Customizing Your Game D&D 5e Feats and Spell Caster Cantrips

- 5

Hello and welcome to Nerdarchy reader. Nerdarchist Dave with a tale of  D&D 5e feats and how I accidentally created my first one. It all started with a question from a viewer-

“Am I the only one that has an inconvenience to Wizards having limited known cantrips?”

The same person also asked about casting cantrips using higher level spell slots. At 1st a baulked at the higher level spell slots, but than I thought about it. Most cantrips only effect a very small area with a limited range for the most part, only one target, or save avoids all damage so I don’t think it’s game breaking. Then when you add in having to use a feat to do it. A maximized fireball is still usually a better option than an empowered cantrip.

But if you want a spell caster with a certain flavor why not.

Now this is actually the first feat I’ve prototyped for 5th edition and really is just an example of how easy 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons can be to customize.

 D&D 5e Feat-

Cantrip Mastery

requirements- Ability to cast cantrips and minimum ability stat of 13 for primary spell casting class


You are adept at casting a variety of cantrips and pushing their power beyond the scope of other spell casters. You gain two benefits-

* Cantrip Book-

When you take this feat you acquire a cantrip book containing two cantrips from a spell casting class you can already cast spells from. You carry a special cantrip book or add cantrips to a spell book you already posses.

Where most casters only bother with the cantrips they’ve imprinted with in their minds you commit new ones to a special book for further study. During a short rest after studying your cantrip book you may change out your cantrips known to cantrip you posses in your cantrip book.

* Empower Cantrip-

You may choose to cast a damaging cantrip with a higher level spell slot. Each spell level of the slot increases the damage by one die. When a spell caster casts at a higher level spell slot it is considered a spell of that level for all intents and purposes not a cantrip.

Peeling back the curtain on Cantrip Mastery

I actually weighed the feat idea against existing D&D 5e feats and considered how it compared at both high and low levels of play. Switching out cantrips after a short rest isn’t a big deal for three reasons.

1) Economy of actions. Only so much can be done in a given round this never changes.

2) Short rests take at least an hour and realistically players aren’t going to be taking one after every encounter.

3) Spell casters must have access to cantrips in their cantrip book in order to swap it in.

The feat only gives two more cantrips the rest need to be acquired. Powering up spells is something every caster can do. I used the feats spell sniper and initiate of magic as models. This feat is 60% flavor and 40% useful. Even empowering cantrips is suboptimal compared to casting a given spell of the level of the slot your using.

Here is the video that inspired the comment that inspired the feat.

Until next time my friends “Stay Nerdy”

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My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

5 Responses

  1. Jonathan
    | Reply

    Would you include a max for the die increase. I could see someone trying to cast Firebolt as a 2nd level spell, damage goes d10 to d12 for 1st level, and then d12 to d20 for 2nd level. That would be fun to see, but you could have a warlock using 4 beams of eldritch blast doing d20 per blast.

    • Dave Friant
      | Reply

      The die doesn’t increase. You add an extra die per spell slot level. My wording might need some clarification. So fore bolt cast as 2nd level spell would do an additional 2d10 damage.

      • Jonathan
        | Reply

        Thanks for clearing that up. It makes sense now. I was reading over it while working the night shift, it just didn’t click the first time.

  2. Johnnie Collins
    | Reply

    Say I'm a Warlock with this feat. I'm 9th level, so my spell slots are 5th level. I cast Eldritch Blast with it's 2 bolts at my level. Does this feat mean I would have 2 bolts that would each do 5d10 + CHR damage, 2 bolts that would each do 5d10 + CHR(5) damage or 10 bolts each doing 1d10 + CHR damage?

  3. Johnnie Collins
    | Reply

    Say I’m a Warlock with this feat. I’m 9th level, so my spell slots are 5th level. I cast Eldritch Blast with it’s 2 bolts at my level. Does this feat mean I would have 2 bolts that would each do 5d10 + CHR damage, 2 bolts that would each do 5d10 + CHR(5) damage or 10 bolts each doing 1d10 + CHR damage?

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