I have a copy of the 3rd Edition PHB (take note: that's 3e, not 3.5e,)and decided to make a few characters using the official character sheet from the back of the book.

Based on what I've learned from 4th Ed., I've filled out most of the sheet, but a few things are confusing, though, and reading through the book and looking online hasn't helped.

In the back of the sheet there's an area for Spells. In there, there's 2 columns of check boxes for "Spell Save DC" and "Spells Per Day". Above that, there is a label "Spell save" and a box called "DC MOD". How do I figure out what to put there?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As a general rule, we try and avoid questions that could be trivially answered by checking the rulebooks; This question is therefore likely to be closed. For reference, though: Spell save DC is equal to 10 plus spell level plus the modifier for the ability score associated with spellcasting in the class that grants you spells, and the +3 is 1.5 times the character's strength modifier rounded down to the nearest whole number. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 6:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did read the rulebook, but couldn't find the answers to my questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – John W
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 6:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't doubt that. This isn't a bad question; It's just a rather basic one. This site is supposedly for expert questions and expert answers, so any question that could be answered by referencing only a single line of the core rules tends to be considered "General Reference" by default. I recommend you carefully re-read the chapter on Combat; From memory, it should contain both the formulae you seek. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 7:17
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe If it's basic, give it a basic answer. These are the D&D rulebooks we're talking about. These things can be incredibly confusing and arcane for new people, and you practically have to be an expert before the basics suddenly begin making sense. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 8:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @JohnW I put it to you that trying to fill out a 3e character sheet based on what you've learned from 4e is like trying to fill out a chess board using a checkers rule book: superficially similar, but completely different and you're going to wind up with weird results. 4e changed a lot of things. You should be filling it out based on what you've learned from the 3rd ed rulebook. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 8:22

1 Answer 1


Spells per day

Spells per day is based on your character class, character level and primary stat. Let us take a wizard for example (primary stat is intelligence), at level 1 he has 3 level 0 spells and 1 level 1 spell, our wizard has an intelligence of 16 which would give him a bonus level 1, level 2 and level 3 spell. He doesn't get the last 2 yet since he does not have access to those yet.

Concludingly our wizard has 3 level 0 and 2 level 1 spell (1 from wizard + 1 from intelligence).

Spell save

GMJoe allready pointed this out in the comments but the DC for a spell is simply a 10 + the spell's level + your primary ability modifier (intelligence for our wizard), resulting in a DC 14 for a level 1 spell (10 + 1 + 3), this would mean filling in a 14 in the spell save DC column (left of 1), 1 for spells per day (level 1 ) and 1 bonus spell. I would put a 3 in the DC mod as that is your intelligence modifier (altho I have never even looked in that box myself).

I assume that the level 0 values are easy to solve yourself now?


Special cases

KRyan's comment brings us to to field of non core classes. I used a wizard as example in my answer but some classes use different stats than one might expect. The favored soul for example is a cleric like caster class that uses Charisma instead of Wisdom for bonus spells but still uses Wisdom to determine spell save, in effect, she has two primary stats being Charisma and Wisdom.


The key point is to check what the primary stat or stats is/are for the class of your choice.

The majority of the classes use the same stat for spells per day and spell save (i.e. Wizard, Cleric and Druid) while some classes use a different stat for spells per day and spell save (i.e. Favored Soul)

  • \$\begingroup\$ It’s worth noting that some non-core classes (e.g. archivist, favored soul, shadowcaster, spirit shaman) use different ability scores to determine saving throw DCs and bonus spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I assumed that, that would be clear from my post but I added a 'special cases' part to my answer to state this explicitly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bas Jansen
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 13:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ What would you call the “primary stat” for the Favored Soul, who has two different ability scores used for spellcasting? I think that’s still a bit confusing. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 22:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will expand a bit on that final sentence. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bas Jansen
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 11:34

You must log in to answer this question.

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