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I'm playing a 10th lvl cleric. I attempted to cast an 8th lvl Power Word Stun spell from a scroll that the DM gave me. When I attempted to cast it the DM said it does not automatically succeed because I can only cast 5th level cleric spells. I don't see anything in the DMG or PH that suggests scroll spells are less successful when cast by lower level spell casters. The DM gave me a 30% chance of success and he gave me 3 tries (one attempt per round). Is this pretty common practice among the DM's out there??

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It doesn't automatically succeed but the way your DM handled it was also incorrect with regards to the rules.

From the Spell Scroll's description on page 200 of the DMG:

If the spell is on your class's spell list but of a higher level than you can normally cast, you must make an ability check using your spellcasting ability to determine whether you cast it successfully. The DC equals 10 + spell's level. On a failed check, the spell disappears from the scroll with no other effect.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In my case, Power Word Stun is a 8th lvl wizard spell and I'm a 10th lvl cleric. Can I still cast this spell from a scroll using the same DC check? \$\endgroup\$ – Ron Mar 10 '16 at 13:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ron I thought Power Word's were all Bard spells? At any rate.... in your case, no, you can't even begin to read the magical incantation from the scroll because this spell does not appear on your spell list and thus it renders you incapable of understanding the magic written on it. You'd have to let your wizard friend take a shot at it. \$\endgroup\$ – Airatome Mar 10 '16 at 14:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Purple Monkey I would include the part at the start of page 200 to help clarify what I just told Ron. "...if the spell is on your class's spell list, you can use an action to read the scroll and cast its spell without having to provide components. Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible. ..." \$\endgroup\$ – Airatome Mar 10 '16 at 14:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also from Sage Advice Compendium: "...The rule for scrolls (p. 139) is for scrolls in general, including a 'scroll of protection', and it allows you to try to activate a spell if you’re literate. The rule for a spell scroll is specific to that type of scroll and introduces an additional requirement: the spell on the scroll must be on your class’s spell list for you to read the scroll..." Feel free to include these for RAW textual assistance with your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Airatome Mar 10 '16 at 14:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Airatome I'm sure you've looked it up in the past two years, but Power Word Stun and Power Word Kill are on the spell lists for Bards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards. Power Word Heal is only on the Bard's spell list (though frankly I think it should be on the Cleric's list, too, and allow them to learn it in games I DM) \$\endgroup\$ – TylerH Jul 9 '18 at 5:57

protected by Community Aug 31 '16 at 5:11

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