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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]


Over the course of his life Bigby had possessed a +2 dagger, a djinni bottle, a +3 ring of protection, a ring of X-ray vision,[5] a ring of mind shielding, a staff of power +3, a wand of fire, a wand of frost, a wand of negation, a pair of bracers of defense, a pair of winged boots, and a pair of boots of striding and springing.[14]

Bigby also possessed a spellbook that he authored, named Manual Powers Beyond Life, which in addition to all of his major spells included burning hands.[15]


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]

Tenser wore the enchanted item called the Hood of the Weave during the ceremony of being inducted into the Circle of Eight on the world of Oerth. The hood would eventually find its way to Toril, but following the ceremony, during the celebration, the fellow members of the Circle, Otiluke and Bigby pranked Tenser. However, thanks to the hood, they found their vodka glasses ensorcelled with a spell that transformed their earlobes into sassy pixies.[16]

In 1358 DR, Midnight remembered a spell she once saw be performed. Because she had gained much of Mystra's power, Midnight 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]

Sometime before the Year of Three Ships Sailing, 1492 DR, Bigby fashioned an enchanted ring of blinking for his trusted dogBigboy. The hound used the ring's magic to catch cats and harass postmen.[16]

Rumors & Legends[]

Bigby spellfire

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][17]



Referenced only
How the Mighty Are Fallen
Referenced only
WaterdeepPassage to Dawn
Video Games
Referenced only
Baldur's Gate III
Card Games
AD&D Trading CardsSpellfire: Master the Magic


  1. James Ward. Spellfire: Master the Magic. TSR, Inc..
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood (September 1993). The Code of the Harpers. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 66. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 R.A. Salvatore (August 1997). Passage to Dawn. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 9, pp. 113–115. ISBN 978-0786907502.
  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 (November 1995). Pages from the Mages. Edited by Jon Pickens. (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 (March 1994). The Complete Sha'ir's Handbook. Edited by Dezra D. Phillips, C. Terry Phillips. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 124, 126. ISBN 1-56076-828-2.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Adam Lee, et al. (September 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 978-0-7869-6687-5.
  13. Dale Donovan (January 1998). Cult of the Dragon. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-0709-6.
  14. Doug Niles, Carl Sargent, and Rik Rose (1989). “Folks, Feuds and Factions”. The City of Greyhawk (TSR, Inc.), p. 22. ISBN 9780880387316.
  15. Bruce Heard (February 1984). “Spells between the covers”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #82 (TSR, Inc.), p. 57.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Larian Studios (October 2020). Designed by Swen Vincke, et al. Baldur's Gate III. Larian Studios.
  17. Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (November 1995). Pages from the Mages. Edited by Jon Pickens. (TSR, Inc.), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.