I'm just starting out, and want to play a Drow Bard in D&D 5e.

Basically, the wording of the PHB is a bit confusing:

  • Does 'knowing' a cantrip mean you can 'cast' a cantrip for free without a slot (like it states later for Faerie Fire and Darkness) an unlimited number of times?
  • Or does it have to use one of your existing cantrip slots? Bards have access to 2 from the Bard list at level 1. If so, would this mean it's a waste to play a Drow Bard, since the free cantrip is part of the Bard's cantrip list?

It looks like this question was asked before, but no answer was given, hence I'm providing more info than the previous user.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related, possible dupe: When a racial trait grants me use of a spell, does it have to also become a spell I know? \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Feb 2 at 0:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Feb 2 at 0:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mind linking to the previous question you mention? \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Feb 2 at 0:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it wasn't exactly the same, but it was here: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/113126/… \$\endgroup\$ – Turbanator Feb 2 at 10:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Neat. That previous question was closed because it didn't specify what system it is for (that's a pretty hard requirement for us) and never came back to clarify. There's a good chance that it'll be deleted, as it is unlikely to be salvaged, and even if it is yours is covering the topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Feb 2 at 11:24

The racial cantrip that some races get (including Dancing Lights for Drow) is in addition to any cantrips that might be gained as a class feature. The character adds that racial cantrip to the list of cantrips known - it does NOT take one of the known cantrips allowed if cantrips are gained as a class feature.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, in other words, 'knowing' = a free spell/cantrip to use as I wish without adding to my spell slots, 'casting' (when referring to Darness) = the ability to cast a spell as many times as stated in the manual? If it's a free cantrip for me to play with, and I can still choose two others when playing as a bard, giving me 3 in total as level 1, that should make the game interesting! \$\endgroup\$ – Turbanator Feb 2 at 11:22

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