Weaponized Portable Holes and Bags of Holding

Rules Questions

I am having issues in a game I'm GMing with bags of holding and portable holes. While most people have a natural inclination to put the two inside one another, my players considered ripping holes in the astral plane too boring. They have asked about doing the following things with the objects amoung others. (If I say portable hole, there is a good chance they have also asked doing the same thing or similar with a Bag of Holding)

Filling the portable hole with rocks then swinging the hole attached to a board to drop 10 feet of rumble on top of enemies.

Having a druid carry a portable hole in some way form or fashion as an eagle and having an archer shoot down from the sky out of it.

Covering a shield with the portable hole or even using it as clothing.

Using the portable hole mechanics to speed thing up or make enemies fall for long distances, much like the Portal games.

Having a druid cast create water inside a portable hole that has been capped by something and teleporting people into the high pressure hole.

Closing the portable hole with someone half way in between to cut them in half.

All of these bring up a variety of questions.

If unfolded on a wall, does the hole go down 10ft or forward 10ft?

Must the hole stay where it is created? If it just has to stay attached to the same thing it was unfolded on can you then move it?

If you can move it while open, how do these shifts effect gravity inside? What happens to the gravity if the hole is closed with someone inside and opened back up side ways?
(Certain rulings on the gravity tricks can turn the portable hole into a rumble launcher, especially if you open, close, turn, and open the hole while something is falling inside.)

Does the entrance always appear from the same place inside?

Can a portable hole be broken from the inside like a bag of holding?

If you are holding a board with the hole on it and it begins to fill with rocks does the weight change? If you are holding it sideways does it change anything? What if your holding it sideways and a long heavy object is half in and half out while resting on the holes edge?

I would rule that gravity within the portable hole always points downwards (from the perspective of someone in the hole). That deals with several of the shenanigans you described. You could also rule that the portable hole can't be moved while open.

To be honest though it seems that your players want to play some kind of physics simulator rather than a roleplaying game

Grand Lodge

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Be happy they haven't thought of the portable hole full of shadows idea yet. Truly one of the best ways to kill a dragon.

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A portable hole has to be placed flat against an object of equal size before it is actually a hole. Before that it is just a folded up piece of magic cloth. As I understand it, a portable hole is around three feet across or so unfolded and placed on a wall or floor.

There is no "capping" a hole. Its entrance is effectively an event horizon minus the infinite gravity. Ergo any object can only be inside or outside. In between, literally, does not exist.

A closed hole no longer touches this plane. So...you cannot teleprt anything into or out of it. That simple.

You cannot hang it from a board, except to create the worlds ugliest, and most expensive flag.

Shadows are immaterial creatures. Incorporeal monsters can move through up to a foot of solid material. That includes the cloth that makes up the portable hole. It includes the walls inside the hole. Outside the holes inner area is the ethereal plane. If a shadow phased through the wall and back onto the ethereal he would reappear right then at that spot in the real world also, as incorporeal undead straddle the ethereal plane and the prime. And he would probably be pretty pissed off!

On a wall, the hole goes forward 10'. On a floor the hole is 10' deep.

Once placed you cannot move the hole any more than you can move the 10'x 10' room that it created. If they want to move it have them fold it back up and reposition it.

On a Shield? As clothing? Sunder it!

They will not close with something halfway through. They will not open with something sitting on them. They will not open when placed against a curved surface like a person or shield.

Seriously, if I was having these problems with players abusing a portable hole, I would remove it from their care. A portable hole that did all the things you talk about would be worth hundreds of thousands of gold pieces.

You could always make the hole an intelligent item with a Lawful Good alignment and a keenly overdeveloped sense of fair play. Perhaps even going so far as refusing to store any "misbegotten" treasure or goods obtained through "dishonorable" practices.

Of course, your other option would be to use giants armed with portable-hole atlatls that throw boulders 1\4 mile.

Goblins with portable holes tied to ropes that could be used like a net to envelop PCs and capture them within the hole. Then just have the goblin close the hole and write their name on the outside. They cannot cut their way out. The entrance disappears when the hole closes, and if they tried they would probably end up lost on the ethereal plane.

You could also use portable hole driven traps on them as well. Open a door and have a 10' x 10' roomfull of water coming out of a portable hole squeezed into the door jamb, if you just want to use their own tactics against them. Water not good enough? Use oil instead and modify the trap to set it on fire. That way you destroy the unattended bag too and they do not get another.

You could also have a particularly nasty extradimensional monster take up residence in their portable hole. Or a space-bending fey, like a boggle maybe discovers a way in and pilfers the best of whatever they store.

Just remember this, if they are using an item in an unexpected and OVERWHELMINGLY dangerous fashion, then they are, almost certainly, gaming the system. Your job is to shut that crap down before it even starts.


Best of Luck,
Weslocke of Phazdaliom

Best weaponize Ive seen with a portable hole is a rogue who snuck into a castle with a portable hole full of water. A guard saw him, so he took off running. He his around a corner and opened the portable hole so the guard would fall in as he rounded the corner (it was dark). The now armor clad guard falls into the water filled hole. Rogue scoops up the hole and goes about his business. several hours later he dumps out the hole and removes the now bloated dead body from his new set of armor.

I guess it would be best to to shut the ideas down mainly by not letting the hole move and then using their tactics against them if it goes on. I think my main hesitation came from trying to find a consistent logic (besides game balance)for making that ruling. Also what happens if the do attach it to something like a draw bridge and the draw bridge moves? because if the hole stays there then there is no reason for them not to use it as a net against enemies?

There is nothing in the description of a portable hole to prevent it from being opened on a curved surface, or to prevent that surface from being moved.

That said, the portable hole opens into a pocket plane, distinct from any other planes, and most pocket planes contain subjective gravity (and direction). As such, gravity and momentum of the opening through the material plane should not impart any force upon objects within this non-dimensional space, and objects placed in this dimension without a sentient creature to impose direction may very well just float near the center. At best, rotating the opening through space in the material plane would move the location of that opening upon the "walls" of the pocket plane.

Creatures like shadows capable of phasing also should not be able to escape without some actual form of plane shifting ability, as it is not actually connected to any plane directly when closed. & yes, I understand the cosmology of the astral plane well enough to realize that the pocket dimension involved may have been created there, but unless there is actually some form of portal (such as the opening created when the portable hole is open) or color pool connecting it to that or some other plane at the time, creatures would be unable to pass between the two without such abilities.

That said, if your characters what to use it in conjunction with a 5x5 or larger sheet of wood as a lighter version of a basket for aerial sniping, I see no problem with this personally. If they want to overstuff it with sharp objects, let it rip an opening to the astral plane just like a bag of holding, and if they want to wear it as a piece of clothing, let them be sucked into that plane when their opponent decides to sunder it by targeting the edges (otherwise I might at best give it the benefits of a Blink spell, as uncovered parts could still be targeted normally).

Oh, & I'm not sure if it is still stated anywhere in PF, but in 3.5 (which is grandfathered in barring any modifications) you could not cast spells across planar boundaries. Therefore, you could not teleport a creature into a portable hole (though you could potentially plane shift them there), nor could you cast a fireball on them once they were in the hole (though the ice from an ice storm spell may be able to fall into it and still damage creatures inside).

Scarab Sages

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I figured you meant this

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

"an extradimensional space 10 feet deep"

I'm not sure where you guys get pocket planes and ethereal planes out of that? Maybe that's your home rules explanation for what's happening.

I don't see why you can't lay the hole out on a flat surface and move the surface. For those that say otherwise, does that mean you can't use it on a ship?

Best use of portable hole ever...


D'arandriel wrote:

Best use of portable hole ever...


Linked two posts up.

Silver Crusade

The best use of a portal hole:

Fly carpet with portable hole in the center, immovable rod (this was old school AD&D mind you) fixed so the halfling archer can stick halfway out and get cover.

Great idea. Hard to argue when I am LMAO at the mental picture.

D'arandriel wrote:

Best use of portable hole ever...


Or you can cast a disintergrate. Much, much cheaper and less chance sucking youreself into nastiness by leaning wrong onto your quiver.

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