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I'm not sure if this interpretation of RAW is correct or if there is any RAI that would decide if twinning a warcast spell is valid. Is there anything that makes it explicit that a single target spell cast through the War Caster feat can or cannot be twinned?

War Caster

When a hostile creature's movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, instead of making an opportunity attack. The spell must have a casting time of only 1 action and must target only that creature.

From what I can tell, War Caster takes place during the triggering of the reaction. You replace a opportunity attack with the casting of a spell, or essentially the Cast Spell action. Once you select a spell that takes 1 action and is targeting only the creature that has provoked the Reaction, the requirements of War Caster are satisfied.

Metamagic: Twinned Spell

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).

Based on the phrasing of this metamagic feature, you select to twin a spell after you have selected targets. That would be after War Caster's conditions have already been met.

Now, Twinned Spell does not work on things like Fire Ball, because it can target more than one creature, even if it currently doesn't. I'm not sure if this can be applied to War Caster in the same way though, because what is causing that to be the case is Twinned Spell. And if you can't use something like Fire Bolt because it could be twinned and that makes it violate the condition "must target only that creature" that would imply that you can't twin Fire Bolt ever because "that targets only one creature" would also apply. So if you can't twin a warcast spell, you shouldn't be able to twin any spells, from what I can tell. That leads me to conclude that you must be able to twin a warcast spell. Twinned Spell does not apply retroactively to itself, so it would make sense it doesn't apply retroactively to War Caster.

What information exists that makes this clear and less reliant on just trying to guess the order of operations for when War Caster's condition stops applying?

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Probably not

You select the Twinned Spell target at the same time you select your primary target for the spell from War Caster. It says "When" you cast the spell. In other words, there are not two rounds of target selection, only one.

You can cast a spell that does not require an attack roll, but I think looking at the rules for making an attack helps reinforce this interpretation:

1. Choose a target. Pick a target within your attack's range: a creature, an object, or a location.

2. Determine modifiers. The DM determines whether the target has cover and whether you have advantage or disadvantage against the target. In addition, spells, special abilities, and other effects can apply penalties or bonuses to your attack roll.

3. Resolve the attack [...]

Set aside the question of whether or not twinning is allowed for a second. The reaction is resolved by first declaring targets (at this point, the caster would pay the sorcery point(s) to add a second target if it were allowed), determine what sort of bonuses or penalties each roll would make, and then roll the dice to make the spell attack.

Obviously, the spell might not involve an attack roll, in which case the latter steps are skipped (or they apply to the target if it needs to make a save).

But we see only one round of target selection because it's one spell. Twinning just gives the caster the option of expanding that selection to more than one target, but War Caster precludes selecting more than one target for the spellcasting. All this is established before the spell's effect is resolved and the casting is finished.

So I think the rules indicate that one can't twin a spell cast using the War Caster feat.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this is the answer. According to Jeremy Crawford (sageadvice.eu/2017/10/21/…) you can use spells that "could" target more than one creature, but don't. That would mean with this rule, that War Caster occurs retroactive after targeting is declared, and the rules and the phrasing of Twinned indicate that it would occur before the targeting and after the casting. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Sep 20 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sean I'm not quite sure I follow but it sounds like you're using different phrasing to say that Warcaster's prohibits multi-target spells, which would apply to a spell if it were twinned. The tweet does help to confirm this. Thanks for finding that! \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Sep 20 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Warcaster doesn't prevent multitarget spells, but it does prevent spells from multitargeting. Warcaster's RAW sounds like pre-'spell casting', and therefore pre-targeting, as twin is post-'spell casting' and during targeting. But with the knowledge that you can Warcast 5th level eldritch blast means that it doesn't follow the assumption of Twin where if it can multitarget it does, and the restrictions it imposes therefore only apply after targeting has been declared. So despite the wording, Warcaster's restrictions don't come into effect until after/during you "Choose a target". \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Sep 23 at 18:24
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No

War Caster only allows you to use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature that provoked an opportunity attack. Twinned Spell allows you to cast the spell at a second target. You could twin the spell, but War Caster does not allow you to cast the spell at any other target than the creature that provoked the opportunity attack.

You argue that twinning a spell doesn't disqualify it from Twinned Spell, because if that was the case you could never twin anything. I disagree. Fire bolt can be twinned, but twinning it does disqualify it from Twinned Spell, since you can't twin a Twinned fire bolt. You can twin it, but once twinned you can not twin it a second time. Twinning a spell also disqualifies it from use with a War Caster reaction.

Fire bolt is valid for both Twinned Spell and War Caster, but a Twinned fire bolt is valid for neither.

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    \$\begingroup\$ -1 : I feel like this doesn't really answer the main point of the question "when does the restriction of a spell are checked", especially if we consider OP's comparison between Twinned Spell's and Warcaster Feat's effects. If the conditions must be valid during the entire cast, you'll never be able to cast a Twinned Spell : when the effect is applied, the spell stop being mono-target. \$\endgroup\$ – Nahyn - support Monica Cellio Sep 20 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ This would be an inaccurate analysis. Tin specifies its restrictions on what the spell can target. War Caster would have no effect on what a valid target for the twin. The validity of the target is dependent on the spell's valid targets, not the events that lead you to casting the spell. Once you cast the spell, the effects of War Caster are (probably) over and Twin now operates as normal (probably). \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Sep 20 at 19:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sean War Caster does limit the valid targets for the spell. It says "you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature". That sounds a targeting restriction to me. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan C. Thompson Sep 20 at 21:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanThompson to be exact, it says "... must target only that creature." The 'only' specifies the restriction. I agree with you. This answer perfectly summed my conclusion: Even if the spell can be twinned, you can only choose the 'provoker' as the target. \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Sep 21 at 7:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are absolutely right about Twinned Spell not creating a second spell. I've updated my reasoning and still arrive at the same conclusion. \$\endgroup\$ – Joakim M. H. Sep 23 at 6:29
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You cannot use the Twinned Spell Metamagic on a spell cast using the War Caster feat

The War Caster feat states:

[...] The spell must have a casting time of only 1 action and must target only that creature.

This phrase has no time restriction, the entirety of that spell must target only that one creature. It does not say that the spell must only target one creature at that time it must simply only target one creature, end of sentence. This prevents you from adding more targets to the spell through the Twinned Spell Metamagic option.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Correct, but that was covered. The spell DOES only target one creature. Then Warcaster is validated and you are allowed to cast the spell. Twin comes into effect AFTER you cast a spell and War Caster comes BEFORE you cast the spell. War Caster isn't what casts the spell, it just has a set of parameters for allowing you to cast the spell. Again, if this was accurate, it could be argued twin "When you cast a spell that targets only one creature" can never be applied to any spell, because it would be invalid for its own requirements. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Sep 20 at 19:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sean Twinned spell lets you add a target to a spell that otherwise can't target more than one thing. The Warcaster feat however requires that the spell not target any more creatures ever. So it prevents twinning because that would add creatures which Warcaster prohibits \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Sep 20 at 19:33
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RAW, there isn't a lot of thing to either validate or counter this. But your logic is good.

I add a bit of a hard time to understand your point but this is a really good question.

To clarify a bit, the Twinned Spell effect is :

  • When you cast a spell -with the restriction of being mono-target-, you can add the Twinned Spell effect to it.

  • If you choose to do so, the spell isn't mono-target anymore and therefore doesn't pass the restriction anymore.

So it seems like the limits only apply when the spell is chosen and don't retroactively check the validity of the spell.

If we apply the same logic for the Warcaster feat effect, once the spell is chosen, the limits shouldn't be re-check so if you choose to apply Twinned Spell, it should work.

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