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Fifth Edition has a number of items that require attunement by a spellcaster.

If the prerequisite is to be a spellcaster, a creature qualifies if it can cast at least one spell using its traits or features, not using a magic item or the like.

I am creating a magic item that I would like to restrict to creatures that are not spellcasters. Using another franchise, the wording would be:

Requires attunement by a muggle

Is there an term for this set of creatures in any of the official rules?

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Non-spellcaster

Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p.226, "Library Vault Adventures":

Destroy a scroll containing an incantation that allows even non-spellcasters to animate the dead.

A search of D&D Beyond for the term non-spellcaster suggests that it's not a very commonly used term, perhaps because very few game mechanics exist which exclusively affect people who cannot cast spells.

There is a parallel term for creatures who cannot fly, non-flying creature, which does appear in the DMG, as does "a creature of non-lawful alignment" (a prerequisite of the artifact Blackrazor), and "non-dwarf" (a curse on the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords).

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There is no official terminology for non-spellcasters other than "non-spellcasters."

From the DMG Errata (P.1):

About Attunement (PHB 136)

The first paragraph ends with a new sentence: “If the prerequisite is to be a spellcaster, a creature qualifies if it can cast at least one spell using its traits or features, not using a magic item or the like.”

For the purpose of attunement:

If a creature is able to cast a spell by virtue of their own ability (not from an item), whether that be race, class, or feature, they are a spellcaster.

If a creature isn't able to cast a spell by virtue of their own ability (not from an item), whether that be race, class, or feature, they aren't a spellcaster.

The books until Eberron: Rising from the Last War offers no further terminology about non-spellcasters that goes beyond "creature" which also applies to spellcasters, so for the purpose of the restriction and clarity I recommend the term "non-spellcaster" which are defined as lacking all the qualities a spellcaster has without introducing any lingo.

I have done so while homebrewing magic-items and my table understood what non-spellcasters were after I told them how they are distinct from spellcasters.

In Eberron: Rising from the Last War non-spellcasters are mentioned exactly once on the table for Library Vault Adventures (ERftLW 226)

Destroy a scroll containing an incantation that allows even non-spellcasters to animate the dead.

There is no consistent use of that language elsewhere.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not the downvote, but I find non-spellcaster a bit clunky to explain. It is my current default though. \$\endgroup\$
    – raithyn
    Feb 15, 2020 at 22:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want you can use the distinction of "warrior" which has been used before, but from my experience the concept of a spellcaster is much easier to explain, and therefore also what a non-spellcaster is. @raithyn \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Feb 15, 2020 at 22:54

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