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The Metamagic Adept feat has "Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature" as a prerequisite. If the only spellcasting you have is from the Magic Initiate feat, can you take Metamagic Adept?

I'm guessing the answer is no, since the Magic Initiate feat isn't technically the Spellcasting feature.

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    – V2Blast
    Oct 10, 2021 at 22:47

2 Answers 2

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Spellcasting and Pact Magic are specific class features. Magic Initiate does not count.

When Metamagic Adept says:

Prerequisite: Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature

it is referring to the class features called “Spellcasting” or “Pact Magic” found in the class descriptions of spellcaster classes such as Wizard and Warlock:

Spellcasting

As a student of arcane magic, you have a spellbook containing spells that show the first glimmerings of your true power. See Spells Rules for the general rules of spellcasting and the Spells Listing for the wizard spell list.

Pact Magic

Your arcane research and the magic bestowed on you by your patron have given you facility with spells. See Spells Rules for the general rules of spellcasting and the Spells Listing for the warlock spell list.

If your list of class features does not have Spellcasting or Pact Magic, you cannot take Metamagic Adept. Another way to check is to look at the class table for each class. Each has a column named "Features":

Level Proficiency Bonus Features
1st +2 Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery
Level Proficiency Bonus Features
1st +2 Otherworldy Patron, Pact Magic

As you can see, the Wizard and Warlock tables explicitly list Spellcasting and Pact Magic as "features". Magic Initiate does not count as the Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature because it’s not the Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature. It’s the Magic Initiate feature. For Magic Initiate to qualify us for Metamagic Adept, the prerequisite of Metamgic Adept would have had to say something like the prerequisite of Elemental Adept:

Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell

If this were the prerequisite of Metamagic Adept, then Magic Initiate would qualify you for Metamagic Adept. Instead, Metamagic Adept names two specific class features as eligible prerequisites, and Magic Initiate is not one of those features.

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This answer is completely wrong.

The DMG has an errata p136 that covers what spellcasting means (at least in relation to attunement requirements, however its reasonable to assume this is a universal rule). “If the prerequisite is to be a spellcaster, a creature qualifies if it can cast at least one spell using its traits or features, not using a magic item or the like.”

'spellcasting' merely requires that you can cast a spell using a class feature or trait. feats are class features, obviously, and even elves who get the one cantrip choice, qualify as spellcasting as its their racial trait.

similarly, variant humans who use their racial feat for magic initiate would qualify.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But Metamagic Adept explicitly requires the Spellcasting feature itself, not just that ability to cast a spell. That piece of errata is also exclusively about Attunement and the requirement to "be a spellcaster", so I'm not sure you can apply it to feats or the requirement to have the Spellasting feature. I think quoting the errata and explaining how/why it applies to this case would help improve this answer \$\endgroup\$ Oct 12, 2021 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that DnD cannot, nor ever will be able to precisely define everything, nor are they interested in doing so, as the rules are a guide. How you want to interpret that guide is up to you. "to be a spellcaster" is almost certainly, to any rational logical person is the same as "having the spellcaster feature". (even if this was never intended by the game designers, it is the correct position to take from the casually thrown use of the words spellcaster, specllcasting, and feature) \$\endgroup\$
    – user71002
    Nov 26, 2021 at 13:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ive removed the word “above”, as my answer is not above yours in every sorting method. Linking it should be sufficient, though if you want to be more descriptive you can say “Thomas’ answer is wrong” or something like that. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2021 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user71002, I think your answer is useful as it provides a different perspective that can be argued for. At the same time, there is a difference between "being a spellcaster", i.e. being able to cast at least one spell, and "having the Spellcasting feature". The latter is a more technical, and more restrictive wording. If they wanted all spellcasters to be able to take Metamagic adept, they could have written "if the creature is a spellcaster" instead, or at Thomas has it "...can cast at least one spell". \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2022 at 18:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin The answer correctly points out that "to be a spellcaster" means "to be able to cast at least one spell". The trouble here is that the rule says "If the prerequisite is to be a spellcaster..." and that's simply not the prerequisite for Metamagic Adept. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2022 at 18:29

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