Last night was our first use of the haste spell in 5e. One turn, the bard cast shatter with a second-level spell slot, then used his haste action to use a magic staff which cast thunderwave.

I'm not sure if this violates the "only one non-cantrip spell per turn" rule. On the one hand, the haste action says you can "use an object", and a staff is an object. On the other hand, thunderwave is a non-cantrip spell.

The staff in question is a custom magic item, but in this question I'm more interested in the Rules As Written interaction between items-that-let-you-cast-spells and haste "Use An Object" actions. Let's use the "Staff Of Thunder And Lightning" as an analog:

You can use an action to cause the staff to issue a deafening thunderclap, audible out to 600 feet. Each creature within 60 feet of you (not including you) must make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 2d6 thunder damage and becomes Deafened for 1 minute. On a successful save, a creature takes half damage and isn't Deafened.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is going to be a little tough, based on the homebrew. My thinking: the wording of many magic items says something like "you can expend one charge and cast thunderwave," which would mean you're not doing Use an Object, you're doing Cast a Spell. But others might say "as an action you can create the effects of thunderwave," or something similar. Can you either get the specific wording of the homebrew or take a different (published) item as your exemplar? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Mar 28, 2017 at 16:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no "only one non-cantrip spell per turn" rule \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Mar 28, 2017 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András Good call-out; a lot of people (myself included) internalize the "bonus action spells prevent casting other spells" rule as "one spell per turn", but that's not correct; in fact, I'm pretty sure an Eldritch Knight can cast two full spells in one turn using their Action Surge. Wouldn't have known that if you hadn't gotten me to look up the rule. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tin Wizard
    Mar 28, 2017 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ And a reaction, like Counterspell. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Mar 28, 2017 at 21:03

1 Answer 1



Haste says:

That action can be used only to take the Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object action.

Casting a spell or using a magic item fall outside of those options. The rules on activating magic items say the following:

If an item requires an action to activate, that action isn’t a function of the Use an Item action, so a feature such as the rogue’s Fast Hands can’t be used to activate the item.

Additionally, it seems you have a misconception about the spellcasting rules. The rule that limits you from casting other spells in a turn only applies when casting spells with a bonus action casting time. For example, an Eldritch Knight could use Action Surge to cast fireball and magic missile in the same turn.

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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So, for it to work, the staff's magic would have to be something that automatically triggers when attacking with it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Perkins
    Mar 28, 2017 at 19:43

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