The errata introduced changes to specify spell slots' classes. I was wondering if those changes could somehow prevent coffeelock cheese in the spirit of this Jeremy Crawford tweet to interpret class features as reserved for that specific class?

Quote from the tweet:

DMs, if you allow multiclassing in your game and someone is tempted to abuse the combination of Flexible Casting and Pact Magic, remember this: one way to read the multiclass rules is that your Pact Magic slots are useless for any non-warlock thing besides casting spells.

Coffeelock Exploit

Coffeelock is a sorc/warlock multiclass that exploits these mechanics:

Flexible Casting

You can use your sorcery points to gain additional Spell Slots, or sacrifice Spell Slots to gain additional sorcery points. You learn other ways to use your sorcery points as you reach higher levels.

Pact Magic Spell Slots

You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a short or Long Rest.

The "coffeelock" character uses flexible casting to convert warlock spell slots into sorcery points then turn those sorcery points into spell slots, short-resting to recover warlock spells slots then turn those into more sorcery points, virtually giving that character unlimited spell slots so long as the character does not take a long rest.

The Errata (As of April 2020)

Changes were made to Spell Slots in D&D 5E's Players Handbook to specify that spell slots now belong to a class. Changes emphasized below in bold italics:

Spell Slots (Sorcerer)

The Sorcerer table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your sorcerer spells of 1st Level and higher. To cast one of these sorcerer spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

Spell Slots (Warlock)

The Warlock table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your warlock spells of 1st through 5th level. The table also shows what the level of those slots is; all of your spell slots are the same level. To cast one of your warlock spells of 1st Level or higher, you must expend a spell slot. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a short or long rest.

Main Question

Ignoring sleep mechanics and Jeremy Crawford's tweet, I wish to know if these errata changes could be interpreted in a clear way that prevents the "coffeelock" exploit?

Secondary Question

In what way do these changes actually impact the game?

A positive answer to my main question, if it exists, will help in Adventurers League and Rules-As-Written sessions without having coffeelock arguments sprawl over to sleep mechanics and sage-advice territory. This will keep rulings concise and efficient.


1 Answer 1


No, your discretion as a DM prevents it.

Spelling out that you can cast "sorcerer spells" or "warlock spells" with your spell slots doesn't affect this exploit, because the exploit isn't about whether you can cast spells; it's about whether you can feed them into Flexible Casting to get Sorcery Points.

The most important rules governing this whole issue are the ones in the Multiclassing section about how to reconcile spellcasting from multiple classes:

Spell Slots. You determine your available spell slots by adding together all your levels in the bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard classes, and half your levels (rounded down) in the paladin and ranger classes. Use this total to determine your spell slots by consulting the Multiclass Spellcaster table.

Pact Magic. If you have both the Spellcasting class feature and the Pact Magic class feature from the warlock class, you can use the spell slots you gain from the Pact Magic feature to cast spells you know or have prepared from classes with the Spellcasting class feature, and you can use the spell slots you gain from the Spellcasting class feature to cast warlock spells you know.

So, the change to the the Pact Magic feature to say that these spell slots are for casting "warlock spells" doesn't even restrict them to casting warlock spells. If you have any other spellcasting class, you explicitly can use warlock spell slots to cast that class's spells and vice versa.

But that's only for casting spells. Breaking down a spell slot into Sorcery Points isn't casting a spell. (Neither is, say, Divine Smite.) So there's no rule, before or after the errata, saying that you can or can't use Pact Magic spell slots for this purpose. So make a ruling based on what's good for your group.

This still applies in AL, by the way. The DM is still empowered to interpret the rules in edge cases such as this; they're just not supposed to change the rules.

As an Adventurers League Dungeon Master, you are empowered to adjudicate the rules as presented by the official materials (PHB, DMG, MM, etc.). Run the game according to those rules, but you are the final arbiter of any ambiguities that might arise in doing so.

But doesn't Flexible Casting just say "spell slots"?

You can use your sorcery points to gain additional spell slots, or sacrifice spell slots to gain additional sorcery points.

Well, yes. But so does Pact Magic:

You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a short or long rest.

If we ignore the context--that these features belong to separate classes and are referring to spell slots obtained from different sources--then this trick with Flexible Casting isn't even needed. Your Sorc 9 / Warlock 1 can burn all their spell slots and then take a short rest and get them all back. Hey, it says "all expended spell slots", right?

This is absurd and nobody plays this way.

The multiclassing rules very clearly distinguish spell slots you gain from Spellcasting classes from Pact Magic spell slots. They are interchangeable for the specific purpose of casting spells that you know from any of your spellcaster classes.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I was hoping that I'd missed something that the specificity changed but I guess this clarifies it \$\endgroup\$
    – Bacon Hero
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 17:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I can understand why a DM would ban it, but I don't see any reason why a ruling would be required. Font of Magic doesn't require only sorcerer spell slots, despite there being language in the rules that would let the designers say so. As such, the rules have no ambiguity. A DM could rule otherwise, but there is no ruling required, you could also play it RAW. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 3:58
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @gszavae it's one of the many things where multiclassing being an optional rule causes class rules to be written as if you only have one class, and leaving out all the (then) redundant cases of "by this class" and "by this feature" that you'd need if multiclassing were a core part of the game. This is just one of them that really should read "spell slots from this feature" but doesn't because it's written as if you can't have any others anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 6:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Additionally the logic that multi-classing being optional is a reason to not call out when it is intended to be class specific is also not reasonable. They specifically went back to errata class names into spell slot description, they also call out in all extra attack feature to include the possibility of getting it from other classes and a zillion other references to multiclass possibility in both core and errata material. the fact that they never added an errata to state sorcery slots only should be clear enough that the intent is to leave such to the DM. RAW however it is allowed \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 17, 2020 at 13:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @JasonClark It's not clear why that errata change was made, since, as I demonstrate here, it doesn't do anything. It applies only to single-class spellcasters (who have nothing else to use the spell slots for anyway) and warlock multiclasses (who are specifically allowed to use their spell slots for cross-class spells). I agree that the correct conclusion is to leave it to the DM, whether that's the intent or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 16:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .