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As an example, a level 6+ bladesinger wizard/11+ fighter character takes the Attack action. Are they able to use a cantrip? How many attacks do they get?

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Either 1 Attack+1 Cantrip, or the three attacks from Fighter.

This is the RAW ruling. If you elect to replace on of your attacks with a cantrip, then you are using the Bladesinger's extra attack feature, which says:

You can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. Moreover, you can cast one of your cantrips in place of one of those attacks.

Since this feature does not allow making more than 1 Attack along with casting a cantrip, 1 Attack+ 1 Cantrip is the limit when using the cantrip.

If you are making 2 or three attacks, then you cannot cast the cantrip, since the feature used to cast the cantrip does not permit casting the cantrip when you make 2 or three attacks. Essentially, you choose to either use the Fighter's extra attack and make 2 or three attacks, or you use the Bladesinger's extra attack and make 1 attack and cast 1 cantrip.

I should also mention the multiclassing rules for Extra Attack:

If you gain the Extra Attack class feature from more than one class, the features don't add together. You can't make more than two attacks with this feature unless it says you do (as the fighter's version of Extra Attack does). Similarly, the warlock's eldritch invocation Thirsting Blade doesn't give you additional attacks if you also have Extra Attack.

It isn't just that the attacks don't add together, the entire features don't add together. This further substantiates the ruling that when you have Extra Attack from multiple sources, you choose which one to use when you take the Attack action.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should say this is 'a' RAW ruling, that stacking consideration is certainly not the only RAW-viable interpretation. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Nov 25 '20 at 19:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, I think this is the RAW ruling. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Nov 25 '20 at 19:27
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If you read war magic it says when you use an action to cast a cantrip you can make a weapon attack as a ba. The extra attack feature for the bladesinger says that you can attack twice instead of once when you take the attack action and you can replace one of those attacks with a cantrip. The answer to your question is 1 weapon attack + 1 cantrip as the attack option, the attack option from fighter or casting a cantrip + 1 ba attack. Warmagic specifies casting the cantrip as an action and the bladesinger's extra attack option specifies the attack option.

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The core issue is the multiclassing rules for Extra Attack

If you gain the Extra Attack class feature from more than one class, the features don't add together. You can't make more than two attacks with this feature unless it says you do (as the fighter's version of Extra Attack does). Similarly, the warlock's eldritch invocation Thirsting Blade doesn't give you additional attacks if you also have Extra Attack.

There are two ways to read this.

The first is that you pick one and only one "Extra Attack" or "Similar" feature and can use it, and ignore the text of every other feature.

The other way to read it is that the "X attacks, instead of one" can only be used from one feature. The same wording is used in Thirsting Blade as in Extra Attack; this makes it really clear why Thirsting Blade is treated in the same breath as Extra Attack.

In that case, the question becomes if the second section of "Extra Attack" on the bladesinger is part of that substitution, or not.

Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. Moreover, you can cast one of your cantrips in place of one of those attacks.

If that second sentence is part of the "attack twice, instead of once" subsitution, then you cannot use that substitution and the one granted by the fighter Extra Attack feature:

Beginning at 5th Level, you can Attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on Your Turn.

The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 11th level in this class and to four when you reach 20th level in this class.

If, however, the second sentence is not part of the substitution, then you can use it alongside the fighter's 3 attacks.


So, if we read the multiclassing rules as stating you can only do the "you attack X times, instead of once" substitution once (because after doing it, you aren't attacking once!), it both explains why Thirsting Blade is implicitly included (despite it not being called extra attack), and it makes it plausible that the "also you can cast a cantrip in place of an attack" might be a valid reading.

Balance wise, a level 11-12 EK/Level 6-7 Bladesinger who can do 2 weapon attacks and a cantrip isn't going to be breaking the game. This is a combination that can only be reached in tier 4 by dedicating almost every character level to it.

So I'd consider this unclear.

But, I'd be surprised if WotC ever clarified this and didn't permit a Fighter 11/Bladesinger 6 to make the cantrip attack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to explain re those deleted comments; it's perfectly common for comments to point out where they think an answer went wrong. This would fall under improving the answer, through correcting mistakes. If you, the answerer, disagree with those comments flag them as NLN or suggest the commenter post their own answer (or upvote the answer they agree with). \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Nov 27 '20 at 23:55

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