Hitchhiker's Guide to the Planes
The mage in our party was soft-spoken, old, and kind of pale. He acted rather timidly, and tried to think over every action we ever took. Later on, while on the road from town, a band of orcs tried to pick a fight with us. I didn’t think he’d be much use to us, but boy was I wrong. Once it was clear that combat was inevitable, our mage was no longer timid. He was decisive, and acted right away. He summoned a purplish giant hand, and it mimicked his right hand’s movements. He clench his fingers into a fist, and punched the band’s leader clear into a tree. Seconds later, after surprising everyone with what he had done, the hand grasped an orc and squeezed. The scream echoed around the forest, and when the fingers released the orc from their grip, his chest was concave, and no longer breathing. – Balin the dwarf knight’s recountal of viewing the Archmage Bigby in action.
The Archmage Bigby of the Circle of Eight is best known for his creation of Bigby’s Hand, and the variations therein. The spell was created to aid Bigby in combat, as well was more civilian activities like fetching large or multiple objects.
Bigby’s Hand summons a size category Large hand that mimics the hand of the caster’s actions. The Hand may be summoned within 120 feet of the caster, and may go no further than 120 feet from the caster. The size can vary from 8 feet to a maximum of 16 feet measured from the tip of the second (middle) digit, to the base of the wrist, where the conjuration ends. The “classic” visualisation of Bigby’s Hand is a semi-translucent purple human male hand, but the actual look of the Hand is dependent on the caster’s will. A female orc shaman may have a swirling green female orc fist with long nails when she conjures Bigby’s Hand.
Bigby’s Hand has the defensive capabilities of a warrior garbed in full plate with a non-tower shield, the physical prowess and raw power of an Ancient White Dragon, the nimbleness of an average human, and the speed of a trained Warhorse. After the Hand has been summoned, the caster must retain concentration upon the spell, and may do whatever they please except for casting another spell requiring their concentration. When the caster decides to act, their actions are not limited by the Hand, as they may command the hand via an interaction with a thought while the caster acts however they wish. There are four interactions with the Hand that are taught at magical universities, and twelve others. They are as follows:
- Clenched Fist – The Hand strikes a target within five feet of it, if the blow hits, the target takes damage in the form of arcane energy (Force Damage).
- Forceful Hand – The Hand pushes an object or creature in any direction. This interaction is more effective when used against objects and creatures of size category Medium or smaller. The more powerful the caster, the farther the object or creature is moved. It is important to note that the Hand will move along with the object or creature.
- Grasping Hand – The Hand grapples an creature that is size category Huge or less. It has been documented that creatures that are size category Medium or smaller are easier for the Hand to grapple. While the Hand is grappling the creature, with a thought from the caster, the Hand may crush the creature, causing damage as if a warrior swung a maul or club at the creature. (Bludgeoning Damage).
- Interposing Hand – The Hand interposes itself between the caster and an object or creature until the caster moves the Hand, providing the same covering as a low wall might. Creatures that are weaker physically than the Hand, or have the same physical power as the Hand may not move through the Hand, but creatures stronger than the Hand may move through the Hand, as though the area occupied was a deep swamp or ice-covered ground.
It has been noted that the damage inflicted by both Clenched Fist and Grasping Hand is affected by the amount of arcane energy that the caster expends when first summoning Bigby’s Hand.
The following are not taught to the public, and will only be mentioned briefly:
- Crushing Hand
- Disrupting Hand
- Helpful Hand
- Striking Fist
- Tripping Hand
- Warding Hand
- Dexterous Digits
- Feeling Fingers
- Pugnacious Pugilist
- Silencing Hand
- Slapping Hand
- Strangling Grip
To cast Bigby’s Hand, one must have the material components of an eggshell, and a snakeskin glove. The snakeskin glove is to be worn upon the hand that the Hand will mimic, and the eggshell is to be held in the other hand. The caster’s invocation must be voiced after the hand is wearing the snakeskin glove, and the gloved hand must be formed into a fist when the Hand is first summoned.
Casting with an Arcane Focus
- Crystal Focus – The caster must hold the crystal in one hand, while the other hand is the one that the Hand mimics.
- Orb Focus – The caster must hold the orb in one hand, while the other hand is the one that the Hand mimics.
- Rod Focus – The caster must hold the rod in one hand, while the other hand is the one that the Hand mimics.
- Staff Focus – The caster must hold the staff in one hand, while the other hand is the one that the Hand mimics.
- Wand Focus – The caster must hold the wand in one hand, while the other hand is the one that the Hand mimics.
The hand that the Hand mimics must also be formed into a fist when summoning Bigby’s Hand, just as if the material components were being used.