Spectral Hand:

You create a semicorporeal hand out of your essence that delivers touch spells for you. Whenever you Cast a Spell with a range of touch, you can have the hand crawl to a target within range along the ground, touch it, and then crawl back to you. [...] The hand has your AC and saves, but any damage to the hand destroys it and causes you to take 1d6 damage.

The hand is only semicorporeal, but can be damaged. Its movement pattern would provoke.
Is it creature enough?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ My first thought was "touch spells don't provoke by default" but then you pointed out that it absolutely prompts various Reactions when it leaves afterward... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


It doesn't provoke Attack of Opportunity

Attack of opportunity has very clear guidelines for when it triggers:

Trigger: A creature within your reach uses a manipulate action or a move action, makes a ranged attack, or leaves a square during a move action it’s using.

Whilst the hand is moving, it is not using a "Move action". Ergo, it does not trigger it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So Sudden Charge doesn't provoke, because it doesn't have the "Move" trait? Never realized \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 22:17
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @András Sudden Charge does provoke AoO, because it's an activity that allows you to "Stride twice", and Stride is a subordinate action that has the Move trait, just the same as if you performed it on its own. See 2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=387 \$\endgroup\$
    – David
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 6:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not saying you're wrong, but if the hand doesn't provoke opportunity attacks, what reason does it have to have AC and HP? The spell doesn't say where the hand is or that an enemy can target it outside of when it's crawling about to deliver the touch attack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Exal
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 8:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Exal Readied actions to attack it, or Hazardous terrain which causes damage are two that come to mind \$\endgroup\$
    – Cassie
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 9:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Exal the same thing tripped me up for a bit, but I presume that the hand can be targeted (it seems to sit in the caster's space) and also affected by AoE (making Fireball almost a guaranteed destroyed of the hand). \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 16:19

Tentatively... no?

I don't have strong grounds for this, but here's my reasoning. Spectral hand is a Necromancy spell. Nowhere in it's text does it refer to the hand as a creature, or even being creature-like (as opposed to Illusions like illusory creature, which are presumed to be mistaken for a Creature until disbelieved and follow similar-ish rules, or actual Creatures like Crawling Hands). Even the text about it's movement, crawling, doesn't follow standard Crawl rules nor does it use the capitalized Move like the trait.

Furthermore, this is not a very good 2nd level spell if that's true. Granted, far fewer creatures have Reactions to Movement now, but even with that holding true, those times (very likely) shortening the duration from at most one combat (one minute) to one or two rounds is a pretty significant flaw.

Ultimately, I don't think it's clear to say definitively. But because of my first points, and supported by the following ones, I would personally rule that it's not "creature enough" to React to its movement*.

*I would still consider it the source of damage for Champion Reactions, but that's partially because it's more likely the party is using that than NPC's and I don't want to take shine away from them.


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