dnd 5e – Do Order of the Scribes wizards have reduced spell learning GP costs?

The Player’s Handbook uses the following language to explain how wizards obtain spells:

Copying a Spell into the Book. When you find a wizard spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a spell level you can prepare and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.

Copying that spell into your spellbook involves reproducing the basic form of the spell, then deciphering the unique system of notation used by the wizard who wrote it. You must practice the spell until you understand the sounds or gestures required, then transcribe it into your spellbook using your own notation.

For each level of the spell, the process takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp. The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it. Once you have spent this time and money, you can prepare the spell just like your other spells.

The “Wizardly Quill” ability in the Unearthed Arcana that first described Order of the Scribes wizards used the following language:

• The quill doesn’t require ink. When you write with it, it produces ink in a color of your choice on the writing surface.

• The gold and time you must spend to copy a spell into your spellbook are halved if you use the quill for the transcription.

In the final release of the class through Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the language has changed to the following:

• The quill doesn’t require ink. When you write with it, it produces ink in a color of your choice on the writing surface.

• The time you must spend to copy a spell into your spellbook equals 2 minutes per spell level if you use the quill for the transcription.

There are, it seems, at least two interpretations of how this affects spell learning costs:

  1. Wizardly Quill does not say anything about the GP cost of learning spells, and therefore, the costs remain unchanged.
  2. Wizardly Quill reduces the cost of ink to 0 GP. Spells cost 50 GP/level when learning spells that require costly material components (e.g. Find Familiar). Spells cost 0 GP/level when learning spells whose material components are substituted by an arcane focus (e.g. Feather Fall).

My inclination, based on the Rule of Specificity, is to rule for the first option.

dnd 5e – Can a wizard’s telepathically speak with & control their familiar whilst incapacitated yet conscious?

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dnd 5e – If you can only hit an enemy by rolling a natural 20, will using the Chronurgy wizard’s Convergent Future feature result in a critical hit?

I disagree with both answers. That is, I feel that the rules do adequately answer the question, and do turn the attack into a critical hit.

There are two scenarios of interest: the actual target AC, taking into account the attacker’s attack bonus, requires a die roll of at least 20, or it requires something higher than 20. Let’s consider the latter case first. In that scenario, the only way to hit is to apply the rule under “Rolling 1 or 20”. Let’s also assume that Convergent Future allows success in every possible scenario (which seems to be the intent). Then…

From PHB 194:

If the d20 roll for an attack is a 20, the attack hits regardless of any modifiers or the target’s AC. In addition, the attack is a critical hit, as explained later in this chapter.

The description of Convergent Future specifies that the player can “ignore the die roll and decide whether the number rolled is the minimum needed to succeed”.

Now, admittedly this is a difficult sentence to parse. It first says you ignore the die roll, and then says you decide whether that very die roll is the minimum number to succeed.

One way to interpret that is that they don’t actually mean you ignore the die roll, but rather you get to selectively adjust the target number (i.e. AC) so that it temporarily equals what you rolled. That would be consistent with “decide whether the number rolled is the minimum needed”.

But that’s clearly in conflict with the idea that the die roll is ignored. You can’t ignore the result and then say that the result does apply and you’re just changing the target value for success.

Another way to interpret the sentence is that by “decide whether the number rolled is the minimum”, they mean that rather than the number shown on the die itself, you select a different number as “the number rolled”, one that is equal to the minimum required for success. I find that this interpretation is much more sensible, requiring a lot less in the way of linguistic contortion to justify. The sentence structure is awkward, but the intent seems clear to me.

Okay, so having established that you are in fact changing what’s rolled, now we look at the rule for critical hit. The only way to apply the rule to successfully hit at all is to assume that the “Rolling 1 or 20” paragraph applies. If it applies, then necessarily it must be the case that “the d20 roll for an attack is 20”. There is no other rule that would allow for a hit in this scenario, and so we must be applying that paragraph. If we are not, then there is no way for Convergent Future to result in success, but we took as a given that it always can.

Since we are applying that paragraph, then there’s no reason to think that the whole paragraph does not apply. So the second sentence must also apply, meaning that when the die roll was taken to be a 20, that necessarily means it’s a critical hit as well.

Okay, so what about the scenario where the AC required at least a 20. In that case, the rules do allow for success even without the language under “Rolling 1 or 20”. It can be treated as a normal hit, based on the actual die roll meeting the target number required.

Suppose we say that in this case, it’s not a critical hit. Well, technically that’d be fine according to the rules as written. Except that we’ve already determined that if the AC requires a die roll higher than 20, you still hit and it’s a critical.

I don’t think it makes sense that you can’t have a critical hit result with the AC at exactly 20 plus the attacker’s bonus, but can when it’s higher. If you could, that would mean that higher AC is actually more dangerous for the target for an identical attack roll. That seems illogical to me, and so I find it contradictory with the IMHO logically sound conclusion of the other scenario.

So for logical consistency, it must also be the case that if AC requires a die roll of 20, Convergent Future also results in a critical hit.

That covers both scenarios, and in both cases you wind up with a critical hit.

Now, all that said: the above all relies on the assumption that Convergent Future is intended to always guarantee success. If you don’t take that as a given, then the conclusion could be the opposite: Convergent Future doesn’t actually change the roll as used in “Rolling 1 or 20”, and so that part of the rules would never apply. Only by actually rolling a 20 could one hit a target with AC higher than 20 plus the attacker’s bonus, and even for targets with AC of exactly 20 plus the attacker’s bonus, Convergent Future can only give you a hit, not a critical hit.

I don’t personally think that’s the right way to interpret Convergent Future, but I would have to admit that if someone chose to do so, it would change the analysis above.

dnd 5e – When using the evocation wizard’s Sculpt Spells, can you protect fewer creatures than the maximum you are allowed?

As you say, the ability is not actually ambiguous:

you can choose a number of them equal to 1 + the spell’s level.

Contrast this to the sorcerer’s Careful Spell Metamagic:

spend 1 sorcery point and choose a number of those creatures up to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one creature).

If Sculpt Spell was supposed to give you the ability to target fewer creatures, it would presumably have equal replaced by up to give:

choose a number of them up to 1 + the spell’s level.

One possible counter argument is that you could choose the same creature multiple times, thereby de facto granting the ability to target fewer creatures. However, I would argue that this is intentional butchering of the language of the ability, and thus not really RAW.

Another possible objection is that the ability includes the word can to indicate that it is not required to be used. However, this only refers to the ability as a whole. That is, you can either protect 0 characters or 1 + the spell’s level.

Requiring that you protect the maximum number of creatures seems like a silly requirement. It would sometimes make it beneficial for a friendly character to move in range of your fireball, which is the kind of design that does not fit with the rest of the game. Furthermore, this is the kind of error that can go unnoticed while writing and testing a book.

There has been no sage advice on this, nor has it been featured in errata, but I think that if it were the meaning would be changed to up to 1 + the spell’s level.

Every DM I know has ruled it as up to, but technically this does not conform to RAW.

pathfinder 1e – How powerful can a 20th-level Wizard make a 1st-level Fighter without allowing him to realize it is the Wizard’s doing?

A 20th level Wizard makes a bet with another 20th level Wizard – he has to make his grandson succeed on a difficult mission. Without allowing his grandson (a first level Fighter) or his grandson’s compatriots (a first level Rogue, Bard, and Druid) to realize that the Wizard is secretly aiding them, or doing anything to defeat their foes directly, or helping anyone but his grandson (these are all terms of the bet).

To clarify –

  • This Wizard can cast spells on his grandson, only. He can’t Dominate the monsters or Disintegrate locked doors.
  • His grandson has to defeat the challenges (the Wizard can’t even weaken them).
  • Neither his grandson, or any of his party members, can realize or even suspect that someone is aiding them.

Luckily the grandson and his entire party not only lack Spellcraft but also Knowledge: Arcana. However they don’t lack basic induction – suddenly being able to fly or shoot fireballs is likely to raise their suspicion. A magic sword left leaning casually against a door would certainly count as a fail.

So given this situation, with a level 20 Wizard who is unafraid to spend resources to win this bet with his buddy (xp, magic items, scrolls, favours) what can he do to make his grandson’s party succeed at an adventure that may have CR 5-6 encounters or worse?

For the sake of this example, assume the wizard has access to whatever feats, spells, or wealth he needs to achieve this difficult task – he’s using optimization tricks to rebuild or has his own time-slowed demiplane or whatever, he’s a Tricky Wizard and not just a fireball-slinger.

dnd 5e – What are the consequences if wizards can cast unprepared spells from their spellbooks?

It’s a staple of the fantasy genre: faced with an obstacle the barbarian can’t punch his way through, the wizard flips through his spellbook until he finds the perfect spell. He reaches into his component pouch, withdrawing—somehow—exactly what he needs, then casts a powerful spell, surprising the heroes and allowing them to continue on.

Wizards don’t get to do that in 5e. They prepare so many spells per day out of their spellbook, and unless the other spells within are tagged ritual, they don’t get to see use until after the next long rest.

I want to house-rule that a wizard can cast unprepared spells from their book in the absence of exigent conditions. If I have time and space to crack out my spellbook, being disallowed from mage armor, disguise self, or jump without [8 minus sleep] hours of study feels arbitrary. What about the game changes, especially balance-wise, if wizards are allowed to cast unprepared spells from their spellbooks?

Note: this would be different from [ritual] spell casting from the spell book. In this proposed scheme, casting an unprepared spell would still require slots.

dnd 5e – Does the Divination wizard’s Portent feature replace only the d20 roll, or the final outcome?

Portent makes you replace only the d20 roll, not the final outcome.

The description of ability checks in the rules says (PHB, p. 174):

To make an ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability

The descriptions of saving throws and attack rolls have the same phrasing.

The description of the Divination wizard’s Portent feature says that (PHB, p. 116; emphasis mine):

you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn

It does not say to replace the whole d20 + modifiers. Hence, the Portent feature allows the Divination wizard to replace just a roll of the d20, and not the final outcome, following the wording of the feature.

Replacing the final outcome (and not just the d20 roll) would allow the wizard to force the possible outcomes to lie in the interval ${1,2,dots,20}$ and not in the interval ${1+x,2+x,dots,20+x}$, where $x$ is the eventual modifier. In this way, a modifier would play no role in an attack roll, ability check or saving throw. Indeed, forcing the final outcome to lie in ${1,2,dots,20}$ is equivalent to having all the creatures with a 10 or 11 score in each ability (hence $+0$ modifier) and without any circumstantial bonus (e.g., proficiency bonus, a racial bonus, or some combat feat). For example, in this way a CON saving throw of Hobgoblins and Ancient Red Dragons would range between 1 and 20 for both creatures, while normally it would range in ${2,dots,21}$ and in ${17,dots,36}$, respectively.

This answer is supported by other ones related to Portent working with other game elements (such as Rubiksmoose’s answer to a question about its interaction with Bardic Inspiration, and my answer to a question about its interaction with advantage/disadvantage). Here I consider another aspect that supports my ruling: if Portent allowed to replace the final outcome, then it would mean that all the creatures have no differences at all, from the point of view both of abilities scores and other characteristics such CR, feats and similar.

dnd 5e – How does the Divination wizard’s Portent feature interact with Advantage and Disadvantage?

By RAW, you can choose only 1 of the 2 dice rolled with Adv/Disadv to be replaced by the Portent score.

Under the 2018 PHB errata, the paragraph at pag 173 of PHB now reads (emphasis mine)

When you have advantage or disadvantage and something in the game,
such as the halfling’s Lucky trait, lets you reroll or replace the d20, you can reroll or replace only one of the dice. You choose which one. For example, if a halfling has advantage on an ability check and rolls a 1 and a 13. the
halfling could use the Lucky trait to reroll the I.

The Portent feature still reads (emphasis mine)

You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made
by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling
rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.

Hence you can choose only one die to be replaced with the score given by Portent feature. Since you must choose to do so before the roll (hence before knowing the two rolls) you choose which one: if you have only one die, then decide beforehand to replace the 1st or the 2nd die; if you have several d20 dice, maybe colored, then you decide to roll at the same time the red and the yellow and say that you will replace the red one.

Other answers (like this one) suggests that when using Portent feature against a character with Advantage/Disadvantage, you let the character roll only one die and then apply adv/disadv rule. This leads to the same probability with respect to choosing which die replace.

Suppose that a divination wizard wants to force an enemy to fail a check (e.g., a saving throw), then he/she uses his Portent die x against the Advantage vs magical effect of the enemy. Then

  • letting the enemy roll 2 dice and then decide which die replace gives a probability to get a a number higher than $x$ equal to $1-F(x)=frac{20-x}{20}$, where $F(x)=frac{x}{20}$ is the cdf of the discrete uniform distribution. Indeed, suppose that the 2 dice have been rolled. Since the wizard does not know the result of the rolls, if he/she decides to replace the 1st die, the probability of the 2nd die to be larger than $x$ is $1-F(x)=frac{20-x}{20}$; if the wizard decides to replace the 2nd die, the probability of the 1st die to be larger than $x$ is still $1-F(x)=frac{20-x}{20}$.

  • letting the enemy roll just one die leads to a probability of getting a number higher than $x$ equal to $1-F(x)=frac{20-x}{20}$.

Hence, it does not matter which way one uses to replace a roll, it leads to the same result. I did not do the math also for the disadvantage case, but reasonably it looks the same.

Another answer pointed out that the Portent ability replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check (…), then the final result is replaced by the Portent die, without considering also any modifiers. But the PHB (pag 7, “The D20”, 3rd paragraph) says (emphasis mine)

Ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws are the three main
kinds of d20 rolls, forming the core of the rules of the game.

Under the ability check section (pag 174), it says

To make an ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability

Similar wording for saving throws and attack rolls. Hence, Portent ability must be read as it allows to replace just a roll of the d20 die, not the final result, since its description reads as you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn and not the final outcome.

dnd 5e – Can the Chronurgy wizard’s Chronal Shift feature be used when a creature uses Legendary Resistance to succeed on a saving throw?

The Chronurgy Magic wizard’s Chronal Shift feature (Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, p. 184) says:

You can magically exert limited control over the flow of time around a creature. As a reaction, after you or a creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can force the creature to reroll. You make this decision after you see whether the roll succeeds or fails. The target must use the result of the second roll.

Can the Chronurgy wizard’s Chronal Shift feature be used when a creature uses Legendary Resistance to succeed on a saving throw?

Using the adult red dragon as an example, Legendary Resistance reads:

If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Specifically, here is the scenario:

  1. Wizard casts a spell that requires a saving throw on Red Dragon
  2. Red Dragon rolls the saving throw and fails
  3. Red Dragon expends one use of legendary resistance to succeed on the saving throw
  4. Wizard uses their reaction to use Chronal Shift to force the dragon to reroll the saving throw
  5. Red Dragon rerolls the saving throw and fails
  6. Red Dragon expends a second use of legendary resistance to succeed the saving throw

In particular, is step 4 of this scenario a valid use of the Chronurgy wizard’s Chronal Shift feature?

For transparency, this question is a rewrite of this closed question, having this meta post about its closure. In response, I made this meta post that is more generally concerned with re-asking questions that were closed per our “don’t guess the system” policy. Please avoid any meta discussion on this post, instead relegating it to the relevant meta posts.

dnd 5e – Can the sorcerer’s Twinned Spell metamagic and the Enchantment wizard’s Split Enchantment feature be used at the same time?

Each description specifies targeting a second creature.

Each feature description is specific to state that you may “target a second creature”.

The first three ordinal numbers in English are first, second, and third; not first, second, and second. So if you target a third creature, you are contradicting both spell descriptions which specify you may only target a second creature.

You may only target up to two creatures, even if using both of these features.

But you can’t use them together anyway.

Each feature modifies the spell to target a second creature, so once you use one, your spell is no longer a valid for the other.

Double no.

While that Jeremy Crawford’s tweets are not official in any way, it may still be helpful to observe that he personally affirmed this particular ruling when he tweeted:

Split Enchantment and Twinned Spell are mutually exclusive. When you use one of them, the spell no longer targets only one creature.