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To my understanding, an Artillerist artificer can create an Eldritch Cannon during a battle using an action. The first one of the day doesn't require expending a spell slot.

But what about activation and movement during a battle? Can you activate and move all Eldritch Cannons using the same bonus action?

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You can't have multiple Eldritch Cannons until level 15.

The description of the Artillerist artificer's Eldritch Cannon feature (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, p. 17; emphasis mine):

Once you create a cannon, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest or until you expend a spell slot to create one. You can have only one cannon at a time and can't create one while your cannon is present.

Spending a spell slot to create a cannon is how you replace it during the day if the initial free one gets destroyed. You can't just keep spending spell slots to produce more & more cannons to create an army of them.

At level 15, a single bonus action activates & moves both cannons.

The description of the 15th-level Fortified Position feature says (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, p. 18; emphasis mine):

You can now have two cannons at the same time. You can create two with the same action (but not the same spell slot), and you can activate both of them with the same bonus action. You determine whether the cannons arc identical to each other or different. You can't create a third cannon while you have two.

Once you hit level 15 and gain the Fortified Position feature, you can have two cannons out, and a single bonus action can be used to command both of them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, at level 15, every time you create 2 cannons with the same action the first one is free and the second one expends a spell slot? \$\endgroup\$
    – GeorgeKaf
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 9:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GeorgeKaf Once per day you can create your cannon(s) for free. At levels 1-14 you get 1 cannon that way, at level 15+ you get 2 cannons. You can always spend a spell slot to replace one cannon, either because it was destroyed or because you want a different type of cannon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see any wording that says you can have two cannons for free, once a day. I see that you can create a single cannon for free once a day; further cannons within that day require a spell slot each. All that changes at level 15 is your max number of cannons and how many you can make in an action. It does not change the cost of making turrets. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lucas Fortified Position says "you can create two with the same action". \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, we've covered that. The rules say you can create two in the same action, but it does not say the cost is free. If you read the very next words from where you quote, it then says "but not the same spell slot" \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 5:13

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