The Warlock casts spells at one given level.
Spell Slots (PHB, p.107)

... all of your spell slots are the same level. {snip} ... when you are 5th level, you have two 3rd‑level spell slots. To cast the 1st‑level spell Thunderwave, you must spend one of those slots, and you cast it as a 3rd‐‑level spell.

A 4th level Warlock (all spells at second level) can't (at first blush) fill the Ring of Spell Storing because it holds five spell levels but she must cast spells at second level.

Two ways to try and get around this:

  1. Cast two Hold Person spells into the ring (four levels of spell), a short rest, and cast one Faerie Fire (a first level spell). Faerie Fire is now cast at second level since the Warlock only has second level spell slots. Faerie Fire doesn't have an "at higher level" clause; it only acts as a first level spell, so maybe she can in -- but I don't think so. The 'must' in the Warlock spell casting rule looks like a deal breaker.

  2. Her Pact of the Chain Pact Boon allows her to cast a first level spell as a ritual: Find Familiar. (Covered in a separate question). Does that cast as a second level spell as well, or, is that a first level spell, and a special case due to being Pact Boon? If the latter, she could pop that into the ring to fill up the fifth spell level slot (in case the familiar dies). If the former, she could not. The "must" looks like a deal breaker here, even though the pact boon does not burn a slot. Our Warlock may be out of luck, unless ritual overrides the table.

At fifth level, the Warlock could cast Blink (a third level spell), but could not cast the Hold Person spell into the ring since it is now being cast at third level, rather than second level as previously done, and the ring won't hold six spell levels.

Problem to Solve: How can a Warlock of third level or greater1 fill up the Ring of Spell Storing? This is of particular concern when the Warlock is the only spell caster in the party. The only way I see around this is to have another party member cast a lower level spell or two into the ring to fill up the other spell level slots.

Is there another way to do this, or is the Warlock unable to fill a Ring of Spell Storing until she can cast fifth level spells?

1 At first or second level, a Warlock could fill one with five 5 first level spells but a ring dropping that early in the game is unlikely.


3 Answers 3


RAW, you are right, at 5th level Warlock cannot fill ring, unless they have a another source of level one spells . Though, I think selling a DM on allowing you cast a first level spell could be a house rule that wouldn't break anything (basically house ruling your #1).

Your number 2 is feasible though. As for Find Familiar from the Pact of Chain, you know it as a ritual. Ritual casting doesn't cost spell slots, and are cast at the level of the ritual spell. So, you could cast your find familiar spell into the ring. Which I think isn't a bad use, to be able to call the familiar back if (or rather when) it get squashed.

Other sources of level one spells could be it Magic Initiate feat, Ritual Caster feat, multi-classing or a racial trait that says "you can cast X at level 1 once a day".

  • \$\begingroup\$ I posted the related question about the pact of the chain find familiar. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not sure whether or not the Magic Initiate feat would be overwritten by the Warlock's spell level table, but Ritual Caster looks like a very good fit, as well as the Pact f.f. (cast as a ritual) remaining at level 1. The Ritual caster probably fits the Pact of the Tome better than the other two. Answer covered a lot of ground. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Magic Intiate has its own casting rules says "and can cast it at its lowest level" once per long rest. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 23:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand that, but I am not sure which "specific over general" statement would apply, since each is specific. It makes sense that the feat is the more specific/exception since it represents an exception to the general warlock rule (as not all warlocks will take that feat). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 23:04

A Warlock can only put spells into the ring that match their spell slots.

You've already cited the relevant Pact Magic feature which forces Warlocks to cast at highest level because they don't have other spell slots. To compliment this, I've cited what happens to a spell when cast at a higher level below.

PHB pg. 201: Casting a Spell at a Higher Level (emphasis mine)

Casting a Spell at a Higher Level

When a spellcaster casts a spell using a slot that is of a higher level than the spell, the spell assumes the higher level for that casting. For instance, if Umara casts magic missile using one of her 2nd-level slots, that magic missile is 2nd level. Effectively, the spell expands to fill the slot it is put into.

Some spells, such as magic missile and cure wounds, have more powerful effects when cast at a higher level, as detailed in a spell’s description.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How does this account for a Pact of the Tome Warlock with Book of Ancient Secrets? At what level are the ritual spells inside the Tome cast? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 20:56
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Ritual spells are always cast at their lowest level. However if you're putting them inside a Ring of Spell Storing, it would (apparently) take 10 minutes to cast that spell since magic item use doesn't change cast times of spells. I've asked Crawford for a clarification with respect to the RoSS specifically because I don't think it works this way, but by RAW the general rules for magic item use don't change cast time. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 22:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Lino, I'd always thought that RAI was the spell cast time is spent when you fill the ring, and the cast when released is an action. We'll hopefully see what Crawford says. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 22:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich - That's the way I see it too, but I opened a question with respect to this and the only rule that covers spell casting from magic items is a general one that highlights cast times don't change. I personally think that the spell is simply released from the Ring. However it doesn't say that, it uses the word cast, which is the problem. It's why I posed a question looking for clarification here, and to Crawford on Twitter. Hopefully we'll get an answer soon. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 22:58

There are many ways to cast spells, not just with slots (despite some misquoted confusion). You can use racial abilities, rituals, and magic items. Hopefully you have at least 1 of these to draw on (at the right power level) if you are obsessed with filling the ring efficiently.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I was obsessed! :) Sorry, I just saw this. That campaign is now (sadly) dormant. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 15:43

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