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Choosing a rare item as a reward occurs in several adventures out today. This creates a question for wizards seeking to gain greater spell power.

We have a 9th level wizard (and 1st level knowledge domain cleric) who will finish an adventure, likely gain a level, and the reward is a choice of a rare (official) magic item.

We recently noticed that the Cli Lyre, a rare Bard instrument, gives five spells: fly (3rd), invisibility (2nd), levitate (2nd), protection from evil and good (1st), stone shape(4th), wall of fire(4th) and wind wall(3rd) each once a day.

Taking one level in wizard would add one sixth level spell slot.

In contrast, for taking just one level in Bard and choosing a Cli Lyre that would give totals 19 spell level "slots" and seven additional spells per day (in addition to the one sixth level spell slot gained as a multiclass wizard.)

This raises the question that if a wizard wishes to gain the greatest number of spell "slots", what is the maximum number of extra spell level "slots" this tier 2 level wizard could gain by choosing a level in a class and a rare magic item?

Note of clarification from a commenter below: We would prefer to restrict the spell level "slots" metric to separate spells or to items with charges. This is to prevent the "infinite" spam of low level spells that things like Boots of Levitation provide which is a different form of power than the intent of this question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind that the Lyre would take up 1 of the wizard's 3 attunement slots, and the spells would count as Bard spells (using CHA for save DC) \$\endgroup\$ – divibisan May 14 '18 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Any primary spell casting class other than warlock will add 5 levels of spells as you are on the multi-class spell slot chart \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien May 15 '18 at 1:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VoromirKadien As a wizard 9 / cleric 1, a new full caster level would grant a 6th level slot \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 15 '18 at 1:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron ah you are correct but my point was it doesn't matter if you go druid bard cleric wizard or sorcerer your still going to get the same 6th level slot. So why even add it in the question at all? \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien May 15 '18 at 2:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VoromirKadien The probably reason they mentioned Bard specifically is that the Cli Lyre requires attunement by a Bard. So they had to multiclass to use it. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose May 15 '18 at 13:13
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I think you may be misunderstanding how multi-class spell casting works.

Once you multi-class you must use the multi-class table on page 165 in the PHB to get your spell slots from. So it doesn't matter what primary spell casting class you take (Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard). This Character will be caster level 11 on that chart and get a 6th level spell slot(any other class, except Warlock, will get him nothing). That being said to really optimize the choice you must go with Wizard since this will make you a 10th level wizard you gain a cool feature for level 10 wizard.None of the other classes offer anything as cool in my opinion.

On to your item question. Since we're going for an item with the requirements that it has the most "spell levels" available I must ask you a question.

"Do you feel lucky Punk?"

Bonus points if you can tell me the movie or charcter that said that originally.

I present for you 2 options

  1. the Wand of Wonder has 25 spell levels + various other effects and 7 charges

  2. the Necklace of Prayer Beads comes with d4+2 beads and a 10% chance of a 6th level bead.

Rolling optimally for the necklace will yield 36 levels, on average though you should see 11.7 levels.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I got 11.7. Where did we get the difference? \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 15 '18 at 2:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron I was very rough. 11.7 is probably right. \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien May 15 '18 at 2:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ummm... I messed up, it's 12.15 (7-12 is 6 sides of a d20 not 5, derp) \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 15 '18 at 2:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe it could matter which full caster you take, beyond just the levels from the Spellcasting feature. The Wizard's feature Arcane Recovery is half-round-up spell levels. Sorcerers have Flexible Casting (sorcery points). None of the classes I checked seem to have anything for OP's case, but I may have missed one. \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon May 15 '18 at 3:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VoromirKadien I'm not sure that's correct. Since it's wizard levels (not total level), and it's half-round-up, I think 9 (4.5) and 10 (5) are both 5 levels' worth. \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon May 15 '18 at 3:56
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Maximizing spell slots

This is a bit cheesy, but the optimal choice that I found would be to take another level of wizard (6 levels) and to get a Necklace of Prayer beads with 6 beads of Planar Ally (36 levels) for a total of 42 additional levels, since you're already a cleric. Since the DM determines what kind of beads are on the necklace, it is possible to get a necklace with those beads on it.

This metric is a weird one

I have to say, this question is a prime candidate for a frame challenge.

First, optimizing only this particular step leads to sub-optimal long-term outcomes. In terms of leveling, you might get a lot of spell slots from picking up Bard, but at the ultimate cost of an ASI/feat, a 6th level spell, and delayed progression overall.

Likewise, while you get a lot of spells from the lyre, there are other magic items that do not cast spells that are potentially better. The flexibility you get from something like a Ring of Spell Storing might outweigh the sheer number of spells from the lyre. A Helm of Teleportation is an excellent escape tool, and so forth. A narrow focus on spell levels sacrifices greater utility elsewhere, unless you have a homebrew mechanic that's powered by these spell levels.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Necklace of Prayer Beads recharges at dawn \$\endgroup\$ – Voromir Kadien May 15 '18 at 1:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ ah whoops. Fixed. \$\endgroup\$ – Icyfire May 15 '18 at 1:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another level of wizard would give a 6th level slot since the character would become an 11th level caster \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 15 '18 at 1:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fixed that too. That error was consistent with my misunderstanding on another question, haha. \$\endgroup\$ – Icyfire May 15 '18 at 2:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth adding that the probability you get that exact necklace (or the equivalent "spell level" 6-wind-walking necklace) is 1 in 4 million. The average amount of "spell levels" for a necklace of prayer beads is 11.7 \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 15 '18 at 2:33

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