Mage Handed-weapons


Rules Questions

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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Or, you could be using your standard/move to give your nearby martial friend back his weapon without him provoking or using his standard. This is niche enough that I wouldn't consider it part of my "toolbox" but I can imagine some low level situations where it might be a good course of action.

Edit: I was once in a fight over a diplomatic treaty that had been (physically) stolen - it was a flurry of disarms and picking up until someone finally figured out they could use mage hand to get it away from the brawl.


Rory wrote:
All the discussion of force is missing a key variable. Applied surface area is incredibly important in that discussion.

We aren't forgetting it, it just doesn't matter as much when the total force is wholly dependent on the weight of object.

You CAN'T put 5 lbs behind a needle with Mage Hand. You can put whatever the PF weight of a needle is. The dagger can only apply 1 lb of force, because it only weighs 1 lb.

(actually, this is all nonsense, because mass lbs =/= force lbs at all, they just happen to have the same name, but using them as synonyms illustrates the point without compromising the reality.


SlimGauge wrote:
Well, casting it would (provoke), but you could avoid that by casting defensively.

You wouldn't provoke if you were using Mage Hand via the Hand of the Mage Wondrous Item or a Wand of Mage Hand.

Since Hand of the Mage says you can use Mage Hand "at will," do you even have to spend a Standard Action to activate it, or is it always on?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
SlimGauge wrote:
Well, casting it would (provoke), but you could avoid that by casting defensively.

You wouldn't provoke if you were using Mage Hand via the Hand of the Mage Wondrous Item or a Wand of Mage Hand.

Since Hand of the Mage says you can use Mage Hand "at will," do you even have to spend a Standard Action to activate it, or is it always on?

"At will" just mean there are no daily limit/charges on the item. It still requires an action to activate.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
alexd1976 wrote:
What if you drop said hammer from a height onto someones head?

Attack roll with improvised weapon penalty still applies. No one is going to be standing still waiting for your rather obvious shot to place itself.


Dallium wrote:

We aren't forgetting it, it just doesn't matter as much when the total force is wholly dependent on the weight of object.

You CAN'T put 5 lbs behind a needle with Mage Hand. You can put whatever the PF weight of a needle is. The dagger can only apply 1 lb of force, because it only weighs 1 lb.

But, the total force is not wholly dependent on the weight of the object.

Let me illustrate...

I use mage hand on a 1 lbf hook. I use that hook to pick up a large sack that weighs (with contents) 4 lbf. The hook + sack weighs 5 lbf total. The hook is applying 4 lbf to the sack, which is more than the weight of the hook.

Now, here is another trick...

The spell says you can pick up a 5 lbf object. By only strictest RAW is that only a vertical force applied. It takes a lateral force to move it sideways, so the force isn't 100% vertical in any case. The most common sense thought is that it is 5 lbf of force in any direction.

So, you take a 2 lbf dagger and you place it tip down on something. You then reverse the force downwards, which then sums with gravity, to get 7 lbf applied at that dagger tip.

(1 lbf = 1 lbm X earth's gravity constant, weight = mass X gravity = a force, lbf is a unit of force, a dagger weighs 2 lbf, mage hand applies a 5 lbf to pick up and/or an object)

Shadow Lodge

This is why force is not a factor (even though [Force] may be a descriptor). The spell makes no mention what so ever of the amount of force that can be exerted upon the object.

That portion of the discussion is a conjecture brought into play be the Physics majors among us. the only thing really stipulated by the spell is Max weight to be lifted, and Max Distance it can be moved.

If you want to bring real world physics into it, then you also must bring in all sorts of considerations. For example, because the spell specifies weight and not mass, then you need to know things like altitude, because as you change altitude the amount of gravity exerted upon an object changes and therefore so does its weight.


Gol Zayvian wrote:
This is why force is not a factor (even though [Force] may be a descriptor). The spell makes no mention what so ever of the amount of force that can be exerted upon the object.

The spell can pick up to a 5 lbf object, which requires a 5 lbf force.

That is a specification of force.


Rory wrote:
Gol Zayvian wrote:
This is why force is not a factor (even though [Force] may be a descriptor). The spell makes no mention what so ever of the amount of force that can be exerted upon the object.

The spell can pick up to a 5 lbf object, which requires a 5 lbf force.

That is a specification of force.

Not really. Force = mass*acceleration (F=ma), as has been pointed out in this thread a few times. The spell doesn't specify the (a) in that equation, so determining force is pretty difficult. Sure, you could say, well a max of 15 feet in 3 seconds (move action of a turn) but even that is guessing. What if you move it at a different speed? What if you only move it one foot? Then the force applied by the spell is different. It isn't useful information, really.

From this, we know that the spell doesn't apply a specific force, but a range of force from 0 up to some upper limit. Either way it's a silly discussion to have. The rules are clear, you can't attack with mage hand except by possibly dropping an object on a target, using the rolls and associated penalties for such an action. It's a great utility spell and is especially useful in the hands of creative players (need to push that lever on the other side of that 10 foot ravine? Mage hand), but is not great for combat applications.

In my opinion, getting into discussions about the exact force applied by the spell is an exercise in futility. The spell says what it can do: move an object weighing up to 5 lbs up to 15 feet per move action, within the range of the spell caster. You don't really need anything more than this to know what it can do. If you want to attack, there are better spells than mage hand for that purpose.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Of course if you poke at the physics too hard it will fall apart - if the physics was internally consistent it wouldn't be magic. Obviously it can't match up with real world physics otherwise telekinesis would really be possible.

Force, in a technical sense, is a terrible way to analyze what this spell does anyway. Damage is primarily caused by impulse, which, as has been pointed out, we really don't have enough information to accurately estimate.

Heck, if you really want to break mage hand, use a hot air balloon. It has a negative weight(i.e., it floats), and mage hand has no maximum size for your object. Not only could you use this cantrip to steer said balloon against the wind, but if you reduce the hot air from the balloon enough to make it gently fall, you can use the falling object damage rule to make your gently falling colossal object do like 10d6 damage(if dropped from 150 feet up) - 10d6 base for colossal, halved for not being a solid, heavy object, doubled for 150 feet up.

Don't jostle at the physics too hard people if you want to maintain any suspension of disbelief.


ryric wrote:
Heck, if you really want to break mage hand, use a hot air balloon. It has a negative weight

This made me cry a little inside.

In fact, most of the physics claims here are making me cry. I'm sorry I ever tried to bring ohysics into it. Next time I'm asked this question and an explanation is wanted, I will simply say "No, because magic."

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

CampinCarl9127 wrote:
ryric wrote:
Heck, if you really want to break mage hand, use a hot air balloon. It has a negative weight

This made me cry a little inside.

In fact, most of the physics claims here are making me cry. I'm sorry I ever tried to bring ohysics into it. Next time I'm asked this question and an explanation is wanted, I will simply say "No, because magic."

Sorry, did not mean to make you cry inside. To be more pedantic, the balloon doesn't have a negative weight - its weight is countered by a buoyant force such that the total downward force is negative. Since the buoyant force is part of the whole hot air balloon system, if you were to measure the downward force of the balloon system in a normal Earthlike environment, you would get a negative result, which I shorthanded to weight.

Shadow Lodge

CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Next time I'm asked this question and an explanation is wanted, I will simply say "No, because magic."

Hmm, some one said this before, who was it...

Oh yeah me:

Gol Zayvian wrote:
And arguments consisting of "Because Physics" are invalid because magic.


el cuervo wrote:
Not really. Force = mass*acceleration (F=ma), as has been pointed out in this thread a few times. The spell doesn't specify the (a) in that equation, so determining force is pretty difficult.

Gravity is the acceleration you use to determine weight from mass.

However, the spell specifies weight of an object, not mass, so even gravity isn't needed. If you know the weight of an object, you also know the force required to counter gravity.

It's that simple.

So... how much weight can Mage Hand pick up? That is the exact force that Mage Hand can apply to an object.


Rory wrote:
el cuervo wrote:
Not really. Force = mass*acceleration (F=ma), as has been pointed out in this thread a few times. The spell doesn't specify the (a) in that equation, so determining force is pretty difficult.

Gravity is the acceleration you use to determine weight from mass.

However, the spell specifies weight of an object, not mass, so even gravity isn't needed. If you know the weight of an object, you also know the force required to counter gravity.

It's that simple.

So... how much weight can Mage Hand pick up? That is the exact force that Mage Hand can apply to an object.

In layman's terms, mass = weight for all intents and purposes. The standard unit of mass on earth is a kilogram (which you should note is interchangeable as a measurement of weight).

F = ma requires knowing not only the mass but also the acceleration. Acceleration is variable for purposes of mage hand because it can move anywhere from 0 feet to 15 feet in a single move action. Thus, we can know the upper limit and the lower limit of F but for any given use of mage hand you would need to recalculate F because both m and a are variables dependent upon the specific usage.

Again, this type of analysis is kind of pointless and is most certainly futile. You can move an object weighing up to 5 pounds up to 15 feet per move action. You can't hurt people with it, unless it is by dropping that object on your target, and the normal rules and penalties for dropping an object apply for such an attack.

Shadow Lodge

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Still Impossible to calculate acceleration because we have no way of knowing from the spell when the object begins and ends its movement, or if it's speed to destination is consistent. All we know is that it doesn't teleport the object, that doesn't tell us if it takes 1 second, 3 seconds, 6 second, or 1/10th nanosecond to travel from point A to Point B or even if the speed it moves at is steady or if it can start and stop along the way.


Gol Zayvian False. We know that a move action is roughly about half a round, so 3 seconds. Since 15 feet with a move action is the max distance we can easily calculate maximum acceleration. There is more than enough information here.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Gol Zayvian False. We know that a move action is roughly about half a round, so 3 seconds. Since 15 feet with a move action is the max distance we can easily calculate maximum acceleration. There is more than enough information here.

Like I said, we can calculate the upper and lower bounds on the force it applies but it needs to be calculated each time because the distance moved, the speed at which it moves, and the mass of the object change with each use. We actually can't determine a specific force for each use because the rule abstraction for move actions and turns doesn't give us that kind of precision. We can make a best guess at 3 seconds per move action, but that's not precise at all, and it implies that it takes 3 seconds whether we move the object 5 feet or 15 feet. In that case, the force applied would vary even over the same time period.

Shadow Lodge

No, you're wrong, the spell is ambiguous, all we know is that the concentration necessary to move the object takes a move action, but we do not know with absolute certainty that the object begins moving when we begin concentrating. we only know that in 1 round it can travel no farther than 15 feet. it could conceivably from the way the spell is written travel 15' at light speed and stop, then the next round travel another 15' at light speed. I am not saying that it does, only that it is 100% impossible based on the RAW text to determine the rate of acceleration. and because of this it is impossible to determine the force of its movement and that within the confines of the game rules all of it is 100% irrelevant because no character in any GM's game will survive the attempt to whip out their abacus and calculate the exact force in order to justify whether a weapon wielded by Mage Hand can or cannot make an attack.

[Edited: this really only needed to be directed at CampinCarl9127]


You say I'm wrong, yet I am actually agreeing with you. Here is what I said:

Quote:
We actually can't determine a specific force for each use because the rule abstraction for move actions and turns doesn't give us that kind of precision.

and

Quote:
Again, this type of analysis is kind of pointless and is most certainly futile.

Here is what you said:

Quote:
and because of this it is impossible to determine the force of its movement and that within the confines of the game rules all of it is 100% irrelevant


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CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Gol Zayvian False. We know that a move action is roughly about half a round, so 3 seconds. Since 15 feet with a move action is the max distance we can easily calculate maximum acceleration. There is more than enough information here.

No, it isn't enough information. Is the object moving the entire move action? Or do you spend the move action, and the object doesn't move at all until afterword, moving more or less instantly? Are you concentrating for a second, and then the object moves?

We just know that moving the object takes a move action. We don't know just how much of that time is the object actually moving.

On top of that, a move action is not 3 seconds. There is no way to convert an action into seconds. If a move action is 3 seconds, and you get both a standard action and a move action in a single 6 second round, then a standard action would have to be 3 seconds as well. Which would imply you could get 2 standard actions per round.

Shadow Lodge

el cuervo wrote:

You say I'm wrong, yet I am actually agreeing with you. Here is what I said:

Quote:
We actually can't determine a specific force for each use because the rule abstraction for move actions and turns doesn't give us that kind of precision.

and

Quote:
Again, this type of analysis is kind of pointless and is most certainly futile.

Here is what you said:

Quote:
and because of this it is impossible to determine the force of its movement and that within the confines of the game rules all of it is 100% irrelevant

My Apologies, I corrected myself.


ryric wrote:
If you really want to house rule that mage hand can attack, I suggest including improvised weapon penalties and giving the spell a strength score of 1. -9 to hit and -5 damage seems about right if you were to allow this at all.

From this perspective, I think it's worthwhile to point out that there are attack cantrips - ray of frost and acid splash. These do 1d3 damage on a ranged touch attack. It doesn't seem unbalanced to allow mage hand to assault someone with a weapon weighing 5 lbs. or less, as long as it does 1d3 damage. Since a physical weapon would be a regular attack instead of a touch attack, I would probably say it's safe to bring it up to 1d4 damage.


Echo Vining wrote:
ryric wrote:
If you really want to house rule that mage hand can attack, I suggest including improvised weapon penalties and giving the spell a strength score of 1. -9 to hit and -5 damage seems about right if you were to allow this at all.
From this perspective, I think it's worthwhile to point out that there are attack cantrips - ray of frost and acid splash. These do 1d3 damage on a ranged touch attack. It doesn't seem unbalanced to allow mage hand to assault someone with a weapon weighing 5 lbs. or less, as long as it does 1d3 damage. Since a physical weapon would be a regular attack instead of a touch attack, I would probably say it's safe to bring it up to 1d4 damage.

Mage hand is a spell that takes up a prepared 0 level spell slot. Giving it extra abilities that are not in the spell text that actually replace another level 0 spell, effectively allowing it to provide the benefits of two different level 0 spells, is not something I agree with. Why would you ever take ray of frost or acid splash when you could just take mage hand, get the damage benefit, plus a neat utility spell that is actually really useful in the right hands?

Shadow Lodge

Echo Vining wrote:
ryric wrote:
If you really want to house rule that mage hand can attack, I suggest including improvised weapon penalties and giving the spell a strength score of 1. -9 to hit and -5 damage seems about right if you were to allow this at all.
From this perspective, I think it's worthwhile to point out that there are attack cantrips - ray of frost and acid splash. These do 1d3 damage on a ranged touch attack. It doesn't seem unbalanced to allow mage hand to assault someone with a weapon weighing 5 lbs. or less, as long as it does 1d3 damage. Since a physical weapon would be a regular attack instead of a touch attack, I would probably say it's safe to bring it up to 1d4 damage.

Honestly from a balance perspective it would be fair for the weapon to do a ranged attack (applying normay proficiency rules) and do flat weapon damage with no bonus or penalty on damage since most characters with access will be on the low end of the BAB spectrum, and the attack will be against full AC. After about 2nd level such an attack would be laughable at best.

CampinCarl9127 wrote:
But either way, I'm done with this thread. The OP had been answered and now I'm arguing about physics with people who don't know basic physics equations. I wish you all the best of luck with your peasant rail guns and vorpal butter knives.

I'm sorry if you feel i've defecated on your cheerios, but I do understand basic physics quite well, and I also understand that the results of any equation are inconclusive when you can't replace all the variables with real numbers. there is simply not enough data provided to make such calculations. Additionally there is really no need to.


el cuervo wrote:
Mage hand is a spell that takes up a prepared 0 level spell slot. Giving it extra abilities that are not in the spell text that actually replace another level 0 spell, effectively allowing it to provide the benefits of two different level 0 spells, is not something I agree with. Why would you ever take ray of frost or acid splash when you could just take mage hand, get the damage benefit, plus a neat utility spell that is actually really useful in the right hands?

Well, mage hand would being physical damage, so damage reduction would apply. Acid splash and ray of frost would ignore damage reduction. Plus, they are touch attacks, while attacking with mage hand would be a normal attack against normal AC.

It also may take additional time to attack two opponents that are a distance apart, as you have to move the weapon at a rate of 15'/move action. If the 2nd target 20+ feet from the first one, you lose at least 1 round moving the weapon. Acid splash and ray of frost don't have to worry about that.


Several Posters wrote:
There isn't enough information

There isn't enough information to know the specific impulse applied to every possible Mage Hand target in every possible scenario. There is, however, more than enough information to determine the MAXIMUM possible impulse for the ideal Mage Hand target in an ideal scenario, which still isn't enough to do damage.

(There are several things that we can't precisely measure, but which we can infer a range for, such as a move action can take no more than 6 seconds ((because that's how long a round is)) and no less than 3 seconds ((because if you do nothing else, you can take 2 move actions in 6 seconds)). Sure, we really have no way of knowing WHERE in that range any particular instance falls with any real certainty, but we can certainly take the lowest value to get maximum acceleration. Ditto every other variable.)

Saying there isn't enough information is like saying we don't know if a STR 10 character with a non-magical dagger got through DR 10/- because we don't actually know what he/she rolled, even though the most damage they could possibly do before DR is 8, even if they crit.

Rory wrote:
So, you take a 2 lbf dagger and you place it tip down on something. You then reverse the force downwards, which then sums with gravity, to get 7 lbf applied at that dagger tip.

Except you can't, because then the dagger would be moving faster than allowed by Mage Hand. You can either stop holding it with Mage Hand, in which case gravity takes over and it begins to fall at 9.8m/s/s less air resistance, or you can move in downward with Mage Hand at up to 15ft/6 seconds. The 15ft/6sec speed limit on Mage Hand is as immutable as c.


el cuervo wrote:


F = ma requires knowing not only the mass but also the acceleration. Acceleration is variable for purposes of mage hand because it can move anywhere from 0 feet to 15 feet in a single move action.

There are three variables in that equation. Any two known can calculate the third. The real question is which variables are defined.

Everyone knows that to hold an object still in the air, gravity must be overcome. Gravity is of course an acceleration, so an acceleration is defined. Since the object is still, not moving, in the air, all other accelerations therefore sum to zero. Therefore, F=ma reduces to a special form...

Force = Mass * Gravity

So ask yourself, does Mage Hand define a Max Force (in lbf) or a Max Mass (in lbm) when it says "5 lb" max?

It has to be one or the other. Either way, a Max Force is fully defined.

Dallium wrote:


Except you can't, because then the dagger would be moving faster than allowed by Mage Hand. You can either stop holding it with Mage Hand, in which case gravity takes over and it begins to fall at 9.8m/s/s less air resistance, or you can move in downward with Mage Hand at up to 15ft/6 seconds. The 15ft/6sec speed limit on Mage Hand is as immutable as c.

Assume the 2 lb dagger is pushing against a table. Therefore, it isn't moving because the table is applying an equal and opposite reaction force.

If the dagger is pushing up, it pushes up at 3 lbf force max against the table. If the dagger is pushing down, it pushes down at 7 lbf force.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gol Zayvian wrote:

This is why force is not a factor (even though [Force] may be a descriptor). The spell makes no mention what so ever of the amount of force that can be exerted upon the object.

That portion of the discussion is a conjecture brought into play be the Physics majors among us. the only thing really stipulated by the spell is Max weight to be lifted, and Max Distance it can be moved.

If you want to bring real world physics into it, then you also must bring in all sorts of considerations. For example, because the spell specifies weight and not mass, then you need to know things like altitude, because as you change altitude the amount of gravity exerted upon an object changes and therefore so does its weight.

So if we're keeping it to game then, I'm not going to let a zero level cantrip equate itself with a 5th level spell.


Rory wrote:
el cuervo wrote:


F = ma requires knowing not only the mass but also the acceleration. Acceleration is variable for purposes of mage hand because it can move anywhere from 0 feet to 15 feet in a single move action.

There are three variables in that equation. Any two known can calculate the third. The real question is which variables are defined.

Everyone knows that to hold an object still in the air, gravity must be overcome. Gravity is of course an acceleration, so an acceleration is defined. Since the object is still, not moving, in the air, all other accelerations therefore sum to zero. Therefore, F=ma reduces to a special form...

Force = Mass * Gravity

So ask yourself, does Mage Hand define a Max Force (in lbf) or a Max Mass (in lbm) when it says "5 lb" max?

It has to be one or the other. Either way, a Max Force is fully defined.

Dallium wrote:


Except you can't, because then the dagger would be moving faster than allowed by Mage Hand. You can either stop holding it with Mage Hand, in which case gravity takes over and it begins to fall at 9.8m/s/s less air resistance, or you can move in downward with Mage Hand at up to 15ft/6 seconds. The 15ft/6sec speed limit on Mage Hand is as immutable as c.

Assume the 2 lb dagger is pushing against a table. Therefore, it isn't moving because the table is applying an equal and opposite reaction force.

If the dagger is pushing up, it pushes up at 3 lbf force max against the table. If the dagger is pushing down, it pushes down at 7 lbf force.

No, the dagger isn't pushing anything. The spell doesn't say you can try to push something with something else. That would exceed the weight limit of the spell. If you attempt to push something with the thing you're holding, if the net weight is 1 amu over 5 lbs, nothing moves. No force is applied.

If the spell doesn't nullify up to 5 lbs of gravity, it doesn't do anything. It's magic. That's why there's a hard limit on it's weight and velocity. As long as the thing is grasped w/ Mage Hand, it has no weight, just mass.

All of this is completely pointless, because I've just realized the action economy preclude attacking. Cast the spell as a standard action. Move the object. Your turn is over. Next turn, you spend your standard action to concentrate on the spell. You have no action left with which to make an attack.

tl;dr: You can't attack with Mage Hand because the action economy precludes it.

/thread.


Quote:

All of this is completely pointless, because I've just realized the action economy preclude attacking. Cast the spell as a standard action. Move the object. Your turn is over. Next turn, you spend your standard action to concentrate on the spell. You have no action left with which to make an attack.

tl;dr: You can't attack with Mage Hand because the action economy precludes it.

Only under normal circumstances. You can still cast a quickened mage hand, and there are probably ways to change the action required to concentration a spell.

So the question is still valid.

Edit: And indeed there is at least one way, the Spellsong feat. Mage hand is a bard spell.

Quote:
Second, as a move action, you can use 1 round of bardic performance to maintain a bard spell with a duration of concentration. You can cast another spell in the same round you are using bardic magic to maintain concentration; if you do this, your concentration on the maintained spell ends when you end the bardic performance the spell is part of.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jeraa wrote:
Quote:

All of this is completely pointless, because I've just realized the action economy preclude attacking. Cast the spell as a standard action. Move the object. Your turn is over. Next turn, you spend your standard action to concentrate on the spell. You have no action left with which to make an attack.

tl;dr: You can't attack with Mage Hand because the action economy precludes it.

Only under normal circumstances. You can still cast a quickened mage hand, and there are probably ways to change the action required to concentration a spell.

So the question is still valid.

Are you really going to spend a 4th level spell slot this way, especially when Telekinesis is only one slot higher?

If you really want to buil a character that operates this way, build a Generalist Wizard and use the Hand of the Apprentice ability. Make an elf and you can use FCB to get more daily uses out of it.


LazarX wrote:

Are you really going to spend a 4th level spell slot this way, especially when Telekinesis is only one slot higher?

If you really want to buil a character that operates this way, build a Generalist Wizard and use the Hand of the Apprentice ability. Make an elf and you can use FCB to get more daily uses out of it.

Oh of course not. But he said the action economy prevents attacking with mage hand (if you could), which is wrong. There are ways around that.

Shadow Lodge

Dallium, you're operating on assumptions not present in the text. You're equating the max distance the effect can move the object in a round as some how being a function of speed. That is an inference but not defined as such in the text. If I move the object at 30 quintillion times the speed of sound and then suddenly halt it's forward momentum when it achieves a distance of 15', that is well within the bounds of what is described in the spell. The text only says you can propel it no further than 15' per round. it doesn't specify how fast it does this, only that by round end it may not be further from point a than 15'. The problem with your assumption is that you imagine the object being lifted and moved at a steady rate of acceleration from point a to point b, because this image makes the most logical common sense (which I agree with btw) however by a strict reading of the text, that isn't the only way you can imagine the event unfolding.


Seeing as Telekinesis is the higher level "version" of Mage Hand which is the higher level version of Prestidigitation (in terms of the object moving component) why ignore the descriptions in them?

Prestidigitation can lift 1lb - specifically says it can't damage or distract.

Mage hand can lift AND move 5lbs 15'.

Telekinesis can lift AND move AND manipulate lots of lbs 20'
AND ALSO do Combat Manoeuvres
AND ALSO chuck things at people
Plenty of detail on all the functions.

The lowest version specifies no offensive capabilities, the middle one adds move to lift but nothing else and the highest one has specific rules for additional uses. It's a Telekinetic spell progression.

The precedent is set in the first and not altered until the last, logic would say it therefore cannot be used to propel a weapon to do combat damage until it says it can. Physics/acceleration are Red Herrings. It's Pathfinder, rules are not necessarily reproduced every time when there is a clear precedent.

Shadow Lodge

CountofUndolpho wrote:
Physics/acceleration are Red Herrings.

Beautifully put sir. This is the reason why when physics is brought up i turn to enormously ridiculous hyperbole to illustrate why they shouldn't be. ;)


Gol Zayvian wrote:
CountofUndolpho wrote:
Physics/acceleration are Red Herrings.
Beautifully put sir. This is the reason why when physics is brought up i turn to enormously ridiculous hyperbole to illustrate why they shouldn't be. ;)

Ah! Unfortunately enormously ridiculous hyperbole is also used to justify the use of physics in pursuit of the desired interpretation of the rules. The smiley is a good pointer though.

Shadow Lodge

To be fair, the other reason i do it is because it entertains me to no end.


Gol Zayvian wrote:
Dallium, you're operating on assumptions not present in the text. You're equating the max distance the effect can move the object in a round as some how being a function of speed. That is an inference but not defined as such in the text.

The text also doesn't say a human can't fly.

The text also doesn't say a monk can't cast disintegrate as a 100th level wizard at will as a free action whenever he or she wants.

There are literally an infinite number of things the text doesn't say. There are an incalculable number of things the text doesn't say that are required for the game to begin to work. One of them is that the fundamental rules that govern reality apply, except where they explicitly don't. Now I'm done, because we've PROVEN that Mage Hand is incapable of doing damage even if you use feats to make the action economy work. I'm not taking part in any further debate on whether or not physics apply.


Dallium wrote:
Gol Zayvian wrote:
Dallium, you're operating on assumptions not present in the text. You're equating the max distance the effect can move the object in a round as some how being a function of speed. That is an inference but not defined as such in the text.

The text also doesn't say a human can't fly.

The text also doesn't say a monk can't cast disintegrate as a 100th level wizard at will as a free action whenever he or she wants.

There are literally an infinite number of things the text doesn't say. There are an incalculable number of things the text doesn't say that are required for the game to begin to work. One of them is that the fundamental rules that govern reality apply, except where they explicitly don't. Now I'm done, because we've PROVEN that Mage Hand is incapable of doing damage even if you use feats to make the action economy work. I'm not taking part in any further debate on whether or not physics apply.

I'm sorry to disagree, but dropping a hammer from a height on a sleeping person might result in some damage.

:D


Dallium's assumptions are all well reasoned and valid. To think the spell gives an insane amount of acceleration in an nearly instantaneous amount of time is just being facetious.

But I concur: The spell cannot be used offensively beyond dropping something on somebody's head from some significant height.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Dallium's assumptions are all well reasoned and valid. To think the spell gives an insane amount of acceleration in an nearly instantaneous amount of time is just being facetious.

But I concur: The spell cannot be used offensively beyond dropping something on somebody's head from some significant height.

Forget hammers.

Bags of poop.

Not as damaging, far more entertaining.


MeanMutton wrote:


To answer your last question: No. But the math is easier because the units aren't f***ing idiotic. (I can say that our units are idiotic because I'm a proud, flag-waving 'murican).

It's true, our units are terrible! I helped build a garage wall after years in university science courses -- Ugh, the fractions! So clunky. ;p


As an engineering student, every time I see a problem come up with US units I give the teacher a long, hard look.

And then convert everything to metric.

And then convert the final answer back to US and hand it in.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I agree with the disdain of Imperial units(US units). SI is so much easier. Gaussian units are even easier to do physics but pretty crappy for actual measurement and engineering.

Technically the unit of mass in Imperial units is the slug. One slug of matter weighs 32 lb in standard Earth gravity. One of the things that makes me twitch is when people use pounds for mass, or kilograms for weight(should be Newtons).

Radians are also better than degrees.

Paulicius, there is a such a thing as decimal Imperial units - you can use measurements that result in numbers like 17.4 inches. Engineers that have to work with Imperial units often go this route rather than the fraction route.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CampinCarl9127 wrote:

As an engineering student, every time I see a problem come up with US units I give the teacher a long, hard look.

And then convert everything to metric.

And then convert the final answer back to US and hand it in.

Did you ever get it handed back with the text written on it.. "No one likes a smart ass?"

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

LazarX wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:

As an engineering student, every time I see a problem come up with US units I give the teacher a long, hard look.

And then convert everything to metric.

And then convert the final answer back to US and hand it in.

Did you ever get it handed back with the text written on it.. "No one likes a smart ass?"

Plugging in numbers before the end of the problem is just creating extra work for yourself anyway. Just do everything with the variables, then it doesn't matter what units you use. Actually entering numbers at the end is trivial and is an exercise left for the reader.

/physicsteacher


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
ryric wrote:
Heck, if you really want to break mage hand, use a hot air balloon. It has a negative weight

This made me cry a little inside.

In fact, most of the physics claims here are making me cry. I'm sorry I ever tried to bring ohysics into it. Next time I'm asked this question and an explanation is wanted, I will simply say "No, because magic."

As a physics teacher, I have to say that many of the errors being made here are pretty typical for beginning physics students. It's nothing to cry about unless those making the mistakes are already engineers, physicists, etc. There are plenty of great physicists that had similar misunderstandings when they started out.

But as a gamer I have to say that I am befuddled by the attempt to apply physics in this way. Trying to mix physics and game elements isn't going to work. Mage Hand lets you lift and move an object that weighs five pounds or less. Does that mean that it exerts 5 lbs of force? I have no idea. Maybe magic simply negates Newton's laws so that no force is required to oppose the gravitational force. How can I lift the object without exerting any force on it?

Magic.

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