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The spell mage hand has no visual presence except that the affected object moves. Is it possible to employ the spell mage hand to make a Sleight of Hand skill check to take something unnoticed? Can an eidolon make such a check if it has the evolution basic magic?

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There is a Prestige Class (Arcane Trickster) that specifically has that power as the first ability you get from the class, and it even increases the DC by 5 when doing it from a distance.

So No, you cannot. The spell doesn't give you enough precision to steal pockets, it will only do what the spell description says, because regardless of the name, it doesn't actually create an invisible extra flying hand.

You could, however, steal something and then make it fly away from you or your target. As long as he is distracted, he won't notice it. But keep in mind that Mage Hand has Vocal (you must speak) and Somatic (hand gestures) components, so your target is allowed a Spellcraft check to figure out what you are doing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the tip, I was going to evolve my horse into having mage hand so it could pickpocket, but I guess that wont work. \$\endgroup\$ – Areadbhair Nov 30 '15 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ The conclusion is correct, but the evidence used is circumstantial at best. It wouldn’t be the first time they printed a feature that “allowed” you to do something you already could by default (Prone Shooter comes to mind, though they finally errata’d that). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 30 '15 at 15:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd just like to point out that the Arcane Trickster class ability mentioned has no reference to Mage Hand at all. It simply allows you to do disable device and slight of hand checks at ranged, not to use Mage Hand to do these things (although they would be very similar). Thus KRyan is right, the conclusion is correct, but the proof is wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Nov 30 '15 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ The ability to cast Mage Hand is a requeriment to become an Arcane Trickster. The class features has been reworked since 3.x, but back then, the class did allow you to cast mage hand at will (which is now moot in pathfinder). \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Nov 30 '15 at 18:42
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Target one non-magical, unattended object weighing up to 5 lbs.

(mage hand spell description, emphasis mine)

The usage of Sleight of Hand to take something unnoticed is specifically to take something from someone. If they have it, it is not unattended, and thus it is not a valid target for mage hand. As mentioned, the arcane trickster prestige class is one way to overcome that limitation.

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