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Many spells have "At higher levels" that provides for more targets or more damage.

For example Magic Missile can be cast as a second level spell and shoot 4 missiles instead of it's 3 as a first level spell.

Can a spell without that verbiage, such as Firestorm be cast in higher level slots for the same effect as the lower level spell?

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up vote 25 down vote accepted


To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher.

(Chapter 3: Classes, paragraph Preparing and Casting Spells, in the Class descriptions for both Cleric & Wizard.)

This is expanded upon in Chapter 10: Spellcasting, under Spell Slots, p78

When a character casts a spell, he or she expends a slot of that spell’s level or higher, effectively “filling” a slot with the spell. You can think of a spell slot as a groove of a certain size—small for a 1st-level slot, larger for a spell of higher level. A 1st-level spell fits into a slot of any size, but a 9th-level spell fits only in a 9th-level slot.

Only some spells specify an increased effect from using a higher slot. All others have the same effect regardless of which level slot they are cast in.

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