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Encode thoughts is only, normally available to characters with the Dimir background.

Is it available to other characters who might get cantrips outside of traditional methods? Like Pact of the Tome or Magical secrets? My intuition is no, because they let you get cantrips off of class spell lists, but this cantrip is not on a class spell list.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So that's why I just got an upvote on this answer then... \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jun 28 at 11:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil maybe, maybe not. But definitely yes. I think the answer is no, but your answer doesn't spell it out (hehe) so I thought it would be worth a separate question \$\endgroup\$ – Pureferret Jun 28 at 11:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I assume you're interested only in ways of permanently being able to cast the spell or would magic items with charges and things like using wish count? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jun 28 at 12:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ADDO Please don't answer in comments. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jun 28 at 20:45
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There are no other ways to learn encode thoughts, and nothing short of a wish spell can allow you to cast encode thoughts without already knowing the cantrip.

The feats Spell Sniper and Magic Initiate, as well as the class features Pact of the Tome and Magical Secrets, all specify that the selected spell comes from a class’s list.

Pact of the Tome:

choose three cantrips from any class’s spell list

Magical Secrets:

Choose two spells from any classes

Magic Initiate:

Choose a class: bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard. You learn two cantrips of your choice from that class's spell list.

Spell Sniper:

You learn one cantrip that requires an attack roll. Choose the cantrip from the bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard spell list.

Encode thoughts doesn’t appear on any class list.

Additional details: Encode thoughts cannot be stored in the magic item Spell Gem:

A spell gem can contain one spell from any class’s spell list.

An encode thoughts spell scroll would be unintelligible to everyone:

If the spell is on your class’s spell list, you can read the scroll and cast its spell without providing any material components. Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible.

Other potential sources of cantrips that specify a class list: all other class features, aberrant dragon mark feat.

What about the Thief Rogue’s Use Magic Device and the Artificer’s Magic Item Savant with an encode thoughts spell scroll?

Both of these abilities say:

You ignore all class, race, and level requirements on the [use of magic items]

I argue that it still doesn’t work. These abilities let you ignore all class requirements. Trouble is, there are no class requirement to ignore. These two class features assume that there is some class based restriction we are ignoring that would normally be satisfied by having a particular class. Because there is no class that allows for casting encode thoughts, there is no proper class requirement to ignore with these class features.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you're listing other cantrip sources that don't work: hat of wizardry, dark shard amulet, mizzium apparatus. There is the Spellwrought Tattoo, but that's UA. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jun 28 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm seems all the cantrip-casting magic items (listed by Someon_Evil earlier) all restrict to classes, ah well \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jun 28 at 12:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I’ll reorganize my answer when I have time later, and I’ll include all potential sources that don’t work as well as dndbeyond links and sourcebook page numbers. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jun 28 at 12:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is one other way; artifacts with random properties might have a Minor Beneficial Property of "51–60 | While attuned to the artifact, you can use an action to cast one cantrip (chosen by the DM) from it." If the GM chooses encode thoughts you could cast it using the artifact. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jul 1 at 14:32

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