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Bigby was a legendary otherworldly wizard and hands-on spell inventor. He was known by several inhabitants of the Realms, and a handful of his spells were used all over.[3][6]


Bigby was not born on Toril, but instead on Oerth.[2][7] However, it is believed that he had travelled to Toril.[8][9]

The archmage invented many handy spells, several of which were used in the Realms.[2][10] Some of these spells were Bigby's forceful hand,[11] Bigby's interposing hand,[12][13] Bigby's clenched fist,[11][12] Bigby's crushing hand,[11][12] and Bigby's grasping hand.[11][12]


Bigby was known to possess a +2 dagger, a djinni bottle, a +3 ring of protection, a ring of X-ray vision, and a staff of power.[5] He also possessed a spellbook that he authored, named Manual Powers Beyond Life, which in addition to all of his major spells included burning hands.[14]


Bigby was an associate of Mordenkainen and a member of the Circle of Eight. However, Bigby and Otiluke were killed by the traitorous wizard, Rary.[4]

In 1358 DR, Midnight remembered a spell she once saw be performed. Because she had gained much of Mystra's power, Mightnight immediately recognized that Bigby had invented this spell many centuries ago.[6]

I have improved on Bigby.
— Harkle Harpell[3]

In 1364 DR, Robillard and Harkle Harpell engaged in a spellcasting competition. After Robillard cast a spell, Harkle asked if Robillard knew of Bigby, who of course recognised him as one of the most magnificent wizards of all time, even on other worlds. Harkle, however, claimed that he had improved on one of Bigby's spells by inventing a new version himself: Bigby's snapping digits.[3]

Rumors & Legends[]

Bigby the Great in his latter years.

The old goat comes up with one good gimmick, and beats it to death with a rock.
— Khelben on Bigby[7]

It was rumored that Khelben Arunsun had met Bigby, though the meeting went sour. Khelben told his apprentice, Illistar, that Bigby relied on over-used "gimmicks". To prove his point, the Blackstaff developed a spell, Khelben's warding whip, in order to counter many of Bigby's spells.[7][15]



Referenced only
How the Mighty Are Fallen
Referenced only
WaterdeepPassage to Dawn
Card Games
AD&D Trading CardsSpellfire: Master the Magic


  1. Template:Cite card/Spellfire: Master the Magic
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood (1993). The Code of the Harpers. (TSR, Inc), p. 66. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 R.A. Salvatore (August 2008). Passage to Dawn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786949113.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 David Wise (1992). AD&D Trading Cards 1992 series. TSR, Inc..
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brian Blume, David Cook, Jean Wells (1980). The Rogues Gallery. (TSR, Inc), p. 40. ISBN 0-935696-18-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Troy Denning (July 2003). Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 11. ISBN 0-7869-3111-6.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  8. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  9. Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.
  10. slade (1996). How the Mighty Are Fallen. (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-0537-9.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Sam Witt (January 1994). The Complete Sha'ir's Handbook. (TSR, Inc), pp. 124, 126. ISBN 978-1560768289.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins (September 17, 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 0786966769.
  13. Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
  14. Bruce Heard (February 1984). “Spells between the covers”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #82 (TSR, Inc.), p. 57.
  15. Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.