The Red Box Blog

Ramblings about D&D.

Email: We Are Not Twisted

One of my players forwarded this to me (I have no idea where it originated from) with the added comment “Aren’t you glad we are not THIS twisted?”

Ok, let me set this up. I have a half elf sorceror that decided to use Mage Hand during melee. His idea, ingenious, was to use the spell to squeeze the testicles of an opponent (goblin adept) to get him to break concentration.
He tried it later against a hobgoblin fighter and I allowed that it would work, but the hob would get a -4 penalty because it occurred after combat commenced (owing for adrenalin, etc).
My question is, should there be a save against this, or some defense, like armor, to protect against this move (which according to the spell is telekinetic). Should the appropriate ability (charisma for a sorceror) play into it at all?


Well, for starters, by the letter of the rules, this isn’t remotely possible.

Mage Hand


Level: Brd 0, Sor/Wiz 0
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One nonmagical, unattended object weighing up to 5 lb.
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 spell is clearly written; it can only impact non-living objects, and what it does is move them, not squeeze them. The fact that it has the word “hand” in the name does not allow it to do anything a hand can do.

However, I am really big on players looking for new ways to use things, especially spells. To me the magic system in D&D is way too rigid to properly emulate fantasy, and so I like to give players a lot of leeway.

That being said, this is also a balance issue. Mage hand is a 0 level spell. Spells at that level are generally only able to do one thing, and they don’t do that very well. Giving Mage Hand the ability to lift/throw objects, and break caster concentration, and give melee characters a -4 penalty is way too much for a 0 level spell.

So if one of my players suggested this, the answer would be “Nice, but no.”


September 26, 2010 - Posted by | 3.x, Dungeons and Dragons, RPGs | , , ,


  1. Heh.

    I hardly think that one’s testicles would qualify as “unattended” either.

    The unattended qualifier rules out the follow up question of “well, can I use it to squeeze his loincloth, then?”

    Comment by rainswept | September 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. that relly seems more of a Darth Vader move

    Comment by middleagedm | September 27, 2010 | Reply

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