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Using Wands/Staves and Misty Step

Eric V

Hero
Hello,

Just wondering how some of you rule this: Misty Step is a bonus action to cast, so any other spell a caster casts must be a cantrip (barring Action Surge and the like).

Would you allow a spellcaster to cast Misty Step and then use a Wand of Lightning Bolts, for example?

Thank you,

Eric
 

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Dausuul

Legend
By the book: This does not work. The wand specifically allows you to cast the spell, so you have to abide by all restrictions on spellcasting, which would include not having cast a bonus-action spell the same round.

How I personally would rule it: I think I would go by the book on this one. It isn't because I see a major balance concern here, but I don't want to spend a lot of time house-ruling which of the spellcasting rules do and do not apply to wand use. Casting a spell is casting a spell. All normal restrictions apply. Finis.
 

neogod22

Explorer
By the book: This does not work. The wand specifically allows you to cast the spell, so you have to abide by all restrictions on spellcasting, which would include not having cast a bonus-action spell the same round.

How I personally would rule it: I think I would go by the book on this one. It isn't because I see a major balance concern here, but I don't want to spend a lot of time house-ruling which of the spellcasting rules do and do not apply to wand use. Casting a spell is casting a spell. All normal restrictions apply. Finis.
This is wrong. Using a magic item is it's own action, so casting a spell and using a magic item will allow you to technically cast 2 spells in the same round.
 


iserith

Magic Wordsmith
By the book: This does not work. The wand specifically allows you to cast the spell, so you have to abide by all restrictions on spellcasting, which would include not having cast a bonus-action spell the same round.

How I personally would rule it: I think I would go by the book on this one. It isn't because I see a major balance concern here, but I don't want to spend a lot of time house-ruling which of the spellcasting rules do and do not apply to wand use. Casting a spell is casting a spell. All normal restrictions apply. Finis.

Right. The only thing I would add is that you should carefully read the description of the item. Sometimes you can get spell effects without it saying you cast a spell. So it's helpful to read the fine print.
 

Dausuul

Legend
This is wrong. Using a magic item is it's own action, so casting a spell and using a magic item will allow you to technically cast 2 spells in the same round.

From the spellcasting rules:

"A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn. You can't cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action." (Emphasis added.)

You can't cast another non-cantrip spell, period. Doesn't matter how you're casting it or what kind of action it is.

From the wand of lightning bolts:

"This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast the lightning bolt spell (save DC 15) from it."

When you use the wand, you are casting a spell. It can be counterspelled, it is warded off by globe of invulnerability, etc. It isn't a concentration spell, but if it were, you'd have to concentrate on it. The one difference from regular spellcasting (as specifically laid out in the DMG) is that you don't need any components. However, the DMG offers no such exemption from the bonus-action spell rules.
 

guachi

Explorer
While I do have house rules for game play reasons and house rules for setting reasons, I've gotten rid of a bunch based on the "I don't have time for that" rule.

I don't have time for fiddly little changes like this one.
 

neogod22

Explorer
From the spellcasting rules:

"A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn. You can't cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action." (Emphasis added.)

You can't cast another non-cantrip spell, period. Doesn't matter how you're casting it or what kind of action it is.

From the wand of lightning bolts:

"This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast the lightning bolt spell (save DC 15) from it."

When you use the wand, you are casting a spell. It can be counterspelled, it is warded off by globe of invulnerability, etc. It isn't a concentration spell, but if it were, you'd have to concentrate on it. The one difference from regular spellcasting (as specifically laid out in the DMG) is that you don't need any components. However, the DMG offers no such exemption from the bonus-action spell rules.
The action of using a magic item is not the same action as casting a spell. They are 2 distinct and different actions. The magic item is casting the spell NOT YOU. It's the same as using a potion. The potion is giving the spell effect, NOT YOU. You are not using any verbal, somatic, or material components when you use a magic item. Ultimately it comes down to what your DM thinks.
 


OB1

Jedi Master
Then why do you have to concentrate on concentration spells cast from items?

Because the spell requires concentration to maintain it.

The question is, if you cast the spell, why didn’t you have to expend a spell slot?

The way I rule is that you can’t spend more than one spell slot per turn (including using multiple slots for smites).
 

Dausuul

Legend
The question is, if you cast the spell, why didn’t you have to expend a spell slot?
When there are exceptions to the normal casting rules, the DMG specifies what they are. The two exceptions that apply to all "spell items" are that you don't expend spell slots and you don't need components. But the wording is clear that you are casting the spell. "Some magic items allow the user to cast a spell from the item, often by expending charges from it."
 

The action of using a magic item is not the same action as casting a spell. They are 2 distinct and different actions. The magic item is casting the spell NOT YOU.

From the magic item rules in the DMG, "Some magic items allow the user to cast a spell from the item." The user is casting the spell. The user has to maintain concentration, if required.

On the other hand… You don't spend spell slots when casting a spell from an item. You can't use metamagic. You are casting a spell but you are not using the "Cast a Spell" action. I'm not even sure you can counterspell such a casting since there are no verbal, material or somatic components for the counterspelling mage to witness. Does the mage slayer feat apply? Does it trigger a readied action "when the foe casts a spell"?

Ultimately it comes down to what your DM thinks.

Agreed.

And now I'm not sure what I think. Reading this thread has made me doubt my previous ruling.

It's the same as using a potion.

That one is not correct. From the same section of the DMG, "Many items, such as potions, bypass the casting of a spell…" Concentration spells from potions do not require the user to concentrate - they always last their full duration (unless dispelled).

I'm happy with ruling that drinking a potion cannot be counterspelled and does not trigger features like the mage slayer feat.
 

neogod22

Explorer
From the magic item rules in the DMG, "Some magic items allow the user to cast a spell from the item." The user is casting the spell. The user has to maintain concentration, if required.

On the other hand… You don't spend spell slots when casting a spell from an item. You can't use metamagic. You are casting a spell but you are not using the "Cast a Spell" action. I'm not even sure you can counterspell such a casting since there are no verbal, material or somatic components for the counterspelling mage to witness. Does the mage slayer feat apply? Does it trigger a readied action "when the foe casts a spell"?



Agreed.

And now I'm not sure what I think. Reading this thread has made me doubt my previous ruling.



That one is not correct. From the same section of the DMG, "Many items, such as potions, bypass the casting of a spell…" Concentration spells from potions do not require the user to concentrate - they always last their full duration (unless dispelled).

I'm happy with ruling that drinking a potion cannot be counterspelled and does not trigger features like the mage slayer feat.
I'm glad I hot you thinking. To answer your questions about counterspell and mage slayer, the answer is no since they they both rely on seeing the caster casting a spell. Of course some DMs may think otherwise, but that's just as dumb as the people who think a wizard can counter a counterspell. I also feel you can't counter spell like abilities, since they also don't require components. They just happen.
 

The way I rule is that you can’t spend more than one spell slot per turn (including using multiple slots for smites).
How do you rule when someone casts a spell without using a spell slot, using a feature like magic initiate or spell master or signature spell?

How about Action Surge?

And am I right in saying that a paladin or cleric with multiattack can't smite on two or more attacks? Why not?
 

OB1

Jedi Master
How do you rule when someone casts a spell without using a spell slot, using a feature like magic initiate or spell master or signature spell?

How about Action Surge?

And am I right in saying that a paladin or cleric with multiattack can't smite on two or more attacks? Why not?

I rule that magic initiate does provide a spell slot of the appropriate type. Like any spell slot it can be used for other things. And a Wizard Initiate can learn new 1st level spells to use the slot for.

If it’s not using a spell slot it doesn’t count towards the limit.

The restriction is for your entire round. So action surge double up is out as is using spell slots on reactions if you used one during your turn.

Counterspelling for example, can only be done if you didn’t use a slot on your turn (or you can cast it without using a slot). On the flip side of this, I also rule that players can decide to counterspell after they have heard what the spell is and also know what level it was cast at.

Correct on Paladin and Cleric, one spell slot using smite per turn.

Note these are all my rulings and not intended to reflect RAW or RAI. I’ve also run games where I throw out the restriction all together. Either way works fine, though I prefer the heavier restrictions for more experienced players and the looser ruling for newer players.
 

the Jester

Legend
This is wrong. Using a magic item is it's own action, so casting a spell and using a magic item will allow you to technically cast 2 spells in the same round.

If you use a magic item that allows you to cast a spell, you're still casting a spell.

The action of using a magic item is not the same action as casting a spell. They are 2 distinct and different actions. The magic item is casting the spell NOT YOU. It's the same as using a potion.

Others have already provided the relevant quotes. Again, a wand typically allows the user to cast a spell. It does not cast the spell itself. Potions, on the other hand, provide you with the benefits of a spell without allowing you to cast it.

...Of course some DMs may think otherwise, but that's just as dumb as the people who think a wizard can counter a counterspell.

You can. Nothing dumb about it (and please refrain from insulting those who play differently than you). Counterspell is a spell; you can counterspell any spell you see being cast. There's no "except those with a casting time of 1 reaction" exception.

I also feel you can't counter spell like abilities, since they also don't require components. They just happen.

5e does not have spell-like abilities. It has innate spellcasting, which often allows you to cast without some components, but not always. For example, a dao's innate spellcasting allows it to cast certain spells without material components, but it still requires verbal and somatic components. Either way, though, the dao is still explicitly casting a spell.

I rule that magic initiate does provide a spell slot of the appropriate type. Like any spell slot it can be used for other things. And a Wizard Initiate can learn new 1st level spells to use the slot for.

If it’s not using a spell slot it doesn’t count towards the limit.

None of that is supported by the actual rules.

The restriction is for your entire round.

No, it's just for the turn you cast on. So if you cast a bonus action casting time spell on your turn, you can use a reaction casting time spell on the next turn.

Counterspelling for example, can only be done if you didn’t use a slot on your turn (or you can cast it without using a slot).

You cannot use a counterspell on your turn if you cast a spell with a bonus action casting time on your turn. Later in the round, you absolutely can. Slots have absolutely nothing to do with it. The rules limiting other spells if you cast a bonus action casting time spell always refer to casting a spell, not to expending a spell slot.

Correct on Paladin and Cleric, one spell slot using smite per turn.

This is also unsupported by the rules. All that said...

Note these are all my rulings and not intended to reflect RAW or RAI. I’ve also run games where I throw out the restriction all together.

Well, okay then! :) But this significantly reduces the value of your post vis-a-vis how the rules actually work. Regardless, play however you like and however works for you and your table. But you might want to lead with this point, rather than tacking it onto the end of your post, so as not to lead people who are looking for how the rules work as written astray.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Well, okay then! :) But this significantly reduces the value of your post vis-a-vis how the rules actually work. Regardless, play however you like and however works for you and your table. But you might want to lead with this point, rather than tacking it onto the end of your post, so as not to lead people who are looking for how the rules work as written astray.

I was asked how I would rule, not what o thought the rules said, and answered that.

But also, this IS how the rules work. 5e encourages rulings over rules and making a decision that is right for your table rather than worrying about what the designers meant.

Rather than leading anyone astray, discussing different ways to rule can lead a DM to consider new things that may work better for their table and everyone having more fun, an optimal outcome.
 



ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
So Jeremy Crawford answered this question in the answer to another question:

https://www.sageadvice.eu/2016/12/21/does-the-counterspell-work-against-wands/

"Counterspell targets a creature casting a spell, no matter the source of the spell (the creature, an item, etc.)."

Highlight is mine of course but the point is that even though an item is the source of the spell, counter spell which states "You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell" works because it is considered to be cast by the creature. The rules for not casting a second spell unless its a cantrip apply as do sorcerer meta magic:

https://www.sageadvice.eu/2016/09/2...l-from-a-scroll-wand-etc-trigger-arcane-ward/

"Arcane Ward/Twinned Spell works when you cast a qualifying spell. It even works when an item says you cast one."

because the rules states. "A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. You can’t cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action."

however, you CAN cast a spell with your action and use action surge to use your wand and cast another spell as an action since this rule only applies to casting spells as a bonus action like healing word, misty step, hex, or quickened spell meta magic, as long as you don't also try and use one of them. If you use them you would be restricted by the use the bonus action spell for both your standard action and your action surge.
 

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