This question asked whether a character can use a spell slot to cast a spell "learned" through a feat such as Magic Initiate or Fey Teleportation. The answer, in a nutshell, was: Yes, but only if the spell is on the spell list of the class providing the slot. So, for example, an elven wizard who learns misty step by taking the Fey Teleportation feat could use wizard spell slots to cast misty step, because misty step is on the wizard spell list.

A piece of the answer's rationale was the following guidance:

If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st-level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat?

Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes.... In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate.

Sage Advice Compendium v2.2 p. 8 (emphasis mine).

Let's imagine a multiclassed Rogue 3 (Arcane Trickster)/Wizard 2. According to the spellcasting rules for multiclassed characters, see PHB p. 164-165, this character would have two 2nd-level spell slots but would not -- at least not through his class levels -- be able to learn any 2nd-level spells.

Now imagine that this character gains a level, becomes a Rogue 4/Wizard 2, and takes the Fey Teleportation feat. He "learns" misty step, which is on both the the wizard spell list and the Arcane Trickster spell list (because the latter is really the former). He still has no access to 2nd-level spells through his levels in either class.

Can this character use spell slots to cast misty step even though he couldn't otherwise cast, or even learn, any 2nd-level spells?

up vote 4 down vote accepted

No

The PHB rules (p. 164) for multi-class characters specifically address a multi-class character with slots of a level they can't "know or prepare". And it says You can use those slots, but only to cast your lower-level spells. It further elaborates that if any of those lower-level spells are improved by being used in a higher-level slot, you may get those benefits.

If this loophole worked, a similar loophole would exist for wizards: they can only prepare spells in their spellbook. And the rule for whether they can put a spell into their spellbook is only that the spell must be 'of a level for which [they] have spell slots'. So a multiclass wizard with an up-level slot can find a higher-level spell, and then could copy it into his book, and then prepare and cast it. RAI is pretty clear this won't work (after all, RAW explicitly says it won't, it just also kind of contradicts itself by implication).

In other words, the multi-class character rule saying you can't overrides normal rules for learning and casting spells. It is the "more specific" rule. The character may not 'know' or 'cast' spells higher level than their class levels allow. Which means your example wizard can't copy misty step into their spell book; that would constitute 'knowing' the spell. Nor could they prepare and cast it.

  • Interesting, and I'm inclined to agree, but please indulge me as I chase it out a little. With regard to your "loophole" argument, is it possible that this is an example of "specific beats general"? As in, a Rogue 3/Wizard 2 wouldn't otherwise "know or prepare" any 2nd-level spells, but a feat like Magic Initiate or Fey Teleportation creates an exceptionb by permitting you to learn a spell you wouldn't otherwise know? – screamline Jul 24 at 12:21

Spells from a feat or racial ability are spell like abilities, and do not count as spells known. Sage Advice

DM Fiat:

Since you are a Wizard, your DM may say that you automatically learn the spell granted by a feat, and allow you to add Misty Step to your spell book when you gain Fey Transportation. However, it would have to be prepared normally to enable you to cast it using a spell slot.

Since you are multiclass, you use the *Multiclass Spellcaster" table to determine slots. Your Wizard levels plus 1/3 if your Arcane Trickster levels gives your Multiclass Spellcasting level. Note: Typically partial caster levels are rounded down when divided; however, the Arcane Trickster gains a spell level at 3rd and 4th then every third level after that. Thus, a DM may allow you to round up.

For your example, Rogue(AT) 3/Wizard2 would be a third level caster with 4 first level slots and 2 second level slots, Thus when you take arcane trickster at Rogue 3/Wizard 2, you have second level slots but no second level spells. Yoou would have to take Rogue(AT)3/Wizard3 in order to pick-up second level spell ability, and be able to prepare Misty Step.

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