I saw a video a while back about some examples of so-called "10th-level spells" causing havoc, in possibly outdated lore.

I'm wondering if any of the examples of such spells have persisted in modern 5th ed worldbuilding documents, or if they've mostly been retconned.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ For clarity, you're specifically looking for canonical lore references to 10th level spells in the lore of one of the official 5th Edition campaign settings, and not a way to do it with the 5e rules? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2023 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Correct. I seek specifically lore that references the casting of 10th-level spells by "NPCs" (or whatever you'd call in-lore individuals). \$\endgroup\$
    – order
    Nov 5, 2023 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


None of the published settings books for 5th Edition mention the use of 10th level spells by that name, but unusually powerful spells still exist

There are no mentions of 10th level spells. Instead the lore refers to spells of great power in more generic language, for example, Rime of the Frostmaiden refers to a "spell of unparalleled power" that Karsus attempted to use to usurp Mystryl (thanks to @Carcer). So the concept that there can be unusually powerful spells has not been changed, but this is not expressed in spell level terms any more.

You can technically cast 10th level spells using the Book of Exalted Deeds, but in lore, the concept of 10th level spells in that language is not used.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think a distinction should be drawn between avoiding the concept of level 10+ spells and retconning them out. 5e's Rime of the Frostmaiden does mention the "spell of unparalleled power" (which we know to be the 12th level Karsus's avatar) that Karsus attempted to use to usurp Mystryl, without explicitly calling it out as a level 10+ spell - but it's still referenced and FR's previously established lore (that these spells were once possible but the rules of magic later changed to ban them) is not contradicted by any 5e material. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Nov 5, 2023 at 13:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer You’ve got a great answer there, please post it. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2023 at 13:15

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