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After Karsus’s folly, Mystra imposed a ban on use of magic above 9th level (I believe there are specific conditions for 10th level spells, but that’s not the main issue here). However, I believe the specific mentions of Mystra’s Ban have unclear wording:

In the aftermath of Netheril’s fall, however, Mystra banned certain high-level spells that she deemed too powerful for mortals to wield responsibly. Thus, current-day spellcasters no longer have access to true spells of 10th level and higher. Instead, access to epic magic comes via two feats—Improved Spellcasting Capacity and Epic Spellcasting—that function in very different ways.

(p43, Lost Empires of Faerun)

When Mystryl reincarnated herself—this time as Mystra—she used the form of a beautiful peasant girl learning the basics of cantra magic but with the capacities for archwizardry. Her first priority was to recreate the weave of magic. This time, she made magic follow a few more rules, and no spell above 10th level would function.

(p12, Netheril: Empire of Magic)

The second text seems to imply that the weave doesn’t allow for spells above 10th level. Which means that the gods, if they use the weave, couldn’t either. The first one, however, says that this ban is due to mortals not being responsible enough to use those spells. So perhaps the gods, who haven’t shown such irresponsibility, can use them?

I fear that other source material isn’t particularly optimistic. The Deities & Demigods book for 3e doesn’t mention the use of spells above 9th level.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem is that the answer provided doesn’t answer my question. It only answers the case of mortals, which is specifically not the point of the question. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 7, 2020 at 12:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Attonwizard it does answer the original question, which focused on spells above 9th (as if mortals can cast 10th level spells then so can the gods, as by the sourcebook you quoted gives them the same capability as mortals at a minimum). However I can focus the answer more later (I'm in work atm) to the capabilities of the gods. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Aug 7, 2020 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ It also shows that the lore detail about Mystra's ban is explicitly incorrect (the "history incorrectly records ..." portion of my answer specifies why other lore related to this ban is actually incorrect) \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Aug 7, 2020 at 13:01

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Yep, they definitely can

Looking at the 3rd Edition Forgotten Realms Sourcebook Faiths and Pantheons, we get this as a listed Salient Ability that a god may have (i.e. a "things a god may be able to do because they are a god")

Divine Spellcasting:

The deity can cast spells whose effective level is above 9th. The number of spells per day the deity can cast of each spell level above 9th depends on the deity’s key ability score for spell-casting classes in which the deity has achieved 20th level

Following is a table listing the required ability scores for the deity to have spell slots up to 25th Level. With a note that says

Even though the table only includes ability scores up to 61 and spell slots up to 25th level, the progression continues infinitely in both directions. For ability scores beyond 61, or for spell slots above 25th level, expand the table to follow the same patterns as shown.

The can be found transcribed in the 3.5e SRD

I would also add, however, that deities don't have to use spells to achieve supernatural feats if they don't want to. Another Salient Ability available to them is...

Alter Reality

This ability is similar to the wish spell. The deity merely thinks of something and then makes it so.

This is not the deity casting Wish...it does not come with the restrictions or perils that a mortal wielding the Wish spell are saddled with. This is a god altering reality because they are a god who is able to do that. (This is still a drain on their power and requires them to rest after using it...which is why gods aren't constantly doing this. But, y'know...when a Cleric prays for a Miracle and something not replicable by a spell happens? This is probably what the god did.)

Spellcasting is a god electing to use the interface created by Mystryl/Mystra that let mortals safely interact with magic.

Suddenly, rather than magic being restricted to just the deities, any creature with the talent or training could draw upon the power of magic through the Weave.

Magic of Faerun p.4

Deities were perfectly capable of wielding magic before The Weave existed--it's a useful interface that some of them choose to interact with, but they can manifest magical effects because they are gods--they don't need The Weave to do it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In both F&P and the 3.5e SRD, the Divine Spellcasting salient ability clarifies that the extra spell slots can be used for spells modified by metamagic or for lower level spells - note the language "effective level", not actual level. 3e FR also uses the epic level rules for many notable NPCs and so plenty of non-deity spellcasters have spell slots above 9th level, such as Elminster and Szass Tam. I don't think that deities getting spell slots of more than 9th level is a good argument that they're exempt from the 10+ restrictions, since non-deities can also get spell slots of that level. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Dec 1, 2021 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Carcer, so would you argue that the gods can’t cast spells with actual level higher than 9? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2, 2021 at 9:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Attonwizard I'm only critiquing the argument that access to 10th level spell slots implies that a deity can cast proper 10th level spells when mortals can't, since mortal spellcasters in FR can gain and canonically have had 10th level spell slots and the same logic would apply. I don't judge either way if they are actually able to, just that this argument is unconvincing. (And F&P is clear that Mystra can deny even another deity's access to the Weave, so they don't have any kind of deific override if she does want to restrict them.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Dec 3, 2021 at 19:00
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According to the AD&D book, Secrets of the Magister, it is still possible for mortals to research and cast 10th level spells

In the Forbidden Magic section of the Magisterial Magic chapter of the AD&D book Secrets of the Magister (published in 2000):

After the Folly of Karsus [...] , the newly ascended Mystra stripped mortals of the ability to handle specific 10th level spells.

[...]

History incorrectly records this as changing humans to make the use of such magic beyond their grasp, or changing the nature of magic to make spells of greater than 9th level unintelligible to humans, because that is what the goddess wanted mortals to believe[...].

It is possible, in the realms today, to research True Dweomers, and even new 9th level spells to achieve specific, severely limited ends that resemble parts of what a 10th level spell could achieve. [...]

[...]

The information related in this section is largely secret, but the points about the possibility of researching powerful magic, and the restrictions on the casting of found 10th level spells, will be slowly and partially shared (through visions shared by Mystra) to any player character who prays to Azuth, Mystra, Oghma, or Savras for answers on this topic - or by high ranking clergy of Azuth, Mystra or Savras who are directly asked about such things by any mage (such is Mystra's commandment).

There are pretty severe restrictions on mortals attempting to cast found 10th level spells which I'm not going to reproduce here, but those restrictions apply only to those specific banned forms of the spells that existed at the time of the ban.

Since it is possible for mages "today" to research (and cast) True Dweomers, it follows that it is possible for gods to do the same.

It is unclear of whether or not Mystra would be able to place restrictions on the magics other gods can effect.


Note: it is unclear whose voice this book is written in (many of the books written have an in universe voice as the writer), it was written by Ed Greenwood (creator of the Forgotten Realms). As such, unless directly contradicted by a later source, I believe this to be the authoritative lore on 10th level spells as they pertain to the Forgotten Realms.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer, I am however more specifically interested in any evidence of the gods and their capabilities. I modified the question to better reflect that intent. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 7, 2020 at 11:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Attonwizard as mentioned above, I'll focus the answer more on the gods later \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Aug 7, 2020 at 13:01

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