D&D 5e: Gain Literal Mind Over Matter Using The Telekinetic Feat
D&D 5e: Gain Literal Mind Over Matter Using The Telekinetic Feat
SOURCE: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
Rating the Benefits of Telekinetic
Benefit #1 –
Increase Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma by 1, to a maximum of 20
Boost any of the primary spellcasting stats by 1, great for evening out odd scores, plus meaning the rest of the benefits here are considered worth half a feat.
Benefit #2 –
Learn the Mage Hand cantrip. It can be cast without verbal or somatic components, and the magical hand can be invisible.
Mage Hand is a useful cantrip, and the bonuses here only make it better. An invisible, telekinetic hand that can be cast without any external signs is huge for sneaky characters.
Benefit #3 –
As a bonus action, pick a creature within 30ft. It takes a Strength save or is pushed 5ft in any direction. A creature can choose to fail the save.
Mobility for yourself, friends, and enemies. Many character builds don’t often use their bonus action, and the ability to move creatures around the battlefield is deceptively useful.
Possibly the best part of this is the fact a creature can choose to fail their save. This means you can move your allies around as a bonus action, for example, pulling another squishy character out of melee combat with zero risk.
Mechanics and Requirements
Understanding How It Functions
The Telekinetic feat’s main benefits are divided between two big abilities; the Mage Hand cantrip, and a Telekinetic Shove ability.
Ghost Touch – Telekinetic and Mage Hand
The Telekinetic feat gives a character the Mage Hand cantrip. Like all cantrips, it can be cast without limit. The cantrip works like this:
- Casting the spell creatures a ghostly hand at any point within its 30ft range
- The hand lasts a minute, and also disappears if it ever moves outside of its 30ft range
- As an action, the hand can manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow and retrieve items, or pour out a vial (we’re assuming bottles and cups would count)
- As part of the action, the hand can also be moved 30ft
- The hand cannot attack anything, use magic items, or carry anything that weighs more than 10lbs
On top of this, the Telekinetic feat enhances the spell in the following ways
- The hand itself is invisible, instead of appearing as a spectral, obviously magical effect
- When you cast Mage Hand, it can be cast without verbal or somatic components. This basically means it’s affected by the Subtle Spell Sorcerer Metamagic, so can be cast just by thinking about it. Coupled with the fact that it’s invisible, the hand essentially springs into existence as and when you need it, without anyone else knowing.
- If you already know the Mage Hand cantrip, its range is increased from 30ft to 60ft, on top of all of the above effects
Compared to the standard Mage Hand, is this significantly more powerful?
Yes. And, at the same time, no.
See, a lot of the time, Mage Hand just does what it does. The party needs to pull a level at the other side of the room or retrieve an item from somewhere hazardous. Does the fact that your magical fingers are invisible make any difference?
What this does do is give creative players license to play absolute havoc. Throw things from someone’s table as they sit down to eat. Distract guard dogs with a floating bone. Snatch the key oh so conveniently left outside of your jail cell. Slam doors and windows like there’s a ghost in the room. The uses are as varied as your imagination.
This goes double if you already had the Mage Hand cantrip before taking Telekinetic. The jump from 30ft to 60ft range is genuinely massive, and we’d strongly recommend anyone taking this feat making sure that they get Mage Hand first.
Giving People A Helpful Nudge
The second part of the Telekinetic feat is the ability to move creatures with your mind as a Bonus Action. It works like this:
- The Telekinetic Shove Action costs a Bonus Action to use
- Choose a creature to target within 30ft that you can see. No targeting creatures behind walls
- The creature has to take a Strength save, (DC8 + Proficiency Bonus + Stat Bonus boosted by this feat.) Importantly, a creature can choose to fail this save, so your allies can always be moved by this, without having to roll
- If a creature fails the save, willingly or not, it can be pushed 5ft directly towards or away from you
This is primarily a combat power. Outside of combat, an extra 5ft of movement is rarely, if ever, gonna come up.
In combat, however, there are a ton of uses for this, split straight down the middle depending on who you’re targeting.
If you’re targeting an enemy, the best uses are to shove an enemy into an existing hazard, for example trying to push them backward into a pit, or into the Druid’s Spike Growth spell.
Another great option is to push an enemy into an area that’s going to be caught by an AOE blast. Potentially catching a further foe in your Fireball is well worth the Bonus Action cost.
When it comes to allies, the best use by far is getting out of threatened squares without taking Attacks of Opportunity. Remember that friendly creatures can willingly choose to fail their save, so you can pull allies 5ft backward without having to roll a dice, leaving them free to act on their turn.
This movement is also fantastic for removing allies from areas of ongoing damage, a lot of which do damage at the start of a player’s turn. If they’re out of it before their turn rolls around, no damage.
Grappling is automatically broken if the targets are ever more than 5ft apart. Yes, that means the Telekinetic feat automatically shuts down everything that wants to try and grapple your party, as you can just spend a Bonus Action to pull your ally 5ft backward and auto-break it.
Finally, it’s worth knowing that you can’t target yourself with this ability. While you are a legal target, the effect moves you 5ft towards or away from yourself, which … doesn’t work, so you don’t move anywhere.
That’s a shame, but it’s understandable. If the ability did work this way, it becomes a free escape button for the character taking it and makes feats like Mobile or spells like Misty Step far less attractive. Why spend resources when you can just psychically flit backward, then casually walk away?
The Telekinetic feat allows a character to increase their Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma by 1 to a maximum of 20.
These stats are the primary casting stats for every spellcasting class in the game and cover more than 50% of the skills list. Every character will be able to find a use for one or more of these stats.
Ideal Characters for Telekinetic
Rogue – Almost every Rogue is going to love the Telekinetic feat. A way to spend bonus actions when not having to burn Cunning Action to escape from combat or hide is literally perfect for archers, particularly when it can be used to mess with enemy formations or protect allies by pulling them to safety, almost entirely for free.
Then add an invisible Mage Hand, which lets the character do Roguish things from 30ft away, without ever being discovered. Arcane Tricksters in particular are in love with this feat, as it doubles the range of their Legerdemain feature, and allows it to be cast entirely without detection. Any Rogue who says they don’t want to pickpocket people from 60ft away is a big fat liar.
Wizard – The Wizard is probably the spellcaster that uses their bonus action the least. Gluing a bonus action ability that can be used to shuffle allies and enemies around the battlefield is a way to make sure the right targets get hit by the Wizard’s biggest, most powerful spells.
The feat also boosts your casting stat and spikes the power of Mage Hand to the level where it’s a genuinely useful out-of-combat tool.
Artificer – Many Artificer subclasses don’t regularly need their bonus action, and like sitting back in combat using spells and weapons to dictate the flow.
The Mage Hand ability is also completely in line with the class, in terms of flavor and utility. If any class wants the ability to move things around from a safe distance, it’s the one that regularly mixes volatile chemicals and explosives!
Race or Subrace Choices
Gith – Both variants of Gith learn Mage Hand, plus a scattering of other spells, and some magical defenses which tie directly into the flavor of this feat.
High Elf – The usual stack of Elven nonsense is a great start, but the big benefit is the free cantrip from the Wizard list; a way for characters to get Mage Hand before they ever choose this feat.
Ghostwise Halfling – Telepathic speech, atop all of the usual Halfling benefits, makes for an effective Ranger or Rogue.
Combos, Tactics, and Synergies
Magic Initiate – Still the single most powerful magic feat in 5e, Magic Initiate is a powerful, flexible tool that adds a decent amount of casting power to literally any build.
Telepathic – You’re already leaning into mind magic. Why not take the second half of the pair, and delve into people’s minds, while gaining another +1 bonus to your mental stats?
Spells that Synergize
Big AOE Blasts – Examples include; Fireball, Call Lightning, Destructive Wave, Shatter. Anything that throws a big pile of dice at every enemy in a defined area is very good when you can push more enemies into the blast zone.
Dangerous Terrain – Examples include; Entangle, Spike Growth, Black Tentacles, and any Wall spell Nothing feels worse than fighting your way through an area of difficult terrain, and maybe taking damage into the bargain, only to get pushed straight back into it.
Silvery Barbs – Force an enemy to reroll their check not to get shoved into dangerous areas, and boost the party at the same time. Like always, Silvery Barbs is pretty much never a bad spell to have on hand.
Strategies for Maximizing Telekinetic Effectiveness
The Best Way To Shove People Around – Telekinetic Movement
Used correctly, the Shove action of the Telekinetic feat is very powerful. Forced movement in 5e is controlled by a set of rules, some of which constrain what it can do, but most are in the player’s favor.
Primarily, Attacks of Opportunity do not trigger from any source of forced movement. This means no pushing enemies backwards to let the Barbarian take a swing, but also means that pulling the Sorcerer out of range of that enraged Troll is perfectly legal. And, some would say, smart.
Many effects also specify when they trigger. A great example is the divine spell Spirit Guardians, which creates an area of constant halved speed and damage around a character.
The spell itself says that a creature “takes damage when it starts its turn inside the area, or when it moves into it for the first time.” Both are clear indicators when the damage triggers. Has a creature not been affected by Spirit Guardians yet? Shove it in there and it takes the damage. Has it moved out of the area? Drag it back in so it takes damage when its turn begins.
Finally, it’s worth discussing target priority. The save to resist Telekinetic Shove is based on Strength. Big, strong monsters with high Strength are obviously more likely to pass the save, which makes sense. Shoving 500 lbs of ogre around is much harder than pushing the 90lb when soaking wet bookworm wizard over, so pick your targets appropriately.
Interestingly, unlike a lot of similar abilities, the Shove action of Telekinetic has no size limits. So yes, you can technically shove that mountain-sized, gargantuan Elder Red Dragon backward 5ft. Is this likely to work? Probably not. Is it a good idea? Also no. But it’s something you can do.
Your Guiding Hand
The Mage Hand aspect of the Telekinetic feat is much more useful than the base cantrip.
Firstly, if you didn’t have it already, the feat teaches you the cantrip. You might want to pick Mage Hand up before the feat, though, because if so, the range is doubled, from 30ft to a much more efficient 60ft.
Secondly, the cantrip is under what’s basically a permanent Subtle Spell metamagic. Casting it requires no verbal or somatic components. There’s no outward indication you’re doing anything, so it’s incredibly rare that anyone will notice you casting it.
Second, the Telekinetic feat makes the Mage Hand itself invisible. While the invisibility isn’t conferred to anything you pick up, it does mean a character can manipulate things from a distance. Pull a lever, open a door or a cage, push over a glass to spook the people you’re talking to, the uses are near infinite.
Telekinetic and the Arcane Trickster
Possibly the greatest synergy between the Telekinetic feat and classes in 5e is the Rogue’s Arcane Trickster subclass.
The Arcane Trickster’s big ability, gained at level 3, is Mage Hand Legerdemain. This gives the Mage Hand cantrip several unique abilities, which stack on top of what’s gained by this feat.
- Firstly, the Mage Hand is now invisible (Double invisible? Yay!)
- The Hand can be used to stow or retrieve objects from creatures, as well as containers
- Your Thieves Tools can be used by the hand to pick locks and disarm traps
- All of the above can be done without anyone noticing by passing Sleight of Hand checks
- Controlling the Hand is now a Bonus Action, instead of an Action
Combining this with the Telekinetic feat results in a Mage Hand that is cast without verbal or somatic components, so basically just pops into existence without anyone noticing. The Hand itself is completely invisible, with a 60ft range, and can now perform all of the Rogue’s favorite tricks on other creatures.
This allows the Rogue to start pickpocketing items from any creature within 60ft. Drop Expertise into Sleight of Hand, and the chances of most creatures noticing anything happening are incredibly slim. And if they do realize, what do they actually notice? The Hand is invisible, and there was no indication anyone cast a spell. Steal the keys from the orc sentry’s belt. Take the warrior’s sword when he’s not paying attention. Hells, remember that you can sneak items into people’s possessions, and confuse the lich with a poorly written love note slipped into his pocket.
There’s also no reason anyone in the party should ever be caught by trapped doors or chests again. The combo allows a Rogue to check if a door is unlocked and open from 60ft away. Unlock anything that is locked using Thieves Tools, and disarm any traps the party finds from the same distance.
Worst comes to worst, the trap goes off, and everyone in the party is around the corner, completely unharmed, sharing a pot of tea.
Lastly, as we already mentioned in the class choices above, many Rogues don’t regularly use their Bonus Actions. In summary, Telekinetic and Arcane Trickster is a fantastic combination, and you should definitely try it.
Final Thoughts on Telekinetic
Considering how simple the benefits appear at first glance, the Telekinetic feat is surprisingly deep and contains a ton of power, focused around two different avenues:
First off, an invisible telekinetic Mage Hand is a tool that’s absolutely terrifying with the right mindset. Campaigns heavy on the social and exploration sides of the game, and a party packed with Rangers, Artificers, Rogues, and Bards could find ways to run riot with this ability.
Secondly, movement tied to a bonus action is another big boon for many parties, and might potentially be used in every single round of combat. Conveniently, a lot of the characters who want the Mage Hand part of the feat can use this pretty well.
Telekinetic isn’t the most powerful published feat in D&D 5e. What it is, is a fluffy utility feat that’s going to complement the base abilities of many builds, and that’s just awesome.