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The third benefit of the Telekinetic feat states (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, page 81):

As a bonus action, you can try to telekinetically shove one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. When you do so, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + the ability modifier of the score increased by this feat) or be moved 5 feet toward you or away from you. A creature can willingly fail this save.

Can someone target themselves with this ability of the Telekinetic feat, choose to fail the save, and push themselves out of melee range, thus causing the same effect as a Disengage action?

I am unsure. The wording seems to suggest you can; however, the phrase "or be moved 5 feet toward you or away from you" seems to indicate you cannot target yourself with it.

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4 Answers 4

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You cannot be moved "away from you".

The motion of the telekinetic shove is defined relative to you:

toward you or away from you

"Toward" and "away" denote a change in the position between two reference points – "toward" meaning the distance between you and the target is decreasing, "away" meaning the distance between you and the target is increasing.

However, your position relative to yourself is constant; you can neither decrease nor increase the distance between you and yourself (this is the very first axiom of metric spaces). So you cannot use the feat to move yourself.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I thoroughly appreciate the reference to metric spaces. I haven't given them much thought since grad school. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25 at 0:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Attach an object to yourself and push it :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Pashok
    Jun 17 at 6:13
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Even if you could move yourself, it would still provoke opportunity attacks.

The rules for opportunity attacks state:

You can avoid provoking an opportunity attack by taking the Disengage action. You also don't provoke an opportunity attack when you teleport, or when someone or something moves you without using your movement, action, or reaction.

Using this feature of Telekinetic on yourself as described in the question would result in using an action to move out of an opponent’s reach. That doesn’t meet any of the criteria for avoiding the opportunity attack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's your bonus action, so your mileage may vary on if that counts when something just says action. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 17, 2021 at 19:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Bonus actions are actions, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Aug 17, 2021 at 19:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe? It is unclear if "your...action" here includes your bonus action. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 17, 2021 at 19:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Suppose a barbarian with the Instinctive Pounce feature (move half your speed as part of the bonus action to enter a rage) used it to leave an opponent's reach. I would expect that to provoke opportunity attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Aug 17, 2021 at 19:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes The Sage Advice Compendium says a bonus action is an action, and the PHB descrbes it as "an additional action". \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Aug 18, 2021 at 4:12
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Consider a scenario where you are tied to another player by a 10' length of rope. You are on skis in the snow. You telekinetically shove the creature in front of you. It moves 5'. You are pulled along with it via the rope.

You and the target start and end this movement exactly the same distance from each other.

Given that a willing creature can automatically be shoved, even a creature weighing several tons, it would be silly to say that the shove couldn't move the target AND you.

So, either the shove fails in this scenario because you are tied to the target, or you can shove a creature away from yourself and never actually change the distance between you.

The former seems to be throwing "realism" out the window in favor of following the letter of a rule that absolutely is not written to cover every possible scenario (none of the rules are). The later would lend itself to the idea that the forced movement cares only about your location at the initiation of the forced movement, not at the end of the forced movement.

Does this mean you can use telekinetic shove to shove yourself? As a DM there's no compelling reason to say no. You are literally using a bonus action to move 5'. Who cares. That will have an almost negligible impact on the game, and if it adds to the fun, let it happen. The text does not explicitly state that you cannot target yourself, so just let it happen if that's what your players want to do. It won't break the game.

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Technically, any direction I move is away from myself. When we refer to ourselves and others as positions, we must also account for that exact time.

Normally, when I use the telekinetic shove against another creature, it is understood that the force moves the creature a distance away relative to myself during that exact moment in time… not as I was 2 seconds ago… or 2 seconds from now. Logically speaking, that same logic should hold true when you apply the force to yourself… your position is locked, and your future position is relative to your past position.

The way the feat is written, the shove is going to happen, the only question is the direction at which its effects play out. And direction in movement can only be calculated relative to a position in its given time.

So, yes, if you can target yourself then you should be able to determine the direction on which the force is applied to determine the destination of the movement…which would’ve away from the locked in past position of “you.”

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Valerie and welcome to the stack! When you have a chance, please take the tour and if you have questions visit the help center. I had considered leaving a similar answer, but had the feeling it would be unpopular and quickly downvoted. Please don't get discouraged, as we do value your contributions! You might mention in your answer that the 5e rules use 'natural English' and that when I say someone lives "5 miles away from me" I don't necessarily mean my current position in space; 'away from me' is open to context. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Mar 5 at 17:06

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