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Tasha's Cauldron of Everything contains the wondrous item spellwrought tattoo, which allows you to cast a spell:

Once the tattoo is there, you can cast its spell, requiring no material components. The tattoo glows faintly while you cast the spell and for the spell's duration. Once the spell ends, the tattoo vanishes from your skin.

An instantaneous spell like fireball would end immediately after dealing damage. A concentration spell would end as soon as you cast another concentration spell. What happens if you cast a non-concentration spell with a duration from the tattoo - blindness/deafness, for example? Can you then cast it again on the next turn (or on the same turn, with Action Surge), assuming that the first target hasn't successfully saved to end the spell?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast It hasn't come up in real games yet. I both play and DM in AL, so I'm just getting prepared for how to handle it if it comes up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Nov 24, 2020 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, got it. All other comments removed. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 24, 2020 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aid is another strong option, allowing you to heal 15HP a turn for 8 hours. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 30, 2021 at 3:05

2 Answers 2

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Yes

Nothing about the description prohibits this course of action. The description states:

Once the tattoo is there, you can cast its spell, requiring no material components.

So if a spell has not yet ended, and the tattoo is still there, you can keep casting the spell as many times as your action economy allows.

You mention blindness/deafness, which is definitely one very strong application of the tattoo, but I think the strongest use would be a spellwrought tattoo of planar binding. Not only would this allow you to cast a 5th level spell throughout the entire day, it also removes the need for the expensive material component that is often a fairly limiting characteristic of the spell. As such, see below:

This might be more powerful than the magic item should be

The spellwrought tattoo is essentially functioning as a variant of a spell scroll, with the same rarity for the same spell level. As such, a DM may remove the RAW capability of the tattoo to cast a spell multiple times in the way you suggest to bring it more in line with how a spell scroll works.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good ol' Wizards R&D not checking the wording on their stuff again. Maybe they should consult us as editors before they officially publish stuff XD \$\endgroup\$ Nov 23, 2020 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting analysis. I suspect that an errata will be forthcoming. In a year or two. WoTC never acts with alacrity. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 24, 2020 at 19:54
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It depends on what "a single spell" means

To quote more text contained under the spellwrought tattoo:

Produced by a special needle, this magic tattoo contains a single spell of up to 5th level, wrought on your skin by a magic needle. To use the tattoo, you must hold the needle against your skin and speak the command word. The needle turns into ink that becomes the tattoo, which appears on the skin in whatever design you like. Once the tattoo is there, you can cast its spell, requiring no material components. The tattoo glows faintly while you cast the spell and for the spell’s duration. Once the spell ends, the tattoo vanishes from your skin.

There exists an equivocation that can be read here, basically there are two different ways that one can interpret what "a single spell" means:

  1. Each iteration of a spell's effect could be "a spell," thus "a single spell" would mean the spell can only be cast once from the tattoo.
  2. Every different kind of spell could be "a single spell," hence "a single spell" means it contains one specific spell, E.G. if the tattoo contains longstrider that is the single spell that it contains, but under certain conditions it may be able to cast that single spell multiple times.

Hence if the meaning of a single spell is the first your idea doesn't work, if the meaning is second it may be able to do so.


The text's context seems to suggest the former, so you would only ever be able to cast a spell from the tattoo once; if you were to take a survey of RaW being the former, the latter, or neither, I believe the majority opinion would be that the first possibility is what is intended, leaving you only able to cast a spell once from the tattoo.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate the candor in the penultimate line, but the answer is probably somewhat better without it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Mar 12, 2021 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I wondered that, I think I'll remove it \$\endgroup\$
    – Dezvul
    Mar 12, 2021 at 17:56

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