest until you get your next daily power at lvl 5.

Similarly for encounter spells, but not for at-wills.

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Is this page 158 in the same Player's Handbook? I've heard of other handbooks (a version 3 or some such). In the version I have,it says I "begin knowing two daily spells, one of which you can use on any given day." Is this what you mean, I have one daily spell? Thanks for the answer, by the way. – DraconeKing Mar 17 '14 at 3:27
Yes, that's the actual rule. You have more choices for your powers (other classes can only swap them by retraining at levelup), but not more "nukes per day". – Peteris Mar 17 '14 at 3:41
@DraconeKing The Player's Handbook 2 and Players Handbook 3 are confusingly named if you're unfamiliar with the game. They're not new versions of the same book, as the numbering would suggest, just expansions. – SevenSidedDie Mar 17 '14 at 15:53
@SevenSidedDie More or less just expansions. They do occasionally rejigger some mechanics. Largely new content, though. – Travis May 20 '14 at 18:40
@Travis Yeah, but rejiggered core-ish mechanics doesn't make it a new print edition of the same book; that's the distinction and confusion. – SevenSidedDie May 20 '14 at 18:43

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