Action type for Portable Hole


Rules Questions


Is there any official rule on what action type it is, or how long it takes, to spread out a portable hole enough to activate it? *If* someone wanted to spread out their portable hole during combat, what action type would that be? Or is this just something to talk with one's GM about?


Unless otherwise noted it takes a standard action to activate an item. Though it will take more than 1 action to retreive an item from a portable hole.

First, you need to get the portable hole in your hand. Generally its going to be a standard action to retrieve it. You aren't going to tell me you keep it in a Handy Haversack, right?

Second, you need to spread the item on a surface. This isn't the actual activation, but more of a preparatory step. Depending on conditions the GM could require multiple full round actions, but it isn't totally unreasonable to spread the 10'x10' cloth in a standard action in ideal conditions.

Third, you activate the item by opening the extra dimensional space. One standard action and now you can enter the 10x10 room that is a portable hole.

Fourth: Finding what you want in a large closet. How well do you organize things when shoving stuff in the hole? Is the orientation the same? Are you entering from the side or the top? This is much more difficult than finding an object in a backpack. Honestly, how much junk do you keep in there? You ever consider installing some cabinets?


I keep it in my chest pocket, partially exposed... as a handkerchief! And there is no action to activate it, once it's spread out sufficiently it automatically opens ("when spread upon any surface it *causes* an extradimensional space..." causes being the imperative word there. But I know the general item retrieval rules, I'm more specifically asking about the amount of time to fully spread out, or spread out sufficiently, the cloth so that it functions. I don't plan on doing much retrieval, i'm far more interested in.... storage (lightning flashes and thunder cracks in the background, as a familiar musical sting plays)


The time to unfold a portable hole (or a piece of paper, for that matter) is not defined.


And probably it's undefined because most of the time there's minimal to no urgency to the activity. Opening the PH midcombat to throw loot into it is a bit like like a wizard opening his spellbook mid fight. Sure you could do it but it is sort of an open invitation for something unfortunate to occur. And either your GM is liable to do something or not.

That said unless circumstances make it difficult I personally can't see it being much more difficult than spreading open your bedroll/blanket, i.e. a round or two at most.


Yeah, once it's in hand a full-round action is probably enough no matter how tightly folded it is. Just don't provoke any sunder opportunities....


I have known players to try to use a PH to "store" enemies for later.


Dead foes, dirt/earth (secretly tunneling), water, various collectable monster bits, PCs (live and dead) and dungeon doors. Not sure how it started but one player started collecting doors as trophies from all the dungeons they'd adventured in.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My group uses it often for "airborne assault". I.e. one of the two-three guys (not the caster) that can move with a single casting of dimension door or teleport has the hole or a big bag of holding, the other members of the party are in the hole or bag, with a method for a rapid egress if needed. As soon as they arrive in the destination point the guy with the bag/hole open it and the other guys start moving out.

That way you can move the whole party in one go instead than needing multiple casting. On the other hand, it is better to dimension door or teleport some distance from a possible fight, as even in the best circumstances leaving the hole/bag will require some time.


As Blahpers says, it's not specified. It's clearly not in the realm of 'Activating a magic item' that falls in the normal standard action unless otherwise noted category, so basically it should fall into the realm of 'How long does it take to normally do something similar?'

Imagine draping a tablecloth or bedsheet out before you. It has to settle into place (there's no indication that it's like a cartoon black hole that you quickly whip out and slap like Velcro in place) or laying it down. That's just placing it, not accounting for unfolding it from handkerchief size.

I think in this case, a full-round or even one round action (that provokes Attacks of Opportunity) is probably a fair call.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pizza Lord wrote:

As Blahpers says, it's not specified. It's clearly not in the realm of 'Activating a magic item' that falls in the normal standard action unless otherwise noted category, so basically it should fall into the realm of 'How long does it take to normally do something similar?'

Imagine draping a tablecloth or bedsheet out before you. It has to settle into place (there's no indication that it's like a cartoon black hole that you quickly whip out and slap like Velcro in place) or laying it down. That's just placing it, not accounting for unfolding it from handkerchief size.

I think in this case, a full-round or even one round action (that provokes Attacks of Opportunity) is probably a fair call.

Sound right. I go for the full round if the surface is reasonably smooth and free of obstacles, more if you need to find an open space in a cluttered area.


Meirril wrote:
First, you need to get the portable hole in your hand. Generally its going to be a standard action to retrieve it. You aren't going to tell me you keep it in a Handy Haversack, right?

It's a Move Action to "Retrieve a stored item" in Pathfinder.

(Handy Haversack only makes this action not provoke AoO; it doesn't make it any quicker.)


Matthew Downie wrote:
Meirril wrote:
First, you need to get the portable hole in your hand. Generally its going to be a standard action to retrieve it. You aren't going to tell me you keep it in a Handy Haversack, right?

It's a Move Action to "Retrieve a stored item" in Pathfinder.

(Handy Haversack only makes this action not provoke AoO; it doesn't make it any quicker.)

Handy haversack also has the ability "create rip in space to the astral plane cause you stuffed an extradimensional space inside another one"


Diego Rossi wrote:
Pizza Lord wrote:

As Blahpers says, it's not specified. It's clearly not in the realm of 'Activating a magic item' that falls in the normal standard action unless otherwise noted category, so basically it should fall into the realm of 'How long does it take to normally do something similar?'

Imagine draping a tablecloth or bedsheet out before you. It has to settle into place (there's no indication that it's like a cartoon black hole that you quickly whip out and slap like Velcro in place) or laying it down. That's just placing it, not accounting for unfolding it from handkerchief size.

I think in this case, a full-round or even one round action (that provokes Attacks of Opportunity) is probably a fair call.

Sound right. I go for the full round if the surface is reasonably smooth and free of obstacles, more if you need to find an open space in a cluttered area.

Legit.

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