Spell Conversion: Bigby’s Dextrous Digits in 5e

In our Spell Conversion Series we will look at spells from 2nd edition that didn’t make it into the 5th edition of D&D. For a full list of all named spells, go here.

Method for Spell Conversion in 5e

In order to convert a spell we need to look at the guidelines of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, at the original spell in 2nd edition and at the existing spells in 5e. The new spell shouldn’t overshadow an existing spell nor be too complicated.

5th edition’s biggest advantage over older editions is that spells are extremely streamlined and bookkeeping on the Dungeon Master’s side is kept to a minimum.

Also, some spells might be used for a specific situation. This showcases how some mages in Greyhawk invented magic for their own needs. Consider players to get in touch with those unique spells by meeting disciples of these famous mages (or even the mage himself) rather than handing them out freely.

The spell

Today we look at Bigby’s Dextrous Digits. This spell has a specific out of combat use. It is a mix between Mage Hand and Unseen Servant.

But the spell is still a unique enough to have different use. Here is what it can do:

  • 2nd Level spell
  • Spawn a pair of hands
  • Hands have the same abilities as the mage’s hands and can perform delicate maneuvres

The spell is is yet another out of combat spell of Bigby with the purpose to mimic the mage’s ability to perform a specific task and therefore doubling his work force for a duration. There are many creative uses for this.

Considering all of this, this is my conversion of Bigby’s Dextrous Digits in 5e:

Bigby’s Dextrous Digits

2nd-level evocation
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (pair of gloves embroidered with the wizard’s initials)
Duration: Concentration, up to 2 minutes

You create a pair of hands that can perform any action you can do using your proficiencies and Dexterity modifier. Each hand can carry 20 pounds individually and 50 pounds together.

The hands have an AC of 10, 6 hit points and are immune to physical damage. They have 30 feet movement speed and are dispelled if they are 90 feet away from the caster.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell at 3rd or higher level the spell duration increases by 2 minutes for each level.


As you might have realised, converting spells is never easy and highly subjective. There are many ways to the same goal. Our goal is to make our World of Greyhawk experience unique, different from a homebrew of Forgotten Realms campaign. And with every new spell that used to be a Greyhawk exclusive, we are getting closer to our goal.

Next time we are going to convert Bigby’s Fantastic Fencers.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,


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