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I was looking at Cartomancer as a handy way to use normally tactically unwieldy spells in the heat of a fight. Here's the relevant quotes:

  • Card Tricks. You learn the Prestidigitation cantrip and can use it to create illusions that duplicate the effects of stage magic. When you use Prestidigitation in this way, you can conceal the verbal and somatic components of the spell as ordinary conversation and card handling.
  • Hidden Ace. When you finish a long rest, you can choose one spell from your class’s spell list and imbue that spell into a card. The chosen spell must have a casting time of 1 action, and it must be a level for which you have spell slots. The card remains imbued with this spell for 8 hours. While the card is imbued with the spell, you can use a bonus action to flourish the card and cast the spell within. The card then immediately loses its magic.

However, upon closer inspection, it seems like a worse version of Metamagic Adept, which can provide one casting of Quickened Spell at any time, as well as being more flexible with another Metamagic Option:

You learn two Metamagic options of your choice from the sorcerer class. You can use only one Metamagic option on a spell when you cast it, unless the option says otherwise. Whenever you reach a level that grants the Ability Score Improvement feature, you can replace one of these Metamagic options with another one from the sorcerer class. You gain 2 sorcery points to spend on Metamagic (these points are added to any sorcery points you have from another source but can be used only on Metamagic). You regain all spent sorcery points when you finish a long rest.

Lastly, as the final doubting point, the Cartomancy feat seems to exclude anyone else from using your cards, so the option of handing someone an emergency Healing Hand or other is kaput. What's the benefit of choosing Cartomancy over Metamagic Adept? There's probably a niche option for maximizing the efficacy of prestidigitation, but I'm speaking more about the primary feature of Cartomancy.

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Pick a Spell that you don't know

Cartomancer reads:

When you finish a long rest, you can choose one spell from your class's spell list and imbue that spell into a card.

Note that "your class's spell list" is different than "spells you have prepared/know". This means you can set up a single cast of a spell you would not otherwise have access to during the adventuring day.

It's analogous to being able to prepare an extra spell every long rest, albeit only for a single cast.

How useful this ability is will probably depend on your class (prepared casters will likely find this a lot less meaningful than known-spell casters), but it is a distinct ability that Metamagic Adept can't emulate.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The spell is also just an extra casting right? An extra casting of your highest level slot (capped at 8) seems valuable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kvothe
    Nov 21, 2023 at 15:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kvothe See rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/208903/… for a discussion on that point; I didn't want to re-litigate it here, but I fall pretty firmly on the side of "no, it still requires a spell slot". \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcosa
    Nov 21, 2023 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ ah thanks. That does make the feat significantly worse and makes the advantage you highlight the main remaining draw. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kvothe
    Nov 21, 2023 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcosa None of the answers in the linked Question give good reasoning to support either side. But I firmly agree with you, that getting an extra 8th level spell slot that is used as a bonus action be is overpowered. \$\endgroup\$
    – Questor
    Nov 21, 2023 at 18:09

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