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I wondering how many spells known per sorcerer level per spell level. I haven't seen any specific clarification around this.

I know sorcerers know a specific number of spells per sorcerer level, but how many spells do they know per spell level?

For example, at level 5, sorcerers will get level 3 spells. Is it possible for them to learn 4 or more spells at that level? I know that they will get 2 spells at level 5 and have the ability to switch a lower-level spell slot to 3 but that would only get them to 3.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a copy of the PHB or Basic Rules? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 17 '18 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but PHB doesn't specifically state anything more than each level sorcerers can switch out spell slots. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Browder Sep 17 '18 at 19:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've edited out your secondary question. You can ask it as a separate question if you'd like. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 17 '18 at 19:09
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For Sorcerers, this is what the Table Looks like:

For the purposes of this example, we're going to assume that this hypothetical sorcerer always replaces one of their lowest level known spells with a spell of the highest level possible for their level, wherever possible.

╔═══════╦═════════╦═════════╦═════════╦═════════╦═════════╦═════════╦═════════╦═════════╦═════════╦═══════╗
║ Level ║ Max 1st ║ Max 2nd ║ Max 3rd ║ Max 4th ║ Max 5th ║ Max 6th ║ Max 7th ║ Max 8th ║ Max 9th ║ Notes ║
╠═══════╬═════════╬═════════╬═════════╬═════════╬═════════╬═════════╬═════════╬═════════╬═════════╬═══════╣
║ 1     ║ 2       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 2     ║ 3       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 3     ║ 2(4)    ║ 2       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 4     ║ 1(5)    ║ 4       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 5     ║ 0(6)    ║ 4(6)    ║ 2       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 6     ║ 0(7)    ║ 3(7)    ║ 4       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 7     ║ 0(8)    ║ 2(8)    ║ 4(6)    ║ 2       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 8     ║ 0(9)    ║ 1(9)    ║ 4(8)    ║ 4       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 9     ║ 0(10)   ║ 0(10)   ║ 4(10)   ║ 4(6)    ║ 2       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 10    ║ 0(11)   ║ 0(11)   ║ 3(11)   ║ 4(8)    ║ 4       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 11    ║ 0(12)   ║ 0(12)   ║ 2(12)   ║ 4(10)   ║ 4(6)    ║ 2       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 12    ║ 0(12)   ║ 0(12)   ║ 1(12)   ║ 4(11)   ║ 4(7)    ║ 3       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ *     ║
║ 13    ║ 0(13)   ║ 0(13)   ║ 0(13)   ║ 4(13)   ║ 4(9)    ║ 3(5)    ║ 2       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 14    ║ 0(13)   ║ 0(13)   ║ 0(13)   ║ 3(13)   ║ 4(10)   ║ 3(6)    ║ 3       ║ 0       ║ 0       ║ *     ║
║ 15    ║ 0(14)   ║ 0(14)   ║ 0(14)   ║ 2(14)   ║ 4(12)   ║ 3(8)    ║ 3(5)    ║ 2       ║ 0       ║       ║
║ 16    ║ 0(14)   ║ 0(14)   ║ 0(14)   ║ 1(14)   ║ 4(13)   ║ 3(9)    ║ 3(6)    ║ 3       ║ 0       ║ *     ║
║ 17    ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 4(15)   ║ 3(11)   ║ 3(8)    ║ 3(5)    ║ 2       ║       ║
║ 18    ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 3(15)   ║ 3(12)   ║ 3(9)    ║ 3(6)    ║ 3       ║ *     ║
║ 19    ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 2(15)   ║ 3(13)   ║ 3(10)   ║ 3(7)    ║ 4       ║ *     ║
║ 20    ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 0(15)   ║ 1(15)   ║ 3(14)   ║ 3(11)   ║ 3(8)    ║ 5       ║ *     ║
╚═══════╩═════════╩═════════╩═════════╩═════════╩═════════╩═════════╩═════════╩═════════╩═════════╩═══════╝

Any entry marked with an asterisk (*) represents a level where the total number of known spells does not change.

How to use this table

For each Spell Level, the number outside the parenthesis represents how many spells you'd know of that level if you follow the edict I set out above, and the number inside the parenthesis represents the maximum possible number of spells that you can know at that level. Entries where there is no parenthesis are entries where the two numbers are identical.

So for example, a Sorcerer of Level 13 can:

  • Have all their spells be any combination of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th level spells.
  • Know a maximum of 9 5th level spells
  • Know a maximum of 5 6th level spells
  • Know a maximum of 2 7th level spells

Let me know if this information is confusing or doesn't fully answer the question.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is great work but I don't feel like assuming you drop your lowest level spell every level is a good way to summarize the data... it looks like you would never have lower level spells (of course, you would because at some point you'd choose to keep them). I think a better summary would be assuming you never do that and have a separate portion for if you do swap up spells. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Sep 17 '18 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso The intention is to have a chart that says "what are the maximum number of spells the sorcerer could possibly know for any given spell level, per sorcerer level". I agree the information needs to be better formatted though, and I may just get rid of some confounding information in the table. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Sep 17 '18 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ It communicates what you want very well (I would probably take out the Note * column though, that's not particularly useful information) but I don't know how well that extreme of an answer helps OP \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Sep 17 '18 at 20:08
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Here's how this works.

(Note: I am using the terms c-level and s-level to clearly differentiate between character levels and spell levels, as this is sometimes confusing).

When a Sorcerer's "Spells Known" count goes higher, they learn 1 new spell of any s-level they are able to use. Additionally, any time they level up, they can trade out one spell they already know, for a new spell of any s-level they are able to use. In essence 'forgetting' how to cast that spell in favor of learning a new one. So, to give an example...

A c-level 1 Sorcerer knows 2 spells of first s-level.

A c-level 2 Sorcerer knows a total of 3 spells of first s-level, and can swap out one spell they knew at c-level one for a different spell if they want to.

A c-level 3 Sorcerer knows a total of 4 spells split between First and Second s-level. By the rule of how this works...they can pick a 4th first s-level spell OR a single 2nd s-level spell. Additionally, if they want to, they can trade out one of the spells they knew at 2nd c-level for a new spell of First or Second s-level.

A c-level 4 Sorcerer knows a total of 5 spells, worked out the same way. Add one new spell of First or Second s-level...trade one spell you knew at c-level 3 for a new spell of First or Second s-level if you want to.

Continue to repeat for the rest of leveling. Every time you level up, you can trade one spell you knew for a new spell of any s-level you can cast. Every time your Spells Known increases, add one new spell for any s-level you are able to cast.

So, to clearly answer your question...a 5th level Sorcerer could have anywhere from 6 First s-level Spells to 4 2nd s-level spells and 2 3rd s-level spells (assuming they 'traded out' every first s-level spell they were able to when they leveled up) or any combination in between.

Reminder: There's a reason I used the term "You are able to use" instead of "that you have spell slots for." If you are multi-classing, you may only learn spells of a level that you could use if you were a single classed member of that class. I.e. a 17th level Wizard can't take a 1 level dip into Cleric and Druid and thus have access to virtually every spell in the game. They could cast up to 9th level Wizard spells, but only 1st level Cleric and Druid spells. Yes, this means that while a Wizard 4/Cleric 1 may have 3rd level spell slots, they are not be able to learn or prepare any 3rd level spells.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! This helps with multi classing too. What about leaving spells "blank" or unlearned? \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Browder Sep 17 '18 at 19:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JoshBrowder Rules as written, you can't. But if you want full clarity on that, go ahead and ask a second question :) \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Sep 17 '18 at 19:04
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There's no hard limit on the level of spells known.

Unlike earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons, there's no limit to the level spells known, except for those emergent from the rules:

  • When you gain a new spell known, it must be of a level that you can cast when you gain that spell known. You cannot delay learning a new spell (unless your DM feels generous), because no rule specifically allows you to do this.
  • When you gain a sorcerer level, you can replace any one spell known with any other, as long as you can cast spells of that level.

There's nothing stopping you from, say, eventually replacing all your 1st-level spells with 9th level spells, as long as you can cast 9th level spells.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It would be stupid since you'd be unable to use your 1st level slots for anything except sorcery points, but you can do it. \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Sep 17 '18 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is not quite true. When you gain a level as a Sorcerer, you're allowed to replace a spell with another spell. Not all your spells at once. So even at level 20, the maximum number of 9th level spells a Sorcerer can know is 5 (2 at level 17, from one gained and one swapped, and three more swapped from 18-20). \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Sep 17 '18 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edited to clarify that I mean that you can only change one per level (hence why I said "eventually"). You only get three 1st-level spells by the time you unlock 2nd-level spells, so most sorcerers are not likely to have more than four or five ninth level spells. \$\endgroup\$ – Quadratic Wizard Sep 17 '18 at 20:26

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