The D&D 5e rules for casting multiple spells in one round are a frequent source of confusion across tables in my experience. While the rule is just a line of text

You can’t cast another spell during the same turn [that you cast a bonus action spell], except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action

and while I think it has a straightforward interpretation, its edge cases tend to be a source of confusion for novice players—e.g., questions often arise about what the rule means for casting action and reaction spells in a turn or what counts as casting another spell. An alternative is to use the somewhat more succinct rule:

You may spend no more than one spell-slot each turn.

This alternative rule results in an identical mechanic in many but not all scenarios. Some scenarios that are altered when one adopts the alternative wording include:

  • a player who has an "at will" ability, such as the Warlock's Mask of Many Faces invocation, can cast those spells on the same turn that they cast a spell with a bonus action;
  • a player who has a feats Shadow-touched, Fey-touched, and Telepathy, which grant a once-per-day spells without the use of a spell-slot, can cast the granted spell on the same turn as a bonus action spell once per day;
  • a multi-class PC with levels in both a spell-caster class and a Monk subclass that can cast spells using Ki points (e.g., Shadow), could cast a bonus action spell then cast a spell using Ki points on the same turn;
  • PCs with spell scrolls can cast a bonus action spell then use a scroll on the same turn.

How does this alternative version of the rule change gameplay for a low-level campaign (levels 1-4) of novice players?

Related: What are the consequences of eliminating the rule about casting only cantrips on a turn when a bonus action spell is cast?

  • \$\begingroup\$ As written, I think the wording is too broad, but it can be tweaked to be appropriately scoped. Right now, you’re just asking for every single situation the rule change touches - much too broad. Instead, your second question gets at a more narrow and focused question: how does this change gameplay for low level characters. It’s still broad, but I think we can answer it as it focuses on a specific problem, that is, the sorts of decision making that the rule would affect for low level characters. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Sure; I guess my intuition was that the list of all changes would be small, but I can see how I might be wrong about that. I'll rewrite shortly. \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov I've made a small edit to the post that narrows the question as you suggest. \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also let's not forget that you can spend spell slots on stuff other than spells, e.g. Paladin's divine smite. \$\endgroup\$
    – biziclop
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


While your question lists a number of situations buffed by this house rule, there are some situations that were previously possible that are now forbidden by it:

  • Paladins can no longer Divine Smite multiple times per turn or smite after casting a bonus action spell. There's some other class features that expend spell slots (eg. warlock smite-like invocations) that would be similarly hampered.
  • Fighters who have acquired spells (eg. through Eldritch Knight or multiclassing) cannot cast two (non-cantrip) spells via Action Surge.
  • Casters can no longer cast other (non-cantrip) spells on a turn they use a reaction spell (eg. caster casts some spell, then provokes an AoO and wants to use Shield to protect themself).

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