[RPG] Can you use Wish to duplicate a spell at a higher level


Wish allows you to duplicate the effects of any spell L8 or lower. Does that include a lower-level spell, cast at L8? Say, as a Wizard, casting Heal at L8.

I'm leaning towards yes, but it wouldn't be the first time I assume the wrong answer…

Best Answer

From the Wish Spell:

"...is to duplicate the effect of any spell of 8th level or lower...." (PHB 288)

The important thing is the wording on spells that are permitted to be cast at higher levels. So lets go look at one.

"When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher...."

That leads us in a bit of a conundrum. We're using a 9th level spell to cast a lower level spell. However the question of which slot is being used is something of significant concern.

I could see two equally valid interpretations:

  • The simplest interpretation is that the spell can only be cast at the level it's written for and that since no additional slot is burned, the spell cannot be cast at a higher level than it's written for.

  • The second, slightly more complicated argument would be that this is an additional 8th level slot and you can cast the spell at any level you want up to 8th level.

All things considered (particularly the spell, it's other potential effects and the fact that it's your sole 9th level spell for a day), I'd say that the second interpretation is far more likely to be the intended one and would be the one I'd use for my games.

SevenSidedDie's answer provides a third possibility that merits mentioning, though I'd have to ponder its balance before introducing it to my game. That would be that the effect of the spell is in fact 9th level. This makes a modicum of sense, the slot being consumed (and thus the slot ostensibly referred to in the upgrade text) is 9th level, so it may make sense for it to be 9th level.

My main concern with this is that it provides classes with Wish in their list to cast any spell as a 9th level spell once per day. That's not particularly game breaking when it would otherwise be an 8th level spell (using the maximum spell level cap).

This interpretation has the advantage of the consistent use of slot, but may or may not reflect design intent. Jeremy Crawford unofficially provides a wonderful insight (sarcasm) to this when asked:

Use "Wish" to duplicate lower level spell. Is it considered to have been cast as a 9th level slot?

I'd let the caster decide.