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Jeremy Crawford mentions the following example in this Sage Advice column (reiterated in the Sage Advice Compendium):

Cornelius the wizard is casting fireball on his turn, and his foe casts counterspell on him. Cornelius has counterspell prepared, so he uses his reaction to cast it and breaks his foe’s counterspell before it can stop fireball.

This is an example of 2 third-level spells being cast on the same turn. I don’t understand why this is negated by the rules if Cornelius was a sorcerer and used Quickened Spell to cast fireball as a bonus action instead, because the rules say that if you cast a spell as a bonus action you could only cast a cantrip during the same turn. Yet it would be allowed without quickened spell applied to fireball.

I don’t understand why you can cast a normal fireball (1 action casting time) and still be able to use a reaction to counter a counterspell, yet you can’t do the same if you actually cast fireball as a bonus action which is supposed to be even faster - made more confusing for me if you add the fact that you must sacrifice 2 sorcery points to do it as a bonus action as a sorcerer, yet you are allowed to counter if you take longer and without sacrifice of sorcery points.

Why can I cast a reaction spell on the same turn as an action spell, but not on the same turn as a bonus-action spell? What is the relevant rule?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Purple Monkey, Miniman, MivaScott, Tiggerous, Aguinaldo Silvestre Sep 2 '18 at 8:17

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not clear what exactly your question is here... But it seems to be a duplicate of one of these two questions (or at least closely related): Casting multiple spells in a single round, and Can you cast 2 spells at the same time? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 2 '18 at 4:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ So are you asking what exactly the relevant rule is (about bonus-action spells)? Or are you already aware of the relevant rule, and asking why the rule says what it says? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 2 '18 at 5:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ You reference the rules for bonus action spellcasting already in your answer, is there something specific about them that is confusing to you? Are you asking why this rule exists? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 2 '18 at 5:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I am confused actually by the rules regarding spellcasting times, I don’t understand why you can cast a normal fireball (1 action casting time) and still be able to use a reaction to counter a counterspell, yet you can’t do the same if you actually cast fireball as a bonus action which is supposed to be even faster, more confusing for me if you add the fact that you must sacrifice 2 sorcery points to do it as a bonus action as a sorcerer, yet you are allowed to counter if you take longer and without sacrifice of sorcery points. \$\endgroup\$ – Piero Sep 2 '18 at 5:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast sure please go ahead, I’m sorry I don’t really know the rules around here, I just want to improve my dming no trolling intended! \$\endgroup\$ – Piero Sep 2 '18 at 5:37
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The restriction only applies to bonus-action spells

The relevant rule regarding bonus-action spells appears in the rules on spellcasting in the basic rules or PHB (p. 202):

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.

There are no other restrictions on casting multiple spells in the same turn. If you cast a spell as your action, it doesn't restrict your ability to cast a reaction spell. (It can, however, prevent you from casting any spell as a bonus action; the rule is agnostic of order, so if you cast any non-cantrip spell as an action, then you can't cast a spell as a bonus action.)


As you point out, the sorcerer does have the Quickened Spell metamagic option:

When you cast a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, you can spend 2 sorcery points to change the casting time to 1 bonus action for this casting.

This gives the sorcerer versatility, freeing up their action to spend their action doing other things for the cost of 2 sorcery points. However, it does not ignore the bonus-action spell rule; like all other characters, if the sorcerer casts a bonus-action spell (even if it's a Quickened spell that normally has a casting time of 1 action), the only other spell they can cast on their turn is a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

Although a sorcerer can't cast a quickened fireball and another leveled spell on the same turn, Quickened Spell can still be quite useful; it frees up their action to Disengage (e.g. if they want to move away from an enemy from being attacked), Dodge (e.g. if they want to minimize the chance of being hit by an attack or take a lot of damage from an enemy fireball), attack with a weapon, drink a healing potion, or anything else they can do as an action.


In fact, you could cast up to 3 leveled spells during your turn, but only if you have the fighter's Action Surge feature:

Starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again. Starting at 17th level, you can use it twice before a rest, but only once on the same turn.

(You could get the feature through multiclassing between fighter and any caster class, or using the Eldritch Knight fighter subclass.)

You could cast a leveled spell as your action, then use Action Surge to get another action on the same turn, and use that second action to cast another leveled spell. Finally, if the relevant trigger occurs, you could cast a reaction spell (e.g. you would get hit by an opportunity attack so you cast shield, or you get damaged by the attack so you cast hellish rebuke, or an enemy tries to counterspell your action spell so you cast counterspell on it).


In short, the rules may seem a little weird/arbitrary, but they're only interested in whether or not you've cast a bonus-action spell:

  • If you have cast a bonus-action spell, the only other spell you can cast that turn is a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action (no reaction spells on that same turn).
  • If you haven't cast a bonus-action spell, then you are free to cast a reaction spell on your turn.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ they do, in this case at least, seem a little weird/arbitrary as you say and as I suspected (and feared) as in RAW, so Cornelius's fireball + counterspell is fine but quickened fireball + counterspell is not, or magic stone + fireball + counterspell etc. I really would love to hear the RAI on this, thanks a lot you guys are great! \$\endgroup\$ – Piero Sep 2 '18 at 6:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be good if the answer specifically mentioned the interaction with Quickened Spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Sep 2 '18 at 6:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Marq: Good point, will do. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 2 '18 at 7:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is a lot of words to utterly fail to address OP's question of "why is reaction + action allowed but reaction + bonus disallowed", I'm afraid. \$\endgroup\$ – vonBoomslang Sep 2 '18 at 11:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vonBoomslang: Well, OP's actual question is a designer-reasons question, which is off-topic, so all we can answer with is the relevant rule. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 2 '18 at 17:57

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