[RPG] Can Mage Hand Legerdemain load a hand crossbow? What about two hand crossbows


I'm currently paying an Arcane Trickster and use dual hand crossbows as his signature combat style. I also took the Crossbow Expert feat.

So here's my conundrum.

  1. Can I use Mage Hand Legerdemain to reload any crossbow I'm proficient with?
  2. If so, can one application of Mage Hand Legerdemain load both the Hand Crossbows I'm dual-wielding?

The Crossbow Master feat says "ignore the load property of the crossbow", but you still have to have one hand free to load the crossbow. Loading two hand crossbows would make it difficult because you need one hand free. Can't it be just fluffed that, at any time after the shooter fires his 2 hand crossbows or a Heavy/Light Crossbow and before the beginning of his next turn, that his weapons were loaded via "ignore the load property of the crossbow"? Couldn't Mage Hand Legerdemain add to that fluff?

Best Answer

No, for several reasons.

  • Mage Hand is mostly limited to one object. All of the descriptors of mage hand, even disarming traps and picking locks, only refer to one object. Even loading one crossbow would require the manipulation of two objects: the bolt and the crossbow itself.

  • Mage Hand requires an action (or bonus action). With mage hand legerdemain, you still need to expend a bonus action to direct the mage hand (spending an action to reload obviously defeats the purpose of quick-firing crossbows). Even if you could use mage hand to load a crossbow, you could only load one at a time.

  • Crossbows require a lot of force to load. A brief googling around shows a lot of variation in crossbow draw forces, but all of them are significantly higher than the 10lb maximum of mage hand. Physics in D&D is always a bit hairy, but that draw force is going to be applied in both directions, so it will always exceed the weight maximum. For example, when you pull back on a bowstring, you are both pulling on the string and pushing forward against the bow.