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Spells are magical effects that are created by creatures via spellcasting.[note 1] Spells are frequently cast to deal damage and provide healing, or to inflict conditions on the targets.

All classes are capable of casting spells with the help of scrolls and magic items, and classes with the Spellcasting or Pact Magic features – called spellcasters – have spell slots they can expend to cast spells they know, without the need for scrolls.

Bg3 content hr.png
List of all spells
Bg3 content hr.png

Overview[edit | edit source]

Spells are created from the Weave, the magical energies of the multiverse. They are conjured through experience, knowledge or innate ability, or via the use of scrolls and magical items.

Spell levels[edit | edit source]

All spells have a level – a measure of how powerful a spell is, as well as how difficult it is to cast it, and generally require the caster to expend a spell slot of sufficient level. Spells cast from scrolls do not rely on spell slots to be cast.

Level 0 spells are called cantrips, and can always be cast at will, without expending a spell slot.

Spellcasting ability[edit | edit source]

Every class – including those without the Spellcasting feature – has a designated ability known as their spellcasting ability, which represents their capacity to cast spells.[note 2]

Fighter, Rogue, Wizard.
Cleric, Druid, Monk, Ranger.
Barbarian, Bard, Paladin, Sorcerer, Warlock.

Spells learned from taking levels in a class will use that class' spellcasting ability modifier. Spells from other sources use the spellcasting ability of the class the creature most recently took a first level in.[note 3][note 4]

Spell properties[edit | edit source]

Each spell belongs to a school which defines its general purpose, and all spells have a range at which they can be cast, and a specified target or area of effect. A spell's effects may apply only once when cast, or the spell may have a duration (measured in turns).

Most spells can be interrupted by Counterspell Counterspell before they are cast, and spells with a verbal component cannot be cast by SilencedSilenced creatures.

Casting time[edit | edit source]

Spells are typically cast by taking an Action, but some are cast by taking a Bonus action or a Reaction.

Spell saves[edit | edit source]

Harmful spells which target an area or a specific point in space (Fireball Fireball) – or affect a character directly (Hold Person Hold Person) – often allow targeted creatures to attempt to save against the spell, ignoring or reducing the spell's effect.

The Difficulty Class (DC) of these saves – called spell save DC – is generally based on the caster's spellcasting DC:

8 + proficiency bonus + spellcasting ability modifier

Spell attack rolls[edit | edit source]

Some harmful spells require the caster to make an attack roll against the target's AC in order to determine if it's a hit or a miss.

Spells in the form of rays (like Ray of Enfeeblement Ray of Enfeeblement) or projectiles (like Fire Bolt Fire Bolt or Eldritch Blast Eldritch Blast) often require attacks rolls.

The caster adds their spellcasting ability modifier, as well as their proficiency bonus, to the results of the attack roll:

D20.png d20 + proficiency bonus + spellcasting ability modifier

Concentration[edit | edit source]

Main article: Concentration
Concentration icon in the hotbar. Clicking "X" will end concentration.

Most spells with a duration require Concentration Concentration to maintain them for the duration. A caster may only maintain the effect of one concentration spell at a time. If concentration on a spell is broken, the spell's effects are ended immediately.

Ending concentration[edit | edit source]

Although concentration normally lasts for a spell's full duration, or until another concentration spell is cast, there are multiple ways for concentration to break:

Concentration can be manually interrupted at any time via the x on the concentrated spell's icon, next to the caster's main portrait.
Taking damage
When a creature concentrating on a spell takes damage, they make a Constitution save against a DC equal to half the damage taken, or 10, whichever is higher.[note 5] If the save fails, concentration ends.
Some conditions – such as DownedDowned or SleepingSleeping – also interrupt concentration, without allowing a save.
Long rests
Taking a long rest ends concentration.

Spellcasters[edit | edit source]

Spellcasters can either be full casters – meaning they can learn spells up to 6th level spells, half casters – meaning they can learn spells up to 3rd level spells, or one-third casters – meaning they can learn spells up to 2nd level spells.

Full casters:

Half casters:

One-third casters:

Known spells[edit | edit source]

Known spells are spells generally learned from taking levels in a class with the Spellcasting or Pact Magic features. Each caster class has access to its own list of spells, though there is significant overlap between classes.

The following classes must learn spells through leveling up:

All of these classes, with the exception of wizard, also have access to the Replacement Spell feature, which allows them to swap a known spell each time a new level is taken in them. While wizards do not have access to this feature, they can instead learn new spells from scrolls, without needing to give up an already known spell.

The following classes automatically learn all their available spells when a level is taken in them:

Prepared spells[edit | edit source]

Prepared Spells Icon.webp Some casters – known as prepared spellcasters to set them apart from spontaneous spellcasters – need to prepare a selection of their spells in order to cast them. Preparing spells is only possible outside of combat.

Prepared spellcasters include:

The number of prepared spells each class can have at a time is equal to spellcasting ability modifier + class level) (minimum of 1)

Additionally, spells granted by racial features or by certain class features (such as by cleric Domains) are considered inherent and are always prepared.

Spell slots[edit | edit source]

All spellcasters have spell slots, which they expend to cast their known spells. Cantrips Cantrips Icon.png do not expend spell slots and can be cast at will. Depleted spell slots are generally replenished by taking a long rest or – for warlocks – a short rest.

A spell of a given level requires a spell slot of the same level or higher to be expended to cast it. Many spells will be Upcast Icon.png upcast when cast with a higher spell slot, and are then cast as more powerful versions of themselves.

Spellcasting spell slots[edit | edit source]

ESL Spell Slots per Spell Level
Ico knownSpells lvl 01.png Ico knownSpells lvl 02.png Ico knownSpells lvl 03.png Ico knownSpells lvl 04.png Ico knownSpells lvl 05.png Ico knownSpells lvl 06.png
1 2 - - - - -
2 3 - - - - -
3 4 2 - - - -
4 4 3 - - - -
5 4 3 2 - - -
6 4 3 3 - - -
7 4 3 3 1 - -
8 4 3 3 2 - -
9 4 3 3 3 1 -
10 4 3 3 3 2 -
11 4 3 3 3 2 1
12 4 3 3 3 2 1

A caster's available Spellcasting spell slots are determined by the caster's effective spellcaster level (ESL). A full caster's ESL is exactly their class level, whereas the ESL of half-casters and one-third casters is equal to half and one third their level, respectively, rounded up.

When multiple classes with the Spellcasting feature are chosen for a character, the creature's total ESL is instead the summed ESL of every individual spellcasting class they have taken a level in, each rounded down.

Pact Magic[edit | edit source]

Warlocks do not cast spells through the Spellcasting feature, but through their unique Pact Magic feature. Spells cast via Pact Magic are always cast using the highest available Pact Magic spell slots, which are replenished on a short rest.

Distinguishing them from Spellcasting spell slots, Pact Magic spell slots have a unique colour: 2 Level 1 Warlock Spell Slots.png

Spell slots gained from Pact Magic are calculated differently than those gained from Spellcasting. As such, levels taken in warlock are ignored when calculating ESL.

Replenishing spell slots[edit | edit source]

Depleted spell slots are generally regained by taking a rest, though there are other means to restore them:

  • Some characters, including Wizard Wizards and some Druid Druid subclasses, have features which let them regain a small number of spell slots in between long rests.
  • Wild Magic barbarians have access to the Bolstering Magic feature, allowing them or an ally to recover a few low level spell slots when they Rage.
  • Items such as the Pearl of Power AmuletPearl of Power Amulet or Spellcrux AmuletSpellcrux Amulet allow for the recovery of spell slots once per long rest.
  • The Arcane Cultivation line of Elixirs grants the user a temporary additional spell slot of a specific level from 1st to 4th, depending on the elixir. While this doesn't technically replenish an existing slot, the practical effect is the same.

Ritual spells[edit | edit source]

When a Ritual_Spell_Icon.png ritual spell is cast outside of combat/turn-based mode, it does not consume spell slots and is effectively free to cast. Ritual spells consume spell slots as normal in combat/turn-based mode.

Other uses of spell slots[edit | edit source]

Some Wizard subclass features (such as Arcane Ward and Grim Harvest) and the Paladin's Divine Smite ability have varying effects depending on level of the spell or spell slot used to power them.

Spell also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Some spells were changed from their D&D 5e counterparts. For a detailed comparison see D&D 5e Spell Changes.
  • There are unused images in the game files for the following D&D spells. They were likely cut from the game during development:
    • Magic Jar Icon.webpMagic Jar lets you possess any NPC's body that fails a Charisma save.
    • Mending Icon.webp Mending repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such as torn cloth or two halves of a broken key.
    • Levitate Unused Icon.webp Levitate makes a creature hover in the air, being able to move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach.
    • Identify Icon.webp Identify lets you learn all properties of an item, including how to use it or what spell created it.
    • Comprehend Languages Icon.webp Comprehend Languages lets you understand, speak and read any language.
    • Arcane Eye Icon.webp Arcane Eye creates an invisible flying eye that lets you receive visual information from a safe distance. A similar NPC exists in the form of a Scrying Eye though it is more of an adaptation of the Scrying spell.
    • True Seeing Icon.webp True Seeing gives you truesight, a condition that lets you see through every illusion, magical disguise, invisibility or shapeshifters' true forms.
    • Magic Circle Icon.webp Magic Circle creates a cylinder that keeps certain types of creatures from entering it. The files suggest the spell would only work for one type of creature at a time: Magic Circle Elemental Icon.webp Elemental, Magic Circle Fiend Icon.webp Fiend or Magic Circle Undead Icon.webp Undead.
    • Unshackling Strike Weapon Action Icon.webp Dispel Magic lets you choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends.
      • According to Swen Vincke, Baldur's Gate 3 devs tried to make D&D's Dispel Magic work for a long time, but they had to can it: 'it would've doubled the size of the game'.[url 1]
      • The icon for this spell still exists in the game but is used for Unshackling Strike (Weapon Action).
      • The icon is reminiscent of the Dispel Magic icons in Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, and it is in fact still labelled 'Spell_Abjuration_DispelMagic' within the game files.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. The term spellcasting refers both to the act of casting spells, as well as the Spellcasting class feature. The latter is always capitalised, whereas the former is generally not.
  2. Some spells designate a specific spellcasting ability regardless of the class casting them. This is most commonly a result of spells obtained via racial features.
  3. A level 5 wizard that takes 1 level in sorcerer will use Charisma as their spellcasting ability for non-wizard spells, even if they later take more levels in wizard. However, if they take a level in cleric, they will use Wisdom as their spellcasting ability modifier instead, as this is their most recently acquired class.
  4. Fighters and rogues will only provide their spellcasting ability if they are level 3 and have the appropriate subclass (Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster respectively).
  5. Constitution saves are sometimes erroneously referred to as a Constitution checks.
  6. Warlocks have the Pact Magic feature, which functions similarly to Spellcasting.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Gaming magazine: Harvey Randall. PC Gamer article. Pc Gamer. Retrieved 08:26, 2023-12-11.