The Dragonmark Feat from Unearthed Arcana: Eberron says:

You gain the ability to innately cast spells and cantrips, as summarized in the Dragonmark Benefits table, using the spellcasting ability listed under the Ability column. You cast each spell at its lowest level. Once you cast a given spell this way, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it innately again. You must still expend any material components.

Every dragonmark gives the character access to a first, second and third level spell, as well as a cantrip. The second and third level spells can only be cast if the character is of high enough level (, 5th and 9th, respectively).

Usually you can cast the cantrips you know infinitely often. But the way this feat is worded seems to imply, that the cantrips gained from dragonmarks are treated exactly like the other spells, which means their use is limited to once per day. I’m am not sure if I interpret this correctly, if this is intended this way, or just worded weirdly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Usual caveat about Unearthed Arcana: it's playtesting material. There may be things that are not working very well. If you find something that seems to powerful/weak/weird you should talk to your DM - it's a homebrew campaign anyway if they allow UA, so adapting it to your playstyle should theoretically be possible. For example by excluding the cantrips you mentioned from this part of the Feat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Secespitus
    Nov 28, 2017 at 14:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note for future readers: this question refers to the version in the very first UA in 2015, not the later UA version (that appeared in the initial version of WGtE) or the final published E:RftLW version (which WGtE was updated to match). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jan 9, 2020 at 4:23

3 Answers 3


You can only cast them once per long rest

As you quoted above, you can only cast each spell once per long rest. A cantrip is still a spell (just at 0 level, which would be the lowest level you cast it as) and therefore falls under the same requirement.


Dragonmark differs in its language and requirements from things like the Magic Initiate Feat or The cantrips gained from a certain race (like High-elf.) Those simply add that cantrip to your current list and do not have a limitation on uses/day.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 already, but I feel like this would be improved by referencing similar language in Magic Initate or racial cantrips. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Nov 28, 2017 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I had thought about that, but wasn't sure if it was relevant, but it is a good counter example. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 28, 2017 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the preceding sentence the feat makes a distinction between "spells and cantrips". We all know that cantrips are spells, but the feat divides them. This should be addressed in your answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9, 2020 at 5:09

Cantrips can be cast as often as you want.

From page 201 of the Player's Handbook:

A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will, without using a spell slot and without being prepared in advance. Repeated practice has fixed the spell in the caster’s mind and infused the caster with the magic needed to produce the effect over and over.

Your quote:

You gain the ability to innately cast spells and cantrips

Though a cantrip is a type of spell, in 5e, when rule text applies to both, it (usually) specifies both. Just how technically a square is a rectangle, but it's a special case that usually qualifies a special mention.

Once you cast a given spell this way, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it innately again.

It says nothing about waiting to cast a cantrip until a long rest. Combined with the fact that it indicates them separately earlier in the same paragraph, I can only interpret that to mean that the above sentence does not apply to cantrips. Especially since this is particularly unusual behavior for a cantrip, I would expect such a change to be very specifically noted.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think I prefer this answer. The rules text for dragonmark specifies "spells and cantrips" initally, then later on only calls out spells as being once per day. This is also consistent with magic initiate, and the UA wording tends to be a bit weird at times. I don't think a 1/day cantrip as a character feature exists anywhere else. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ethan
    Nov 28, 2017 at 20:37

The wording is terrible and should be fixed and until it is we don't know.

This is often a problem with Unearthed Arcana articles. As the introductory text says:

You can think of the material presented in this series as similar to the first wave of the fifth edition playtest. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not fully tempered by playtests and design iterations. They are highly volatile and might be unstable; if you use them, be ready to rule on any issues that come up. They’re written in pencil, not ink.

... and it seems like the pencil made some mistakes, here. Particularly, this is weird and inconsistent. Consistently throughout the game, cantrips are unlimited-use abilities: there are no official materials with limited-use cantrips, and in fact, by definition:

A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will, without using a spell slot and without being prepared in advance.

The text you quote seems to contradict this in one of two ways: either it presents a cantrip which you can't cast at will, or it makes a distinction between cantrips and spells that the existing rules clearly do not.

Now, it could be that there is subtle meaning hidden in this writing. It's more likely, though, that this is just an oversight in the playtest material, and there was some thought that should have been better spelled out but wasn't. Leaving the cantrips at-will would be more consistent with existing material, but perhaps this feat is meant to have additional limitations because the designers felt it was very powerful in other ways. We don't know.

Until this becomes official — if it ever does — you should make a decision that seems best for your game. Either of the possible explanations seems reasonable enough, although to my eye it seems like leaving the cantrips at will wouldn't cause any trouble (because all of these cantrips are easy to get at will in some way).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually the existing rules often make a distinction between cantrips and spells. Look at cantrips known / spells known on the bard / eldritch knight / arcane trickster / sorcerer / warlock tables, the wording of Spells Known and Prepared under Spellcasting in the Multiclassing section, or much of the wording in the introduction section of the Spellcasting chapter, for a few key examples of the term spell being used to the exclusion of cantrips. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeus
    Nov 29, 2017 at 16:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ In most of those cases, there's no ambiguity because the rules talk specifically about spell levels, and cantrips are level 0 spells with the specific rule that they can be cast at will without spell slots or preparation. I agree that it'd probably be better if the main rules were more precise, but here we are — I think overall your point supports what I'm saying: this can easily be read either way. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Nov 29, 2017 at 17:59

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