One of the items most DnD players are dreaming about getting ASAP is the Bag of Holding. If you look at just how much value you can get out of this item, it is unsurprising the Bag of holding has become one of the most popular 5e items.
Our Dungeon Masters have had fun handing out these items and have learned a lot of lessons along the way. This article will discuss the best uses for the Bag of Holding and what you should look out for as a Dungeon Master when giving out this wondrous item. So, let’s dive into this Dungeons and Dragons item guide!
What is a Bag of holding?
The Bag of Holding is a wondrous item that is much more spacious inside than you would deduct from simply looking at the outside. The Bag is 2 meters in diameter and 4 feet deep inside.
It can hold up to 500 pounds and does not exceed a volume of 64 cubic feet. The Bag will always weigh 15 pounds, regardless of what is inside the item.
- Rarity: uncommon item
- Type: Adventuring gear
- Subtype: Wondrous item
- Weight: 15 pounds
- Holds: 500 pounds
- Inside: 2 feet diameter, 4 feet deep, 64 cubic feet
Bag of holding mechanics and limitations
- Taking out an item will require you to take action. So, make sure you get out of the Bag of holding what you need before fighting.
- Overloading, piercing, or tearing the Bag and destroying it, will make the contents scattered over the astral plane. Thus becoming irretrievable unless you have a way of getting there
- Turning the Bag inside out will remove all the contents and make them spill out. The Bag is a regular bag until you put it back in order.
- Putting living creatures and NPCs will survive for up to 10 minutes. However, you need to divide these 10 minutes by the number of creatures inside the Bag.
- Putting the Bag of holding in a similar item like the portable hole or another bag of holding will destroy the things and create a gate to the astral plane. Creatures within 10 feet are sucked through it and are teleported to a random location on the Astral Plane. This gate to the Astral Plane is a one-way gate.
Best uses for the Bag of Holding 5e DnD
If we look at points 3 to 5 from the previous chapter, there are some pretty interesting mechanics at play here that you might use. The item isn’t made just for storing things. Here are the ones we think make the best use for a Bag of Holding.
1. Reach difficult places
So you have a flying familiar like the Pseudodragon and your Bag of holding. Climb in it and give your familiar the task to fly you up wherever you want to get out. You can get it wherever you want as long as the Bag fits. You can even escape jail this way if your familiar can go through them. Another option is having your allies throw you somewhere, like over the city walls.
Do remember that the Bag only holds 500 pounds, and there is only air for 10 minutes if you are alone. If a party of 5 is inside, there is only air for two minutes. So keep this in mind if you don’t want to die stupidly in DnD.
Whatever is inside the Bag of Holding is technically in another plane. So it can not be found by, for example, Locate Object. It is also possible to make your conversations secure against spells like scrying.
Thanks to the Bag is so easy to use, you don’t have to waste any items or use spell slots to have magic that protects against these things.
3. Hide (but not too long)
Need to hide somewhere, but does that prove quite a challenge with a Goliath Barbarian and three other party members? Well, the Bag of Holding is a convenient item to hide away from whatever is looking for you. You can stash the Bag away in a drawer or under a closet. So you can even hide in a pretty small room as long as there is something that can hide something the size of this item.
You do need to look out for the time limit again. If you are hiding with two or more creatures in the Bag, you will run out of air in no time. So use this as a last resort.
Tip: if you have water breathing and there is water in the Bag of holding, you can get around that 10-minute limit of air. That way you can stay a bit longer.
4. Smuggling items
The Bag of Holding can be turned invisible. Sequester it, and you can have it turned invisibility permanently. The contents are no longer in this dimension, so you can easily smuggle many items. Doing this can be helpful if you are thrown in jail or are doing trade in illicit goods for some more coins.
You can also smuggle people this way. However, once again, ensure they have enough air to ensure you aren’t smuggling bodies by the end of your quest.
5. Polymorphing creatures to suffocate them
So, the 10-minute limit on breathable air is a big downside if you want to get inside the Bag of holding. However, you can turn this around to an advantage, too. If you polymorph a creature and place it in the Bag of holding, you can just wait for it to suffocate.
While the rules allow this, your Dungeon Master might not. These kinds of uses sometimes make it just a tad too strong.
What to keep in your Bag of holding?
1. Daern’s Instant Fortress
Dearn’s Instant Fortress is one of my favorite items to always have ready. The item only takes up the size of a one-inch metal cube and can be transformed into a massive 20 feet by 30 feet square tower with arrow slits, a battlement, and two floors.
Any creature in range while the fortress is expanding must make a DC 15 Dex saving throw. If they fail, they take 10d10! Bludgeoning damage, and half that on a successful one. The creatures are also moved away from the expansion area.
This fortress is a real lifesaver as it has 100 hit points and can be restored 50 hit points at a time by using Wish 5e.
All in all, having this amazing thing in your Bag of holding gives your party a massive joker that no enemy will expect to be thrown at them.
2. Immovable Rod
The immovable rod is a great item that is one of the most valuable things you can have. It can be used to prop open caves, stop a giant toad from swallowing you, and stop a ceiling from falling. You can also tie a rope to it and start climbing things. The immovable rod is one of those items where a creative player will shine. Unfortunately, the rod is pretty insane if you know how to use it.
3. Robe of useful items
One of my favorite valuable items to put on a helpful item list is the robe of useful items. Your Bag of holding in 5e should have one of these. The rob has patches of various colors and shapes. For each of these, the patch can become the creature or the Object that it represents.
The robe has two of the following patches:
- Bullseye lantern (filled and lit)
- Steel mirror
- 10-foot pole
- Hempen rope (50 feet, coiled)
Fellow DMs, look out when you are handing out the Bag of holding to your players. They might be up to some game-breaking shenanigans using weird tactics like creating gates and shooting enemies in the astral plane.
Having 500 pounds of whatever on you as a player is exceptionally potent. As a DM, you should not underestimate this extra carrying capacity if you run a survival game where your players need to scavenge for materials and food.
There are also many funky things players can do with this Bag of holding besides having extra space for items. For example, your players can hide in them, travel with them if they have a familiar or an ally, smuggle items all over the place, and put polymorphed creatures in the Bag to suffocate them.
The Bag of Holding is an excellent item with many more uses than just putting stuff away. If you read the description of what the item can do, some very funky mechanics can be done with it. For example, you can suffocate monsters, hideaway, or just Yeeeeet things to the Astral Plane of existence.
As a dungeon master, ensure you don’t just give these items out for the hell of it. They can ruin your plans quite easily if you aren’t careful. If you are running a survival campaign or one where you don’t want a lot of shenanigans, then the Bag of holding might not be an excellent item to give out.
Remember: it is okay not to give your players a bag of holding if you don’t trust them with this item.
Bag of holding FAQ
What happens if you put a bag of holding in a bag of holding?
When you put a Bag of holding into another one, there will be a rupture in space, and a gate will be formed. This gate is a one-way ticket to the Astral Plane. Creatures within 10 feet of the gate will be sucked in and located at a random location in the Astral Plane.
What does a Bag of Holding 5e cost?
The Bag of holding has a suggested price of about 4000 GP. However, your Dungeon Master is free to decide the item’s actual price. I have seen DMs put it at 100 gp and others at 10 000 gold pieces. I prefer to make it an expensive item that characters should save towards and can’t buy casually.
What happens when you turn a bag of holding inside out?
When you turn the Bag of Holding inside out, all the contents in the Bag will be spilled out. Therefore, the Bag is no longer useable until you turn it back to the regular version.
What happens if you put someone in a bag of holding?
When you put a creature in the Bag of holding, it can hide like any other item. However, this creature will only have air for up to 10 minutes; it will suffocate after that time runs out. When there are multiple creatures in the Bag of holding, you need to divide those 10 minutes by the number of creatures inside. So if there are five creatures inside, there only is air for two minutes.