[RPG] Initiate Feats DCs for non-spellcasters


These feats from D&D Next grant limited spell casting abilities:

(Arcane /Divine /Druidic) Initiate:

You learn two cantrips of your choice from the (Mage/Cleric/Druid) spell list.
In addition, choose one 1st-­‐level spell from that list. You learn that spell and can cast it once per day.
If you do not already have a magic ability, choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as your magic ability for these spells.

While the text tells you which attribute you can use as your spellcasting ability, it does not mention a Magic Focus. The problem with this is, the spell casting DCs were "nerfed" a few releases back and this would seem to cause quite a problem. Normally, I would take the lack of existing verbiage stating such to mean that this "Spellcasting Bonus" doesn't exist under this feat. However, feats are a FAR more valuable resource in this edition. (For those who don't know a feat is now an option that REPLACES your level 4 attribute bonus (Also, note that this is your level 4 CLASS, not character, attribute!))

Infact, Feats are so much more valuable, that I would argue, (if this is not allowed) one would be better off Multi-classing into a spellcasting class (granting all the benefits of the class) and using their next level (in the original class) to take a feat/attribute bonus that would be even more beneficial!


Given the fact feats are such a more valuable resource than previous editions, for characters taking these initiative feats:

  1. Do Non-Spell Casting Characters benefit from a "Magic Focus"?
  2. Do Spell Casting characters, choosing a different source of magic from their existing class, (Arcane/Divine) get to use their already existing Magic Focus to benefit from their 'Spellcasting bonus'?

    2a. Or even worse, (Assuming the above is "No") if they take this feat for the SAME source (Arcane/Divine) do they now not benefit from their Magic Focus like they do on all their other spells!?

Best Answer

This is not a typo or mistake.

While WOTC may not have the best track record for publishing without errors and their length errata for all editions they've ever published exists, its not a safe assumption to presume that this was an error.

Neither the Ranger nor someone with the Initiate Feat should get one....

The Ranger doesn't receive spells until level 3 and the types of spells the Ranger gets are generally used as utility spells. They buff the party, the ranger, or trigger against an enemy without a DC roll. Its not as important that a Ranger has a spell focus because their main way of dealing damage is not spells but their class features combined with a longbow.

As far as initiate's go, your getting 2 cantrips and only 1 spell. The character is at best a dabbler. If they already have a focus as part of their main class (or multiclass) than yes they could use it for their spells, but they are already experts at magic. A barbarian that takes a Initiate feat should be notably not as good at it as someone who is trained.

As you noted characters can simply multiclass instead to gain better casting. That is the whole point of multiclassing, getting access to full class features. The opportunity cost is that by multiclassing you delay your main class level up and deny yourself a capstone feature.

In summary:

1. No

2. Yes