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Can a bard make a spell scroll? In Xanathar's Guide to Everything, they outline that spellcasters can make a spell scroll, and what is required to do so. Would bards be considered spellcasters in this context?

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Bards can scribe scrolls if they are proficient in Arcana

Bards are spellcasters

With time and patience, a spellcaster can transfer a spell to a scroll, creating a spell scroll.

The DMG outlines what it means to be a spellcaster:

If the prerequisite is to be a spellcaster, a creature qualifies if it can cast at least one spell using its traits or features, not using a magic item or the like.

Even a level 1 bard can cast several spells, so they qualify as spellcasters.

The bard must be proficient in arcana and know the spell they want to scribe

Xanathar's Guide to Everything lays out the (optional) rules to scribe a scroll as follows:

[T]he character must have proficiency in the Arcana skill [...] Moreover, the character must have the spell prepared, or it must be among the character’s known spells, in order to scribe a scroll of that spell.

Beyond this, there are no requirements. Therefore, any level of Bard can meet the requirements as long as they have proficiency in Arcana and if they know the spell they are attempting to scribe.

Your DM must allow magical item creation and downtime must be used

A spell scroll is a magic item and thus falls under the rules for creating magic items. The rules for creating magical items are optional and must be allowed by your DM before they can be used. So talk to them.

Also note that the rules for scroll scribing in XGtE specifies that scroll scribing is a downtime activity. So they would use the downtime rules. Consult your DM to see how they want that to work as well.


Jeremy Crawford has ruled in as well:

Q: Can Bards make scrolls?

A: Using the downtime rules, any spellcaster can create a spell scroll. See the "Dungeon Master's Guide" ("Crafting a Magic Item," p. 128) for more information. "Xanathar's Guide to Everything" ("Scribing a Spell Scroll," p. 133) contains an alternative method.

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    \$\begingroup\$ XGtE's information is entirely optional so you might consider rewording that to "...lays out possible requirements..." \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Mar 7 '18 at 1:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth Agreed, and in fact the DMG has different rules for crafting a magic item that a DM could choose to use instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doval
    Mar 7 '18 at 4:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Doval it's worth noting that these are also optional. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Mar 7 '18 at 13:04
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If your DM is allowing Magic Item Creation, Yes.

Bards are Spellcasters. They even have a feature explicitly named "Spellcasting."

The DMG clarifies what it means to be a Spellcaster:

If the prerequisite is to be a spellcaster, a creature qualifies if it can cast at least one spell using its traits or features, not using a magic item or the like.

DMG136 (Note: This was added as errata, your copy may not have it)

However, bear in mind that Magic Item creation of any sort (Scrolls included) is an optional rule that is disabled by default. It is up to your DM if they want to allow it.

Magic items are the DM’s purview, so you decide how they fall into the party’s possession. As an option, you can allow player characters to craft magic items.

DMG129

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