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In Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything there are 2 so called half-feats Fey Touched and Shadow Touched, which grant an ability score improvement from Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, one spell and one 1st-level spell of your choice from 2 schools of magic. Divination or enchantment school of magic for Fey Touched and illusion or necromancy for Shadow Touched.

Is there a reason why there are no "... Touched" half-feats for the other schools of magic? Would it be unbalanced or game breaking to create "... Touched" half-feats with a combination of 2 schools from abjuration, conjuration, evocation and transmuation?

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I think the primary answer to this is that these feats are meant to be thematic for specific realms adjacent to the material plane, and the schools of magic chosen are chosen because they relate to fey and shadow rather than for any specific balance purpose. I don't see any reason any pair of 1st level spells in the game would be unbalancing -- so from that perspective there's no particular reason you couldn't generate a similar feat that lets you chose from, say, evocation and abjuration.

However, I think there is possibly a good reason not to do that. The four schools of magic that are available via Touched feats are probably the ones that are least popular with the average player, and I don't think that's coincidental. Evocation and Abjuration are already the most commonly used schools for most casters, since between them you essentially have all the good attack and defense spells and most of the healing spells; and between Transmutation and Conjuration, you have almost all of the most popular low level utility spells in the game. These feats nudge players toward taking magic that might be less used, where a feat that allows Evocation is probably going to mean a lot more players using it to take cure wounds, burning hands, magic missile, or thunderwave once again. "Pick a 1st level Necromancy or Illusion" is, frankly, just a more interesting decision.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It could also potentially open up for any character to get paladin and ranger exclusive spells, that aren't available with magic initiate. Whether that is good or bad is up to debate. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 15:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't get into class lists because the classes available already lets in Hunter's Mark and a number of spells that are at least uncommon if not limited to one class (Heroism, Beast Bond, Compelled Duel, etc), so I don't think that's a particular balance concern. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 15:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ My biggest balance concern would be Abjuration providing easy/universal access to Shield. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 16:32
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Similar feats would not be unbalancing

A feat patterned after those two would be comparable in power to them, and therefore highly unlikely to be unbalancing.

I do not know the designer reasons for the feat selection, but you can observe that there is both a Feywild and a Shadowfell plane, to match up with those two feats, and these planes are special as they are in neighborhood to the material plane, and are in fact matching reflections of it, as you can see from the chart on p. 303 in the PHB. No other two planes are so situated, to form a natural pendant for two more such feats for the other four schools fo magic.

Feywild: Fey have long been associated with glamer, illusion and enchantment magic. Many fey creatures have the power to charm or divine, for example a dryad can charm, and a pixie can detect evil and good, so the schools match this nature of the plane.

The Feywild is inhabited by sylvan creatures, such as elves, dryads, satyrs, pixies, and sprites, as well as centaurs and magical creatures such as blink dogs,

Shadowfell: the shadowfell is the dark counterpart to the feywild. To balance the feats' number of schools, you get illusion in this place of distorted reality, and because of the more sinister aspects and undead, necromancy.

Shadow dragons and undead creatures haunt this bleak plane, as do other creatures that thrive in the gloom, including cloakers and darkmantles.

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