Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If an Immovable Rod is made to stay still, and a Bag of Holding is placed around it such that the Rod is closed entirely in the nondimensional space, does the Bag hang on the Rod, or does the Rod move around with the Bag (and if so, does it remain floating motionless in the Bag)?

share|improve this question
Is this...relevant to a game situation? – wax eagle Aug 13 '13 at 19:24
@wax Not directly. I'm considering having a Bag of Holding floating in the air high above the players' heads for no discernible reason, and before I rule zero it, I'd like to know if there's an official ruling. – cartomancer Aug 13 '13 at 19:28
@waxeagle It's specific, but not terribly contrived. Both are common enough magic items that their interaction should be clarified. +1 – dlras2 Aug 13 '13 at 19:30
Excellent question. Reminds me of a quote from Neverwinter Nights: "What happens when an unstoppable force collides with and unmovable object?". – Vorac Aug 14 '13 at 7:31
@Vorac: the video game didn't originate that quote. It's at least as old as classical (pre-Roman Empire) Greece, and probably a good deal older than that. It's been one of the biggest cliches in philosophy for about as long as there has been such a thing as philosophy. – Matthew Najmon Sep 22 '13 at 6:06
up vote 29 down vote accepted

Nice theoretical question. :) And I partially disagree with the other two (?) answers (that I've seen so far.)

I'd say you could place the Bag of Holding around the Immovable Rod, or push the Rod into the Bag, though with a very, very serious effort -- a DC 30 Strength check -- only. Why? Because

  1. "the rod does not move from where it is", ie. it has a pretty fixed position in space, and

  2. "The bag of holding opens into a nondimensional space", that is, the inside of the bag is a different place,

...and the rod does not move from where it is, unless you apply serious force (a DC30 STR check, as per the rules.) Pulling the bag over the rod or pushing the Rod into the Bag would cause the Rod to move, from the original dimension to the bag's dimension. It would be like trying to touch two similar magnetic poles to each other - which can be done with great enough force. So, you could pull the Bag over the Rod, etc... with a DC30 STR check.

If you activate the Rod within the bag, its position will get fixed within the Bag's "nondimensional" space (whatever that means) only, so you'll be able to move the Bag anywhere on the outside, with the Rod in a fixed position in it.

In case you activate the Rod when it's only partially covered by the Bag, moving the Bag off the Rod, or moving the Rod along with the Bag would be a DC30 STR check, since the Rod would have a fixed position both within and without the bag. (Well, depending on your view of physics and magic, you could lower the DC in such a case to your heart's content.)

share|improve this answer
What about reaching into the bag of holding with the rod in hand, then activating it while already inside the bag? – dlras2 Aug 13 '13 at 19:36
@DanRasmussen Please, see my updated answer. – OpaCitiZen Aug 13 '13 at 19:52
Immovable rods are not always immovable. It's a simple button click to deactivate/activate. Placing the rod into the bag with it deactivated is trivial, and still not addressed in your answer. – dlras2 Aug 13 '13 at 19:56
@DanRasmussen Yeah, because the Q didn't ask about the deactivated Rod. If you put the deactivated Rod into the bag and activate it there, it will fix its position within that nondimensional space (whatever that means), and will be movable in or out of there, again, with a DC30 STR check only. But added further edits covering this to my A. :) – OpaCitiZen Aug 13 '13 at 20:08
This is my understanding of the canon on these items and I would come to the same conclusion. +1! – SevenSidedDie Aug 14 '13 at 1:43


Since the bag of holding specifies that it utilizes its own, non-dimensional space, the immovable rod may not move within that separate dimension, but the dimension itself is moved along with the bag of holding.

For example, consider anchoring a boat in a bathtub. Your boat is anchored, but you can continue to move the tub around.

Clarification: To get an immovable rod to remain stationary and inside of a bag of holding, you may need to reach into the bag with the rod off, and then activate it. See also: OpaCitiZen's answer

share|improve this answer

I believe that the motionlesness applies to the plane (or dimension) in which it lies. Since a bag of holding is an extradimensional space, in effect a different plane, although a small one, the rod will remain immobile inside the plane while the entrance to the plane, the bag, may move freely.

share|improve this answer
So if a bag of holding is different plane, you can't grab objects from inside of it while under the effects of a Dimensional Anchor since part of you would have to leave the plane to reach into the ba? – Martin Epsz Aug 14 '13 at 2:34
@MartinEpsz I would agree with that assessment. It makes sense that Dimensional Anchor would stop BoH's, Haversacks, and Portable Holes from functioning. Chances are spell casters would be able to deduce this (perhaps with an Int(Arcana) check). – Aviose Dec 16 '14 at 16:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.