Bag of Holding Debate, Keep it Civil Please


Homebrew and House Rules


My GM, who's played tabletops since D&D 2.0, believes that the opening to a bag of holding is fixed, and nothing beyond that size can fit into the bag. I, however, believe that anything can be put inside a bag of holding, as long as it doesn't exceed the carrying capacity of the bag. The only reason I'm bringing this subject here, is because I haven't found any written rules on the subject.

My point is that the bag is not as functional as it was designed, if nothing bigger than the mouth can fit inside the bag. Was it originally designed for loot? What is the definition of Loot. I'm pretty sure if there was something a Wizard wanted to put in the bag, he'd make sure that the mouth has a magically adjusting diameter, whether the mouth or the object is resized is up to the creator.

Say I've got a basketball sized Diamond, and it was cut in a spherical fashion, but the mouth of the bag of holding cannot make it around the diamond. It'd be a massive hindrance to carry that diamond around, but that diamond could be incredibly useful for a true resurrection spell.

Would it not make sense for the bag's opening to accommodate for the size of an object as long as it does not exceed the carrying capacity?

I need to get my facts together on the subject, because a fixed opening undermines what the bag of holding is for, which is to hold loot, and loot comes in many shapes and sizes.


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The rules don't cover a lot of things, like how often you have to blink, or that you should take a breath of air before swimming under water, or that even adventurers have to make potty and that they stink after an adventure. I agree with your GM.


I have always seen it ruled the way your gm does, that has always been the advantage to the portable hole. However I can find no RAW statement to support this.

Editor

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It's a 2-foot-by-4-foot sack. You could get a basketball into a hole that wide... or a smallish person, for that matter. If you're imagining a little belt pouch, you've got it wrong.

But yes, your GM is correct, if you can't fit it through the bag's opening, you can't put it in the bag. There are already enough shenanigans with bags of holding that this limit is fair.


I usually do it so that the bag itself functions as a cube for the opening (if you the item is longer than (2[total volume]^(2/3))^(1/2) than it doesn't fit through the opening) but the extra dimensional space can form itself for anything it needs as long as the items inside it don't exceed its total volume (a 30L bag cant hold 31L of water). For small things like coins or "small trade goods" its easier to calculate by weight then "how many coins can I fit in X space". I also have never used a bag of holding for anything but carrying huge sums of gold around (be it to pay for an item or to haul away from a dungeon) since you cant put useful items in it easily besides kits.


If I hadn't already allowed them in every iteration of D&D I've ever played I'd rule they don't exist. It'd be unfair to my players after all these years to do that, but Bags of Holding are a pet peeve of mine.


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It's up to the GM, but I favor cartoonish applications of the bag of holding. If a magical armor is one size fits all because magic, then a bag of holding should be able to have statues jammed inside. I also want a bag of devouring to be able to unhinge its jaw and eat things like a snake eats a deer.


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Rules do not cover it.

My personal take is that if you can fit it into a duffel bag opening, you can place it in a bag of holding (small bag of holding = small duffel bag. Large bag of holding = large sports duffel bag).


Well, how big a statue are we talking about? Getting a medium-sized statue inside would be difficult, but not impossible (unless he's, like, doing jumping jacks). You just have to shimmy around a bit. It's only 2x4 on the outside—once it's in, the bag has so much space that it basically doesn't matter.

Though you could picture one of those cartoons where a guy has to squeeze through a small hole to get into a bigger space, so he comes through like a balloon animal, eventually popping out the other side. ;D

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The Doctor can't fit everything through the door of the TARDIS. There was even an episode where he got trapped inside the ship when the door shrunk too small.


A bag of holding is described as a "common cloth sack" about 2 feet by 4 feet; though the description doesn't explicitly say so, a common sack is probably fairly flat, and not a 2' diameter circle. More like a pillowcase than a duffel bag.

Those weird little "Smart cars" you see running around weigh about 1800 pounds* and don't come near occupying 750 cu.ft. of space.

That 2' wide sack would have to stretch to more than 5' wide in both directions at once to get around a car measuring roughly 106" long, 61" wide and 61" high. I feel like if the mouth of the bag could stretch that much, the description would have mentioned it.

*which is 20% over the weight capacity of a Type IV bag of holding, so it's not a perfect example.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Though you could picture one of those cartoons where a guy has to squeeze through a small hole to get into a bigger space, so he comes through like a balloon animal, eventually popping out the other side. ;D

I pretty much mean this. The thing is being pulled into an extradimensional space, why make the physics barrier the shape of the bag.


I've done it the same as your DM for my entire D&D history.

You want a big entrance, that's what a portable hole is for.


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From classic treasures revisited

For centuries, lucky thieves have used bags of
holding during daring burglaries and other
larcenous escapades. Yet many have found that
a bag of holding’s fixed opening does little to help
them in stealing larger, more valuable items.

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hiiamtom wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Though you could picture one of those cartoons where a guy has to squeeze through a small hole to get into a bigger space, so he comes through like a balloon animal, eventually popping out the other side. ;D
I pretty much mean this. The thing is being pulled into an extradimensional space, why make the physics barrier the shape of the bag.

Because only the interior of the bag is extradimensional. The exterior has the dimensions of a bag. The exterior determines the opening. Again, much like a TARDIS.


I'm not saying someone can swipe a chunk of wall with a bag of holding, I'm saying a basketball sized diamond or large statue is not such a ridiculous idea. I mean, these are already devices where a player can climb in chest deep and crawl through air ducts even though the inside of the bag is essentially an empty void.


The purpose of the bag of holding is to allow complete looting. It can pass all objects the DM put in the adventure as loot and none of the objects the DM put in the adventure as furniture.

If the statue has a given value it should fit in the bag. If it doesn't it shouldn't.


Well the issue of stealing a Diamond is that some mean GMs might say that the pointy end on the diamond destroys the bag.


How about a compromise. If the opening of a bag of holding cannot stretch, neither can a bag of devouring. If it tries to swallow anything larger than a tiny creature it ruptures and pulls itself back to heal. The victim gets an escape artist check to see if they are dragged along with it.

As an alternative, the bag of devouring chomps off a hand then disappears.

I just read the description and am having a problem understanding how a type IV bag of holding can be turned inside out. What if your pot of sovereign glue broke? All the gold pieces you put in would no longer fit through the opening.


Yeah, I figured out why this confused me so much. I got Cubic Feet and Foot Cubes mixed up because they look similar at a glance.

Ft. Cu. vs Cu. Ft. <--- That's where I got confused. I was thinking a bag of holding IV had a 250 ft. cube of space inside, not 250 cubic ft. The first is exactly 15,625,000 cubic ft, as opposed to 250 cubic ft.

I feel really stupid for getting the two mixed up for so long, and I actually want to apologize to everyone for wasting their time, if they felt it was a waste of time. The fixed opening to the space allotted is actually more reasonable now that I've got that discrepancy out of the way.


BlingerBunny wrote:

Yeah, I figured out why this confused me so much. I got Cubic Feet and Foot Cubes mixed up because they look similar at a glance.

Ft. Cu. vs Cu. Ft. <--- That's where I got confused. I was thinking a bag of holding IV had a 250 ft. cube of space inside, not 250 cubic ft. The first is exactly 15,625,000 cubic ft, as opposed to 250 cubic ft.

I feel really stupid for getting the two mixed up for so long, and I actually want to apologize to everyone for wasting their time, if they felt it was a waste of time. The fixed opening to the space allotted is actually more reasonable now that I've got that discrepancy out of the way.

No worries, a surprising amount of disagreements stem from ordinary misunderstandings.


use whatever limitations are printed.

They don't list size of opening, but they do list dimensions and limitations on the portable hole as well as the handy haversack.

Obviously, the magical Bag of Holding can do the only thing it was made to do:

contain a certain weight of items.

If the GM wants to houserule that there is a limit to volume on the items, it is his choice to alter the published rules and make up his own system that goes against what is published.

As GM, it is his right.

He also has the right to change how HP and AC works.


alexd1976 wrote:

use whatever limitations are printed.

They don't list size of opening, but they do list dimensions and limitations on the portable hole as well as the handy haversack.

Obviously, the magical Bag of Holding can do the only thing it was made to do:

contain a certain weight of items.

If the GM wants to houserule that there is a limit to volume on the items, it is his choice to alter the published rules and make up his own system that goes against what is published.

As GM, it is his right.

He also has the right to change how HP and AC works.

There is a limit to the volume, it was mostly intended to be a limitation on carrying water over long journeys; I agree that there is no official ruling but based on the dimensions of the minor bag of holding (2ft by 2ft by 4ft high), its safe to say these things openings are large enough to fit most objects (as it could probably be stretched to a maximum opening length of 3.5 feet by making the opening really thin) even assuming the larger, heavier versions aren't bigger than the minor version. This does however bring up the concern of "How wieldy is it for an adventurer to be carrying around a bag almost its full size?".

As for the GM changing the published rules, it is entirely in his right to do so, but there is an unspoken rule about preemptively informing your players about potentially large changes to a rule (or the addition of a previously non-existent rule/mechanic). As a GM, I could make it so all weapons explode in fire dealing 10d6 of damage in a 20ft sphere on every natural 1, but no one would like me if I didn't tell them.


AwesomenessDog wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

use whatever limitations are printed.

They don't list size of opening, but they do list dimensions and limitations on the portable hole as well as the handy haversack.

Obviously, the magical Bag of Holding can do the only thing it was made to do:

contain a certain weight of items.

If the GM wants to houserule that there is a limit to volume on the items, it is his choice to alter the published rules and make up his own system that goes against what is published.

As GM, it is his right.

He also has the right to change how HP and AC works.

There is a limit to the volume, it was mostly intended to be a limitation on carrying water over long journeys; I agree that there is no official ruling but based on the dimensions of the minor bag of holding (2ft by 2ft by 4ft high), its safe to say these things openings are large enough to fit most objects (as it could probably be stretched to a maximum opening length of 3.5 feet by making the opening really thin) even assuming the larger, heavier versions aren't bigger than the minor version. This does however bring up the concern of "How wieldy is it for an adventurer to be carrying around a bag almost its full size?".

As for the GM changing the published rules, it is entirely in his right to do so, but there is an unspoken rule about preemptively informing your players about potentially large changes to a rule (or the addition of a previously non-existent rule/mechanic). As a GM, I could make it so all weapons explode in fire dealing 10d6 of damage in a 20ft sphere on every natural 1, but no one would like me if I didn't tell them.

I would love to build a halfling dart thrower in that game, but that's a derail. Let's take these amusing ideas over to "Because You're the GM" in forum games where they belong.

On the other hand, doesn't masterwork fabric stretch? Doesn't magical fabric stretch more?

http://www.eleganceandelephants.com/2014/02/sewing-with-knits-read-this-fir st.html

Print and test..


Well the intent wasn't to come up with some wacky new mechanic but to point out how its better to inform someone about house rules before than after, like when he got the bag for instance instead of when he tries to use it for something he thinks would otherwise work.


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Can I just say, I crack up every time I see this thread's title. What other hobby needs to ask people to be civil when discussing how much you can fit in your Mary Poppins purse?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Can I just say, I crack up every time I see this thread's title. What other hobby needs to ask people to be civil when discussing how much you can fit in your Mary Poppins purse?

[kid lit nerd rage]

It's not a purse, it's a carpet bag!

[/klnr]

:)

Shadow Lodge

Cyrad wrote:
The Doctor can't fit everything through the door of the TARDIS. There was even an episode where he got trapped inside the ship when the door shrunk too small.

Of course, he can materialize or de-materialize the ship around things, so if something was too big for the door, that's a solution.

The problem in that episode was that the PILOT was too big for the door.

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