I have started running D&D 5e just now, so I do not have an encyclopedic knowledge of character creation options. We played a first session, with half character generation and half low-key play.

One player made a tiefling warlock and said they use their augury ability that they have since they are a tiefling. I did not carefully go through their character sheets; players are responsible for that, but I also checked some obvious sources and only found that tieflings get thaumaturgy from their race, not augury. But maybe there is some variant that gets augury, or gets to add augury to their spell list, etc. The character is first level.

The player claimed to know the rules but made false claims about them during the session. The player is a stranger to me and the other players. I will, for sure, ask them to show their work at the beginning of the next session, but I would also like to know what the rules actually say.

Is it possible for a warlock tiefling to have access to the augury spell, as a first level character?

I am most interested in official published (not Unearthed Arcana) WotC material, but if there is notable UA or well-known third party material that allows this, that would also be useful information.

(I do not, at the moment, need advice on handling the social situation, and will ask a separate question if it becomes relevant.)

up vote 30 down vote accepted

Such a character can't cast augury, barring some kind of magic item or homebrew

Augury is a 2nd-level spell. It is not a tiefling racial spell, as you noted, nor even a warlock spell.

The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes add a number of other tiefling variants with different racial spells - but none of them get augury as a racial spell, and those racial spells all match the template (spell level and corresponding character level) of the PHB tiefling. (The same is true of the variants originally proposed in UA: That Old Black Magic and UA: Fiendish Options.)

There are a number of published warlock patrons across the official 5e books, but none grant augury as an option from the subclass expanded spell list, and even if they did, they wouldn't add a 2nd-level spell as an option for the character to learn until the character could cast 2nd-level spells.

If the player claims to know/have access to the spell, ask them where they got it from. I see no means for any 1st-level character to do so without a magic item or some kind of homebrew.

I'd wager it's a misunderstanding of the racial traits. I did find a 5e homebrew augury tiefling, who gets it at level 5 (emphasis mine):

Radiant Legacy. Instead of Infernal Legacy. You know the light cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the healing word spell once and need to finish a long rest before you can cast it again. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the augury spell once and need to finish a long rest before you can cast it again. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

I'd bet whatever source your player is relying on has a similar level requirement he has missed or ignored.

Also, it's worth noting Augury has a material component (specially marked sticks, bones, or similar tokens worth at least 25 gp) which, according to Sage Advice, is required unless explicitly ignored in the racial trait:

If a racial trait grants a spell, the trait tells you if you can ignore any of the spell's components.

So even if there was a path to casting it, it's unlikely they'd have the material components.

  • But the material components requirement does not matter if they have a focus, right? – lucidbrot Oct 18 at 18:49
  • 4
    @lucidbrot: Not quite. Material components that don't have a stated cost and aren't consumed can be substituted with a component pouch, or a spellcasting focus if the feature you get the spell from tells you you can use one. (Racial spells don't generally let you substitute the components with a spellcasting focus.) However, if the material components have a stated cost and/or they are consumed, you can't substitute them. – V2Blast Oct 18 at 18:56

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