For example, Magic Missile says:

You create three glowing darts of magical force. Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range. A dart deals 1d4 + 1 force damage to its target. The darts all strike simultaneously, and you can direct them to hit one creature or several.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the spell creates one more dart for each slot level above 1st.

If a PC finds a scroll of Magic Missile, can it be cast as you would with a level 2 slot (and what are the conditions to do this)? Or will it always be level 1?


No, spells from magic items aren't upcast unless they specifically state it. From the DMG, page 141:

Some magic items allow the user to cast a spell from the item. The spell is cast at the lowest possible spell level, doesn't expend any of the user's spell slots, and requires no components, unless the item's description says otherwise.

In particular, the description of spell scrolls does not say otherwise.


No, a spell scroll can't be upcast (unless a wizard copies it into their spellbook and prepares it normally).

I don't have the rulebooks at hand, but the description of spell scrolls says:

A spell scroll bears the words of a single spell, written as a mystical cipher. If the spell is on your class's spell list, you can read the scroll and cast its spell without having to provide any of the spell's components. Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible.

Since casting from the scroll doesn't consume your spell slots, you cannot provide a higher level one. Wizards can copy the scroll though, and then prepare and cast it as usual, on whichever level they wish.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Even then, it's not the spell scroll being cast at a higher level, so the answer would simply be "No"; copying the scroll into your spellbook and then upcasting it as you would any other spell isn't actually upcasting the scroll. (It's still useful to note that you can do that to achieve the intended effect, though.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 3 '19 at 9:58

A level one spell scroll cannot be cast above level one. The spell is already complete when it's contained within the scroll. While you are technically casting the spell, all you're doing it releasing it at a target. It's why the scroll has its own Save DC and attack bonus and doesn't use yours.

There's nothing preventing someone from creating a level 2 spell scroll of Magic Missile, but it would be a level 2 spell scroll in terms of cost and spellcasting DC.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Though I agree with most of your answer there appears to actually be no way to make an level 2 magic missile scroll according to the rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jan 3 '19 at 14:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not familiar with quotes on this site, but Jeremy Crawford tweeted on may 29th "The spell on a spell scroll is at the spell's lowest level, unless a particular scroll says otherwise." Thus spell scrolls can have upcast spells encoded in them. At that point, they discuss the time and cost for making scrolls in Xanathar's guide. There's nothing I see that prevents a person from encoding a level 2 magic missile in a level 2 scroll. \$\endgroup\$ – Miles Bedinger Jan 4 '19 at 0:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair! I must have misremembered. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jan 4 '19 at 4:18

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