Monday, December 6, 2010

Spicing Up the Bag of Holding

The following is Open Game Content according to the Open Game License.

Another classic magic item that's been around in D&D for awhile is the bag of holding. Similar to Mary Poppins' bottomless bag, the bag of holding is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Characters can stow their possessions in it without the weight of the bag changing. This means you don't have to hire a bunch of untrustworthy scoundrels to help you cart all that treasure you pillaged from monsters found in the dungeon. Just throw it in the bag and off you go on your next adventure.

In reading Pathfinder's description of this item (see link above), we learn that the bag's contents are actually kept in a "nondimensional" space, whatever that means. I'm inclined to think of this space as a place, regardless of it being "nondimensional." Perhaps it is in a tiny corner of some alternate reality or some kind of astral plane, who knows.

Contemplating this magic item, it occurred to me that it has wonderful potential to serve as both a puzzle and a plot device. The premise is simple: the characters find a bag of holding, and someone else - or something else - is out there with another bag of holding which opens into the same nondimensional space. Think of the possibilities! First, the characters discover all kinds of interesting stuff in the bag. Understanding the bag's potential, they start adding their own money/food/equipment into the bag. This works out just fine for a time, but eventually they go to retrieve an item, and lo and behold, it's gone. Or they notice something in the bag that they're reasonably sure wasn't in there before. All this because some other being is putting stuff in and taking stuff out of his/her/its own bag of holding.

It's only a matter of time before a character reaches into the bag only to have her hand grasped by...

...a claw!

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