Tips And Tricks For Playing As A Spellcaster In DnD

In Dungeons & Dragons, there are many different classes who are considered spellcasters. From the famous Wizard to the entertaining Bard, each spellcaster has their own source of magic, as well as spell lists and different features to help them out when it comes to the magic that they can use and how it can be enhanced.

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Of course, because there are so many different types of spellcasters, it also means there are different roles they can play and things they tend to be more good at than others depending on your class. But, in general, they all play by the same rules of the game, so here are some tips if you’re playing as a spellcaster.

10 Go Over Your Spells, Then Go Over Them Again

Tasha Of Tasha's Cauldron Of Everything Casts A Spell
Tasha’s Cauldron Of Everything by Wylie Beckert and Magali Villeneuve

Whether you’re a Cleric who is going to be the party healer or a Warlock who made a pact to get their magic, you need to go over your spells. This isn’t just the case of preparing your spells, but it’s more so a case of making sure you know what each and every spell that is available to you can do.

Don’t rake over your spell list of every level, but at least look at first-level spells and cantrips in detail and really be careful with selecting which spells are right for you.

9 Figure Out Your Focus

A Drow sends a cold beam of frost that freezes its enemy
Ray of Frost by Kim Sokol

This is perhaps the biggest and best tip we can give you: you need to know your role. Forget about your class limitations and what have you, think about the subclass you have chosen, the spells available to you and what the features you have were designed for.

Are you a healer? Are you going to be doing more damage? Are you someone who is utility based? If you figure out your main focus, then you will be able to know what spells you should be looking for and which ones to prepare.

8 Ask Others If They’ve Played The Class

A Spellcaster And Companion Read Through Tomes
Candlekeep Mysteries By Clint Cearley And Si men Meyer

If you’re already settling into choosing a class, then chances are you have some friends who play Dungeons & Dragons or know other people in a campaign you’re playing with. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they’ve played the class and what they think, especially someone as experienced as your DM.

It’s always great to get an outside perspective, and you can learn a lot about how a class plays and certain expectations when hearing about how someone else played it, even if it’s a different subclass.

7 Don’t Be Afraid To Use Your Slots

A stout tanned figure sits in a forest as green magic swirls in their hands
Druid of the Emerald Grove by Edgar Sánchez Hidalgo

Almost everyone makes this mistake and you can avoid it too. All you have to do is not be afraid to use your spell slots. It may seem risky as, unlike a Fighter who can seemingly keep swinging and attacking all day, you have a finite resource with your magic with spell slots.

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But there are ways to recover them, and it’s better to use them now than save them for a hypothetical fight that may not ever come.

6 Snag Some Ritual Spells

An elf bard plays her lute in front of a fire, which is taking the form of a knight fighting a dragon.
Wish card art by  Ekaterina Burmak

If you are still worried about using up your spell slots, then that’s when you get ritual spells. These are spells which you can cast as a ritual, meaning it will take ten more minutes to cast the spell, but that it will not consume a spell slot.

Useful spells such as Water Breathing, Comprehend Languages, and even Find Familiar are really great to have, and it means that you’ll end up saving on spell slots, essentially giving you a free spell.

5 Don’t Do Everything

A woman in dark clothing poses as shadowy magic emanates from behind her
Tasha, the Witch Queen by Martina Fackova

It may seem like your party will rely on you to do everything (especially if you’re a Wizard), but you can’t do everything and shouldn’t have to. Don’t expect to be the damage dealer, the utility expert, and the mass controller all at once unless you’re at a really high level.

Sometimes, wanting to do everything can come from good intentions, but you need to realise one character can’t do it all. That’s why you’re in a party.

4 Get A Good Feat

A figure looms over a desk as numerous other creatures are behind him
Yawning Portal Art via Wizards of the Coast

Now you don’t need to go wild with the amount of feats to get, but you should get at least one. There are plenty of great feats for spellcasters, from War Caster to Elemental Adept that will help you when it comes to concentrating on spells, combat or even getting new spells that aren’t in your class.

You don’t need to get a ton of feats, but just getting one good feat will help you out in the long run.

3 Remember Your Role Outside Of Combat

A dark skinned girl in glasses, a tanned elven man and an owlin all look around in amazement
Dungeons and Dragons Strixhaven Curriculum of Chaos via Wizards of the Coast

Spellcasting isn’t all about throwing fireballs. Chances are, you’re not going to be great at physical skills like Acrobatics or Athletics, nor are you going to likely be that good at Stealth, Survival, and other skills that party members from different classes will have covered.

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So, no matter what your focus is, you need to get some utility spells and think of the things you can do outside of combat, because that’s where you’ll spend the majority of your time.

2 Use Those Cantrips

A spellcaster faces against an ice dragon in Dungeons & Dragons.
D&D Essentials Kit Art by Grzegorz Rutkowski

You will almost always have cantrips for a reason, so use them. They scale with your level and are completely free. You remember how we said it seems Fighters can just swing their weapons all day? Well this is your version of that, using cantrips to defend yourself or perform any other tasks depending on what spells you get.

But be sure not to neglect using your cantrips, especially for things like basic attacks.

1 Be Patient

A stout bard strums a lyre for a happy crowd in a tavern in DND
Tavern Bard by Rob Rey

When you’re playing a spellcaster, you have to think of it like an investment. It’s easy to be jealous of how much more damage your other party members are doing or how they can take a hit. But that’s because a lot of the classes that are spellcasters get much better as they level up.

So, be patient, things will get better, and you don’t have to worry about your class being ineffective. It likely needs some time to properly gear up.

NEXT: Dungeons & Dragons: Most Expensive Spells

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