Make Your 5E D&D Spellcaster More Versatile with the Cantrip Mastery Feat
Feats are one of my favorite optional aspects of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Feats are fun and add a layer of unique customization to your 5E D&D character mirroring subclass features in terms of power level but a feat also allows you to distinguish your character’s flavor and development even beyond your other choices. Recently Nerdarchists Dave and Ted talked about the most popular homebrew feat creations on D&D Beyond. I cannot tell you how often I ponder what sorts of interesting feats I could concoct. Because I’ve been brimming with inspiration for making feats I want to share a new 5E D&D feat I concocted for full spellcasting classes called Cantrip Mastery. It’s inspired by the Optional Class Features from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, which allow players to swap spells out.
New 5E D&D feat
Prerequisite: Access to cantrips
You have mastered the fundamentals of spellcasting. Choose either bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard (you must have at least 1 level in your class choice). At the end of each short rest you can replace any number of cantrips you know from your spellcasting class, up to your maximum number of cantrips.
Additionally you can use your bonus action to replace one of the cantrips you know for another cantrip from your class’s spell list. You regain the ability to replace a cantrip in this way when you finish a long rest.
Cantrips have always been described as being the simplest form of magic to master. Some 5E D&D races simply get free cantrips based on their anatomy, culture or other factors. As such it simply makes sense to me that spellcasters would be able to swap out their cantrips, or possibly master all of them.
The added versatility from the Cantrip Mastery feat not only grants greater potency it also makes the class more fun and engaging. What’s more there’s a great deal of flavor to be evoked through the swapping of cantrips.
For bards this could easily manifest as an attunement to a new mystic rhythm or the tune of magic itself. For the cleric perhaps they beseech their deity to grant a new cantrip based on what they foresee they may encounter. As a druid communing with the land and other natural surroundings makes sense to reset a cantrip. A sorcerer might experience this as a sort of fluke or an accident, possibly even without their realizing. For a warlock their Otherworldly Patron may choose what they need for a given situation or may grant a request for power shifting. Wizards are by far the easiest to flavor with this given their intense study and a simple moment of repreparation. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything even paladins and rangers can now get in on the cantrip game with new Fighting Styles!]
In each case the swapping of cantrips during a short or long rest enables a degree of flexibility and versatility. While not all 5E D&D spellcasters are going to find this feat helpful or even desirable, the ability to change cantrips on a moment’s notice is incredibly useful.
Fun with the Cantrip Mastery feat
The added flexibility of allowing a spellcaster to swap a cantrip as a bonus action once per long rest ensures those who choose this feat won’t risk missing out if it comes up the cantrip they swapped was more useful than one they prepared. This aspect affords an extra layer of versatility and option.
Even more than the above reasons listing why this works, the feat contributes to the fun of the class. Whether you’re the kind of 5E D&D player who enjoys strategy or a game of chance if you love the idea of your character possessing so much or so little control over their powers that this happens, the Cantrip Mastery feat enables it all.
The Cantrip Mastery feat also helps players not get bored with their cantrips and keeps them fun and engaging.
What do you think?
Do you like or dislike this new feat option? Do you plan to use it in your 5E D&D games? Let us know in the comments below. If playing a character capable of mastering all the 5E D&D cantrips sounds like fun you might enjoy the Spell Savant Character Build Guide over at Dungeon Master’s Guild, which includes a level by level guide to creating a spellcaster with ultimate command of cantrips along with an NPC or creature inspired by the character for Dungeon Masters to drop right into their games. Check it out here.