In D&D 5e when a character casts a spell from a staff (e.g. staff of a magi), what is the class of that spell? It is important for items like "+1 to DC for this class spells that you cast" from Tasha's.

Specific example:

  • I am a lvl 20 Artificer.
  • I am attuned to and holding a Staff of Power, and casting Hold Monster from it.
  • I am also attuned and holding in my other hand (let's say DM would allow my hand to hold all of them, this is just for illustration) all of the following:

What bonus to DC will I get from these items when casting this Hold Monster?


The staffs details state:

While holding the staff, you can use an action to expend some of its Charges to cast one of the following Spells from it, using your spell save DC and Spellcasting ability

When you chose to cast a spell from the staff, you use your own spellcasting ability, whichever that is. You attuned as an Artificer, so you would use the artificers spell save DC and spellcasting ability, with the +3 bonus to Artificer spells. Some of these spells are not on the Artificers list of spells, but the artificer ignores "all class, race, spell, and level requirements on attuning to or using a magic item," so it is no problem for them to use any part of this item.
Say you are a wizard 10/sorcerer 10. When you cast the spell through the staff, you can choose to use your wizard spell save DC and spellcasting ability, or your sorcerer spell save DC and spellcasting ability, to take advantage of whatever you are attuned to.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure about the opening sentence? In particular Artificer's get at level 14 Magic Item Savant which includes: "You ignore all class, race, spell, and level requirements on attuning to or using a magic item." \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Mar 1 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Artificier can attune to the staff, see that characters "Magic Item Savant" ability. I am interested specifically in the Artificier scenario. Are you saying that if I use my Artificier spell save DC, then Hold Monster will be an Artificier spell for me, even though it is not on Artificier's spell list? \$\endgroup\$ – Melh Mar 1 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Whoops! corrected now, that was my mistake. \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Aristotle Mar 1 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the answer. But you still didn't say what bonus to the DC would I get from these 3 other items I am attuned to and holding in my example. Will I get +3, +2, +1 or +0? Or maybe even more (if a spell can be considered to belong to multiple classes at the same time) \$\endgroup\$ – Melh Mar 1 at 22:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I would like to agree, but I am not sure if that will hold when I'll play AL at various tables. Isn't there a problem that Hold Monster is not on Artificier spell list? Everywhere else in the book when a new spell is added to a spell list it is said explicitly "this spell will count as this_class spell for you" (e.g. in Additional Magical Secrets of Bards), but here something like this is not said by the book. Plus technically I am using Int Spell save DC and Spellcasting ability, not Artificiers. I am just afraid this answer won't hold up without some stronger Rules support. \$\endgroup\$ – Melh Mar 1 at 23:08

A spell cast from a magic item is from no class.

A spell doesn't inherently have a class, since it can be found on the spell list for multiple classes (for example Cure Wounds is on the Artificier, Cleric and Druid list); when a Cleric prepares it, it counts as a Cleric spell, when an Artificier prepares it, it counts as an Artificier spell, and so on. A Cleric/Artificier multiclass can prepare it either as a Cleric or Artificier spell, depending on which number of spells prepared it counts against.

If the same Cleric/Artificier casts Cure Wounds from a magic item, it counts neither as a Cleric spell or an Artificier spell, since the spellcaster didn't prepare that instance of the spell and so didn't choose from which class it should be prepared from.

In conclusion, a spell cast from a magic item only gets bonuses that apply to any spell regardless of class; in your case, no bonus will be applied.

  • \$\begingroup\$ While I believe I agree with this answer, the answer should source its claims with citations from the books \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Mar 24 at 14:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.