Bigby's grasping hand was an evocation spell that created a hand of force to grapple with an opponent.[2][3][4][5][7] Clerics who cast this spell named it for their deity—Lathander's grasping hand, for example.[3] To Zakharan mages, always reluctant to acknowledge ajami names and accomplishments, the spell was known simply as grasping hand, and counted among the spells of the universal province.[6]


This spell was one of the Bigby's hand family of spells. It created a hand about the size of an ogre[2][3] or about 10 ft (3 m) tall with a splayed finger span of about the same distance[3] (earlier versions could be even larger[4][5][8]) that could be used to grab and hold a creature. All versions of this spell relied on the caster's senses to detect and locate a target, the fist did not have senses of its own.[2][3][4][5][7] But once a target was designated, the hand would unerringly stick with the target regardless of invisibility, polymorphing, darkness, or other means of concealment or disguise.[3][4][5][7]

The earliest versions never missed the target once it was designated,[4][5][7] but later versions performed repeated melee attacks until the grapple succeeded or until the spell expired.[2][3] A successful grab immobilized the target.[2][3] The grasping hand could also be used in the same manner as Bigby's interposing hand or as an improved Bigby's forceful hand with greater strength.[3] For the earlier versions, the weight of the target determined the reduction in movement rate. A 1,000 lb (455 kg) creature could be held motionless, while a 16,000 lb (7,270 kg) creature would be slowed to half its normal movement speed.[4][5][7]

Range and duration varied widely over the history of this spell. For the earliest versions, a wizard that had advanced just enough to cast this spell could control the hand for 14 minutes and extend its reach to 140 ft (43 m) indoors/140 yd (128 m) outdoors.[4][5][7] Later versions lasted only a minute[2] or two,[3] but the reach was extended from 120 ft (36.6 m)[2] to 230 ft (70.1 m) at a minimum.[3]

For all versions of this spell, the health of the hand was the same as the caster's uninjured health.[2][3][4][5][7]

When cast on Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells, a fiendish claw appeared instead of a hand.[9]


In addition to the verbal component, all versions required somatic gestures.[2][3][4][5][7] After the Second Sundering, the hand imitated the movement of the caster's hand for the duration of the spell.[2] The early versions required a glove made of leather,[3][4][5][7] but after the Second Sundering, the material components were refined to an eggshell and a glove made of snakeskin.[2]


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