Uses for Mage Hand at low level


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I'm obsessed with low-level gaming and getting the most out of cantrips. I don't know why this never occurred to me before but I started thinking this morning about all of the simple manipulations you could make with Mage Hand. For example did you know that a camouflage net is 5 lbs and a blanket is 3? Just holding one of these in front of a PC or enemy might grant concealment or block line of sight.

A light wooden shield is 5 lbs. You couldn't use it for defense but you could distract/confuse enemies w/it. A common grappling hook is 4 lbs; you might be able to tie a rope to it and hang it neatly with the spell. For that matter you could use a club (3 lbs) to hammer in a spike w/a rope attached to it, though you'd need an extra hand there.

What else could you use Mage Hand for?

Scarab Sages

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It's good for Jedi-esque force grabs of anything unattended that is out of reach.
It can be used with a non-magical adamantine dagger for remote cutting through any object bypassing hardness.
Using objects to make any kind of light touch on a person to distract them.
Move a light source to illuminate shadows in otherwise hard to reach places.


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Retrieve your cup tea sitting on the desk while you study a new world destroying, reality defying method to grill salmon... because, as a wizard, you can't be assed enough to do something as mundane as stand up and walk.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PRD wrote:

Mage Hand

School transmutation; Level bard 0, sorcerer/wizard 0
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one nonmagical, unattended object weighing up to 5 lbs.
Duration concentration
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You point your finger at an object and can lift it and move it at will from a distance. As a move action, you can propel the object as far as 15 feet in any direction, though the spell ends if the distance between you and the object ever exceeds the spell's range.

The name notwithstanding, it isn't an hand at all. It is a telekinetic force that can move an object, not manipulate it.

So you can move a camouflage net, but picking it for a corner at a time or as a single item. You can't open it and keep it spread. Same thing for a blanket.

To add to that, the duration of the spell is concentration, so you need to use a standard action each round to maintain it. Hardly useful in combat.


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I see your points Diego. Still, out of combat this might be pretty handy. Even at first level you can:

1. tie a rope to the end of a spike
2. locate a cleft in a wall above you, up to 30'
3. lodge spike loosely in cleft with Mage Hand
4. drive spike firmly into place by propelling Mage Hand controlled club into spike

Not a bad use of a cantrip. I suppose it'd take a forgiving GM though. 5 lbs though is nothing to sneeze at. You could carry 5 lb bags of rocks and hang them over doors; you could toss 5 lb sacks of chalk dust 15' to test if there's something in a square; you could hold a 4 lb pot of scalding water (1 lb of liquid) and pour it on someone/thing. Perhaps not in combat, but in a surprise round.

Oh, and one other thing: a quarterstaff is 5 lbs. You could have it tapping around, checking for traps a la a 10' pole all through a dungeon.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I used it once to dump out an enemy archers quiver. The DM gave me extra xp for that. Personally I just wanted the guy to stop shooting at me.


My DM has let me use it to close and open doors (yeah I know there's a cantrip for that) but you might want to check with yours.

Silver Crusade

Graywolf777 wrote:
I used it once to dump out an enemy archers quiver. The DM gave me extra xp for that. Personally I just wanted the guy to stop shooting at me.

Creative, but illegal. As noted in the spell description, it can only target unattended items. If the archer was wearing the quiver, it's attended.


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Fromper wrote:
Graywolf777 wrote:
I used it once to dump out an enemy archers quiver. The DM gave me extra xp for that. Personally I just wanted the guy to stop shooting at me.
Creative, but illegal. As noted in the spell description, it can only target unattended items. If the archer was wearing the quiver, it's attended.

True, but in my home game, I'd allow it once for theatrical "Rule of Cool" reasons.

I once used Mage Hand to get caltrops from out of our horses throats when some conniving evil fey sought to feed said caltrops to our horses.

It's also good for sneaky situations, like creating distractions through windows, or getting that guard to stop being so attentive, etc. Spur an officer's horse, or set his cape on fire with an ember to get him riled up and distracted.

If a player expressed interest in using the spell, I'd be sure to include opportunities for him/her to do so; like gate latches that are just out of reach, or keys left on tables, or children's playthings fallen down sewer grates.


You can pick up anything right? So, like, a 5 lb log that's on fire? Not just a torch but a whole burning log? What about other toxic things, like poison frogs or the ring of doom?

Scarab Sages

Mark Hoover wrote:
You can pick up anything right? So, like, a 5 lb log that's on fire? Not just a torch but a whole burning log? What about other toxic things, like poison frogs or the ring of doom?

You can pick up any unattended non-magical object weighing 5 lbs or less.

Poison Frogs no, as they are creatures, not objects. The ring of doom no assuming its magical. If you had a non-magical ring of doom that wasn't being worn sure.


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flip the female bard's skirt and embarrass her in public before she gets away with ruining your reputation. London and France can ruin any diplomat's day by flustering them when a member of the crowd points it out.


My bard once used it as a readied action to catch a bad guy's molotov cocktail or something and throw it back at him. Then he used spark to light his buddy's bombs and blow him to smithereens.

It was a good day. He wrote a diddy about it.


hover a dagger 30' above someone's head. release spell. You now have an attack cantrip!


i was thinking (it may need a few turns) open the pouch the uses are backfire their poison, bomb, platinum etc (now you might say but those are attended items well they aren't since they aren't in control of them like you could take a single arrow from a quiver my DM said i can Rip someones eye ball out from their head (one at a time) unless they are holding onto it and only as a gag thing for fun or he said i could make a blood clot in someones brain (he said this when i got my prestige class(wizard-2 druid-2 mystic theurgist-1)) and our campaign is about death and most/all of us will be dead at the end or steal the bullet out of someones gun


I would direct the shiny object focused 6-int barbarian by floating coins in front of his face.

I once solved an argument over a small unknown magic item by holding it up in the air until they decided to just give it to me. Before you judge me, I only wanted to identify it and I was the only one who had the appropriate skills. They actually wanted to poke it to see what would happen.

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