[RPG] switch out the Level 1 any-school spell as an Arcane Trickster or Eldritch Knight


The Arcane Trickster gains access to Wizard spells, primarily limited to the enchantment and illusion schools of magic. Four of the spells he knows can come from any school, however: one of his initial spells learned at 3rd level, and each of the ones learned at 8th, 14th, and 20th. This gives him the opportunity to have a spell in any school for one spell at each level he can cast. Further, like other casters who have known spells, the Trickster can change out one known spell when he levels up, with the following caveat:

Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the wizard spells you know with another spell of your choice from the wizard spell list. The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots, and it must be an enchantment or illusion spell, unless you're replacing the spell you learned at 8th, 14th, or 20th level. (PHB pp 98)

This means that you can switch out your "any-school" spell of 2nd, 3rd or 4th level. However, your 1st level spell is not mentioned. Is this a simple oversight, or is there any reason why you might not be able to switch out the spell you learn at 3rd level?

This question applies equally to Eldritch Knight.

Best Answer

You can switch out any of the "any-school" spells

The PHB Errata, has now fully solved this issue.

From the "Rogue" section of the errata:

[New] Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher (p. 98). In the final sentence of this subsection, the closing phrase has changed to read as follows: “… unless you’re replacing the spell you gained at 3rd, 8th, 14th, or 20th level from any school of magic.”

Similarly, the "Fighter" section of the errata states:

Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher (p. 75). The final sentence ends as follows: “… unless you’re replacing the spell you gained at 3rd, 8th, 14th, or 20th level from any school of magic”.

This means you can indeed retrain the "any-school" spell and replace it with another "any-school" spell as appropriate, both as an Eldritch Knight and an Arcane Trickster.

As a historical note, the fighter section was added to errata at least as early as 2016 while the rogue section was not fixed until 2020 though this tweet from Jeremy Crawford already stated that the same reasoning should apply:

Like an Eldritch Knight, an Arcane Trickster can retrain their 1st-level spell from any school. (An unintended omission.)

Related Topic