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View Full Version : [3.5] 10 foot ladder in a Bag of Holding

Thurbane
2008-11-30, 01:24 AM
OK, this was spawned from the FAQ thread:

Q 597

Is it possible to put a 10-foot ladder inside a Type 1 Bag of Holding? According to the SRD, the bag has a volume limit of 30 cubic feet. Some of my group believes this means a roughly 3.3 foot cuboid, while others believe it has no fixed "shape". Any thoughts?

A 597
I think this is a great question that should be its own thread. My answer would be to let the ladder go into the bag. The whole idea is that it is non-dimensional. Also it is much more simple.

Eloel
2008-11-30, 01:44 AM
I would say it doesn't have a shape, so you can fit a ladder in.

Lemur
2008-11-30, 01:54 AM
I agree with Egiam in every respect- both that it's better to treat the bag as not having fixed dimensions, and that there's no clear answer by RAW (hence his advice to redirect the thread).

Saying that the bag has a fixed shape isn't quite killing catgirls, but you'd probably be gouging their eyes out and ripping their fingernails off. I'd point out there's no reason that the bag should have a cube shape over another type, such as a sphere or an octogonal prism.

Unless your DM decides that each separate bag of holding has it's own unique internal geometry, making some bags of the same size more coveted than others for their particular dimensions, but again, that's a lot of detail for a single magic item, and I doubt that it even has much comedy value beyond being a one-shot gag.

sleepy
2008-11-30, 02:14 AM
If you're going to start out with the assumption that the bag has a fixed shape and items must fit into that fixed shape because their shapes are also fixed, doesn't that very quickly lead to questions regarding whether or not you can tetris-pack a given mixture of items such that they fit in the container, even though their combined volume is below the limit, because they don't fit together nicely?

That ruling immediately sent my mind to a game grinding to a halt because some player has rendered scale 3D models of his possessions and is trying to prove he can cram them all in if he puts in this one first and turns that one sideways. Sounds like bad medicine.

Aquillion
2008-11-30, 02:26 AM
It should probably be interpreted as the total cu. feet, without reference to specific shape. It's magic, after all. I could see it being interpreted either way, but the thing is, the total cubic feet interpretation is just so much easier.

I don't think we (or WotC, notwithstanding the OCD things they inherited from Gygax) would seriously want people to have to determine whether things fit in some complicated 3D Diablo-style puzzle inventory. They give a single straightforward number as the space taken up by most objects. They give a total amount of space that you can fit in a bag. Logic suggests that they intend for us to simply sum the numbers for all our objects, and make sure it's less than the number for the bag. Sanity says your group should throttle anyone who suggests otherwise, just based on the amount of paperwork it would require.

Of course, caring about a distinction between space taken up and weight is, itself, a bit obsessive-compulsive... but I guess it deals with the joker who wants to put an absurd number of feathers in his bag and dump them on the big bad, or something.

Not that there's any reason why we should want to discourage that, mind.

Triaxx
2008-11-30, 07:34 AM
Which is not to say that it's not funny to see a three foot tall dwarf walking around with seven feet of ladder sticking out of his bag of holding.

jcsw
2008-11-30, 08:48 AM
If you're the DM just give your players a collapsible ladder, saves the debate There's approximately no situation where a normal ladder would be better than a collapsible one that would come up in a normal game: anytime you could use an action to remove a ladder from a bag of holding you'd have enough time to remove a ladder *and* assemble it.

(Well I guess if you were running from a angry mob and needed to climb a wall...)

newbDM
2008-11-30, 09:01 AM
If you're the DM just give your players a collapsible ladder, saves the debate There's approximately no situation where a normal ladder would be better than a collapsible one that would come up in a normal game: anytime you could use an action to remove a ladder from a bag of holding you'd have enough time to remove a ladder *and* assemble it.

(Well I guess if you were running from a angry mob and needed to climb a wall...)

Beat me to it. I was also going to suggest the collapsible ladder from the Arms & Equipment Guide.

Oh, and what are your thoughts on a 20ft ladder, or a 10ft pole? I ask because I currently have both in my type III bag.

Emperor Tippy
2008-11-30, 10:57 AM
Yeah, it's not a fixed shape.

Thurbane
2008-11-30, 01:42 PM
Yeah, I pretty much agree, but one of my fellow players vehemently disagrees, and thinks it's just plain silly for the ladder to fit.

On a related note: the vast majority of items don't give a cubic foot measurement, so it's mostly guesstimating anyway. It kind of makes me wonder why they bothered putting a volume limit on the darn things anyway.

Lemur
2008-11-30, 03:10 PM
As long as said player isn't the DM, who cares? I'd try pointing out to him that his choice of a cube is entirely arbitrary, and in no way indicated in the rules. Not just the notion of the specific cube shape, but the idea that it has to be a geometric shape as opposed to a random organic shape- there's no basis anywhere to make assumptions on the bag having a specific, fixed shape.

Shhalahr Windrider
2008-11-30, 10:45 PM
Hell, I don't even pay attention to the volume limit, going entirely by weight instead. Weights are listed for (almost) all equipment. Volume only a small subset. I'm not interested in working out the difference.

That said, even if we wanted to limit available geometries, a standard cloth bag is generally rather flexible, conforming largely to the shape of its contents. Why should the extradimensional space inside a magic bag be any different. Of course the ladder thing makes it all extreme donformance. But, hey, it's magic.

Aquillion
2008-11-30, 11:45 PM
I suppose another way of looking at it would be that the volume limits are just there to give the DM a guideline for when to say "HELL NO" to something that very obviously goes past them, without requiring that players get out slide rules and carefully calculate the exact space occupied.

Although that doesn't answer the question of rigid vs. flexible storage...