Is Mage-Hand is anchored to caster?

Examples: the caster pull self towards a static object while swimming.

the caster guides self while floating in levitation wild magic.

the caster quietly and gently pulls a small boat to dock whilst riding it in calm waters

Rules say 10lbs, which should be enough to pull a weightless or groundless caster.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your post consists of 4 different questions, one in the title, two in the first sentence of the body of the post, and one in the last sentence of the body. You should split these into separate questions... or more precisely, you should wait for the answer to your initial question before asking followups as separate questions, since the other questions will be irrelevant given the answer to the question in your title. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Apr 28, 2018 at 7:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I'd edit this to simply address the question in the title. Truly, though, a great many FAQs directed at WotC Staff are met with "If it doesn't say it is, it isn't." \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Apr 28, 2018 at 8:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ they're just examples of the same principle. if the answer is "no it is not anchored", then the examples are void. I will replace the question marks with periods, as per request. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2018 at 8:25

2 Answers 2


The description of Mage Hand states:

A spectral, floating hand appears at a point you choose within range. The hand lasts for the duration or until you dismiss it as an action. The hand vanishes if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you or if you cast this spell again.

You can use your action to control the hand. You can use the hand to manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out of a vial. You can move the hand up to 30 feet each time you use it.

The hand can't attack, activate magic items, or carry more than 10 pounds.

Nothing in the description states that it is anchored to the caster. (And as demonstrated in the answers to this question, spells only do what they say they do.)

The hand appears at a point you choose within range - any point within its range of 30 feet. In fact, the spell states that the hand vanishes if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you, which would logically only be possible if Mage Hand was not anchored to the caster.

  • \$\begingroup\$ caster is floating in a small boat on calm waters. if mage hand is not anchored (because it is not stated as such) , could it still be used to gently push the boat in a direction? or again, with wild magic levitation, could mage hand grab the garment of the caster and guide them around? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2018 at 8:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited in the rest of the spell description. Mage Hand does what the description; anything more is up to the DM. Nothing in the description says it can push or pull things of any weight besides opening unlocked doors/containers. It'd probably be reasonable to rule that it could push or pull something very light, but a boat you're on would probably not count as such. The caster definitely doesn't weigh less than 10 pounds even if they're levitating as a result of a spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Apr 28, 2018 at 8:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think "manipulate an object" is vague, as well as "carry". If you can manipulate, carry, open (by push or pull), etc. it seems like you could affect a caster while groundless. 10lbs of carry is the same tensile strength as a tog a dog tag chain. It's more than one might think. I could pull a helium balloon with said chain, i should be able to guide a levitating willing character, or a raft in still water. I suppose "up to the DM" is obvious, but I am the DM, and I want to be fair when making puzzles and not just tell a caster "no you cannot do that because is breaks my puzzle" \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2018 at 10:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @saviorself7 Approaching Mage Hand as a vector really doesn't work. As a vector it would move heavier things slower than lighter things (acceleration = force/mass, where force is constant because mage hand is a constant vector). From the book, it doesn't matter how heavy or light the object is; if it is 10lbs or less the hand can move it at 30ft/round. That means we have to abandon physics and use magic logic; Magic has an effect on items that fit a criteria. The criteria here is that the object is 10lbs or less, the effect is that it can be moved at 30ft/round. A 10.1lb object is unaffected. \$\endgroup\$
    – JackChance
    Apr 29, 2018 at 8:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Saviorself7 The spell specifically calls out that as a separate ability however. It doesn't specify what weight a door needs to fall into in order to be openable. \$\endgroup\$
    – JackChance
    Jul 19, 2018 at 15:45

The hand can't attack, activate magic items, or carry more than 10 pounds.

The rules are particular, it says it can carry up to 10 lbs, not that it can exert 10 lbs of force. Your example seems to assume that the hand would be, for example, grasping an object and 'pulling' you toward itself against the weight of the object. This will not work, since the hand is not tethered to anything, and you are over 10 lbs.

The closest you could get is having it press against your body and attempt to move you, but this will also not work (you are over 10lbs), nor will it exert force (the descriptions says nothing about exerting force)

Your best bet would be to have it carry one end of a rope while you carry the other, and have it tie that rope to something, then pull yourself along the rope. (The hand will not be able to tug you along).

Or you could shrink yourself down until you're less than 10 lbs as in this question Using Mage Hand to fly?


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