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5E Arcane Trickster, Eldritch Knight and other subclass casters spell list


Has anyone made the effort to create specific spell list for these sub classes. I don't think limiting the spells by type illusion, evocation etc works very well. I know they can occasionally choose outside those bounds but it seems a new list for each would work better to capture their flavor. I don't mean adding specific spells limited to them like a ranger or paladin necessarily.

I know this would mean when adding new spells you would have to include adding them to the list but it doesn't seem like much work.

My only issue so far is the lack of the number of spells to choose from. 5th has a limited number of spells to choose from in the base book, that is. It may be hard to develop much of a list.

was just more or less thinking out loud and trying to decide if the work is worth the results.


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I made a specific spell list for a player in one of my Eberron campaigns who had an aberrant dragonmark. Rather than just a few small spell effects that came with the typical dragonmark he wanted the mark to evolve and get bigger. So we made him a sorcerer and I designed a dragonmark subclass for him. As his aberrant magic was time-based... I created an entirely new spell list that used all the space/time/multiverse spells in the game, renaming a whole bunch of them to fit a space/time theme. The player really appreciated it, and it made the dragonmark have a bit more cohesion than if he had just had a bog standard sorcerer with standard sorcerer spell list.

If you are willing to spend the time to make the lists, I think all apellcasters should have custom spell lists, if for no other reason that to help them all have their own individual flavor. So if you think there's some magics that an Arcane Trickster doesn't get from just the Enchantment/Illusion schools... then I say go for it.


I didn't so much make a specific spell list for them as just let them take whatever spells they wanted within a specific spell list (so Wizard for EK and AT) and ignore the requirements of picking from specific schools.

I didn't quite (and still don't) understand the forced choices honestly. I mean certainly an EK will get the most out of spells from the Abjuration and Evocation schools (and likewise for the AT for Illusion and Enchantment), but the forced choice seemed so...well, forced. I couldn't for the life of me recognize any particular imbalance or risk of broken-ness by letting them choose freely. I mean they're already limited in how many they can know and the slot levels never go above 4 (at a level when dedicated spellcasters are tossing around 9th level spells) short of multiclass shenanigans...so...yeah...I let my players choose their EK and AT spells freely from the Wizard spell list.

We've even offered homebrew options to simply replace the spell lists with another and just change the names. Like an Eldritch Knight using the cleric spell list and calling it an Empyrean Knight. The relevant ability score is changed to match the caster list (so wisdom instead of intelligence for said Empyrean Knight), but subclass abilities are otherwise the same. No one has yet used this houserule, but I see very little damage (again, known spells and slots are limited enough anyway).

Li Shenron

I haven't had any EK or AT in our games so far, thus I never even considered house ruling them.

I don't think it would be a bad idea if these archetypes had their own unique spells lists. After all, their way of spellcasting is different from Wizards, because they need no spellbook.

Just note however that there is also a drawback in doing so... both the EK and AT by default DO have access to ALL the spells in the wizard's list. They are just limited to 3-4 cantrips and 4 spells to be freely chosen, while their majority of spells (9) has to be abjuration/evocation or enchantment/illusion.

So making new lists for EK and AT will increase the flavor, but reduce the flexibility.


XeshinX has a point.
One route is to indeed not limit the magic schools. That would be the easiest way to handle this in my mind. Never really considered that but don't think it would break anything. I usually liked making spell list because I could dip into non wizard spell list as well. I know I need to respect some areas such as leaving paladin smites to paladins but their may be a few cleric, bard or other spells that make sense for an AK or EK.

Yeah I have done similar things. I am pretty ok with housebrewing stuff. I try not to mess with the basic rules and know when to follow some of the rules they try not to break. One issue I have had with many third party products is bypassing, what I think, are hard rules stops in 5th ed. Things like one reaction a round, concentration rules, etc.

Li Shenron
I think I would be adding flexibility since I would use those spells they would normally get stay and adding a few others. I Would be expanding choices not limiting them. I would seriously consider spells on a utility basis and fitting flavor / theme more so then power or combos.

Thanks for the comments so far.

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