The druid subclass Circle of the Stars from Unearthed Arcana: Subclasses, Part 3 has the 2nd-level feature Starry Form, part of the description of which states:

You gain a bonus action that you can use to make a ranged spell attack, hurling a luminous arrow that targets a creature you can see within 60 feet of you. On a hit, the attack deals radiant damage equal to 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier.

Does “making a ranged spell attack” count as casting a spell and therefore limit your action to a cantrip or can you cast a spell of first level or higher because the arrow is not a spell? Could I cast one of the freely available Guiding Bolts and fire an arrow or do I have to stick with something like frostbite and an arrow?


Your action is restricted to a cantrip only when you actually cast a spell with a casting time of 1 bonus action:

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn. You can't cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

Since you aren’t using your bonus action to cast a spell, rather using a class feature, you are free to then cast a spell with a casting time of 1 action.


You can cast a spell on the same turn as using the starry form attack

As you've mentioned, the starry form attack only states that you must "make a ranged spell attack", but nowhere does it say that it is a spell. Regardless, it also doesn't state that it uses a spell slot, which is the real restriction on whether or not you could cast another spell (as Thomas Markov's answer shows).

Given that neither of those things are true (it isn't a spell, and even if it was, it doesn't use a spell slot), then you are free to cast another spell with your remaining action.

(In this case, the fact that it says "make a ranged spell attack" is just a short hand way of telling you to make an attack that uses your Wisdom modifier and your proficiency bonus.)


If the additional bonus action was casting a spell, it would say so. But it doesn't - it just says you can use it to make a ranged spell attack (meaning your use your spell attack modifier for the attack).

Therefore you are free to use your action to cast any spell you like (as long as it has a casting time of 1 action)!


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