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In a brief RPG General Chat discussion, Yuuki suggested a character idea based around casting fireball as a primary method of combat. I think this would be a fun gag character for a comedic mini-campaign/one-shot, so I am wondering if it is feasible mechanically.

Even though they are often unused, we have rules for a standard adventuring day in the Creating Adventures section of the Dungeon Master's Guide.

The ultimate goal would be at least 3 casts per hard or higher encounter, 2-3 casts per medium encounter, and 1-2 casts per easy encounter. This means we need about 12-15 fireballs per day.

For the sake of this character build, let's use these adventuring day rules, as well as this guidance shortly after:

the party will likely need to take two short rests... through the day.

For equipment let's use the suggested Starting at Higher Levels for a high magic setting:

5,000 gp plus 1d10 [we'll use 5.5] × 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment

Feel free to spend the 6375 gp on any mundane equipment.

Some other guidelines:

  • The character is no higher than level 12
  • Any officially published WoTC rulebook can be used (for classes, races, and other character options)
  • Feats and multiclassing are allowed
  • Alternative story rewards like blessings and charms are forbidden.
  • Upcasting fireball still only counts as one cast
  • This build should be sustainable, so something with limited charges that do not replenish is not allowed.
  • If randomness is involved, assume the average result.
  • The character must be the one to cast the fireballs. Having a summon or hireling do it doesn't count.
  • In a case of a tie, the character build that can be reached at the lowest level is better.

Can a character get to 12 casts per day? How high can it go?

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The best I could find is 19.51 fireballs

The Character

Charles is a level 12 character with the following classes:

  • Sorcerer 11 -------- [for Wild Magic, Spellcasting, Flexible Casting, and fireball]
  • Warlock 1 --------- [for Pact Magic]

...and the following magic items:

  • Wand of Fireballs
  • Pearl of Power (thanks @GuidingOlive in the comments)

The Fireballs

As a level 11 sorcerer, Charles has access to 9 spell slots of level 3 or higher and can learn the spell fireball at any level 5 or higher.

  • Count so far: 9

The Flexible Casting feature lets Charles turn 10 of his 11 sorcery points into two 3rd level spell slots:

You can transform unexpended sorcery points into one spell slot as a bonus action on your turn. The Creating Spell Slots table shows [that the cost of a 3rd level spell is 5 points].

  • Count so far: 11

Flexible Casting also lets Charles turn spell slots into sorcery points. His level 1 and level 2 slots grant him 10 points total. His level 6 spell slot nets him 1 sorcery point by turning it into a level 3 spell slot. This means two more 3rd level slots and leaves Charles with 2 sorcery points.

As a bonus action on your turn, you can expend one spell slot and gain a number of sorcery points equal to the slot’s level.

  • Count so far: 13

As a level 1 warlock, Charles has access to three level 1 spell slots throughout the day, eventually getting five points for another 3rd level slot (using Flexible Casting).

  • Count so far: 14

Starting with a pearl of power for one of our Uncommon magic items gives us the ability to restore one 3rd level spell slot:

you can use an action to speak its command word and regain one expended spell slot. If the expended slot is of 4th level or higher, the new slot is 3rd level.

  • Count so far: 15

Adding a wand of fireballs for our Rare magic item gives us some more casts. Just make sure you don't use it's last charge (it starts with 7 and you can only sustain 4.5 per day anyway):

You can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast the fireball spell .... from it...

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn.

  • Count so far: 19.5

Finally, there is a small chance we get a second fireball whenever we cast fireball thanks to Wild Magic. When a Wild Magic Surge occurs, there is a 2% chance that you...

...cast fireball as a 3rd-level spell centered on yourself.

Since Wild Magic Surges are very GM dependent, we will just say that it is worth 1% of a fireball per day. This comes to a grand total of:

  • Total: 19.51
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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I believe you can get a few more Fireballs by dropping 8 Sorcerer levels for Wizard levels, allowing you to use Arcane Recovery to recover a level 3 slot (one Fireball) and a level 1 slot (to cannibalize via Flexible Casting) 3/day. \$\endgroup\$ – A_S00 Jan 29 at 1:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron Hm, you don't lose any spell slots (level 11 on the Multiclass Spellcaster table is the same as Sorcerer 11), but you do need to keep a SP pool of at least 5 in order to turn your SP into Fireballs. I think that means the correct level split is Wizard 6/Sorcerer 5/Warlock 1. Ohhh but I did miss that it's 1/day, only read the "after a short rest" part. That changes things. \$\endgroup\$ – A_S00 Jan 29 at 1:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ This can be improved by changing the 4th and 5th level spell slots to 3rd level spell slots. 2 fifth levels x 7 + 3 fourth levels x 6 = 32 sorcery points. This means you can do 6 3rd level fireballs, instead of 5 upcast fireballs, with 2 sorcery points left over. \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Jan 29 at 15:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Justin a 5th level spell slot only gives you 5 sorcery points \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 29 at 15:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @András I didn't have it for DM dependency. I took the 5% chance to even proc on the Wild Magic feature and a supposed 25% chance that the GM requests Wild Magic or Bend Luck roll and multiplied that to get roughly 1% daily fireballs. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 29 at 22:39

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