You’ve got a Bag of Holding – what a wonderful day! No more lugging around all those cool-looking swords you found… But is that all you’re using it for? There’s a world of possibility inside the Bag of Holding to be explored!
What is the Bag of Holding?
The Bag of Holding is a wondrous item that at first glance appears to be an ordinary cloth sack, but its true power is revealed when you peer inside. The Bag of Holding is a magical item that can store an enormous amount of objects, far more than its size would suggest. It is a favourite among adventurers who seek to carry a large amount of loot or equipment without being weighed down.
How does the Bag of Holding work?
The Bag of Holding works by opening a small, extradimensional space within itself. This space is much larger than the bag’s exterior, allowing it to hold a vast quantity of items.
The DnD 5e rules say a Bag of Holding can store up to 500 pounds of weight, with a volume of up to 64 cubic feet. However, it never weighs more than 15 pounds, regardless of the contents placed inside.
What are the benefits of the Bag of Holding?
- Encumbrance management: The Bag of Holding helps adventurers manage their encumbrance, allowing them to carry more items without being slowed down or suffering penalties due to excessive weight.
- Convenient storage: The bag provides a handy storage solution for organising and accessing items during a campaign, making it easier for characters to find what they need when they need it.
- Concealment: Since the bag’s exterior dimensions do not change, it can be used to discreetly hide valuable or dangerous items from prying eyes.
- Loot management: Adventurers often come across large amounts of treasure or other valuable items during their journeys. The Bag of Holding simplifies the process of transporting these items back to civilisation.
How can the Bag of Holding be used effectively?
- Organise items: Group similar items together in the bag, making it easier to find what you need quickly.
- Track your inventory: Keep a list of the bag’s contents and update it regularly, preventing confusion about what is stored inside.
- Prioritise accessibility: Place frequently used items near the top or opening of the bag, ensuring they can be retrieved quickly in emergencies or during combat.
- Protect delicate items: Use the Bag of Holding to store fragile items that may be damaged during travel or combat.
How much does a Bag of Holding cost?
A Bag of Holding typically costs around 500 gold pieces (gp) in DnD 5e. The exact price may vary depending on factors such as the Dungeon Master’s discretion, the availability of magical items in the campaign, and the demand for the item in a particular setting. In some cases, adventurers might acquire a Bag of Holding as a reward for completing quests or as part of treasure hoards discovered during their journey.
How rare is the Bag of Holding?
The Bag of Holding is classified as an “uncommon” magical item in DnD 5e. This means that it is not extremely rare, but it may still be difficult to find or purchase depending on the specific campaign world and the availability of magical items. Dungeon Masters have the discretion to determine the rarity of items in their campaign, so the actual rarity of the Bag of Holding may vary between different games.
When should I give my players a Bag of Holding?
As a Dungeon Master, deciding when to introduce a Bag of Holding to your players can depend on several factors. Here are some guidelines to help you make that decision:
- Campaign pacing: If your campaign involves a lot of travel and inventory management, providing a Bag of Holding early on can help streamline gameplay and allow players to focus on more exciting aspects of the game.
- Character level: A Bag of Holding can be a significant advantage for low-level characters who have limited carrying capacity. However, you may want to wait until they have faced some challenges and earned a few rewards before introducing such a powerful item.
- Storytelling opportunities: Consider introducing the Bag of Holding as part of a quest or as a reward for overcoming a particularly difficult challenge. This can make the acquisition of the item feel more meaningful and memorable for your players.
- Balance: Ensure that the introduction of a Bag of Holding does not unbalance your game by making it too easy for the players to carry an excessive amount of items or treasure. Monitor the impact of the Bag of Holding on gameplay and adjust encounters or challenges as needed.
Ultimately, the decision of when to introduce a Bag of Holding into your campaign is up to you as the Dungeon Master. Consider the needs and preferences of your players, the overall pacing and balance of your game, and the narrative opportunities that the item presents when making your decision.
Novel uses for a Bag of Holding
Apart from just being able to store more than it might appear at first, there are several creative uses for a Bag of Holding that increase its utility potential.
- Invisibility: Both the Invisibility spell and features like Imp’s Invisibility can make equipment invisible; which will include your Bag of Holding and its contents! This means you could potentially smuggle multiple creatures or items by putting them in the bag and using invisibility. As usual, be careful about the air in the bag to avoid players suffocating.
- Getting past obstacles or into hard-to-reach places: Need to get somewhere high? Got a familiar that can fly? Get in your Bag of Holding and have them fly it where you need to get to. Tough to reach space? Get in your Bag of Holding and have a party member push it through the crack or throw it where it needs to get to!
- Underwater exploration: Avoiding drowning is always a good move. Fill your Bag of Holding with air, then your party members can take turns breathing from it while underwater.
- Booby trap: Fill the Bag of Holding with a flammable liquid or another hazardous substance, and set it as a trap for enemies. When an unsuspecting enemy opens the bag, the contents will spill out, causing damage or a distraction.
- Antidivination: Since the contents of a Bag of Holding are in the Astral Plane, it’s not possible for them to be affected by spells such as Locate Object, and discussions held within are safe against Scrying.
- Hiding in the bag for extended periods: It’s possible to fill the bag with water, and thus if you’re a race that can breathe underwater, or have access to a Water Breathing spell or item, you can stay in the bag for an extended period of time.
A rogue lying in wait in a castle corridor inside an invisible Bag of Holding.
Frequently asked questions about Bags of Holding
“We all get into the bag and hide from the monster!” Okay, so you’ve reached the intersection where your players are being creative and having fun, but now you’ve got some real edge-case rulings to make. Let’s have a think about what we can and can’t do with the Bag of Holding!
What happens if you turn a Bag of Holding inside out?
Turning a Bag of Holding inside out causes all of its contents to spill out, instantly returning the bag to its empty state. The bag itself is not damaged by this process, and it can be returned to its normal state simply by turning it right-side out again.
What happens if you put a Bag of Holding in a Bag of Holding?
Disaster! Placing a Bag of Holding inside another Bag of Holding is a dangerous action that can have catastrophic consequences. Doing so causes the bags’ extradimensional spaces to collide, creating a rift in the space-time fabric. This rift then sucks in the bags and everything within a ten-foot radius, transporting them to the Astral Plane. The bags are destroyed in the process, and anyone or anything caught in the effect must find a way back to their original plane of existence.
Can you get inside a Bag of Holding?
Technically, it is possible for a character to climb inside a Bag of Holding. However, this is a risky endeavour, as the bag’s extradimensional space does not contain air. A character inside the bag would have a limited supply of breathable air, determined by the Dungeon Master, and would start suffocating once that air runs out. It is generally not advisable to use the Bag of Holding as a means of transportation for living creatures.
Can you fill a Bag of Holding with water?
Yes, you can fill a Bag of Holding with water, as it can hold any material, including liquids, up to its weight and volume capacity. However, doing so could make the bag difficult to manage, as the water would slosh around inside the extradimensional space. Additionally, the bag’s opening might not be watertight, and water could leak out when the bag is moved or jostled.
Will ice melt in a Bag of Holding?
There are no specific rules in DnD 5e regarding temperature regulation within a Bag of Holding. However, since the bag’s extradimensional space is not explicitly described as having temperature control, it is reasonable to assume that ice stored in a Bag of Holding would eventually melt, as it would be subject to the ambient temperature of the environment the bag is in. The exact rate of melting would be left up to the Dungeon Master’s discretion.
Does a body fit in a Bag of Holding?
A Bag of Holding can indeed accommodate a body, as long as the body’s weight and volume do not exceed the bag’s capacity of 500 pounds and 64 cubic feet. The bag can be used to transport a deceased party member, an unconscious enemy, or any other body that fits within its weight and volume limits.
Can you open a Bag of Holding from the inside?
There are no explicit rules in DnD 5e regarding opening a Bag of Holding from the inside. However, since the bag is designed to be opened from the outside, it can be assumed that opening it from the inside would be difficult or impossible. The lack of air within the bag’s extradimensional space means that any character attempting to open the bag from the inside would likely be preoccupied with the more pressing issue of suffocation. It is ultimately up to the Dungeon Master to determine whether opening the bag from the inside is possible and what consequences may arise from such an attempt.
Use, don’t abuse
As you’ve probably gathered by now, there are all sorts of possibilities that a Bag of Holding can grant, but don’t become over-reliant on it – to quote from the item’s description: “If the bag is overloaded, pierced, or torn, it ruptures and is destroyed, and its Contents are scattered in the Astral Plane” – which means you probably don’t want to be inside it when this happens. Afterall, particularly smart NPCs might recognise the item for what it is and specifically target it…