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Introduction

The eldritch knight fighter (EK) in my game is contemplating whether to dip into wizard (Wiz) for more magical versatility in combat.

Spell Slots

The multiclassing spellcasting rules (PHB p.164/165) say:

You determine your available spell slots by adding together all your levels in the bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard classes, half your levels (rounded down) in the paladin and ranger classes, and a third of your fighter or rogue levels (rounded down) if you have the Eldritch Knight or the Arcane Trickster archetypes. Use this total to determine your spell slots by consulting the Multiclass Spellcaster table.

So a EK6/Wiz5 would add up to a 7th level spellcaster (6/3 + 5). A snippet of the mentioned table shows:

\begin{array}{l} \text{level} & \text{1st} & \text{2nd} & \text{3rd} & \text{4th} & \text{5th} & \text{6th} & \text{7th} & \text{8th} & \text{9th} \\ \hline 1 & 2 & - & - & - & - & - & - & - & - \\ 2 & 3 & - & - & - & - & - & - & - & - \\ 3 & 4 & 2 & - & - & - & - & - & - & - \\ 4 & 4 & 3 & - & - & - & - & - & - & - \\ 5 & 4 & 3 & 2 & - & - & - & - & - & - \\ 6 & 4 & 3 & 3 & - & - & - & - & - & - \\ 7 & 4 & 3 & 3 & 1 & - & - & - & - & - \end{array}

The table implies that the EK spell slots and the Wiz spell slots are simply one and the same pool of spell slots, but I didn't find an explicit mention of this. Or is this table only for the added class through multiclassing? We’re both unsure of how to interpret this when it comes to expanding spell slots.

Question

Multiclass Spellcaster: do the classes have a shared pool of spell slots? If so, does it matter which class’ spells are cast when expending spell slots?

Our confusion comes from our inexperience with 5e and multiclassing - let alone spellcasters. Are we missing something, or are we just overthinking it?


Related (but without clear answer to this question):

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You only have one pool of slots

You cast whatever spells you can cast, in whatever manner you cast them. They use slots, which are a generic resource independent of your specific spellcasting class. There aren't 'Wizard' or 'Cleric' slots, for example - just 'spell slots'. So your PC might cast only Eldritch Knight spells with all their slots or only Wizard spells with all their slots or some combination of both.

So, yes, you should ignore the class tables and just look at the table for multiclass spellcasters.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The first paragraph could probably due to call out that there is a difference between spell slots from Spellcasting and spell slots from Pact Magic. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jun 2 '18 at 4:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Yeah, I was thinking about that. It's really a weird exception though. I might add a footnote. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jun 2 '18 at 5:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ "You should ignore the class tables and just look at the table for multiclass" Don't you still need the class tables in order to determine what spells that class is allowed to learn? An 18EK / 1 Wizard can't level up to Wizard 2 and learn two level 4 spells right? He'd be limited to learning two level 1 spells as dictated by his class table's available spell slots for a level 2 Wizard. \$\endgroup\$ – Blaise Jan 30 at 15:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Blaise In the specific case of a Wizard I think that's less clear than people usually make it out to be, but moreover you don't need the class table because it's the same for everyone. Full caster classes get class level/2 round up spells, half casters get level/4 round up, bad casters get level/6 round up. There's no class-dependent differences there, and there's not enough information to need a table, I think. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jan 30 at 15:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Sorry I wasn't clear. I'm not referring to deriving the multiclass slots. An 18 EK / 2 Wizard has level 4 spell slots available according to the multiclass table. However, any spells obtained from Wizard levels are still limited to its class table. They must all be level 1, even though the multiclass table makes available higher level slots. Similarly your EK can never learn level 4 spells either. You need the single class tables in order to have this information. I refer to the last quote and subsequent paragraphs from PurpleVermont rpg.stackexchange.com/a/60442/51343 \$\endgroup\$ – Blaise Jan 30 at 16:04
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Yes, there is a shared pool between EK and Wizard

Yes, you should ignore the original spell slots altogether

In general, I think you are overthinking this. Once you multiclass into multiple classes with spell slots (Warlock is an exception), you ignore the original spell slot tables. Just reference the multiclass spell slots per level table. That will show you how many slots you have.

Spells known are still gained normally. For each level you take you get the spells known as described by that class.

Any of the slots you have can be used for any of the spells you know and have prepared. (Provided they are the correct spell level of course)

Firebolt is a cantrip and cannot be cast using spell slots. (You can cast as many cantrips as you want per day, time allowing.)

That said, a spell you know from your first level of EK can be cast using one of the slots you get from your new 'multiclass' spell slots.

Your hypothetical 6EK/5Wiz could cast the magic missile they learned at first level using their one fourth level spell slot. It would generate 6 darts instead of 3 because of the higher spell slot used.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I value both of these answers for their content. I 'accepted' the other answer however for its clear formatting, because it helps getting the message across a bit more smoothly. \$\endgroup\$ – Vadruk Jun 2 '18 at 10:10

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