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This question already has an answer here:

From the PHB (emphasis mine):

Starting at 3rd level, when you cast Mage Hand, you can make the spectral hand invisible, and you can perform the following additional tasks with it:

• You can stow one object the hand is holding in a container worn or carried by another creature.

• You can retrieve an object in a container worn or carried by another creature.

• You can use thieves' tools to pick locks and disarm traps at range.

You can perform one of these tasks without being noticed by a creature if you succeed on a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check contested by the creature's Wisdom (Perception) check. In addition, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to control the hand.

And the invisibility spell (emphasis mine):

A creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends. Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target’s person. The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell.

I know the spell is slightly different but it’s the most comparable thing I could find.

For example:

  • I lift some jail keys off of a guard and then turn the hand invisible.

  • I grab 3 platinum coins off the mayor’s desk when I think no one is watching and close the hand around them so they’re totally inside the fist.

  • I give the hand a lockpick and pick a lock from across a crowded room.

In which of these situations (if any) would the objects be visible?


Context of the question: I'm the Rogue player, not the not DM. I view the mage hand for the arcane trickster as a type of highly specialized familiar because I can summon or dismiss it a will, and I can "command" it to do some simple tasks. But I'm fairly new and inexperienced so I might be looking at it wrong. My reason for posting the question was to see if I am missing something that should have been obvious, or if there was room to play around with this class feature.

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marked as duplicate by Community Jul 30 at 19:04

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast, I'm the rogue not DM so I can't say exactly, but I think of it as a type of highly specialized familiar. Because I can summon/dismiss it a will and "command" it to do some simple tasks. But I'm fairly new inexperienced so I might be looking at it wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – Orisa is your shield Jul 29 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast, I appreciate the advice. To be honest, my main reason for posting the question was to see if people would come and point out something that should have been obvious or if there was room to play around with it. But I think it's been answered. \$\endgroup\$ – Orisa is your shield Jul 29 at 20:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tophandour Yeah, that's an exact duplicate of the my question. I'm honestly curious how I didn't see that before. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Orisa is your shield Jul 30 at 19:03
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Any carried object will be visible

Starting at 3rd level, when you cast Mage Hand, you can make the spectral hand invisible

"You can make the spectral hand invisible" does not mean "you can cast the Invisibility spell on it". It does what it says — you make the hand invisible, and only the hand, not the item it is carrying.

However, D&D 5th edition empowers the DM in ways that 3rd, 3.5, and 4th did not. While rule zero has always applied, 5th edition chooses not to explicitly codify many things. If your DM says the item will be invisible too, it will.

Jeremy Crawford, the lead game designer, suggests prioritizing story over the rules:

The rules are intentionally silent on these corner cases, leaving adjudication to DMs. As always, I say go with what's best for your story

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate the answer, however, it just leaves me wondering what use the invisible mage hand has then. I might ask a new question about that soon. \$\endgroup\$ – Orisa is your shield Jul 29 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Orisaisyourshield One of the things to consider is that, in conditions of darkness of dime light, most observers will have disadvantage to perceive this hand doing things of your rogue is using the sleight of hand or stealth ability/skill to try and do it without being noticed. (Yeah, I realized that this statement only complicates things). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 29 at 21:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Orisaisyourshield If the hand is invisible, then the held object just appears to be floating on its own, which may provoke a very different reaction from someone than if they saw a spectral hand absconding with the object. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Jul 29 at 21:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Parrotmaster see the last paragraph on this \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jul 30 at 9:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Parrotmaster The area inside of the closed hand is still an external area of the hand so you can see what is there. Now if the hand could swallow the item so it is actually inside part of the hand then you might be able to argue that it is invisible. \$\endgroup\$ – Anketam Jul 30 at 12:13

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