In the description of the Staff of Frost (DMG, pg. 202), the following is included in its description, detailing spells that can be cast with charges from the staff:

The staff has 10 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC: cone of cold (5 charges), fog cloud (1 charge), ice storm (4 charges), or wall of ice (4 charges).

That last spell, wall of ice, is a 6th level spell. It should cost 6 charges, shouldn't it? All of the other spells cost a number of charges equal to their spell level (ice storm is a 4th level spell so it costs 4 charges, cone of cold is a 5th level spell so it costs 5 charges, etc).

But not wall of ice, which costs only 4 charges, making it "cheaper" than casting cone of cold, even though wall of ice is a 6th level spell and cone of cold only a 5th level spell.

Do we know if this is a mistake? Has this received errata?

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ bear in mind that "higher level spell" doesn't automatically equal "more powerful" \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2018 at 17:42
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS I've edited the question and reopened it. The designer reason components of this were “Why is wall of ice only worth 4 charges?” and (in the note you added) asking about “whether it was intended”. Questions that are basically “why are things this way?” and “what did they intend?” are questions about designer reasons which became off topic. I've removed those parts of the question to ask if we know if it was an error, which is entirely separate and, for now, can be determined by whether it's received errata or similar, no inquiring into their reasons or intentions necessary. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2018 at 7:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Ah, thank you for this clarification. Perhaps my wording betrayed a curiosity into their reasons behind doing so, although I know those are off-topic and therefore did not intend to ask such a question. Your edit would be a good one for me to return to when asking questions in the future that skirt this line so I can try to make sure I end up on the right side of that line! Thanks again :) \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Aug 9, 2018 at 7:54

2 Answers 2


As NautArch's answer says, your quote of the description of the staff of frost is correct; it has not been changed as of the 2019 DMG errata.

In addition, as Michał Politowski points out in a comment on that answer, rules designer Jeremy Crawford unofficially confirmed in a 2016 tweet that the charge cost of the wall of ice spell for that magic item is not a mistake:

Casting 'wall of ice' from a staff of frost only costs 4 charges. Is that on purpose? I would've thought it'd cost 6.

It's on purpose.

OK. That seems to be the only one where the # of charges doesn't = the spell's level.

The staff of frost is especially good at making ice.

Thus, given that the cost is intentional, it is unlikely to be changed in errata.


There is no errata, it is a 4 charge spell cost for Wall of Ice

There is no errata for the Staff of Frost, so whether it is 'incorrect' or not is unknown beyond the known fact that they have not changed it (which suggests it is not a mistake.)

The published writing in the DMG and the official DNDBeyond.com listing both state it is a 4 charge spell, so it is a 4 charge spell.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .