The spell Mage Hand requires an action to move, which implies that it does not automatically move with the caster. The hand also disappears if it moves beyond 30 feet of the caster.

[...] 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 move the hand up to 30 feet each time you use it.

If the caster is forcefully moved more than 30 feet from the mage hand, then it seems logical that the hand would disappear. However, does that also apply to a caster that is on a moving platform (e.g. on a mount, riding a cart, riding a boat, etc.)?

Maybe on the boat or other large vehicle situation, could it be treated similarly to an Immovable Rod situation. I've seen various responses on how Immovable Rods react on large fast-moving vehicles (e.g. trains), and ultimately up to DM to interpret a relative location.



If the caster is on a moving platform, and is moved more than 30 feet away, Mage Hand will disappear.

It would be a DM ruling to say that the Mage Hand's position is relative to a surface, and thus moves with the platform it is on. I think that is a perfectly logical ruling to make, depending on the scenario.

The hand vanishes if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you

This rule specifically points at the distance between the caster and Mage Hand. If Mage Hand moves with the surface, though, then it would not count as being 30 feet away from the caster, and so would not be in violation of the limit. What matters is the distance between caster and Mage Hand, not how fast or far the pair move on a turn.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Depending on the size of the platform... if the caster is on a ship, spell effects are generally relative to the ship itself, for example. \$\endgroup\$ – Upper_Case Jul 15 at 21:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Upper_Case is that explicitly stated anywhere in the rules? \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Jul 15 at 22:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Marq Nope, it's a Crawford tweet. It's extrapolated from his statement on Teleportation Circle, tweeted in 2017 (I think his tweets were still official then, but I'm not 100% sure). \$\endgroup\$ – Upper_Case Jul 15 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Upper_Case Even if that tweet were official at the time, it isn't any longer as of April 2020 (release date of the Sage Advice Compendium, where it is clarified that any tweet would be advice but not an official ruling). \$\endgroup\$ – Kogarashi Kaito Jul 15 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KogarashiKaito They were retroactively made unofficial? I had thought it was only on a go-forward from when that was released. TIL. Here's a link backing the above description for future visitors. \$\endgroup\$ – Upper_Case Jul 16 at 1:05

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