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It's my first time in 5E D&D and I have played 3.5 before as a DM. I am playing as a high elf Rogue at level 1, and because I'm a High Elf I get a wizard cantrip. Can I attack with my rapier then use shocking grasp in the same turn?

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The "Attack" action and the "Cast a Spell" action are two completely different actions, you only get 1 action per round barring specific class features. As a result unless otherwise specified no you cannot both cast shocking grasp and attack with a weapon on the same turn. (That is kinda Eldritch Knight's shindig.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Looks good! Thanks for the quick response. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 19:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ A sorcerer could quicken the cantrip, as another example of a class feature. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 19:27
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Both attacking and casting a spell use up your action, so there's no way you can do both on the same turn, it's not Two-Weapon Fighting.

The Eldritch Knight Fighter archetype specifically allows you to perform this combination, as do the cantrips presented in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide for Bladesinger. Holding a Rapier won't affect your capability of using spells with the other hand in any way if you want to use both during a battle.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say cantrips in the Unearthed Arcana for Bladesinger, do you mean Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide? \$\endgroup\$
    – user27327
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 2:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is that where they are from? My bad. I'll fix. I almost forgot 5e actually had some published splat! \$\endgroup\$
    – ChibiNya
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 2:41

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