Alternate Ways to Carry Loot


A decision that has become very hard for me to make lately is: How do I carry loot? Now, this used to be very easy... Give the fighter a bag of holding to sling over his back. But, as time went on I became aware that this put my loot in great danger due to problems with the item.

My issues with the bag of holding/handy haversack:

1) Durability - If punctured, the bag is destroyed and your items lost. This means one attack from a vindictive enemy or even a prick from a stealthy rogue and you've lost your bag and all its loot. This can be partially solved by placing the bag in a wooden or metal box, but the bag is still vulnerable when removed as the bag itself can't be made out of anything but cloth (Classic Treasures Revisited).
2) Weight Capacity - Like being punctured, overloading the bag destroys it. Considering it doesn't provide you with instinctive knowledge of the weight inside it your character better meticulously weigh and document every item placed within. This is so cumbersome that I've known some DMs who house-rule this away.

Given this, I went back to my old second edition favorite: the portable hole. A great solution, easy to keep safe and no weight limit. But, alas, they are very expensive. I wanted something you could use at low levels.

Here is my alternative: A large animated object; in this case, a “huge” treasure chest. Let me outlines its features:
1) Dimensions: 6.5 ft. x 4.5 ft. x 2.5ft. Think of a large standing cabinet with a pair of doors. This leaves it short enough to squeeze down most hallways and slim enough to get though most doors, but with 48 cubic feet of internal storage.
2) It’s pretty fast. Moves 30 ft., but can run indefinitely at 120 ft.
3) It’s pretty strong. 22 strength and four legs gives it a 520 lbs light load and a max load of 1,560 lbs. If you run out of internal storage, strap things to it or have it drag items behind it.
4) It can be ridden. Just strap yourself in and gallop across the countryside on your magic cabinet!
5) It can fight. As an animated object, you can order it to attack your foes. Though not great, it's good at low levels and can fight off thieves trying to steal your loot.
6) It’s water resistant. Since I’m making this out of a treasure chest, this should provide some water resistance to your precious gear. Throw a few water proof bags inside for extra protection.
7) It’s cheap. As a large animated object with no construction points, it should cost 4,037gp to buy or 2,037gp to enchant yourself (if you have the feats). This is using the permanent animated object rules, meaning dispel wont permanently destroy it.
8) It’s easily repairable. An 8th caster level make whole spell should completely restore the chest if destroyed.
9) It’s very secure. An internal lack can be added that the chest can engaged and disengaged on command, no outside lock to pick
10) It’s customizable. Might want some straps inside so items don’t rattle or some wheels so it doesn’t clatter about so noisily. Maybe make it out of darkwood/stone/metal, pad the inside and sleep in it, make it fly, paint flames on it… Whatever…

Notes on base object:

You may notice I used a "huge" treasure chest as the base object here, 37gp/250 lbs. The actual stats for that item say 250 lbs, but only 8 cubic ft (whereas mine has 48 cubic ft). That low storage capacity is, frankly, insane. A medium size hiking pack has that much storage, so that chest must have more. To verify this I used real-word wood weights to calculate the weight (2/3" boards at 2 lbs/sq ft) based on my dimensions and got 236 lbs... So close to the huge chest weight, I just used that.

Now, I realize this is not without downsides...
1) Must squeeze down medium passageways. This slows it down in most dungeons and blocks off passageways fairly completely. Sometimes a burden (fleeing), sometimes useful (a barricade).
2) Can't fit down small passageways (where medium creatures would squeeze). Meaning it will have to be left behind sometimes.
3) If destroyed you will have to find a way to carry all its loot and the broken chest itself, an extra 250 lbs.

Feedback is appreciated. Anyone have reasons this won’t work as expected? Any suggestions to improve the chest’s design? Anyone come up with a similar alternate loot carrying device?

Use Floating Disc or Secret Chest spells

Putting a few construction points on your luggage might help if you are willing to spring for the extra cost. This is needed if you are making it out of anything other than standard wood.

The Exchange

See, here's a reason for sparing your enemies' lives that even a Chaotic Neutral can get behind: after harvesting their XP and their gold, you put 'em on the chain gang and make 'em carry your swag.

Brambleman wrote:
Use Floating Disc or Secret Chest spells

I find secret chest is an incredibly cumbersome spell, since you can't store gear you might need on-hand regularly. Additionally, it costs more than my animated chest.

Brambleman wrote:
Putting a few construction points on your luggage might help if you are willing to spring for the extra cost. This is needed if you are making it out of anything other than standard wood.

I mentioned that in the customization section. Heck, 1 CP can make it fly. 1,000gp extra for a flying chest you can ride at 120 ft movement? That's a deal.

Lincoln Hills wrote:
See, here's a reason for sparing your enemies' lives that even a Chaotic Neutral can get behind: after harvesting their XP and their gold, you put 'em on the chain gang and make 'em carry your swag.

That might be a splendid idea for some groups. I've used it myself once. We killed a red dragon who had a bunch of troll minions - they did anything the dragon asked out of fear of its fire. We brought a wagon and some horses, but during the fight, the dragon blasted our horses and we didn't feel like using any gems to raise them from the dead, so after we won the fight we let the trolls who could regenerate back to life and forced them to carry all that mountain of coin back to town.

But I'm not sure every group would be OK with enslaving their enemies.

The Exchange

Good point. Although I suppose if we called it 'community service'...

animate dead enemies and player characters.

Heck animate the dead horses


What kind of adventurer takes all of their personal belongings on every quest? You take what you need, not your guild arsenal.

But yah, if you insist on taking all of your gear on a quest, bring a Heavy Horse with a Heavyload Belt and mule-back cords.... haha. Thats a light carrying capacity of 2097 lbs., or maxed out heavy at 6300. That's 3,000 gp in investment, and what's the worst that can happen for overloading?

GM here. To clarify AFM is not planning on bringing everything the party owns with them in this project. It is primarily a loot transport tool, for getting items from dungeon to sale, and making sure that if they have to retreat and rest they do not leave any particularly strong (read, magical) equipment for any remaining enemies to scavenge and use against them again.

I personally endorse the idea, as it evokes Pratchett's hilarious sapient pearwood Luggage. We're just trying to iron out how much it should cost, what the dimensions would be, suggestions to improve it, and if there is anything we've overlooked.

The Oracle in the party also has close ties to Pharasma, so undead are right out.

undead usually are...but my brother (who was playing an antipaladin at the time) actually built shelves inside his zombie horse

Another option you can use are chests with a permanent shrink item. It obviously wont work for the magic gear, but it'll carry cash, food, tents etc with no problem.

AND you can store those in a haversack/bag of holding/portable hole with no problem

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