Basically, we have a haste scroll, 2 warlocks, a druid, a cleric, and me, an arcane trickster.

To use the spell scroll it must be on your spell list. The arcane trickster gets his spells from the wizard spell list. Nobody else has haste on their spell list and I can't cast 3rd level spells...yet. Potentially, I can choose haste as a spell at a higher level.

Does this count as being part of my spell list for the purpose of attempting to use the spell scroll? If so, would I cast it by making an ability check with my spell casting ability, as per the rules of casting a spell from a spell scroll that is on your spell list but is of a higher level than you can cast?


4 Answers 4


Yes; the ruling is now official and explicit from Sage Advice

As Dale M's previously-accepted answer said, the PHB rules for the Arcane Trickster imply that its class spell list is the Wizard's spell list.

This was made explicit in the official Sage Advice, which says:

For you to meet a spell scroll’s requirement, the spell on the scroll needs to be on whatever spell list is used by your class. Here are two examples. If you’re a cleric, the spell must be on the cleric spell list, and if you’re a fighter with the Eldritch Knight archetype, the spell must be on the wizard spell list, because that is the spell list used by your class.

From the example of a Eldritch Knight, we know that there is no class list of spells for the fighter class, but the class list for a fighter that becomes an Eldritch Knight is the wizard class list. We can conclude that there is no class spell list for rogues, but a rogue that becomes an Arcane Trickster has the wizard spell list, "because that is the spell list used by your class."

Thus an Arcane Trickster can use spell scrolls of spells that are on the Wizard spell list.

Thanks to InternetHobo who encouraged Rubiksmoose to cite the SA Compendium in their answer.



Spell casting described for Arcane Trickster ...

When you reach 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the wizard spell list.

Spell casting described for Wizard ...

As a student of arcane magic, you have a spellbook containing spells that show the first glimmerings of your true power. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the wizard spell list.

the second sentence is word for word the same.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cadaran, correct. As can an Eldritch Knight. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 23:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is how I rule it as well, though there is is another reasonable interpretation, which is that only spells from the two schools the arcane trickster usually has access to count as being on the arcane trickster's spell list, plus the few particular out-of-school spells chosen by the trickster. This would be similar to the Bard adding spells to the bard list for himself only by choosing them as Magical Secrets. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 23:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleVermont I see the argument but it is problematic - until the AT gets X level spells, the spells chosen are undefined. In addition, they are replaceable when levelling up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 0:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Aaaaand the DM ruled "no" due to the general restriction to illusion and enchantment classes for the arcane trickster and spells outside of that he considers exceptions. Further arguing that, using this logic, a bard would be able to read any scroll due to his ability to add 2 spells of ANY class to his spell book at level 10, which is overpowered to him. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cadaran
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 5:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cadaran the logic is not quite the same for the Bard. The bard has his own spell list, and adds spells to his personal spell list when he takes his magical secrets. They become bard spells for him. The same shenanigans are not necessary for the Arcane Trickster because the AT doesn't have a special spell list, but uses (a subset of) the wizard spell list. As I said above, I can see it going either way. Your DM's ruling is not unreasonable. That said, unless there are tons of scrolls in your adventure, it would not be OP to let you use them. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 5:23

Jeremy Crawford's unofficial ruling: Yes

Jeremy Crawford (lead rules designer) was asked:

Can Arcane Trickster and Eldritch Wizard use wizard scroll spells level 5 and up?

and has responded:

The intent is yes, the Arcane Trickster and the Eldritch Knight can use scrolls with wizard spells on them.

So they can use spell scrolls from the wizard list even spells of a higher slot then they would eventually be able to cast. And, presumably, of any school of magic.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You could improve this answer by referring to the SA Compendium under Magic Items. Particularly the paragraph containing "For you to meet a spell scroll’s requirement [...] if you’re a fighter with the Eldritch Knight archetype [...]". Jeremy Crawford's tweets are no longer considered official. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 5:44

DMG 5e page 139 under Scrolls:

Unless a Scroll's description says otherwise, any creature that can understand a written language can read the script on a scroll and attempt to activate it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Spell Scrolls have a more specific set of rules than general scrolls such as Scroll of Protection. The rules for Spell Scrolls are on page 200 of the DMG. \$\endgroup\$
    – CTWind
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 21:15

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