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D&D 5E question on lower level spells in higher level slots

Mort

Legend
My reading of the rules is that a lower level spell (say 1st level magic missile) upcast to a higher level slot (say 7th level) becomes that level of spell - the magic missile is treated as a 7th level spell in all respects - Including affecting a monster that's not affected by 6th and lower level spells.

Support (from the PHB):
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.

I ask because I caught a live stream of a high level game, where the DM ruled the exact opposite (a magic missile upcast to 7th level had no effect on a monster immune to 6th and lower level spells). Pretty sure that was incorrect, but am I missing something?
 

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Mort

Legend
You're correct, but check out the spell globe of invulnerability, the monster might have a similar defence.
Interesting - so that could block up to 8th level spells (as a 9th level spell).

But in this case - it was a specific monster ability and the DM even called out the fact that an upcast spell retains it's original level.

edited for accuracy.
 
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Mort

Legend
And furthermore, doing it this way allows you to use it as a strategy to make it harder for enemy caster to dispel or counterspell your spells

That's generally the way I do it too -

Though pretty sure by RAW you get to either identify the spell being cast OR do a counterspell - no time for both (I don't know of anyone personally who plays it that way though).
 

That's generally the way I do it too -

Though pretty sure by RAW you get to either identify the spell being cast OR do a counterspell - no time for both (I don't know of anyone personally who plays it that way though).
It creates an interesting conundrum though. What if I use a 9th level slot to cast arcane lock. Knock will still bypass the spell temporarily but using a dispel magic to remove it permanently would be very difficult. How would someone know the level at which it’s cast?
 

It creates an interesting conundrum though. What if I use a 9th level slot to cast arcane lock. Knock will still bypass the spell temporarily but using a dispel magic to remove it permanently would be very difficult. How would someone know the level at which it’s cast?
In this particular case: without time constraints, I imagine the pc's could do a little Investigation to learn the spell is upcast, and with a really good plan and/or roll what level it was cast at.

But in combat, you just gotta guess (or roll well).
 

Mort

Legend
It creates an interesting conundrum though. What if I use a 9th level slot to cast arcane lock. Knock will still bypass the spell temporarily but using a dispel magic to remove it permanently would be very difficult. How would someone know the level at which it’s cast?
The DM assigns a level (many modules say Arcane Lock (15th level) or some such, at least they used to haven't looked recently). Nothing wrong with having a higher level arcane lock be better.
 




aco175

Legend
I rule it as a higher level spell so if you want to counterspell a 7th level magic missile, you need to use a 7th level slot or succeed on you caster check.
Similar to another thread about dispel magic- Would you rule that the viewer knows that the magic missile is being upcast to know that he needs an upcasted dispel?

As for the OP, I always thought it would become a 7th level spell instead of using a 7th level slot.
 

Mort

Legend
Similar to another thread about dispel magic- Would you rule that the viewer knows that the magic missile is being upcast to know that he needs an upcasted dispel?
No, I think that's too much information. Counterspell needs to be risky.

As for the OP, I always thought it would become a 7th level spell instead of using a 7th level slot.

That's my reading too. Or more specifically, they are synonymous; 7th level spell = 7th level slot. A 7th level spell cast with a 9th level slot IS a 9th level spell.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I ask because I caught a live stream of a high level game, where the DM ruled the exact opposite (a magic missile upcast to 7th level had no effect on a monster immune to 6th and lower level spells). Pretty sure that was incorrect, but am I missing something?
That sounds to me like the DM was remembering rules from 3e where metamatic (other than Heighten Spell) increased the slot but not the level of the spell. With the info from the PH, I'd say that a 1st level spell cast in a 7th level slot is a 7th level spell.

And then Globe of Invulnerability comes along to screw the simplicity of that understanding. That said, I don't see a lot of other descriptions of similar powers (like the rakshasa) that include that specific text about a lower-level spell cast in a higher level slot still being blocked. At this point, I'd strongly consider that being a particular, unique perk of the globe of invulnerability spell. That's the simplest way to handle this. If they wanted that behavior to be the default, they'd have written it as a more general rule or incorporate that into powers like the rakshasa's.
 



aco175

Legend
Pretty easy. You'd see the number of darts
This may lead to a discussion about when do you actually dispel a spell. I tend to think that you see someone casting a spell and then you are able to stop it from being cast in the first place. I can also see this where the spell is coming at you and you can make it go away before it hits you.
 

Gorg

Explorer
This may lead to a discussion about when do you actually dispel a spell. I tend to think that you see someone casting a spell and then you are able to stop it from being cast in the first place. I can also see this where the spell is coming at you and you can make it go away before it hits you.
Well, the easiest way to block a Magic Missile spell is to cast shield. Which is now a reaction, not a full action. Specifically blocks Magic Missiles. Wouldn't THAT irritate the Wizard who blew a precious 8th level slot to upcast it?! Works even better, if you're a high enough level Abjurer that you can extend your protective ward to other people.
 

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