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I'm waffling on some interpretations regarding the Order of Scribes wizard subclass in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, and would really appreciate some second opinions. Most of the features seem pretty straightforward in their application, but as usual, I think there are some edge-case spells with more than one reasonable interpretation.

The description of the Order of Scribes wizard's 6th-level feature Manifest Mind says, in part (TCE, p. 77; emphasis mine):

[...] As a bonus action while the book is on your person, you can cause the mind to manifest as a Tiny spectral object, hovering in an unoccupied space of your choice within 60 feet of you. The spectral mind is intangible and doesn't occupy its space, and it sheds dim light in a 10-foot radius.

Whenever you cast a wizard spell on your turn, you can cast it as if you were in the spectral mind's space, instead of your own, using its senses. You can do so a number of times per day equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

[...] The spectral mind stops manifesting if it is ever more than 300 feet away from you [...]

How this interacts with the Mage Hand and Unseen Servant spells is not so clear to me at all. Let's stick with Mage Hand for the purpose of simplicity, though both spells have similar language to:

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

Obviously everything works as expected within the normal range restrictions (say, through a keyhole, then send it behind a bookshelf).
But what if the spectral mind from Manifest Mind is 100 feet away? You can obviously conjure the Mage Hand through the spectral mind, but does it vanish before you can spend an action to have it do anything? Is this Mage Hand tethered to your physical location, or is it tethered to the spectral mind's location since you cast it as if you were in that space?

If you use the Manifest Mind feature to cast the Mage Hand spell from the spectral mind's space while it's more than 30 feet away from you, what happens?

I would appreciate any references I may have missed that would clarify my uncertainties.

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2 Answers 2

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The mage hand would vanish immediately after casting.

The Manifest Mind feature definitely allows you to cast mage hand as if you were in the Mind's space:

Whenever you cast a wizard spell on your turn, you can cast it as if you were in the spectral mind's space, instead of your own

The only thing you can treat as if it were in the Mind's space is the casting of the spell. After that, any thing that references you and your location is referring to you and your location, not the Mind's location. So if you conjure the hand in a space more than 30 feet away from you, mage hand says:

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

It would vanish immediately upon casting the spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This was my gut interpretation as well. I think RAI may be vague (potentially subjecting the feature or spell to change in future errata/editions), but RAW I read it the same as you do. A shame, and these would play quite nice together. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2021 at 16:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BlivetWidget If I had to venture a guess about rules as intended, it would be that the developers did not consider this interaction at all and that there simply is no rules as intended here. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2021 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I'm sure you're right. It does annoy me so when they do things without intention. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2021 at 17:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Personally if it were at my table, I'd allow the hand to continue to exist so long as it's within range of the Mind. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2021 at 21:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym FWIW, so would I. I was just trying to make sure I had a firm grasp of it RAW ("Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly" and all that. Plus, to be prepared for it on either side of the table). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 21, 2021 at 0:59
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The location of Manifest Mind is considered your location for the entire spell duration of Mage Hand. It does not snap back to your physical location, nor does it care where your physical location is. In this instance, the class feature text (specific) takes precedence over spell text (general) (PHB page 7).

It's how logic (programming, not common sense) works. "as if you were in the spectral mind's space, instead of your own" This ability says you are treated as being in the spectral mind's space for the purposes of whatever spell you cast, so when it checks for the 30 ft. limit, your location is considered to be the spectral mind's space. Otherwise you wouldn't even be able to cast the spell in the first place unless you were targeting a point within both 30 ft. of your body and the spectral mind due to the spell's initial 30 ft. range.

There are quite a few spells that get empowered by this class feature, probably the strongest of which is Misty Step. With Manifest Mind, you are able to use Misty Step to teleport up to 330 ft because for the purposes of the spell you are considered to be in the Manifest Mind's location. The spell is not limited to 30 ft. from your physical body.

There is obviously some subjectivity depending on your DM, but this is how I read the RAW and RAI.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the Stack Retrac, take the tour when you have a moment. It isn't clear to me why your first sentence is correct. I know that for the casting, it treats your location as being the mind's location, but I dont see why that would be true for the rest of the spell's duration. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 8, 2021 at 19:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. As mentioned, you should expand your answer to elaborate on why it's correct, and cite evidence to support your claims. See this meta: What are the citation expectations of answers on RPG Stack Exchange? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 8, 2021 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov It's how logic (programming, not common sense) works. "as if you were in the spectral mind's space, instead of your own" This ability says you are treated as being in the spectral mind's space for the purposes of whatever spell you cast, so when it checks for the 30 ft. limit, your location is considered to be the spectral mind's space. Otherwise you wouldn't even be able to cast the spell in the first place unless you were targeting a point within both 30 ft. of your body and the spectral mind due to the spell's initial 30 ft. range. \$\endgroup\$
    – Retrac47
    Dec 9, 2021 at 22:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are quite a few spells that get empowered by this class feature, probably the strongest of which is Misty Step. With Manifest Mind, you are able to use Misty Step to teleport up to 330 ft because for the purposes of the spell you are considered to be in the Manifest Mind's location. The spell is not limited to 30 ft. from your physical body. \$\endgroup\$
    – Retrac47
    Dec 9, 2021 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ “This ability says you are treated as being in the spectral mind's space for the purposes of whatever spell you cast” This is not what the feature says. It says you treated as being in the mind’s space when you cast it, not after you cast it. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 9, 2021 at 23:14

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