Is it possible for a player to gain the innate ability to regenerate body parts without spells?

Using the DMG’s Injuries variant rule (or just having a character who for whatever reason is missing a body part), a character can lose an arm, leg, or eye, and the regenerate spell is the normal way to get it back. But if you don’t have a party member that can cast that, finding someone who can could be quite a hassle. Hence, the question in the title.

Ioun stones are obvious targets for enemies, and a dragon could eat the arm carrying your ring of regeneration. Undying Warlocks get close with their 14th-level feature, but that only lets them reattach body parts, so if their arm does get eaten off, then they’re stuck, too. The UA Armorer subclass for Artificers doesn’t regrow limbs, but it basically gives you an always-on prosthetic limb for any arm or leg that you lose. Eyes (or any other scars or internal injuries), however, aren’t "limbs". I can’t find any other feature (and don’t know of any race) that gets closer to the goal of regeneration without needing to rely on spells or magic items, other than just playing a monster campaign as a troll (AKA not something a "PC" is generally able to do)

Does the Mind Flayers Innate Spellcasting (Psionics) trigger the melee weapon attack granted by the Mage Slayer feat?

While searching for an answer i found this and this question about counterspelling a Mind Flayer. Which does not work because Counterspell states in it’s reaction trigger:

when you see a creature within 60 feet casting a spell

and the Mind Flayers Innate Spellcasting tells us:

It can cast the following spells, requiring no components

So we know, Counterspell does not work because a Mind Flayers spellcasting is not observable.

However Mage Slayer reads like this:

When a creature within 5 feet of you casts a spell, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.

RAW this seems to mean, that a Mind Flayer triggers that melee weapon attack because Mage Slayer does not require you to see the spellcasting. This feels wrong to me because there is no way to even tell the mind flayer casted a spell except the spells effect which might be observable (levitate) or not (detect thoughts).

Is there some kind of ruling, that i am missing?

Is a creature’s Innate Spellcasting save DC affected by changing ability scores or adding Spellcasting features from another creature?

I’m creating a Svirfneblin Evil Mage by combining the stat blocks for each Evil Mage and Svirfneblin.

A Svirfneblin’s Innate Spellcasting Save DC is 11 and its INT is +1. An Evil Mage’s Spellcasting Save DC is 13 and its INT is +3.

I’m taking the abilities from Evil Mage and Svirfneblin and taking the higher ability scores (and modifiers), does the increased INT modifier from the Evil Mage’s score affect the Innate Spellcasting spell save DC?

RAW can creatures with Innate Spellcasting cast spells while using their Change Shape ability?

While researching monsters that can shape change to mess with my players there are a few that also have innate spellcasting. I’m trying to figure out RAW if each of the examples can use their spellcasting while using their ability to change their appearance. The wording of each’s ability are all slightly different but with enough similarity that I think it can be reasonably covered in the same question.

I found the following list of creatures with both Innate Spellcasting and the Shape Change ability:

  • Night Hag
  • Oni
  • Deva
  • Some Ancient Dragons
  • Smiling One Cloud Giant

Note: I’m aware not all Ancient Dragons have the Shape Change ability and that Ancient Dragons don’t technically have spellcasting normally but we’ll go off the assumption of using the variant rules for them in this instance as that’s when it’s relevant.

Night Hag

Wording of the Night Hag’s Change Shape ability:

Change Shape: The hag magically polymorphs into a Small or Medium female Humanoid, or back into her true form. Her Statistics are the same in each form. Any Equipment she is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. She reverts to her true form if she dies.


The Oni has the exact same wording for their ability with the relevant pronouns swapped, clarifying what they can turn into, and a bit of extra wording to clarify that their glaive transforms with them:

Change Shape. The oni magically polymorphs into a Small or Medium humanoid, into a Large giant, or back into its true form. Other than its size, its statistics are the same in each form. The only equipment that is transformed is its glaive, which shrinks so that it can be wielded in humanoid form. If the oni dies, it reverts to its true form, and its glaive reverts to its normal size.

Smiling One

The Smiling One Cloud Giant has very similar wording with the addition of being able to transform into a beast it has seen:

Change Shape. The giant magically polymorphs into a beast or humanoid it has seen, or back into its true form. Any equipment the giant is wearing or carrying is absorbed by the new form. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Devas and Dragons

Devas and Dragons seem to have extra choices on top of the basic “… magically polymorph into a …” wordings but ultimately I think the relevant portions that I’ll be talking about for the wordings are all the same as above and thus for brevity I’ll not copy the exact text here.

Innate Spellcasting Specifics

Almost all of the aforementioned creatures share an extremely similar Innate Spellcasting feature which includes *”…can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components…”. The only exceptions to this are the Deva which instead says it just has Verbal components for its spells (and specifically mentions retaining its ability to speak while transformed) and the Smiling One has both Innate Spellcasting feature and Spellcasting feature where it *”…has the following spells prepared…”

Common Wording Considerations

  • “…magically polymorphs into…”: polymorph being lowercase and none of the creatures mentioning having the Polymorph spell within their abilities makes me think this is just an innate ability of the given creature. The only real sticking point I’m unsure of for this ability is if it requires concentration or not, like if you’d cast the spell to get the effect.
  • Innate Spellcasting: is well… innate. It’s a property of the creature itself and not a spell being cast by it to produce the effect (though they do all include the wording “magically”)
  • “Statistics are the same in each form”: The Night Hag, Oni, and Smiling One share this exact wording which makes me think that, as long as the form they took could still complete the required components of the spell (VSM), they’d still have the capability to cast the spell. Deva and Ancient dragons go even beyond this in that they retain some of their more powerful aspects even while transfigured and most specifically their ability to speak (talking rabbit anyone?)
  • “…requiring no material components.”: going off the previous statement about ability to cast the spells in question all of them allow ignoring the material component. The only slight exception to this are for the spells prepared by the Smiling One that would still require their usual components (its innate spells would still ignore the material component like the rest).

Related Questions Found

  • Can a Shapechanger use Innate Spellcasting while in their animal form?: answer given was yes, they can though this is a little different as its specifically regarding the Shapechanger creature subtype (Imps and Dopplegangers being common examples), so not quite the same thing as the Shape Change ability though with similar wordings

  • Does innate spellcasting by creatures have verbal or somatic components?: Answer given was essentially “requires VSM unless it explicitly says otherwise”. Material is ignored for all of the innate casting but this would imply that verbal and somatic are still a requirement for each of the spells

  • RAW, can innate spellcaster dragons cast spells with somatic components?: answer seems to be yes with a few other examples of creatures without “hands” still seemingly being able to innately cast spells: Faerie Dragon (tiny dragon with hand like claws), Ki-Rin (unicorn-esque creature with hooves), and Morkoth (fish creature with tentacles). This is perhaps one of the more interesting rulings as it somewhat leaves the answer up to DM interpretation but, if taken in the same context as the answer here, basically any limb likely counts for somatic components.

  • Does the Shapechange spell allow one to use Innate Spellcasting of the creature they turned into?: answer seems to be Yes. The abilities described above are not the Shapechange spell but have rather similar interpretations based on how Innate Spellcasting is considered a Statistic and Special Trait and thus inherited unless specified otherwise

  • Is there a way to counterspell a level 20 druid?: answer seems to be No. This is perhaps the least related but I thought it interesting enough to include. The druid’s capstone feature Archdruid let’s them ignore the verbal, somatic, and non-consumed material cost of spells while wild shaped. There’s clearly a number of reasons this is different but it’s an interesting food for thought question of if a character would recognize the somatic movement of a spell if delivered by a Ki-Rin?

My Conclusion

tl;dr: I believe the answer is Yes with some limitation based on the form chosen.

I can’t find any reason, as long as the form taken can perform the required verbal or somatic components of the spell, that a creature using its Shape Change ability couldn’t cast its Innate Spells. The only possible exception to this seems to be if this ability somehow required concentration though I’d expect then it would be listed explicitly in the description of the ability like how the Imp’s ability to turn invisible explicitly mentions concentration. So, with that, humanoid transformations certainly could cast any innate spell and Devas and Ancient Dragons, as they retain their ability to speak, should be able to innately cast spells while transformed into… basically anything. Perhaps as long as it had a limb? So maybe not a worm though argument could be made for a certain kind of wriggling accounting for the somatic component. Note: You’d need to be extra mindful of which spells were being cast by a Smiling One for if they were innate or prepared.

Certainly DM can adjust a bit to make more interesting situations but the above appears to be RAW best I can tell.

So, did I miss anything?

Innate Spellcasting vs Rakshasa

If a creature with Innate Spellcasting tries to use an innate spell against a Rakshasa, how does it interact with their limited magic immunity?

Limited Magic Immunity: The Rakshasa can’t be affected or detected by Spells of 6th level or lower unless it wishes to be. It has advantage on Saving Throws against all other Spells and magical Effects.

Do innate spells have a level?

Mind Flayer Innate Spellcasting saving throws

The MM says

“The mind flayer’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 15). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components: At will: detect thoughts, levitate l/day each: dominate monster, plane shift (self only) “

Detect Thoughts and Dominate Monster call for Wisdom saving throws, but because their spellcasting ability is Intelligence, does the target make an Int or Wis saving throw?

Do some [monster / ‘innate’] casters use spells without ‘expensive’ components?

In 5e D&D, all the life giving spells (be they Clone, Reincarnate, Raise Dead, [True] Resurrection & even Revivify) all require so-called ‘expensive’ components. This mechanic allows some DM relative control over the otherwise infinite creature life/lives (be they (N)PC or monster). Even with vast fiscal resources, the DM can easily rule that the specific components cannot be found. Example Raise-Resurrect spell-casting situation: “You cannot find the necessary-specific diamond for the spell – they all got used up by previous [royal / powerful / influential] casters down through ages past.” Or with Reincarnate: “The exact plants, roots mosses, fungi and resultant unguents required are simply out of season. Sorry.” Without these component limitations, low-level spells such as Gentle Repose can effectively ruin all game risk.

In the Monster Manual there are two kinds of casting, be that from ‘innate’ or ‘spell listed’ spells. It appears that BOTH systems of monster-magic spells require ANY &/or ALL components (?).

A monster not requiring spell components changes the game. Example: should a trio of (otherwise trivial, yet quasi-immortal / ‘ageless’ fae) sea hags gain unlimited access to ‘Reincarnate’ they would keep increasingly powerful contract-holders down through thousands of years / deaths. If such hags require ‘expensive’ components, their desperate attempts to generate hundreds of thousands of gold worth of oils & unguents would effectively keeps them in check.

In short: Are there any casters (devas, Ki-rin, nagas, ogre-mage, etc.) with the ability to cast life-giving spells / magic(s) without ‘expensive’ component cost?

NOTE: If this question has already been asked somewhere (and i missed it), please refer to the appropriate StackExchange link and i shall simply delete this request / give my humblest of apologies. Also, i suspect this is a ‘stupid’ question / i think i am confused by rules from previous editions.

Would it be possible to get a dragon to CR27 using only official material and variants (Shadow Dragon/Dracolich, innate spellcasting, etc.)? [on hold]

Ancient Gold Dragons and Ancient Red Dragons have a CR of 24. This means that, if you were to have such a dragon of the innate spellcasting dragons variety (MM p.86), they could know spells up to 8th level. I’m wondering if it would be possible to get a dragon up to CR27 (to give it access to 9th-level spells) using only official materials and variant rules.

By my calculations, an Ancient Gold Dragon has a defensive CR of 25 and an offensive CR of either 22 or 23, giving it an average CR of 24. In order to get it up to an average CR of 27, the easiest route would most likely be by raising its OCR, as it has more room for improvement. In order to get it to CR27, its OCR would need to be at least 28. The Ancient Gold Dragon gets a +2 boost to its OCR due to having an exceptionally high attack bonus, meaning its damage output would need to be equivalent to CR26, which is 231-248 damage per round on average over the first three rounds of combat.

As far as I know, making the dragon a Shadow Dragon or Dracolich doesn’t significantly increase its damage output. A Shadow Dragon’s breath weapon is more lethal due to instantly killing upon dropping a character to 0, but I don’t know how to quantify that.

Is there a selection of spells of levels 1-8 that could be given to a dragon in order to get its OCR up to 28? Or is there another way to get a dragon to CR27 that I’m overlooking?

Can a Shapechanger use Innate Spellcasting while in their animal form?

I’m running the Dragon of Icespire Peak, and one of the monsters is an Anchorite of Talos. It has the following abilities:

Innate Spellcasting. The anchorite’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

1/day each: augury, bless, lightning bolt (8d6 damage), revivify

3/day: thunderwave (2d8 damage)

Shapechanger. The anchorite can use its action to polymorph into a boar or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Rules as written, can the Anchorite of Talos cast any of its spells using Innate Spellcasting while it’s in its boar form?