The Player's Handbook says that a spell can be traded at level up for any other spell in any slot that you can cast. I'm wondering if I can trade a spell learned from magical secrets and if the new spell I get from the trade can be from any class. There doesn't seem to be any specific mention in the rules.


3 Answers 3


Well, there's good news, and there's bad news. The good news is that you can trade away the spells from Magical Secrets. The bad news is that you can only trade them for bard spells.

The rules on trading one of your spells known for another say that:

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the bard spells you know and replace it with another spell from the bard spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

So, you can only trade away bard spells for other bard spells. However, Magical Secrets says that:

By 10th level, you have plundered magical knowledge from a wide spectrum of disciplines. Choose two spells from any class, including this one. A spell you choose must be of a level you can cast, as shown on the Bard table, or a cantrip. The chosen spells count as bard spells for you and are included in the number in the Spells Known column of the Bard table. You learn two additional spells from any class at 14th level and again at 18th level.

Since the spells from Magical Secrets count as bard spells for you, you can trade them for other bard spells when you level up. This doesn't change the fact that you can only trade bard spells for other bard spells, though, so the new spells you get from trading will have to be bard spells.

As one final caveat, the spells you chose with Magical Secrets count as bard spells for you, so if you trade one of them away, you can later trade something else away to get it back.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just for reference, the above point Miniman is making was also confirmed by Jeremy Crawford: twitter.com/SalmonSquire/status/658005274956079104 \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Nov 5, 2015 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems that Crawford is simply stating that spells gained from Magical Secrets count as Bard spells not that they can only be traded for spells on the Bard list. I think the OP's question is whether they can trade up, i.e. swap the 3rd level Wizard spell they learned with Magical Secrets to a 5th level Druid spell upon gaining 9th level. I don't think Crawford's tweet is clear one way or the other on that unless I'm missing something. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 7, 2017 at 14:17

RAW says you can trade out the spell (yay!) but probably only for another Bard spell (boo!).

That's according to this Tweet from Crawford that specifies that since Magical Secrets spells count as Bard spells, you can trade them out when you level up, but only for a spell on the Bard list. Personally however, I think this is a pretty vaguely worded ruling and doesn't really answer the user's question.

That being said, this is a very unfun ruling and this question isn't tagged RAW.

Magical Secrets is one of the most awesome things about Bards, and makes them tremendously powerful. Being able to take any spell from the book means you can do things no other class can do, like grant your high DPR party member an extra attack using Haste while also preventing some terrible spells being cast on them using Counterspell (enhanced even further using Jack of All Trades). Or taking Wish at 18th level and making your DM hate you.

At the same time though, having all the good spells from every class makes the rest of the party pretty jealous. It's bad enough for the PHB Ranger to not get 5th level spells until 17th level, it's even worse when the party Bard can take all but two of your spells you choose the next time you level up.

I've found that the most optimal solution is this: if a Bard wants to replace a spell they learn via Magical Secrets at a lower level, they can only choose a new spell that they would have been able to learn at the level they were at when they chose it.

So if a Lore Bard chose Counterspell and Booming Blade at 6th level using Lore Bard's Additional Magic Secrets feature but later learned Booming Blade through the Magic Initiate feat at 8th level, they would only be able to replace Booming Blade with a spell of 3rd level or lower, because that's the max level they could learn at Level 6. (Shield is a good choice for this by the way)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Based on the Tweet it looks like that spell permanently counts as a Bard spell for that character, so they cannot take a new Magical Secret Spell, but they can take that spell back if they removed it e.g. The Bard, Alex, took Find Familiar as a Magical Secret, but due to never needing to cast it again as it is only used for social situations, Alex had removed the spell and learned another Bard Spell like Charm Person, but in the future after levelling up, Alex lost their Familiar, they can replace Detect Magic with Find Familiar later on due to it being a Bard spell for Alex \$\endgroup\$ Oct 18, 2020 at 1:20

You can trade spells from magic secrets for another spell from any class. The only thing you have to do is replace 1 secret for another, so your magical secret spell number remains always the same (e.g., at level 10 you have 2 secrets, at level 14 you know 4, and at level 18 you know 6 secrets).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site, sotiris! You might wonder why you are getting downvotes. This is a Q&A site, not a forum. We generally expect that answers are supported by rules (when possible) or user experience (when rules aren't sufficient to answer a question). \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2015 at 15:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Flaggers: this is an answer. It's attempting to rebut the other answer, but by chance or design it does end up actually attempting to answer the question. Being unsupported or obviously intended to reply to another answer doesn't alone qualify a post as Not An Answer, since NAA cares only whether an attempt at answering has been made. As long as the post contains an answer, mods can't with honesty accept a Not An Answer flag. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2015 at 18:45

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