Prestidigitation was an arcane cantrip.[3] An older version of this spell was reversible and known as fumble-fingers.[6]


When someone cast prestidigitation, he or she could choose from a wide variety of small, innocuous effects to occur within 10 feet (3 meters) of the caster. Prestidigitation might allow a wizard to move an object of less than one pound, create a small sensory effect, clean or soil items no bigger than 1 cubic foot (0.028 cubic meters), light or snuff out a small light source, chill or warm a pound of non-living material, produce a small, fragile item, form an image out of nothingness, make a small mark or symbol appear on a surface for an hour or less.[1][3]

Older versions of this spell, in particular practiced by wu jen, gave the caster a chance to teleport small items (palm-sized or less) to any place on their person and was used to pickpocket and/or deposit items on someone else—replacing a fine gem with a fake stone, for example.[5][6]

Fumble-fingers could be cast on a target creature up to 30 yards (27 meters) away and, if successful, caused the victim to flub the next attempt that required dexterity, such as using a tool, reaching for an arrow or a knife, or performing a somatic gesture while casting a spell.[5][6]


The newer versions of prestidigitation only required somatic and verbal components to cast.[1][3] The older, wu jen versions, also required a drop of oil to be rubbed on the fingertips. Fumble-fingers instead had the caster flick the drop of oil toward the intended target.[5][6]


The later versions of this spell could be cast as many times as the caster desired,[7] but only a maximum of three "continuous" effects could be active at a time.[1] Earlier spellcasting traditions had limits on how many cantrips could be held in the mind at one time.[8]



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