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I'm trying to build a character with as many cantrips as possible by level 3. I don't care specificly about the class, race, or anything like that, but I want as many cantrips as possible.

How many cantrips can I possibly have at as low as level 3, without multiclassing but with feats and variants?

Anything else from WOTC official Material is okay.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For optimization questions like this, it is best to provide as many details as possible. Are feats allowed? Multiclassing? Variant human? All of these and more are relevant to the right answer. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 5 '18 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related (as the answers contain pretty much all available options) rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/112492/… \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Apr 5 '18 at 13:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you want only official sources or are playtest materials like Unearthed Arcana allowed? Only Player's Handbook or is supplemental material allowed? Does it matter which cantrips or are any okay? \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 5 '18 at 14:00
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As Specified

Without multiclassing but with feats, a Level 3 Celestial Warlock with Pact of the Tome can have nine cantrips:

  • Two - Variant Human with Magic Initiate, choices depend on class selected for the feat. Consider Sorcerer or Bard to keep them all CHA-based.
  • Two - Warlock 3, choosing from the normal Warlock list.
  • Two - Celestial Patron grants Light & Sacred Flame, and count them as Warlock cantrips.
  • Three - Pact of the Tome, choosing from any list and treating as Warlock cantrips.

With Multiclassing

Assuming all officially published character options, a third level character can know up to Fifteen cantrips:

  • Variant Human - Two via "Magic Initiate" Feat
  • Sorcerer 1 - Four
  • Warlock 1 - Two base, plus two for Celestial Patron.
  • Cleric 1 - Three base, plus two for Arcana Domain.

Without Feats

If feats are off the table, pick a race that gives a cantrip:

  • Tiefling, varies by type: Thaumaturgy (Infernal), Vicious Mockery (Devil's Tongue)
  • Elf, varies by type: High Elf (Wizard cantrip of choice), Dark Elf (Dancing Lights)
  • Genasi, varies by type: Produce Flame (Fire) or Shape Water (Water)
  • Forest Gnome: Minor Illusion
  • Half-Elf, varies by type, variant half-elves have the same options as elves.
  • Yuan-Ti Pureblood: Poison Spray
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron, a broader answer helps more people, so even if the OP narrows it down, I would keep all the parts T.J.L added \$\endgroup\$ – András Apr 5 '18 at 14:12
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While T.J.L likely has the best answer, I'll add what can be accomplished with some extra (frankly ludicrous by level 3) GM help (within official rules).

The maximum without multiclassing is 13

You must choose a race that gives a cantrip.

[Total so far: 1]

Since multiclassing is not allowed, you must go Warlock

  • Pact Magic
    • 2 warlock cantrips
  • Pact of the Tome
    • 3 cantrips of any class

[Total: 6]

There are two options for your patron:

  • Undying (SCAG)
    • Spare the Dying
  • Celestial (XGtE)
    • Sacred Flame (light included later)

[Total: 7]

Your GM gives the Training reward (DMG 231) twice for these feats:

  • Magic Initiate
    • 2 cantrips of any one class
  • Spell Sniper
    • 1 cantrip of any class that has an attack roll

[Total: 10]

You need these Magic Items:

  • Staff of the Magi
    • Light, Mage Hand
  • Ring of Shooting Stars (non-Drow and non-Half-Drow)
    • Dancing Lights (Note: can only be used in dim light or darkness)

[Total: 13]

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