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A Staff of the Magi can absorb a spell targeted only at its wearer, gaining back a number of charges equivalent to the absorbed spell's level.

Cantrips are spells. In some occasions, like for the sorcerer's Twinned metamagic option, they are considered alevel 1 spells:

When you cast a spell that targets only one creature and doesn't have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell's level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 sorcery point if the spell is a cantrip).

Said clause is not present in the Staff of the Magi's description, but can we assume that an absorbed cantrip would give back 1 charge to the Staff, or should it be 0 charges instead?

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It should be zero charges instead - first, because cantrips are 0-level spells, and having them register as anything else requires specific exception, and second, because otherwise you could just charge up your staff as much as you wanted every time you had a free moment by casting cantrips into it.

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No charges are regained from a cantrip

The rules tell us what level cantrips are, in the description of spell levels:

Cantrips -- simple but powerful spells that characters can cast almost by rote -- are level 0.

And again in the description of cantrips:

A cantrip's spell level is 0.

The fact that they may be treated slightly differently for the Twinned metamagic does not change or override this in any way. It is just an example of specific overriding the general rule and it applies to that specific case only.

The description of the Staff of the Magi says:

[T]he staff absorbs the magic of the spell, canceling its effect and gaining a number of charges equal to the absorbed spell's level.

So, for a cantrip, it would recharge 0 charges.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @GarretGang can you clarify this? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Aug 27 '18 at 13:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry about my awfully unclear comment. What I meant was specific only applies to specific. Yes there are specific rules where cantrips spell level is not treated as zero, (twinned spelll where is equivalent to a first level spell), and scroll crafting (where its cost is not spell level times some number). But the vegetal rule is that cabriole are a level zero spell and if you wild use sorrel level you use 0. Not 1, or 1/2. Coubterspell, dispel magic etc rely on this. (Why you would Counterspell a cantrip? No idea, ask the size who is good at deception and knows subtle spell \$\endgroup\$ – Garret Gang Aug 27 '18 at 19:57

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