Can a lower-level spellcaster recharge a staff?

While doing research for another recent question, I ran into two back-to-back lines that seem to contradict each other. From the PFSRD, emphasis mine:

Each morning, when a spellcaster prepares spells or regains spell slots, he can also imbue one staff with a portion of his power so long as one or more of the spells cast by the staff is on his spell list and he is capable of casting at least one of the spells. Imbuing a staff with this power restores one charge to the staff, but the caster must forgo one prepared spell or spell slot of a level equal to the highest-level spell cast by the staff.

Say you have a simple fire staff with burning hands, fireball, and maybe even delayed blast fireball. The first line says that any spellcaster capable of casting any 1 of the 3 should be able to recharge that staff. But the second line states that the recharging spellcaster needs to give up a slot of the highest spell level the staff holds specifically. So how does one reconcile the two statements?

I have a few ideas… in order from least to most forgiving to the player ^_^

a) The spellcaster cannot recharge the staff (statement 2 being more specific overrides statement 1).

b) The spellcaster can recharge the staff by forgoing his highest available spell slot (gets as close as possible to fulfilling statement 2 while being allowed by statement 1).

c) The spellcaster can recharge the staff by forgoing his highest spell slot that matches a spell the staff can cast (so in the example, a wizard without fireball could forgo a first-level slot for burning hands, but a wizard with 3rd to 6th level spells would have to give up a 3rd level instead; the most literal combination of the two statements).

d) The spellcaster can recharge the staff for free (statement 1 clearly says “he can recharge this staff” but the cost defined in statement 2 is unpayable; ergo the cost is waived but the explicitly allowed effect is still granted).

Is a Pact of the Chain Warlock’s quasit familiar really this effective as a spy?

One of my players has a Warlock with the Pact of the Chain. This PC has a quasit familiar. If we are applying the rules correctly…

Pact of the Chain

You learn the find familiar spell and can cast it as a ritual. The spell doesn’t count against your number of spells known. When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite. […]

Find Familiar

[…] While your familiar is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, as an action, you can see through your familiar’s eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits of any special senses that the familiar has. During this time, you are deaf and blind with regard to your own senses. As an action, you can temporarily dismiss your familiar. […]

VARIANT: QUASIT FAMILIAR […] Familiar. The quasit can serve another creature as a familiar, forming a telepathic bond with its willing master. While the two are bonded, the master can sense what the quasit senses as long as they are within 1 mile of each other. While the quasit is within 10 feet of its master, the master shares the quasit’s Magic Resistance trait. At any time and for any reason, the quasit can end its service as a familiar, ending the telepathic bond.

… then he can communicate with it within 1 mile and see what it is seeing.

For example, in a mission where PCs have to peek at the enemy camp, he could just stay hidden and send the quasit exploring the camp. The quasit can turn invisible and polymorph into a centipede, so it can go anywhere (even inside a building), and the Warlock can see everything.

Now, is this correct? It would seem really overpowered to me.

If it’s correct, how can I limit this power in an acceptable way?

How should I as a GM handle a player *character* who has a bad memory?

There is a player in my campaign who’s characters defining trait is that they have a bad memory.

I like creating mechanical representations of character traits if it makes sense to do so.

I’ve given the player a Homebrew feat called "bad memory" that basically says "roll disadvantage on any memory based intelligence checks".

My reasoning being that a character with bad memory should not have the same statistical probability of rolling well on a memory based check as a character with a good memory.

This player is adamantly fighting me on this though.

This is his reasoning:

The game already has the scaffolding and complexity in the locations where it is required. There are reasons why things like forgetfulness are included in the traits and features yet don’t have mechanics attached to them. If it was appropriate they would have been added by the devs. Mechanics which make it harder to use a character, and especially mechanics which remove abilities from players, are things which are only used in very rare cases and only ever for very short periods.

Note: This player is a very good role-player. It feels wrong to me to not represent the bad memory mechanically though.

How should I as a GM handle this situation?

Can an Unseen Servant “wear” clothes, such as a robe or cloak?

Is it possible to put a robe or cloak over an Unseen Servant, potentially fooling others into thinking that the Unseen Servant is actually a person?

The spells say the servant is a "invisible, mindless, shapeless, medium force", but it is unclear to me how such "force" interact with clothing.

The servant can clean, mend, and fold clothes, so clearly it can manipulate clothes in some capacities. The servant can also perform simple tasks that a human servant could do, and presumably wearing clothes is such a task.

However, the Unseen Servant is shapeless, so I’m not sure if it would be possible to put a piece of clothing over it.

Does a magic item giving +3 to spell save DC break bounded accuracy?

In Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything p.134, there is a magic item: Rhythm Maker’s Drum. It gives bonus to spell attack rolls and spell saving throw DCs of the user depending on rarity: uncommon +1, rare +2, very rare +3.

Even though the same +X for a magic weapon is normal, and some weapons have specfic extra effects, it seems a dodgy for spells, because that is +X for every spell attack roll, with all their different extra effects covered. But then +3 save DC for "save or suck" spell effects, like 1st level Ray of Sickness or 4th level Polymorph, just seems way out there at any character level.

Question: Am I overreacting, is there something I am not seeing? Or is this drum, and any similar item, just something which a balance-concerned DM should not allow anywhere near their table, or maybe limit it to +1 version and making that very rare or something?


Reminder: I’m not asking for opinions. An answer like "it’s fine" or "it’s broken" must be backed up by facts (other items, rules quotes, sage advice…).

Can a spellcaster anticipate that the duration of a spell he’s concentrating on is about to end?

For example, when a wizard casts invisibility, that target is invisible until they attack or after the duration of an one hour. Say a player wants to explore for 59 minutes, then duck into an alley as the duration expires. It would be a challenge for anyone to anticipate, by the second or even by the minute, when a 60 minute interval is going to end. Or maybe they would feel the spell waning?

This is similar to Does a spellcaster know when concentration ends?, but it’s a different question.

Spell Acquisition – How to Reign it in?

So, when using all the books (including the Arcana Exxet), it looks like 1st level players with a say, 8 int (40 Spell levels) and 2 ranks of + spell list (+10), can start the game with….3 Lv 80 Spells? Or a group of lv 50-60 spells? I can’t see anything in the rules that prevents players from doing this, and it would be even easier if players spend advantages to get more int and/or more Zeon. Sure, their low MA would stop them from being able to cast a big combat spell, but a 1st Level character being able to cast a spell like "Tsunami" feels really wrong.

Is there something we are missing? It feels like the only way to reign in my character’s growth is for me to put arbitrary limits on the spells they are allowed to aquire and grow in throughout the game, which feels just like I’m doing my own balancing on the fly. It’s also problematic if I slip up and let a spell through that I should have blocked.

GM’s, how do you guys handle spell acquisition for your players, at creation and as they grow? I’m thinking of putting a limit on purchasing one-of spells, increasing the cost, or somehow making it so players can’t just arbitrarily decide to learn powerful magic on their own without help or a library or something.

Thanks for your input!

Does the blindness inflicted by wall of light end when concentration on the spell does?

The wall of light spell states

When the wall appears, each creature in its area must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 4d8 radiant damage, and it is blinded for 1 minute.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 170

The spell duration is "Concentration, up to 10 minutes," so the durations are already different. Would this imply that the blinded condition it affects would continue even if the spellcaster ended the spell or were knocked unconscious?

How many spell slots does a Level 3 Warlock have?

The Warlock Table in the PHB (p106) states that a Warlock has the following:

  • 1 First-level spell slot at level 1.
  • 2 First-level spell slots at level 2.
  • 2 Second-level spell slots at level 3.

Does this mean that a third level Warlock has a cumulative 5 Spell Slots? (3 First-Level slots and 2 Second-Level slots)

Or do the new slots just replace old slots between levels such that a 3rd-level Warlock ultimately has only 2 second-level spell slots?