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To cast a spell from a scroll that is on your list but of a higher level you can cast, you need to make a spellcasting ability check (wasting the spell scroll on a failure).

What happens if a low level sorcerer tries to apply metamagic to a high level spell he attempts to cast from a spell scroll, but fails the check ? Does he also waste the sorcery points, or no ?

Ex: Bob the 3rd level sorcerer with the Twinning Metamagic trying to cast a Twinned Haste from a spell scroll and failing the DC 13 check. Would he also waste 3 sorcery points ?

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No, metamagic only takes effect when you cast the spell

All the sorcerer's metamagic abilities have wording like:

When you cast a spell that...

If you failed to cast the spell, you don't get to invoke the metamagic ability in the first place, so spending sorcery points is contingent on successfully casting the spell in the first place.

Scrolls additionally say that:

If the spell is on your class’s spell list but of a higher level than you can normally cast, you must make an ability check using your spellcasting ability to determine whether you cast it successfully. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a failed check, the spell disappears from the scroll with no other effect.

So that supports the idea that if you fail the check, no spellcasting has taken place.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Once again, it helps to think like the designers. 5e is made by the creators of MtG and it shows. If the spell is not cast, it is never a valid target for metamagic. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Mar 20 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin WOTC are also the creators of DnD 3.5 where arcane spell failure does consume spell slots. \$\endgroup\$ – Carl Kevinson Mar 20 at 17:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin I don't think there's any cross-polination of rules managers or designers between the two products. \$\endgroup\$ – Pureferret Mar 21 at 9:43
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No: if you fail with the scroll, you haven't cast the spell.

Every metamagic option but one begins with the phrase "when you cast a spell." That's what we'll be discussing. (Empowered Spell is "when you roll damage for a spell," which only happens after the spell successfully takes effect, so we'll ignore this irrelevant case.)

So, if you try but fail when using a spell scroll, do you count as casting the spell? Let's look at the rules for spell scrolls (emphasis mine):

If the spell is on your class’s spell list but of a higher level than you can normally cast, you must make an ability check using your spellcasting ability to determine whether you cast it successfully. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a failed check, the spell disappears from the scroll with no other effect.

If the spell is too high level, you have to make an ability check to see if you can even cast it, and if you fail the check then there is no effect whatsoever. This means you haven't actually cast the spell (if you did, there would have been an effect), so you wouldn't have been able to apply a metamagic option to it yet. Or, phrased another way, the sorcery point would not have been wasted.

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