Let's say you have 3 levels of Sorcerer, and 5 levels of Bard, and choose the Glyph of Warding spell.

When you cast it in Spell Glyph mode, can you apply (in advance) a Metamagic effect to the spell to be triggered ?

Ex: Heightened Suggestion Spell Glyph


Yes - You can cast metamagic-enhanced spells into a spell glyph (except for empowered)

You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph. (PHB)

All the metamagic abilities except empowered say:

When you cast a spell... (PHB)

So, because you are still casting the spell (per the description of spell glyph) and you can apply metamagic whenever you cast a spell per the metamagic description, I see no reason why this would not be allowed.

It is worth noting also that ring of spell storing which works in much the same way as spell glyph, specifically restricts the qualities that the spell stored in the ring can keep. Since there are no such restrictions here, the most straightforward interpretation is that the spells are stored exactly as the caster casted them (including metamagic).

Empowered spell is a special case that only works with the spell after the glyph has triggered

Empowered spell is the only metamagic ability that can (and RAW must) be applied after the casting of the spell has taken place. Thus, it must be addressed separately.

Thus, you shouldn't even need to apply this metamagic ability when you cast it, but can wait until it is triggered.

  • Can you cast an empowered spell into a spell glyph? - No

    Empowered spell says:

    When you roll damage for a spell...

    RAW imply no, because you only apply empowered spell when you are rolling damage for the spell which means this takes place after a spell has taken effect.

    And spell glyph says specifically that the spell's effects are delayed:

    The spell being stored has no immediate effect when cast in this way.

    The reason that empowered is written like this is because it allows the sorcerer the chance to spend the points to use the ability only if damage is actually going to be applied. Thus, for example, an enemy making their save and taking no damage from your spell would not result in you wasting sorcery points.

    So, RAW, you cannot cast an empowered spell and store it in a spell glyph.

  • Can you apply empowered spell to a spell after spell glyph triggers? - Yes

    This answer depends on if the triggered spell is considered by your group to be cast by the sorcerer or if the glyph is considered to be a proxy for the caster. This is a matter that is not precisely clear RAW, and is talked about in this Q&A.

    In the end, it makes sense to allow the sorcerer to apply the metamagic to the spell since they are the ones who cast it originally and the glyph is only acting as a proxy to cast it for them.

    Allowing does enable some weird situations. For example, the remote nature of the spell would mean that you could be miles away or even on a different plane (thanks @Marq) from the glyph when it triggers. Allowing the spellcaster to modify the spell with empowered would mean that they could then modify the spell from basically anywhere, which many not make a whole lot of mechanical or thematic sense. But not everything in D&D5e fits perfectly together. Use common sense if you are DMing the situation and if you are the player don't expect the DM to allow you to do anything.

    So, in the end, the easiest way to handle this situation would be to say that the spellcaster can apply empowered to the triggered spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ In the case of empowered spell, I don't think the sorcerer who put the spell into the glyph can spend points when the spell goes off, because at that point they aren't casting the spell (the glyph is). It also seems strange that they should be able to spend sorcery points even if they are (say) on another plane from the glyph. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Jan 10 '18 at 14:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ While I find the question interesting, and the answer logical, I would point out that the die roll is an out of universe thing (meta game) while a sorcerer's decision to empower a spell, or not, and burn some of the reserve of daily personal power an in universe thing. (Character facing decision). With that in mind, casting the empowered spell into the glyph would be valid, with sorc points burned on the day it's stored) so it is stored in an empowered state. It matters not who adjusts the die roll when the spell is triggered. That game mechanic can stay out of universe. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 10 '18 at 21:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have read your modifications and still agree with your answer. My check mark will stay. \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Jan 11 '18 at 18:10

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