Would you allow pushing yourself by Mage Hand while Levitating?


Advice


Horizontally, of course. Though, why not vertically too?
Mind that the bulk restriction of Mage Hand can't be fully applied because you don't grasp and carry anything.

Grand Lodge

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I wouldn't allow it. IMO, the spell is limited to moving objects of light bulk or less (until heightened). Unless you and your equipment meet that requirement, it will not move you. Beyond that, mage hand has a specifically defined function. It grabs an object and moves it at your behest. Period. You are not an unattended object. If it can push you and your equipment along, why not allow it to Shove someone in combat? How about deflect an arrow? Can it push a cart laden with equipment? Who needs horses when you have mage hand?

You can of course do whatever you want. It is YOUR campaign after all, but I would not allow it in mine.

Levitate derail:
It is interesting to note that the levitate/ spell does not have a weight specification so it would fall to the GM to decide what is an applicable "unattended object." Theoretically, a 5th level wizard could levitate a castle, a mountain, how about the Cyphergate or the Starrise Spire? Personally, I would probably enforce a weight limit, perhaps something like 1 bulk per spell level (caster's maximum) or maybe character level. Though I could see that argued as unfairly restrictive given that a willing creature could be gargantuan (48 bulk). YMMV


Errenor wrote:
Horizontally, of course. Though, why not vertically too?

Mage hand has a target of "1 unattended object of light Bulk or less." That's the only option for targets. So you can't move yourself.

Errenor wrote:
Mind that the bulk restriction of Mage Hand can't be fully applied because you don't grasp and carry anything.

If you aren't grasping and moving anything then what are you doing?

The spell "grasps the target object and moves it slowly up to 20 feet." That's the only thing it can do.


The world itself doesn't have a bulk amount defined. So I can consider it to be of light bulk. It is floating weightless in space after all. So therefore I can grab hold of the world and move it under me. [/troll]


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breithauptclan wrote:
The world itself doesn't have a bulk amount defined. So I can consider it to be of light bulk. It is floating weightless in space after all. So therefore I can grab hold of the world and move it under me. [/troll]

[physics teacher mode]

The Earth isn't weightless. At this distance from the Sun, the Earth is experiencing a gravitational force (weight) of about 3.54x10^22 N.

And it isn't floating since there is no buoyant force negating that weight.
[/physics teacher mode]

;)


TwilightKnight wrote:
If it can push you and your equipment along, why not allow it to Shove someone in combat?

Because they are different actions. Logically there isn't any resistance to push levitating object, only the acceleration is limited by the mass. You are also a willing target for this. So pushing about 5 ft per action doesn't seem like very OP. Also you can apply some effects of the Cosmos Oracle curse for this situation (penalty, but not enfeeble).

Otherwise noted.
And by the way, I'm very much aware of the Targets section of the spell. I know this wouldn't be RAW. That is why the title is "Would you allow...?" and not something like "Can you use..." or "Is it possible...?". :)
Gisher wrote:


If you aren't grasping and moving anything then what are you doing?

Pushing. All weight is supported by the Levitation, so the Hand doesn't need to actually hold the target. That's why it's different. There's also cost in actions to the maneuver.

Grand Lodge

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I wouldn't allow it either.
a) Inertia, resists all movement, and is a function of mass.
b) Mage hand has never worked on a living creature no matter how small
c) opens the door to abuse.

If you allow for mage hand, why doesn't the some target fly backwards when hit by an arrow?


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We keep talking about the target rules because you are posting in the Rules Forum, and the targeting rules clearly don't allow this.

If you are trying to make your own version of Mage Hand, then you probably want to be in the Homebrew and House Rules Forum.

That said, if I were going to allow this I'd require players to use the Forceful Push feat from the Spell Trickster archetype rather than the standard version of Mage Hand. Since it requires an attack against a foe you aren't supposed to be able to use it on yourself, but it does target one creature and give them a push so it's closer to what you're trying to accomplish.


Ok, I see. I guess it's unlikely GMs would like this idea. =)

Jared Walter 356 wrote:

I wouldn't allow it either.

a) Inertia, resists all movement, and is a function of mass.

It doesn't resist as a force would though. If we weren't talking about game rules and balance and things like that, this definitely would work, only speeds would be small if mage hand exerted too little force. Air resistance for a levitating object would be very small. As an example you could find some video of people pulling big ships (and water resistance is much bigger).

Jared Walter 356 wrote:
If you allow for mage hand, why doesn't the some target fly backwards when hit by an arrow?

I would say differently: if this doesn't work then any shoving of levitating object by GM's monsters won't become any easier. We need to be consistent. :)


Errenor wrote:
Ok, I see. I guess it's unlikely GMs would like this idea. =)

Yup. You are trying to combine two lower level spells to duplicate the effects of a higher level spell.

Errenor wrote:
If we weren't talking about game rules and balance and things like that, this definitely would work, only speeds would be small if mage hand exerted too little force. Air resistance for a levitating object would be very small. As an example you could find some video of people pulling big ships (and water resistance is much bigger).

Yeah, from a physics standpoint, the amount of force that Mage Hand can generate in order to move an object of light or negligible bulk isn't going to move a significant object like a creature and all of their gear very much even if we are only talking about air resistance being the only opposing force. I don't have any specific numbers to crunch here, but if we assume that it can move you at a rate of 1 inch per round that would seem a fair approximation. So that would mean 60 rounds to move 5 feet. So 6 minutes (I think). How long does levitate last? Jump might be a better option.


breithauptclan wrote:


Yup. You are trying to combine two lower level spells to duplicate the effects of a higher level spell.

Which one, by the way? It still wouldn't be anywhere close to Fly or Air Walk.

breithauptclan wrote:


Yeah, from a physics standpoint, the amount of force that Mage Hand can generate in order to move an object of light or negligible bulk isn't going to move a significant object like a creature and all of their gear very much even if we are only talking about air resistance being the only opposing force. I don't have any specific numbers to crunch here, but if we assume that it can move you at a rate of 1 inch per round that would seem a fair approximation. So that would mean 60 rounds to move 5 feet. So 6 minutes (I think). How long does levitate last? Jump might be a better option.

Oh, no! What have you done?! Now I have to calculate...

Let's see: assuming that MH half time accelerates an item and then half time decelerates it with a constant force, we'd get a path S=F*t^2/(m*4). F_min=4*m*S/t^2. Air resistance is ignored.
We know path 20ft=6.1m, time t=2s (1/3 of 6s) and can assume that light bulk is about 1 kg. So about 6.1 N of force needed. MH also need to hold the item against gravity, so minimum ~10 N. We can also calculate total force to be about 11.5 N, but let's take 10 N.
Using the same formula above and the mass of our adventurer m_a=80 kg, we'd get S=0.125m=0.41 ft= 5in. Quite close to your estimation. :)
Upping that to 3rd level spell, 1 Bulk and 4 kg (judging by a 4-person tent), we'd get 40 N to lift, 46 N total and 0.6 m = 2 ft to move an adventurer for 2 s. Still not enough. :(


Errenor wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:


Yup. You are trying to combine two lower level spells to duplicate the effects of a higher level spell.
Which one, by the way? It still wouldn't be anywhere close to Fly or Air Walk.

It isn't a complete duplication. But it would be for things like getting across a chasm or up to an area that is out of reach. Things where casting fly, air walk, dimension door, or even water walk would be useful.

I don't think it would be overly broken to allow it. But I can certainly see why it would not be taken kindly by a GM that has set up a scenario that you are trying to gimmick your way past.


breithauptclan wrote:
The world itself doesn't have a bulk amount defined. So I can consider it to be of light bulk. It is floating weightless in space after all. So therefore I can grab hold of the world and move it under me. [/troll]

Remember, we can't see the Sun or Moon based on penalties via Distance, so...yeah!


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
The world itself doesn't have a bulk amount defined. So I can consider it to be of light bulk. It is floating weightless in space after all. So therefore I can grab hold of the world and move it under me. [/troll]
Remember, we can't see the Sun or Moon based on penalties via Distance, so...yeah!

That was in 1st edition. They do not have a flat penalty depending on distance in 2nd edition. They do have things like fog that limit the distance you can see.

Climate: Fog wrote:
Conditions limiting visibility to about a mile are called mist, and those that do so to about 3 miles are called haze.

——

Back on topic, this is not a rules question. The rules are clear that this would not work.

Grand Lodge

It is silly to try and use modern physics to analyze and explain how the world of PF2E works in light of multi-dimensions, tangible magic, and the existence of actual gods.


TwilightKnight wrote:
It is silly to try and use modern physics to analyze and explain how the world of PF2E works in light of multi-dimensions, tangible magic, and the existence of actual gods.

Except it's irrelevant because that's not what was done. You could understand it was just a little entertainment.

Otherwise thanks for your valuable comment.


Myself, it'd be a no: you are never an "unattended object". The Forceful Push feat, as was already mentioned, is the only way it could work and that runs into the issue of trying to 'hit yourself' with a spell as there isn't a mechanism for opting to intentionally fail a spell DC.


Big no for me.

Effects are meant to do the stuff they are meant for, and flavor/physics should be left aside.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Levitate has some small force keeping you in the vertical column you are currently in, otherwise you would drift around on the air currents in the vicinity.

Liberty's Edge

Absolutely not.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This reminds me of the time the party used levitation, a rope and one good swimmer to try and cross a river. It was a good time for the giant dino birds to attack.

They had tried to do the whole "mage hand to push me while levitating" thing. I ruled that it would not work, so they found another way to do it within the rules.

Paizo Employee Director of Community

Moved from Rules Discussion to Advice


New silly suggestion- don't move yourself with mage hand, but use the mage hand to bring footholds that you kick off of.

I would include an acrobatics check to use this in any constructive manner, rather than just ramming yourself into the nearest wall.


lemeres wrote:
New silly suggestion- don't move yourself with mage hand, but use the mage hand to bring footholds that you kick off of.

I'm not sure that I am fully understanding the suggestion. Maybe a more concrete example would be in order.

The best interpretation that I can come up with from what you have already given is that you are levitating out of reach of any stable terrain features, so you want to use Mage Hand to bring an item close enough to you that you can push off from it and move yourself by doing so.

The problem with doing that is the difference in mass. At the highest level, Mage Hand can only move an object of 2 bulk. Kicking or throwing a free-floating object of 2 bulk is not going to provide you with much acceleration. The amount of force generated that would be pushing you is related to the difference in mass between you and the object, and to the velocity with which the object is thrown. And you don't throw things that fast.


I would not allow it as a standard tactic.

I might allow it as some desperate clever way to overcome an obstacle in a tough circumstance.

Paizo Employee Director of Community

removed some overt sexual commentary.


Using a levitate and Mage Hand to complete some challenge, saving a fly spell for a more climactic battle ahead, sounds fine to me. It also provides the GM with an opportunity for an ambush, with a party member puttering around in midair, at 5 feet per round, while being shot at. Great potential for memorable chaotic gameplay!

Of course every GM has the prerogative to engage rule-lawyer mode, and stick to the rules in an orderly and predictable way. (Translation: boring)

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This reminds me of a character setup we used in Starfinder.

Our groups technomancer had an inflatable rubber ball attached her vacc-suit on a cord. While she was in zero-G, she would use Mage Hand to push the ball which would tug her along.

We thought it was a very inventive way to propel herself while in space, especially since we were 3rd level when it came up, so we let it happen.


Old_Man_Robot wrote:

This reminds me of a character setup we used in Starfinder.

Our groups technomancer had an inflatable rubber ball attached her vacc-suit on a cord. While she was in zero-G, she would use Mage Hand to push the ball which would tug her along.

We thought it was a very inventive way to propel herself while in space, especially since we were 3rd level when it came up, so we let it happen.

Very nice, but wouldn't help in our case: Mage Hand in PF works on unattended object. :)

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