A review copy of “The High Magic Sourcebook” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Gordon McAlpin

Designed by one of my favorite DMs Guild creators, Gordon McAlpin, The High Magic Sourcebook is a 50+ page spellcasting supplement, adding new spells, feats, subclasses, and an entirely new system for shared spellcasting for D&D 5e.

The sourcebook is organized into five chapters, featuring the history of high magic, new player options (including downtime activities), and new spell options. And since McAlpin is also a ridiculously talented artist, you can feast your eyes on over a dozen original art pieces expertly sprinkled throughout the book.

The history chapter is pleasantly engaging. The history of high magic in Faerun is explained through the rise and fall of the Netherese empire, and the ancient elven empire of Selu’taar.

High Magic exists, but is extremely rare and exceedingly dangerous. An entire civilization was destroyed almost instantly, and the surviving elves have all but disavowed its knowledge.

For the DM, high magic can be introduced through the High Magic Sourcebook, a special spellbook that includes the all-important High Magic Induction spell, along with Intonations and Incantations to modify spells as a group.

That’s a lot of Int-words, but it’s easier than it looks. One spellcaster casts the High Magic Induction spell to generate a field of arcane energy. The field takes several rounds to cast (or cast as a ritual) and requires concentration.

Any spellcasters within 30-ft of the Induction field (and the proper knowledge) can use their actions to modify the field via Intonations, and their reactions to modify other spells being cast with Incantations.

Incantations are inspired by (though not wholly copied from) the Sorcerer’s Metamagic feature. Examples include rerolling damage dice, changing the size and shape of a spell’s area of effect, imposing advantage or disadvantage on a spell’s saving throw, or ignoring a creature’s damage resistance. Powerful stuff, but they all require expending spell slots to bring it back in balance.

The field itself could trigger a High Magic Failure if it’s dispelled or the original spellcaster loses concentration before they begin taking the Withdraw action to safely power it down. The High Magic Failure table is full of fun consequences such as multiple levels of exhaustion, damaging feedback, magical aging, or ripping open a portal through space and/or time.

high magic incantation

If you’re like me and thinking this would be a lot more satisfying to apply to NPC villains instead of the players, this book has you covered! Several high magic spellcasting statblocks are included in the appendix, including lich, cultist, and mage variants with lots of delicious reactions.

New spellcrafting rules allow players to go beyond 9th level, modifying spells in similar ways to Incantations with precision targeting, faster casting speed, increased conjuration benefits, and more. Casting these epic spells require an additional spellcheck, and failure results in that excellent High Magic Failure table.

New player options include over 20 new spells, half a dozen feats, and two new player options.

The spells are an excellent bunch, including a lighter version of the High Magic Induction field (perfect for lower level NPCs) and a nifty Spellsong that uses the caster’s Performance skill to enhance a spell, not to mention examples of epic 10th+ level spells.

The new subclasses are the only weak component. Neither the Wizard High Magic Specialist nor the Sorcerer High Magic Bloodline are very exciting.

The Wizard can prepare more Incantations and is better at researching spells, while the Sorcerer allows others to use their spell slots. Both subclasses gain more interesting abilities as they level up, but you’ll have to wait 6-10 levels before things get slightly more interesting, such as using Metamagics offensively as reactions to enemy spellcasters, or gaining free uses of Incantations a couple times per day.

Rounding out the supplement are over half a dozen magic items, including impressive rules for Nether Scrolls and Mythallar.

The High Magic Sourcebook is absolutely stuffed with excellent content built around the new high magic system. I don’t necessarily think that spellcasters need even more fun, powerful tools to play around with, but the breadth of content and careful balance between player options and DM tools make this an easy recommendation.


  • Succinct history of High Magic in Faerun.
  • Interesting rules for creating cooperative spellcasting through High Magic.
  • High Magic Catastrophes!
  • Over 20 new spells.
  • Professional design with McAlpin’s fantastic artwork.


  • New subclasses are ho-hum.

The Verdict: With new and epic-level spells, spellcrafting, spell-boosting, and spell-sharing, The High Magic Sourcebook is an impressively comprehensive expansion for spellcasters and Dungeon Masters.

A review copy of “The High Magic Sourcebook” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.