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I am a new DM. I do not understand how casting cantrips is supposed to work. For example: is a wizard able to cast Firebolt as an action and then, because Firebolt is a cantrip, cast it again as a bonus action?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/47421/… \$\endgroup\$ – lithas May 2 '16 at 22:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you clarify a point: What is granting the Wizard the ability to cast Fire Bolt as a bonus Action? \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 May 2 '16 at 22:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Am i not understanding the cantrips? I thought all cantrips could be cast as a bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ – TXChag May 2 '16 at 22:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ I noticed that you accepted my answer. While I'm glad you found it useful, it's usually a good practice to wait a day or so to allow multiple answers to be posted. I encourage you to check back later, and feel free to accept another answer if you decide it's of higher quality than mine \$\endgroup\$ – lithas May 2 '16 at 23:50
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No.

Cantrips are spells, just like any other spell. There are 2 differences between a Cantrip and any other spell that has a level of 1 or higher:

  • Cantrips do not use up a spell slot
  • Cantrips can be cast on the same turn that a spell is cast using a bonus action

Cantrips still have casting times denoted just like other spells. For Firebolt

Firebolt

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous
You hurl a mote of fire at a creature or object within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 fire damage. A flammable object hit by this spell ignites if it isn't being worn or carried.
This spell's damage increases by 1d10 when you reach 5th level (2d10), 11th level (3d10), and 17th level (4d10).

You'll notice that it still has a casting time of 1 action.

There do exist ways to change the casting time of spells. For example, the sorcerer's Quickened Spell would allow you to cast two Firebolts on one turn: One as a Quickened spell, and the other as a normal spell.

Quickened Spell
When you cast a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, you can spend 2 sorcery points to change the casting time to 1 bonus action for this casting

There is a complication to this issue, as pointed out to me by Drunk Cynic:

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.

A careful reading of this section reveals that you can only use a bonus action to cast bonus action spells, and you cannot trade standard actions for bonus actions in 5e as demonstrated in this question: https://rpg.stackexchange.com/a/55902/25601

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, unless the cantrip has the the Casting time of "1 bonus action" in can not be used twice. So, can a spell like misty step be cast twice...once as an action then again as a bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ – TXChag May 2 '16 at 23:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TXChag No, You can't cast the spell with a casting time "Bonus Action" using the "Cast a Spell" standard action. \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic May 2 '16 at 23:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you all for your replies...I am gonna have some upset casters. I have been doing it wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – TXChag May 2 '16 at 23:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lithas rpg.stackexchange.com/a/55902/25601 \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic May 2 '16 at 23:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DrunkCynic thanks for the link. I'll update my answer to reflect this fact, as it seems relevant \$\endgroup\$ – lithas May 2 '16 at 23:17
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Your example spell Firebolt is cast as an action, not a bonus action. Not all cantrips are cast as bonus actions, and you can find the casting time on the spell's description. Similarly, some non-cantrip spells can be cast with a bonus action. Again, the spell's description should specify the casting time.

In most cases, you can only cast one non-cantrip spell per turn.

  • If you cast a spell that requires an action (like Cure Wounds), you can also cast a cantrip that has a casting time of bonus action (like Shillelagh).
  • If you cast a spell that requires a bonus action (like Healing Word), you can also cast a cantrip that has a casting time of one action (like Produce Flame).
  • You can't cast Shillelagh and Healing Word both with bonus actions because RAW you only have one.
  • You can't cast Cure Wounds and Produce Flame at the same time because they both take normal actions and in most cases you only get one of those per turn.

In most cases, theses are the only ways you can cast spells. Action surges and quickened spells make the process more complicated, but that's beyond the scope of this question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is imprecise. If you cast a spell that has the casting time of "Bonus Action," you can only cast an additional spell on that turn if it is a cantrip and has the casting time of "1 Action." \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic May 3 '16 at 0:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can't cast Cure Wounds and Shillelagh on the same turn. Cure Wounds is not a Cantrip. \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic May 3 '16 at 3:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ "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." \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic May 3 '16 at 3:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DrunkCynic As I understand your point, the order of operations matters in such a case. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 3 '16 at 12:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast The order of operations do not matter. If you cast a spell with the speed "bonus action," the only other spell you can cast is a cantrip with the speed "one action." If you cast a spell with the speed "one action" that isn't a cantrip, you can't cast a spell with the speed "bonus action." \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic May 3 '16 at 12:55
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A cantrip is basically a spell you can use almost anytime and anywhere. The only time you can not use it is if you do not have the items, you can not speak and/or you can not make gestures.

Basically an easy to use spell that you can use as much as you want

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take the tour when you get the chance. While this is the start of a good answer, the asker also seems to be interested in how cantrips and normal spells interact when casting a spell as a bonus action. If you'd like to improve your answer you can use the edit button at the bottom of it to add more details. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Jan 3 at 22:46

protected by Oblivious Sage May 15 at 2:09

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