I'm almost certain that the answer to this question is a yes, but I just want to be extra sure with extra cheese.

A manual of golems has the following restriction :

To decipher and use the manual, you must be a spellcaster with at least two 5th-level spell slots.

If you are, say, a Wizard 5 / Cleric 5, you do have two 5th-level spell slots, but your individual classes don't by their own at their level (5 each).

Knowing that Multiclassing is an optional set of rules that the developpers might not have considered while making all of 5e's magic items, is the restriction covered when you have the two required spell slots but only due to Multiclassing ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would Wizard 10 or Cleric 10 have two 5th-level slots as well? I'm not sure what you mean by "individual classes don't" when single-class spellcaster of the same level would. Why do you expect this might be unbalanced? \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Feb 19 '18 at 14:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I mean, individually, you are a Cleric 5 and a Wizard 5, which by their own at this level, don't have the required slots. \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Feb 19 '18 at 14:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ And there's also that rule in multiclassing saying that the higher spell slots tou gain can "ONLY be used to upcast spells pf a lower level", so it adds to my little uncertainty on this matter. \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Feb 19 '18 at 14:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ But you are not using them with the manual, manual merely asks you to have them, and you do - allowing you to use manual at the same level you would if you would be a pure-breed Wizard. I don't see why / where this would ever be a problem. But that's already explained in the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Feb 19 '18 at 14:37

A multiclassed spellcaster will qualify for this

There are many cases in which multiclassing spell slots can create unclear areas in the rules, but I don't think this is one. The only requirement from the manual of golems is that you have at least two slots.

For multiclassing spellcasters slots are determined by your combined spellcaster level and do not belong to any one class.

Spell Slots. You determine your available spell slots by adding together all your levels in [spellcasting classes]. Use this total to determine your spell slots by consulting the Multiclass Spellcaster table.

Looking at the table referenced, you see that a wizard 5/cleric 5 does indeed have two available 5th level slots. There is no differentiation in the rules that one of those slots is a wizard slot and one is a cleric slot. You can use those 5th level slots to cast any spell you know from either class.

Seeing that we do not need to differentiate where those slots came from (and the rules don't differentiate them anyways), they would meet the manual of golems restriction with no caveats.

You only need to have spell slots, not use them

One confusing point might be that multiclassed spellcasters do indeed use their individual classes for one aspect in particular: determining what spells they know and/or can prepare.

Spells Known and Prepared. You determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single-classed member of that class.

However, this is only the rule for determining what spells you know not how many.

So, while it is true that the cleric/wizard does not actually know/cannot prepare any 5th level spells (only upcast from lower levels), that should not matter in this case.

The manual of golems does not require a character to use or expend any 5th level spells or even spell slots to use the item. It only requires that they have them. And, as shown above, they definitely have the required number of slots.

It makes sense in-fiction and balance-wise

The spell slot restriction on the manual of golems seems to be a restriction put in place to ensure that only powerful spellcasters can use it. Allowing multiclassed spellcasters to use it with combined slots not only follows the rules but also still abides by the presumed intent of the spell. Even though their spellcasting prowess is split between more than one discipline, they are still a very powerful spellcaster.

From a balance/rules perspective, multiclassing will never allow a character to be able to use this item before a single-classed full spellcaster would. In fact, many combinations will actually slow down spell progression meaning the multiclassed character would have to be a higher level in order to use it. This seems very straightforward, well within the rules, and fair.


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