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Steve is a hypothetical PC with 20 levels in Wizard and an intelligence modifier of +5, and as such he can prepare a total of 25 spells every day. He also has all spells a Wizard could ever learn in this spell book, due to a DM who is really generous in giving out spell scrolls.

If he sits down and prepares all possible 9th level spells and as many 8th level spells as he can in addition to that. Resulting in him spending 9 minutes each preparing 16 9th level spells (from the PHB, XGtE and TCoE) and 8 minutes each preparing 9 8th level spells. This results in him spending a total of 216 minutes that morning preparing his spell list.

Has Steve spent the most possible time imaginable to prepare his spell list, or is there any way for a player character to spend more time preparing their spell list than Steve did?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What problem are you trying to solve with this question? What situation have you had come up that lead you to ask it? From the help center "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face". Hypothetical questions don't generally work too well on this site. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 10:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey Maybe this question could fall into this frame: rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/q/7218/63061 \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Mar 8 at 10:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage questions about being highly effective in one area, even to the point of absurd, as the meta you linked discusses, generate answers that are useful for regular players, because they collect all relevant data in one place. Here we see a question about being least effective. What useful can came from that? Unless OP will tell us, I can't see it happening. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Mar 8 at 10:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot there are plenty of examples in that meta, at least one of them asking for being least effective (rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/150742/…) without providing a really useful reason for asking that. It seems to me that this question of TreeSpawned falls in these frame, but maybe I am mistaking. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Mar 8 at 11:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are correct, my question is not a practical example or something applicable in-game in a meaningful way and as such I might have missed the point with it. On the other hand I am curious, why this question is being frowned upon, while a question about having an AC of -7 is not. Perhaps this is a question for Meta a long the lines of "are questions about optimizing for minimum effiency valid" \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 14:36
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Potentially, he can spend as much time as he wants.

The Preparing and Casting Spells section here says (emphasis mine):

Preparing a new list of wizard spells requires time spent studying your spellbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

The one minute per spell level is the lower bound: a wizard can decide to devote more time for preparing spells, even if there is not a clear reason to do so.


For example, Steve can takes its time and spend 18 minutes for each 9th level spell, to be really sure of having fully understood the intricate gestures and powerful chants. Same reasoning may apply to 8th level spells (taking 16 minutes per 8th level spell), leading to a preparing time of 432 minutes.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I must say your answer is 100% correct, given my question as written. I guess my question as intended was something like: "what is the highest possible minimum preparation time any possible spell list could have?". I am not sure how to handle this discrepancy though. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TreeSpawned So you are trying to solve a minmax problem: as you said, that's a different question than you wrote, whose solution depends on the number of spells for each level. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Mar 8 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ The QAI would have also implied the question "is it possible for a character of any class to prepare more than 25 spells a day". Which is not the question I wanted to ask, but I assumed its part of it. But maybe its another question all together. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TreeSpawned Yeah, I think that's another question. After considering if I correctrly answered your question, you may post those two further questions (if 216 minutes is the minimum time required for preparing the highest level spells, and if it possible to prepare more then 25 spells per day). I can't assure that they will be well-received by the community, though... \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Mar 8 at 15:48

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