Some class features or feats give benefits that have a limit on the number of times they can be used without resting. I'm all but certain there are more, but I can only find one offhand. The bard's College of Satire says, in part:

At 6th level, you can cast detect thoughts up to a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier. You regain any expended uses of this ability after completing a long rest.

If a creature resists your attempt to probe deeper and succeeds at its saving throw against your detect thoughts, it immediately suffers an embarrassing social gaffe. It might loudly pass gas, unleash a thunderous burp, trip and fall, or be compelled to tell a tasteless joke.

Detect thoughts is also on the bard spell list. If a satire bard of level 6 or higher also knows detect thoughts as a normal spell, does their casting of the spell "normally" have the same effect as the class feature? If so, how many times would the extra effect happen? Can they choose whether the extra effect happens? Does it matter whether they learned the spell before reaching level 6?

For example, could I walk down the street making everyone tell crude jokes while tripping over each other and farting like they're in a remake of Blazing Saddles? Or, if I have a charisma modifier of +3, could I only do it to the first three people I meet each day?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The question in your title seems broader than the actual question you seem to be asking in the body of your post - and the broader question might depend on the wording of each feature. I'd suggest editing the title of your question to match the actual question in the body of the post. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 27, 2018 at 23:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm interested in the general case; the detect thoughts / College of Satire interaction is just an example. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2018 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


A class feature's stipulations are for just that class feature

Your example is a specific named class feature, "Fool's Insight", and where it says that you

...regain any expended uses of this ability after completing a long rest...

it is referring to this ability, i.e. Fool's Insight. It's in the context of explaining this ability that we learn how it affords you the jester's joy of engendering flatulence among the unsuspecting.

That distinct pleasure is from your Fool's Insight ability, not from your ability to cast detect thoughts with a spell slot. And the ability can be used thrice daily.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not entirely convinced by this answer; I'm sure I've seen another case where the order of text in a class feature (or possibly a feat) was relevant and added things to the general case, but I can't find it. Maybe I dreamed it. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2018 at 14:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd be interested if such a case exists (it might). Notwithstanding my general answer, it would be reasonable for your DM to house-rule as you had originally suggested in your question, as I don't think it amounts to a major upset of play balance in that particular case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Valley Lad
    Nov 9, 2018 at 19:58

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