[RPG] Is it possible to cast multiple spells per turn


Never had an issue with spellcaster scaling until today.
A player in the group claims he can cast Eldrich Blast twice on his turn. Once as an action, and a second time as a bonus action since it is a cantrip. Allowing him to shoot 4 beams for a d10 each (he's 5th level so 2 beams per cast). This seems vastly stronger than anyone else's max 2 attacks.
After the session which ended early with many players angry this player ruined all encounters, there was much talk of re-rolling into all caster party. One wanting to do the same with a wizards Firebolt spell as a bonus every turn, others still browsing.

So, is it possible for a caster to cast multiple spells in 1 turn? From what I was quoted from the PHB, it's possible to cast any spell as an action, then cast a second spell; as long as the bonus action spell was a cantrip with a cast time of 1 action? So 99% of all cantrips? Please tell me this is wrong, because I feel that if anyone else does this our melee characters will never see a fight again before the casters nuke them down.

Best Answer

You were quoted the rules incorrectly.

First, Eldritch Blast has a casting time of 1 action (PHB p.237). You've only got one action on your turn, so you can only cast Eldritch Blast once. ("Off the shelf," that is. There are features, like the Sorceror's Quickened Spell, Action Surge, or even time stop that might change this.)

Boom. That's it. They can't cast a second eldritch blast as a bonus action, because the casting time of eldritch blast isn't "1 bonus action." (Compare with, say, healing word.)

But that's understandable.

It is possible for a caster to cast a spell as a bonus action and another as an action in one turn; the conditions are described exactly on PHB p.202:

  • one spell has casting time of 1 bonus action,
  • you've not used a bonus action for anything else this turn (because you can only take one bonus action per turn),
  • the other spell is a cantrip,
  • the other spell has a casting time of 1 action.

D&D is a great game in many ways. It has never, in my experience, been presented in its published materials in a way that makes sense to someone who doesn't already know the game. One player misunderstood something, and no other players nor the GM knew the rule well enough to course-correct mid-session.

That's fine. You now know. Alert your group as soon as possible and be ready for a group conversation about whether this should now be a table-rule, or will this just have been one shining moment in 'Lock's career. "Hey, guys, remember that one day when I was in beast-mode? My patron must have been having me on!"