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I was making a Barbarian/Wild Magic Sorcerer multi-class and realized the following scenario may occur:

  1. Rolling a 01-02 on the Wild Magic Surge Table:

    Roll on this table at the start of each of your turns for the next minute, ignoring this result on subsequent rolls [...]

    - Player's Handbook (page 104)

  2. Enter a rage which has the following stipulation:

    [...] If you are able to cast spells, you can't cast them or concentrate on them while raging [...]

    - Player's Handbook (page 48)

  3. Roll something on the Wild Magic Surge Table that causes you to cast a spell, for example:

    09-10 You cast magic missile as a 5th-level spell.

    - Player's Handbook (page 104)

Does the Barbarian's rage prevent you from casting magic missile or do you cast magic missile even though you are raging?


Note that the following questions establish that when Wild Magic Surge calls for a spell to be cast the Sorcerer is the one casting it:

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Another similar situation can arise when sorcerer is hit by feeblemind which prevents you from casting spells. \$\endgroup\$ – Revolver_Ocelot Nov 30 at 6:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Revolver_Ocelot Or if a Sorcerer cast a levelled bonus action spell, which doesn't even require the initial 01-02 roll. I wasn't sure whether to just ask the general question "what happens if a wild magic surge says to cast an otherwise dis-allowed spell? " \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 30 at 6:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, what synergy did you see between wild magic sorcerer and barbarian that would produce a viable character? Or was the combination the result of some funky backstory idea? Cause I'm imagining that dog from YouTube that grabs the shooting roman candle and goes charging back to its owner sending fireballs all over the place. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Dec 1 at 9:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rykara It's a character with little control over themself, so often accidentally creating explosions of magic and entering into a rage. Parts of it definitely go against the usual interpretation of the classes and subclass but it was shaping up to be quite interesting \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Dec 1 at 9:50
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RAW spell is not cast, however there might be a different RAI interpretation

Rage clearly says that RAW you can't cast spells. Since no exceptions are specified and the wild magic surge states that you would be casting a spell nothing would happen.

However, if we accept an assumption based on the flavor of rage that you can't cast spells while raging because you are unable to perform and concentrate on the necessary complex tasks required to cast a spell (V, S, M components, concentration) then it would make sense for the effects of the wild magic surge to still trigger. After all, even though your character is the source for these spells they are not willingly invoking them. Note that this is based on the "common sense" reading of the rules and not their literal interpretation. It would be purely up to the DM to allow this.

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Specific trumps general

The wild magic surge which forces the caster to reroll on the table each turn for the next minute would be considered a general rule for how the class works. The rule which states that a raging barbarian can't cast spells would be considered to be a specific rule. The latter trumps the former as specified in the rules.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Both rage and wild magic surge are class features. How are you determining which is specific? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 30 at 22:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 The wild magic rule says, depending on what you roll, you have to cast spells. The rage rule says you can't cast spells. The latter overrides the former by virtue of the character being prevented from doing it. I'd think of it like being forced to make an attack via the confusion spell but being unable to do so due to the hold person spell. Both being class features doesn't really matter. I'd consider other things like a silence or antimagic field to block the wild magic effect just the same. \$\endgroup\$ – Allan Mills Nov 30 at 22:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1; this is not a case of specific-vs-general. This is a case of Multiclassing-is-Optional-and-Not-All-Permutations-Were-Considered, and therefore something an individual DM will need to decide. You can argue one side or the other, but specific-vs-general doesn't cover it cleanly. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Dec 2 at 13:43

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