One of the characters in the Starter Set is a 1st-level high elf wizard with an Int mod of +3. How does this character have 6 spells?

I understand that one is a ritual, but it has 5 more and not 4?

The spellbook shows:

  1. burning hands
  2. detect magic (ritual)
  3. mage armor
  4. magic missile
  5. shield
  6. sleep

I had the same original question myself. This is a premade character sheet licensed by D&D.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is this the starter set you're referring to? \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 20, 2019 at 22:37
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ See also this on known spells, prepared spells, and spell slots — I suspect this is some of your confusion. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    May 20, 2019 at 22:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 21, 2019 at 1:44

2 Answers 2


While this might not be the case in the Starter Set you are looking at, in the official rules (the full Player's Handbook), 1st-level wizards (PHB 114) are granted a spellbook containing 6 spells. They can then prepare a number of spells equal to their wizard level + Int modifier for casting (in this case, 4) using their two 1st-level spell slots.


At 1st level, you have a spellbook containing six 1st-level wizard spells of your choice.

Spellcasting/Preparing and Casting Spells

You prepare the list of wizard spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of wizard spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your wizard level (minimum of one spell).

Without viewing the source you are referring to, it seems that the 6 spells listed are their initial 6 spells in their spellbook, from which the player must prepare 4 spells each day to actually have available to cast. Detect magic, being a ritual spell, can still be prepared and cast as a standard action using one of the two spell slots, or it can cast as a ritual, in which case it does not need to be prepared and takes 10 additional minutes to cast.

In short, as far as I can determine, the character sheet is correct.

  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ The Starter Set uses the same rules. \$\endgroup\$ May 20, 2019 at 23:17

This is quite straightforwardly explained in the character sheet:

Spell Slots. You have two 1st-level spell slots you can use to cast your prepared spells.

Prepared Spells. You prepare four 1st-level spells to make them available for you to cast, choosing from the spells in your spellbook.

Spellbook. You have a spellbook containing these 1st-level spells: burning hands, detect magic, mage armor, magic missile, shield, and sleep.

The default starting wizard has a spellbook with those six 1st-level spells. You can only prepare four of those. You only have enough spell slots to cast two before a long rest. (The Arcane Recovery ability listed on the character sheet also allows the 1st-level wizard to recover one slot, once per day, on a short rest.)

The rules for spellcasting are given on page 21 of the Starter Set rulebook.


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