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D&D 5E Bard & Arcane Initiate Feat

Strider1973

Explorer
Hi everybody: let's say a Bard, variant human, takes at first level the Arcane Initiate Feat, from the PHB. She selects the Cantrips Fire Bolt and Ray of Frost and the 1st level Thunderwave from the Sorcerer list. My doubt is: since it is also on the Bard Spell List, can she cast the Thunderwave spell as if it were a bard spell, using Bard Spell Slots and casting it at higher levels, if she wants? I would say no, because she has selected it from the Sorcerer Spell List: she would have to select it again from the Bard Spell List if she wanted to cast it using her Bard Spell Slots, but I want to be sure of this.
Many thanks, happy life, happy gaming and keep safe!
 

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Hi everybody: let's say a Bard, variant human, takes at first level the Arcane Initiate Feat, from the PHB. She selects the Cantrips Fire Bolt and Ray of Frost and the 1st level Thunderwave from the Sorcerer list. My doubt is: since it is also on the Bard Spell List, can she cast the Thunderwave spell as if it were a bard spell, using Bard Spell Slots and casting it at higher levels, if she wants? I would say no, because she has selected it from the Sorcerer Spell List: she would have to select it again from the Bard Spell List if she wanted to cast it using her Bard Spell Slots, but I want to be sure of this.
Many thanks, happy life, happy gaming and keep safe!
You're right that it's technically not a "Bard" spell but that doesn't matter for the purpose of using spell slots. You can cast any spell you know or have prepared using your spell slots (pg 201 PHB). That's because in 5e there is a single list of spell slots, even when multiclassing. That distinction is important because it illustrates why in this case the spell's class doesn't matter. From page 164, Spell Slots:

If you have more than one spellcasting class, this table might give you spell slots of a level that is higher than the spells you know or can prepare. You can use those slots, but only to cast your lower level spells. If a lower level spell that you cast, like burning bands, has an enhanced effect when cast using a higher level slot, you can use the enhanced effect, even though you don't have any spells of that higher leveI. For example, if you are the aforementioned ranger 4/wizard 3, you count as a 5th-level character when determining your spell slots.

Two different classes with different spell lists using the same spell slots.
 
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In 5e, you just have spell slots. For classes that just know spells (like bards and sorcerers), if you have a spell slot of sufficient level, you can cast one of those spells known. For classes that prepare spells (like wizards), if you have the spell prepared and a slot of sufficient level, you can cast it.

There is only one wrinkle to this that I'm aware of, and that's if a spell list is specified in the feature or feat benefit. E.g. if a multiclass Sorcerer/Bard has a feature that improves their "sorcerer spells," then it would apply to spells learned via Sorcerer levels but would NOT apply to spells learned via Bard levels, not even Magical Secrets. Such features are pretty rare though.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
In 5E, specific trumps general. The specific wording for this feat says this:

"...choose one 1st-level spell from that same list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again using this feat."

To me, that means no upcasting (clearly) and 1/long rest use, regardless of how many spell slots you have available for your bard spells. The latter is slightly ambiguous because "well, what if I cast it not using this feat" but that's how I read it. It does not use one of your spell slots to cast, and neither can you use spell slots to cast it more than once per long rest.
 

Strider1973

Explorer
In 5E, specific trumps general. The specific wording for this feat says this:

"...choose one 1st-level spell from that same list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again using this feat."

To me, that means no upcasting (clearly) and 1/long rest use, regardless of how many spell slots you have available for your bard spells. The latter is slightly ambiguous because "well, what if I cast it not using this feat" but that's how I read it. It does not use one of your spell slots to cast, and neither can you use spell slots to cast it more than once per long rest.
That's exactly my problem: what does that mean?
  1. That the Bard can only cast Thunderwave 1/long rest at its lowest level without using any spell slots?
  2. OR doest it mean that the Bard can cast Thunderwave (taken via the Magic Initiate Feat from the Sorcerer Spell List) as above (1/long rest at its lowest level without using any spell slots), but she can also cast it using her Bard Spell Slots, even heightening it if she wants?
If this first case was correct, would the Bard have to learn it from the Bard Spell List in order to be able to cast it more than once, using her spell slots and heightening it if she desires so?

Please, take into account that she's not a multiclass Bard/Sorcerer, she's just a first level variant human Bard with the Magic Initiate Feat and Cantrips and Spell taken from the Sorcerer Spell list.
Many thanks again!
 
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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
That's exactly my problem: what does that mean?
  1. That the Bard can only cast Thunderwave 1/long rest at its lowest level without using any spell slots?
  2. OR doest it mean that the Bard can cast Thunderwave (taken via the Magic Initiate Feat from the Sorcerer Spell List) as above (1/long rest at its lowest level without using any spell slots), but she can also cast it using her Bard Spell Slots, even heightening it if she wants?
If this first case was correct, would the Bard have to learn it from the Bard Spell List in order to be able to cast it more than once, using her spell slots and heightening it if she desires so?

Please, take into account that she's not a multiclass Bard/Sorcerer, she's just a first level variant human Bard with the Magic Initiate Feat and Cantrips and Spell taken from the Sorcerer Spell list.
Many thanks again!

#1 is correct. Also, trying it on DNDBeyond supports this.

I just made a level 3 variant human bard with magic initiate (sorcerer) and gave him thunderwave as his magic initiate spell. He has no ability to upcast it at all, and can cast it without using a bard spell slot. It is tagged "magic initiate - sorcerer".

If I then have him select thunderwave as one of his bard spells, he gains a separate version of the spell on his sheet - this one tagged "bard". THAT version of the spell uses spell slots and can be upcast.
 

Bolares

Hero
In 5E, specific trumps general. The specific wording for this feat says this:

"...choose one 1st-level spell from that same list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again using this feat."

To me, that means no upcasting (clearly) and 1/long rest use, regardless of how many spell slots you have available for your bard spells. The latter is slightly ambiguous because "well, what if I cast it not using this feat" but that's how I read it. It does not use one of your spell slots to cast, and neither can you use spell slots to cast it more than once per long rest.
"using this feat" Is the important part here. Yes, you can't upcast and must finish a long rest to cast using this feat. But that doesn't prevent you fromcasting the spell usign your spellcasting feature. You learned the spell, and then can use your spellcasting feature to cast it, and if you use the spellcasting feature you follow it's rules as normal, no matter how you got the spell.

Edit: this is not exactly right. I've posted the sage advice on the matter bellow.
 
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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
"using this feat" Is the important part here. Yes, you can't upcast and must finish a long rest to cast using this feat. But that doesn't prevent you fromcasting the spell usign your spellcasting feature. You learned the spell, and then can use your spellcasting feature to cast it, and if you use the spellcasting feature you follow it's rules as normal, no matter how you got the spell.

I agree the wording is ambiguous, but according to DNDBeyond, which uses "the official ruleset", that isn't how the feat works.
 


Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
DnD Beyond is notorious for not implementing feats correctly...

Well, here's Jeremy Crawford answering the same question in Sage Advice:

"If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat? Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes. For example, if you pick sorcerer and you are a sorcerer, the Spellcasting feature for that class tells you that you can use your spell slots to cast the sorcerer spells you know, so you can use your spell slots to cast the 1st-level sorcerer spell you learn from Magic Initiate. Similarly, if you are a wizard and pick that class for the feat, you learn a 1st-level wizard spell, which you could add to your spellbook and subsequently prepare. In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate."

So a bard picking up a sorcerer spell through Magic Initiate (sorcerer) cannot use bard spell slots to cast that spell. However, a bard with magic initiate (bard) can do so.
 

Bolares

Hero
To be more clear about this, here is the sage advice on it:

"If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat? Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes. For example, if you pick sorcerer and you are a sorcerer, the Spellcasting feature for that class tells you that you can use your spell slots to cast the sorcerer spells you know, so you can use your spell slots to cast the 1st-level sorcerer spell you learn from Magic Initiate. Similarly, if you are a wizard and pick that class for the feat, you learn a 1st-level wizard spell, which you could add to your spellbook and subsequently prepare. In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate.
 

Bolares

Hero
Well, here's Jeremy Crawford answering the same question in Sage Advice:

"If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat? Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes. For example, if you pick sorcerer and you are a sorcerer, the Spellcasting feature for that class tells you that you can use your spell slots to cast the sorcerer spells you know, so you can use your spell slots to cast the 1st-level sorcerer spell you learn from Magic Initiate. Similarly, if you are a wizard and pick that class for the feat, you learn a 1st-level wizard spell, which you could add to your spellbook and subsequently prepare. In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate."

So a bard picking up a sorcerer spell through Magic Initiate (sorcerer) cannot use bard spell slots to cast that spell. However, a bard with magic initiate (bard) can do so.
Great minds think alike.... hahahaha
 



Well, here's Jeremy Crawford answering the same question in Sage Advice:

"If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat? Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes. For example, if you pick sorcerer and you are a sorcerer, the Spellcasting feature for that class tells you that you can use your spell slots to cast the sorcerer spells you know, so you can use your spell slots to cast the 1st-level sorcerer spell you learn from Magic Initiate. Similarly, if you are a wizard and pick that class for the feat, you learn a 1st-level wizard spell, which you could add to your spellbook and subsequently prepare. In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate."

So a bard picking up a sorcerer spell through Magic Initiate (sorcerer) cannot use bard spell slots to cast that spell. However, a bard with magic initiate (bard) can do so.
That’s stupid though.
 

Bolares

Hero
That’s stupid though.
I think the designers agree. That's why more recent spell granting feats have different wording, like shadow touched:

"You learn the invisibility spell and one 1st-level spell of your choice. The 1st-level spell must be from the illusion or necromancy school of magic. You can cast each of these spells without expending a spell slot. Once you cast either of these spells in this way, you can't cast that spell in this way again until you finish a long rest. You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level. The spells' spellcasting ability is the ability increased by this feat."
 

I think the designers agree. That's why more recent spell granting feats have different wording, like shadow touched:

"You learn the invisibility spell and one 1st-level spell of your choice. The 1st-level spell must be from the illusion or necromancy school of magic. You can cast each of these spells without expending a spell slot. Once you cast either of these spells in this way, you can't cast that spell in this way again until you finish a long rest. You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level. The spells' spellcasting ability is the ability increased by this feat."
I’d definitely just houserule the older feats to work that way too.
 
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