Differences between Mage Hand, Unseen Servant and Find Familiar [closed]

I’m playing LMoP at the moment as a player and I’m trying to see reasons why a player would choose Unseen Servant over Find Familiar. Related question – what makes Unseen Servant worth taking instead of Mage Hand?

Here’s a small comparison table I’ve created when I was trying to figure it out. I do understand that different DMs can rule things differently, but still I’m looking for opinions.

Mage Hand Unseen Servant Find Familiar
Casting time action action/10 minutes 1 hour
Casting cost 0 gp 0 gp 10 gp
Duration 1 minute 1 hour until killed/dispelled
Command time action bonus action free action
Multiple no yes no
Help action no no yes
Carrying capacity 10 lbs 60 lbs 90 lbs (depends on Str)
Movement 30 ft 15 ft 60 ft
Separate initiative no no yes
Scout no no yes
Drop items in combat yes yes yes
Open doors yes yes no
Delivering spells no no yes
Invisible no yes no

Can unseen servant “fly”?


An unseen servant is an invisible, mindless, shapeless force that performs simple tasks at your command. It can run and fetch things, open unstuck doors, and hold chairs, as well as clean and mend. The servant can perform only one activity at a time, but it repeats the same activity over and over again if told to do so as long as you remain within range. It can open only normal doors, drawers, lids, and the like. It has an effective Strength score of 2 (so it can lift 20 pounds or drag 100 pounds). It can trigger traps and such, but it can exert only 20 pounds of force, which is not enough to activate certain pressure plates and other devices. It can’t perform any task that requires a skill check with a DC higher than 10 or that requires a check using a skill that can’t be used untrained. Its speed is 15 feet.

Can I send the servant into the air above my head, or above the head of enemies?

Can an Unseen Servant do things that require ability checks?


Once on each of your turns as a bonus action, you can mentally command the servant to move up to 15 feet and interact with an object. The servant can perform simple tasks that a human servant could do, such as fetching things, cleaning, mending, folding clothes, lighting fires, serving food, and pouring wine. Once you give the command, the servant performs the task to the best of its ability until it completes the task, then waits for your next command.

(PHB p. 284)

What happens if the Unseen Servant e.g. tries to steal gold out of a pocket? Or if he is commanded to pick a lock? I would consider those as “simple tasks that a human servant could do”.

Can an Unseen Servant do actions that require ability checks (apart from attacking, which is explicitely prohibited) and if yes, does the caster add his relevant modifier and proficiency bonus?

Can an Unseen Servant be physically touched and manipulated?

The Unseen Servant spell creates

…an invisible, mindless, shapeless force…

…It has AC 10, 1 hit point, and a Strength of 2, and it can’t attack. If it drops to 0 hit points, the spell ends…

This shapeless force has a strength score and can interact with objects, including carrying them. It can take damage, though what forms that damage take are left unspecified. Does this mean an Unseen Servant can be physically manipulated and interacted with? Here are a series of related sub-questions:

1) Can an Unseen Servant be picked up, shoved, carried, or pushed aside?

2) Can it be commanded to “ride” or “hang on” to another willing character (such as the party fighter) as a means of allowing it to keep up with a group moving faster than 15ft a round?

2b) If so, does it have weight?

3) Can an Unseen Servant displace water, fog, and other substances?

3b) If so, can it be used to create a small “window” in fog, allowing a character in fog to see through the servant to a space without fog?

3c) If it does displace other materials, could careful observation of this phenomenon allow a character to “spot” an Unseen Servant?

Can Rainbow Servant be combined with Versatile Spellcaster and Spontaneous Divination to cast all Cleric spells spontaneously?

A ridiculous idea has occurred to me and I’m looking to verify if really works. Consider the following build:

  • Wizard 5/Rainbow Servant 10 (a class from Complete Divine)
  • At Wizard 5, take Spontaneous Divination from Complete Champion so that you qualify for Versatile Spellcaster from Races of the Dragon.
  • Take Versatile Spellcaster at some point.
  • At Rainbow Servant 10, you gain access to the entire Cleric spell list.
  • Put together, Versatile Spellcaster and Rainbow Servant 10 should let a Wizard cast spontaneously from the entire Cleric spell list.

This gives me two questions, the first as a focus and the second as a supplemental:

  1. Does this actually work? My first objection is that I’m not quite sure if the Wizard automatically knows all of the Cleric spells at Rainbow Servant 10. If you have to record them in your spellbook, you’ll soon run out of gold.
  2. If this does work, can the "powerful non-Diviner spellcaster class that can also cast spontaneously from the entire Cleric spell list" idea be done better? The term "Rainbow Warake" seems to be in my memory.

Homunculus Servant using magical items

I’m playing an artificer that recently took the infusion for a Homunculus Servant. The party has an extra animated shield. I -think- the following is acceptable, but I wanted to see if I got it wrong anywhere.

  • Homunculus is considered a creature and thus has three attunement slots it can use. Furthermore being intelligent it could actually do so if directed.

  • Using magical tinkering, I could give it a small item that when tapped would speak the animated shield’s ‘activation’ word.

  • The Homunculus could, therefore, with proper instruction, actively use an Animated shield during combat?

Right? Am I missing anything? That’s all completely legal without bending any rules? Also, we’re using the flanking rules, it should qualify as a threat to be able to flank things right? It has its own attack.

Can unseen servant trigger sneak attack with a rogue

Say a rogue is fighting an enemy, and either they or someone else has unseen servant and they sent it to engage that enemy. Can the rogue now use a sneak attack?

Unseen servant is very clearly described as an entity that shouldn’t be used or useful in combat, this seems to go against that idea. In the same vein, rogues get sneak attack when there are others supporting them, again, the idea of them (if multiclassing) using a spell for this seems to be more of a loophole than a valid strategy.

How many turns does it take for an unseen servant to pass a healing potion in combat?

Unseen servant reads:

Once on each of your turns as a bonus action, you can mentally command the servant to move up to 15 feet and interact with an object. The servant can perform simple tasks that a human servant could do, such as fetching things, cleaning, mending, folding clothes, lighting fires, serving food, and pouring wine. Once you give the command, the servant performs the task to the best of its ability until it completes the task, then waits for your next command.

Assume I used my bonus action to command it to give the healing potion in my pocket to another character, and that it is within reach when I do. It would take a player one turn to complete the task. A free item interaction to draw the potion, then movement, followed by an action to safely pass it over. But the unseen servant seems to be solely capable of movement then a single item interaction.

How many turns would it take for it to perform this task? And if two or more are necessary what is the order of operations? Can it move after interacting with an object?