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If my understanding is correct, a successful Counterspell not only negates the spell effect of the receiving caster, but also burns their spell slot.

So if Bob the Bard attempts to cast Mass Healing Word, but Willy the Wizard Counterspells it, Bob has burned his 1 spell x turn, so could only cast a cantrip at that point.

It doesn't matter if the spell that got countered was an action or a bonus action, either way the rule is ONE spell per turn, correct?

Had a confusing moment in a game last night and want to make sure I played it right.

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There is no "one spell per turn" rule.

There is no rule that says you can only cast one spell per turn. This is a common misunderstanding of the bonus action casting rule:

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell [...] You can’t cast another spell during the same turn [that you would cast a bonus-action spell], except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

If you cast a spell with a casting time of one bonus action, then your options for casting additional spells are restricted to a cantrip with casting time of one action. However, if you use your action to cast a spell, and then use something like Action Surge to get an additional action for your turn, there is no rule preventing you from using that additional action to cast another spell with a casting time of one action.

It is somewhat unclear if a counterspelled spell counts as being cast.

NautArch explains this in his answer to this question: If your bonus-action spell is counterspelled, are you still restricted to casting a cantrip that turn?. If a counterspelled spell counts as being cast and the spell had a casting time of 1 bonus action, then you cannot use your action to cast a spell, unless that spell is a cantrip. Because it isn't entirely clear, it is up to the DM to decide if a counterspelled spell counts as a spell cast for the purposes of the bonus action casting rule.

However, as mentioned previously, there is no rule preventing you from casting a second spell with a casting time of one action, as long as you have a way of getting a second action on your turn, such as through Action Surge.

If your DM rules that a counterspelled spell counts as having been cast, then the usual rules apply, and the table from the Q&A Which uses of Bonus-Action spellcasting are legal? may be helpful for understanding how different situations play out.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You could also cast a Reaction spell (like Counterspell) if you used you action \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Mar 2, 2023 at 20:49
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Yes, in this case where the spell countered was a bonus action, counterspell does prevent you from casting another non-cantrip spell.

As Thomas Markov points out, there is no one spell rule. However, as per his quoted entry, if you cast a spell with a bonus action, the only other spell you can cast on that turn is a cantrip.

If we look at the rules for spells cast using a reaction, we see the following;

Some spells can be cast as reactions. These spells take a fraction of a second to bring about and are cast in response to some event. If a spell can be cast as a reaction, the spell description tells you exactly when you can do so.

Looking at the definition of counterspell, we see;

""Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you casting a spell"

So, since counterspell can only be cast to counter mass healing word in reaction to someone using their bonus action to cast a spell, even though the countered spell has no effect, they used a bonus action to cast a spell, and can no longer cast non-cantrips for the remainder of the turn.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So if you see someone killing another person on the street, you should do nothing, because the victim is grammatically already dead? \$\endgroup\$
    – hobbs
    Mar 4, 2023 at 4:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @hobbs Your reducto absurdum misses the mark here, but let's turn it into game terms. The killer quickens a magic missile at lvl 5, using their bonus action to cast(kill). When the killer uses a bonus action to cast(kill), they can't use an action to cast(kill), unless it's a cantrip with a casting time of one action. If the killer doesn't use their bonus action to cast, there's nothing to counterspell. If you countered this spell, they used their bonus action to cast. Using your bonus action to cast triggers the cantrip restriction. The word "successfully" isn't in the restriction. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 4, 2023 at 12:06
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There is no "one leveled spell per turn" rule

The rules are much more complex than that. They state that if you cast a bonus action spell, you cannot cast any other spells besides a cantrip with a casting time of one action.

Under these rules you can cast an action spell, and a reaction spell, but you cannot cast a bonus action spell and a reaction spell. This is most likely an oversight, but who knows.

Many people play with that rule

Many people play with the rule "only one leveled spell on a turn". This is a simpler to understand rule that in 99% of cases results in the exact same situation as the actual rules in D&D.

The differences are:

  1. If you quicken spell a cantrip, you can't cast a normal spell unquickened using the base D&D rules. But you still could have under the base D&D rules have quickened your normal spell, then cast your cantrip as an action.

I have seen many sorcerers get this backwards.

  1. After casting a bonus action leveled spell, you cannot counterspell in both cases. But in the base rules, if you cast an action leveled spell, you can also counterspell as a reaction.

  2. Action Surge lets you cast 2 leveled spells on a turn under the base rules, as they are both actions. Under this simplified rule it does not, and Fighter 2 dips on spellcasters no longer make the spellcaster insanely better at casting spells.

... and that is about all of the differences.

Because this rule is very intuitive and easier to explain than the actual rule and acts the same as the actual rule in most situations, this is the rule that many D&D tables are playing using accidentally, without intention.

I'd advise just using this rule

It is actually simpler, cleaner, and overall better.

Back to your question

Is a spell countered by counterspell cast?

spell fails and has no effect this is what happens when a spell is countered.

The rules that prevent casting a spell more than once are:

Bonus Action

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn. You can't cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

does the spell failing and having no effect mean you can now cast another spell on the same turn? It is not at all clear.

You'll have to talk to your DM.

Similarly, if you tried to and failed to cast a leveled spell as action on your turn because it was counterspelled, does this preclude you from using your bonus action to cast a spell?

Again, the wording is not clear. You have to talk to your DM.

It depends on if "no effect" includes "not applying the bonus action spellcasting rule restrictions" or just "does not have the effect listed in the spell description".

As for myself, I'd so no

I'd go with "one leveled spell per turn", and if it was counterspelled you don't get to try again.

But I also consider Counterspell to be a design problem, so maybe I'm wrong.

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