If I have a 1st level wizard with an Intelligence modifier of +3 (and therefore 6 spells known in my spellbook, plus all the cantrips for my chosen school of magic), exactly how many spells could I prepare to cast if I were a universalist school wizard?

I realize this may seem a simple question but, after a lot of searching on the internet I have found many conflicting responses.

Am I correct, for example, in assuming that I could prepare a total of 3 cantrips and 2 1st level spells per day maximum (plus I'd also get the hand of apprentice ability x6 uses day and my arcane bonded item for 1 free choice of spell cast from spellbook)?

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    – Sdjz
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


Your assessment is mostly correct

First, a minor correction to your assumption regarding the spellbook you start with. Note what is said under spellbooks

A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from his opposed schools, if any; see Arcane Schools) plus three 1st-level spells of his choice. The wizard also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to the spellbook.

As a universalist wizard, you have no opposed schools so your spellbook would initially contain all cantrips, plus 6 1st-level spells as you noted (3 base + 3 from your intelligence modifier)

Spells prepared per day

For the number of spells you can prepare each day, you should consult the wizard table and note that a 1st level wizard can prepare 3 0-level spells and 1 1st-level spell.

Further, by checking the Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells table, you can see that an ability score modifier of +3 grants you an extra 1st level spell per day, bringing your total to 3 0-level spells and 2 1st-level spells.

As a final note, your statements regarding the bonded item and hand of the apprentice are also correct.


A prepared spellcaster such as a wizard can prepare a number of spells per day based on their level, then adds additional spells based on the ability modifier that controls their spellcasting, in this case intelligence. By default a 1st-level wizard gets three cantrips and one 1st-level spell as a baseline. Under the ability score table in the front of the book a score of 16-17 gives one bonus 1st-level spell, one bonus 2nd-level spell and one bonus 3rd-level spell. You are only allowed to use bonus spells of a level that your character can already cast, so you add the additional 1st-level spell, but ignore the 2nd and 3rd until you level up. So you are correct, a 1st-level wizard with an intelligence score of 16 can prepare three cantrips and two first-level spells.


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