In the Forgotten Realms (before Mystra's ban) the great arcanists of Netheril designed and frequently used spells such as Proctiv's move mountain, a 10th level spell used to raise a mountain and turn it upside down ready to be turned into a floating city.

Have any of the developers mentioned (or even hinted at) the future (after 1400 DR) leading to a lapse in Mystra's ban (and therefore an increase in spell slot level)? Not necessarily players being able to achieve these spells but rather NPCs like Elminster and arcane casters of similar power.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related question: Are characters limited to 20th level in 5e? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 23:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Asking about Mystra's ban is a completely different question to asking about epic spells, and I'm not sure why you're mentioning the Spellplague here at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 4:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this seems functionally identical to asking about designer reasons which has been made off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 8:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer this question isn't asking for any rules. im wanting to know about lore and history. Whether Ed Greenwood, Jeremy Crawford or any other official source have mentioned anything about Mystra's ban ending after current present (aka 1400ish DR). \$\endgroup\$
    – rpgstar
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 10:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Wouldnt this question fit snugly under the heading "Information about RPG campaign settings" as read in the tour as one of the accepted topics \$\endgroup\$
    – rpgstar
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


It's unlikely. Level 20 is defined as a hard cap in D&D 5th edition.

According to a Twitter exchange with Jeremy Crawford:

Q: Could an NPC with class levels get to a character level above 20 as long as they're multiclassed? If 20 isn't the max, what would be their max level?

Crawford: The maximum character level in D&D is 20.

Q: Hopefully subject to change as we get more higher level content over the next few years?

Crawford: If you'd like to keep improving at 20th level, see "Epic Boons" (DMG, 231), which details way to get more powerful at the level cap.

DMG p.231 is quite specific that the hard cap is level 20:

Epic boons can also be used as a form of advancement, a way to provide greater power to characters who have no more levels to gain.

And on page 38 it is even more specific:

Characters who reach 20th level have attained the pinnacle of mortal achievement ... Their ultimate destinies com to pass. A cleric might be taken up into the heavens to serve as a god's right hand ... Characters gain no more levels at this point, but they can still advance in meaningful ways and continue performing epic deeds that resound throughout the multiverse.

This is different to D&D third edition, where NPCs above 20th level were already described in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000) and Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001).

Support for epic-level play was limited in D&D third edition, as most campaigns never reached that level, which limited the value of content for that tier. Between this, and D&D 5e's more limited release schedule, it's unlikely that we'd see an official Epic Level Handbook, although there are already some third-party and homebrew solutions readily available online.

D&D 5e's epic boons are described as granting such incredible things as a single extra 9th level spell slot, but not 10th level spells or beyond, at least not in the hands of player characters. There's nothing stopping an adventure module from having rituals, artifacts, creatures or even NPCs capable of wielding power beyond 9th level spells, but it's not within the scope of what's available to player characters.

At a panel introducing the first 5e-era Forgotten Realms novels, James Wyatt revealed that the novels would focus on stories of low-level characters, rather than the epic and deific conflicts that appeared during earlier editions of D&D. It seems clear that both in the game and in the world lore in general, the intent for this edition is to focus on ordinary heroes and not beings like Elminster or Mystra.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good answer, to the usual urge of people to "turn it up to 11" regardless of how far the dials go. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 1:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for that... not quite what I was looking for though. I've added the [lore] tag and tried to clarify. I was hoping for developer intentions as far as the FR story goes and Mystra's ban \$\endgroup\$
    – rpgstar
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 3:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rpgstar developer intent questions are off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 3:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @QuadraticWizard: I don't see how "lore intent" questions are any different from "rule intent" questions in terms of the reason(s) they're no longer allowed here: "The site prefers questions that marshal its users' expertise. A question asking only about designer intent doesn't marshal that expertise. Further, the site's users have no special way to communicate with game designers." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 4:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast then shouldn't that question be addled separately? Referring to one question and assuming the answer to a completely different one doesn't make sense. Also referring to tweets is a legitimate way too answer lore intent questions without any extra access to the devs. Note I have tweeted JC and will probably tweet EG at some point. \$\endgroup\$
    – rpgstar
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 5:11

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