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At level 6, a Sorcerer may have a maximum of 6 Sorcery Points. This is enough to create a level 4 spell slot. Would the Sorcerer be able to create a level 4 spell slot, even though he only knows level 3 spells, in order to cast a spell with a higher slot (such as Fireball to add an extra 1d6 to the damage and make it hard to Counter Spell)?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

Yes.

The sorcerer's Flexible Casting class feature allows the sorcerer to expend 6 points to create a level 4 spell slot and the sorcerer can use that slot to cast a lower-level spell that he knows.

There is no restriction on creating or using spell slots of a higher level -- the only restriction is that you don't get those slots back on a long rest. On the other hand, if you have the slots, you can use them, even if your current class level doesn't explicitly grant them. Also keep in mind that slots created with sorcery points always disappear after a long rest.

This is further reinforced by the rules for multiclassed spellcasters, quoted below, which state that if you have slots higher than a level you can cast, you can use them for your lower-level spells.

If you have more than one spellcasting class, this table might give you spell slots of a level that is
higher than the spells you know or can prepare. You can use those slots, but only to cast your lower-level spells.

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I'd forgotten about the multiclassing rule... good point. – Matthew Mar 11 at 15:17
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Just remember that those extra slots disappear after a long rest! – markovchain Mar 11 at 16:56

Yes, according to the rules

There is nothing that says that you explicitly cannot create spell slots higher than you normally have available. The Flexible Casting feature states (according to this site):

Creating Spell Slots. You can transform unexpended sorcery points into one spell slot as a bonus action on your turn. The Creating Spell Slots table shows the cost of creating a spell slot of a given level. You can create spell slots no higher in level than 5th.

Since there is no restriction saying that the slots must only be for a level that you normally can cast, the rules seem to allow creating higher level slots than you normally have access to.

Additionally, there is nothing in the PHB Errata correcting this, so I believe that the rules are pretty solid in allowing this.

Personally, as a DM, if a player asked me this question mid-session, I would be a little bit uncomfortable with allowing this, but after reading the rules more closely I'd probably give in since it doesn't seem like a mistake. Additionally, it doesn't seem like too much of a balance issue because the sorcerer is essentially using all of his or her sorcery points for the long rest or burning up a lot of lower spell slots to upcast a spell one level higher than they would normally have access to. It's a pretty high cost for one upcast. This seems to be not only rules-safe, but fairly balance-safe as well.

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+1 Yeah, I'm leaning toward allowing it. But it does mean that something like Scorching Ray could be upgraded to do double damage if cast with a 5th level slot! But... that's a lot of Sorcery Points on one spell which still has a chance of missing. Thanks for the answer! – Matthew Mar 11 at 15:57
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Yeah, it's basically all of your sorcery points for the long rest to upcast a spell one higher than you would normally be able to. It's not too disruptive. Now that I think of it, I should add this to my answer. – Tophandour Mar 11 at 16:04

Yes, as clarified

Sorcerers at level 6 normally only have access up to level 3 spell slots, but can use 6 sorccery points to create a level 4 spell slot.

Likewise, sorcerers at level 7 normally only have access up to level 4 spell slots, but can use 7 sorccery points to create a level 5 spell slot.

As clarified by a tweet from Jeremy Crawford, DnD 5e's rules manager,

Qzotia, @SorcererQzot:

@JeremyECrawford @mikemearls @dungeonbastard Can a Sorc 6 flex 6 sorcery points into 4th level spell slot? Sorc 7 flex 7 to 5th level slot?

Jeremy Crawford ‏@JeremyECrawford:

@SorcererQzot @mikemearls @dungeonbastard Yes.

This should be taken as a clarification from the game's rules manager, but is not considered RAW unless incorporated into a subsequent Sage Advice Compendium published on the WotC website.

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I don't think this needs clarification from a RAW perspective; clearly, RAW says you can create spell slots by using sorcery points, and places no restrictions on that other than it costs X sorcery points to create a slot of Y level. – LegendaryDude Apr 22 at 20:21
    
Crawford's (and only Crawford's) tweets are exactly equivalent to sage advice articles. All of the WotC employees have said as much. – Derek Stucki Apr 23 at 1:08
    
@derekstucki I would love to see a reference for that. The wording in Sage Advice Compendium seems slightly weaker than that. – SorcererQzot Apr 23 at 1:36
    
    
Thank you. And ugh. Those words are still ambiguous, but your interpretation is the only reasonable one in context. – SorcererQzot Apr 23 at 5:23

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