There has been other threads on this topic in the archives, after doing a search.. But I can't find a definitive clarification, only opinion and conjecture.
And there's nothing wrong with that, it helps, but I want to get these issues on Jason's radar for consideration.
I'm skipping most of the play test in favor of addressing the Hand of the Apprentice, except for these brief comments: We're doing 1.1 RAW, and it's going pretty well. The group was divided in reaction to the news that the skills were changing back to a hybridized system in Version 2. About half were relieved to hear it, a few were disappointed. Notably it was the rogue, with subconscious mini/max tendancies, who was disappointed the most.
Hand of the Apprentice.
Can it be directed through squares of allies, and actually occupy the space of an ally to attack a monster in the front?
Here is the scenario: 5' wide hallway, with the rogue and cleric in front facing goblins in a line. The mage is behind the other two players. He sends his long sword forward to strike at the first goblin. That suggests that the long sword is occupying the same square as the rogue. We saw arguments for and against any penalties. Ultimately I ruled no penalty, but everyone would like clarification.
- Not able to flank, threaten foes, or gain AoO's, there seemed to be a precedent that the object doesn't occupy real 'space', in the context of tactical game mechanics.
- The counter point being firing into melee gains penalties, why not the remote control direction of a melee weapon? What about squeezing, or should another player be able to maneuver in the same square as the weapon?
- Spiritual Weapon doesn't make much of a precedent here, as that is a spell, and doesn't require concentration.. where Hand of the Apprentice is not exactly a spell, the weapon is physical, and attacking does require concentration.
This discussion came up in actual game play. Again, I opted for no penalty till we got clarification, but we were all unsure.
Other questions that came up as a result: Can you use Feats? Can the weapon be batted away or grabbed via a Disarm attempt? If it can be interacted with via a CMB action, would the CMB for the wizard be adjusted since INT is the modifier for controlling the weapon?
Again, spells like Spiritual Weapon didn't offer a clear precedent due to the unusual nature of the ability.