Let's say I am a spellcaster with the Mage Hand cantrip. Then I multiclass into Rogue for 3 levels and pick up the Arcane Trickster subclass.

Cantrips: You learn three cantrips: Mage Hand and two other cantrips of your choice from the wizard spell list. At 10th level you learn another cantrip from the wizard spell list.

Is this Mage Hand redundant? Must I choose a different cantrip to begin with if I don't want redundant spells?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you spoken to your DM about this? If so, what did the DM say? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 17 '18 at 0:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Both this question and the one about 10th-lvl rogue + 10th-lvl bard seem to be more about theorycrafting multiclassing than an actual problem. Not sure if this is a problem for RPG.se or not. (Note: I'm not OP, so I can't say for sure, I'm just 'guessing' from the pattern and wording of the questions.) \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Apr 17 '18 at 0:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HellSaint When you refer to another question on the site, could you link it? Even if it were the hottest question of the day, in six months if the comment remains, the question you are referring to will be a mystery. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Apr 17 '18 at 1:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question I was refering to was this. Not sure why I can't edit my previous comment though. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Apr 17 '18 at 1:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HellSaint That's right. I have talked to my DM but I consider that a separate issue to whether or not there are rules (or tweets) that deal with it. \$\endgroup\$ – Nacht Apr 17 '18 at 4:12

No, you can't learn a different cantrip, by PHB RAW.

When you can choose a different "thing" in the case you already know or own the intended one, it should be specified, e.g. for skill proficiencies in background

If a character would gain the same proficiency from two different sources, he or she can choose a different proficiency of the same kind (skill or tool) instead.

Usually I would blame this on the fact that the PHB is written supposing you are not multiclassing, and the multiclassing section is short and quick, letting pass some details. Sadly, this might not be the case here, since you could get Mage Hand through the High-elf race feature Cantrip, so you don't need to be multiclassing for it to become an issue.

Therefore, if you could learn something else instead, it would be stated explicitly.


Talk to your DM beforehand. By your wording, you didn't even choose your cantrips for your first spellcaster class. Talk to the DM before you choose it, so you know if he will let you choose another cantrip when the time comes or if you will just lose a cantrip because rules say so.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Or a variant human with the Feat Magic Initiate. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Apr 17 '18 at 1:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis Aren't feats a variant rule as well? \$\endgroup\$ – Pilchard123 Apr 17 '18 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ If not variant, then optional. How about tiefling with the thaumaturgy cantrip, then? \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Apr 17 '18 at 13:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @kiethcurtis this situation could also come up if you are reincarnated into a tiefling, drow, or forest gnome while you already know thaumaturgy, dancing lights, or minor illusion. or if you are a forest gnome Illusionist Wizard. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 17 '18 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron Nice catch with Reincarnation as well. I suppose that is another situation where some interactions are not well explained, just like multiclassing. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Apr 17 '18 at 20:59

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