Here is the scenario I envision:
I hold a bag of holding in one hand and use the other to make a shove attempt against an enemy.

  1. If I succeed can I shove him into the bag of holding?
  2. He can just open the bag from the inside but what if I hold the bag shut/put it inside a box/tie the top off?
  3. Can I destroy the bag effectively teleporting the enemy into the astral dimension?
  4. Can he destroy the bag from inside?

some extra info:

  • A bag of holding has a 2 foot diameter mouth (a quick google tells today's well fed humans are about 15-16 inches in the shoulders)
  • A bag of holding has the volume of a 4*4*4 foot room, its square so while most medium creatures wont fit standing they will still fit by volume, maybe require a push to prone first and/or a grapple?

I'm asking because artificers potentially have a free way to make bags of holding daily and I'm wondering if this can be used for wrestling shenanigans or candlejacking

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: "Can a Bag of Holding be opened from the inside?" \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15, 2020 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you trying to do this yourself, the artificer, or are you doing this in conjunction with an ally? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15, 2020 at 18:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast the artificer need not be actually involved. i want to know in both conditions, if you have one guy with 2 attacks or two guys \$\endgroup\$
    – Nullman
    Feb 15, 2020 at 18:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, thanks for clarifying, please add that clarification into the question. It will help the answerers give you better answers. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15, 2020 at 18:33

3 Answers 3


You can try, and perhaps succeed (easier with two PCs)

You have the set up for a great idea for dispatching a human sized foe. Or maybe, you want to give them a vacation on the astral plane and they aren't very keen on the idea.

  1. Artificer of level 7 can have more than two infused items, and bag of holding is makeable at level 2.
  2. You have two bags of holding. (I'll get to "why two?" later)

Shoving (work a little with your DM on this part)

Strictly speaking, the rules are silent on a targeted shove, but there's no reason that you can't try to target a shove. Shove and/or grapple is an ability check; it will be an opposed ability check per Chapter 7 and/or Chapter 9.

[...] you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple. If you're able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them. A Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target's Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). You succeed automatically if the target is incapacitated. If you succeed, you subject the target to the grappled condition.

Moving a Grappled Creature. When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

Shoving a Creature
Using the Attack action, you can make a special melee attack to shove a creature, either to knock it prone or push it away from you. If you're able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.

Your PC can move them once you grapple them, but it's still tricky to stuff them into that hole; I think calling for a shove is a good application of that rule, or, the DM could call for a general Strength check per Chapter 7.

What else you need: two ten foot poles, tied together.

Or two spears, two lances, something that is more than 10' long. Let's say that we want 14' of reach to stay outside of the 10' blast radius of the astral plane entry event.

Aside: if two members of your party can cast Mage Hand, one mage hand can be used to hold the empty bag open while the other mage hand can put the full bag into the empty bag, and keep all of you outside the 10' danger radius.

This ability check may be made with disadvantage

Or not. That's up to your DM.

The DM can also decide that circumstances influence a roll in one direction or the other and grant advantage or impose disadvantage as a result. (PHB, Chapter 7, Using Ability Scores)

And here's how it works.

  1. By yourself ....

a. You can hold the bag of holding, make a Grapple (and then if you succeed) make a Shove attempt. You are trying to shove them into the bag; since shoving isn't necessarily targeted, you may get disadvantage on this attempt.

Were I DM, I might lay disadvantage on this attempt, and I might not. If the target were a gnome, I'd not lay on disadvantage. You can also apply the 'Shove Aside' optional rule (DMG, p. 252). This lets you make a shove attack to move a creature in an arbitrary direction, but you do so with disadvantage. (thanks to @BBeast for suggesting a reference to that).

With two successes in a row, into the bag they go. If you do not have additional attacks, for example a rogue or an artificer, then it takes two turns to do this and there may be an additional chance to fail as the grappled creature tries to escape the grapple.

We are pretty sure that the bag of holding can't be opened from the inside

b. Open the second (empty) bag of holding, and then carefully drape the (full) bag containing the bagged creature over the end of the pole mentioned above. Make sure you are more than 10' away from the empty bag. Carefully lift the pole and place the full bag into the empty bag.

Placing a bag of holding inside an extradimensional space created by a Heward’s handy haversack, portable hole, or similar item instantly destroys both items and opens a gate to the Astral Plane. The gate originates where the one item was placed inside the other. Any creature within 10 feet of the gate is sucked through it to a random location on the Astral Plane. The gate then closes. The gate is one-way only and can’t be reopened.

The bag of holding is indeed "a similar item." They just got a one way ticket to the astral plane.

  1. With the aid of an ally

a. Make sure that your ally uses the help action to assist you with the shove into the bag. That gives you advantage. This will either cancel the disadvantage the DM gave you, above, or it will make for a more likely success.

b. Proceed as above with the poles, and have the ally help you again. The DM may require an ability check to get the full bag into the empty bag, so having advantage on that check is a good plan.

Set yourself up for success!

  1. Get the party's Bard to lay some bardic inspiration on you.

  2. Get the Cleric or the Druid to cast guidance on your character; additions to the ability check are handy here!

  3. If there is a spell caster, enhance ability might be what you need to get this ability check over the top and succeed.

Bull’s Strength. The target has advantage on Strength checks, and his or her carrying capacity doubles. (PHB, Enhance Ability, Ch 11)

Better yet, incapacitate the target first ...

... and then stuff them into the bag, and then do the thing with the poles and the empty bag. An incapacitated target can easily be shoved into the bag if they fit at all.

An incapacitated creature can't take actions or reactions.

Or paralyze them... (See Appendix A, Conditions, Paralyzed) ...

... or, knock them out first

An unconscious creature is incapacitated, can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings. The creature drops whatever it's holding and falls prone. The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage. Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature.

You can use the knock out rule from the PHB Chapter 9, put them to sleep, or use other means to render the foe unconscious.

For further shennanigans

Craft or otherwise acquire a bag of devouring, polymorph the enemy into a small beast (snail, clam, slug, earth worm, etc) and then drop the enemy into the bag of devouring. Problem solved. (Thanks to @SumofeDpi for reminding me)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I didnt even consider putting bags into bags, I just though I would let one of my allies just hit the damned thing, then it doesnt explode \$\endgroup\$
    – Nullman
    Feb 15, 2020 at 19:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you happen to run across a bag of devouring, this can be quite handy. Tales are told of a party that acquired a bag of devouring and would regularly polymorph foes into helpless forms (A clam was a favorite) and then casually toss their polymorphed foe into the bag. No save (other than against the polymorph spell) insta-death. \$\endgroup\$
    – Σ of eDπ
    Feb 15, 2020 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SumofeDpi yes, but that's "very rare" and not an item an artificer of level 7 can make \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15, 2020 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ And rightly so! As noted, this combo can be devastating. As a DM, while I like to reward clever combos, this one strikes me as almost too good. So if it were up to me, the creature reverts while being devoured and eventually the bag of holding gets completely satiated after that 3rd helping of 'huge creature" this week :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Σ of eDπ
    Feb 15, 2020 at 20:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I would like to indicate the 'Shove Aside' optional rule in the DMG p252. This lets you make a shove attack to move a creature in an arbitrary direction, but you do so with disadvantage. This I think is a stronger indicator of whether or not disadvantage should be used than the generic rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Feb 15, 2020 at 22:31

I would say attacking with a bag of holding is an attack with an improvised weapon.

I recommend the Tavern Brawler feat:

"• Increase your Strength or Constitution by 1, to a maximum of 20.

• You are proficient with all improvised weapons.

• Your unarmed strike uses a d4 for damage.

• When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or improvised weapon on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target."

The important bit is at the end. If you hit with an unarmed strike you can initiate a grapple. In this case pinning your opponent will mean you got him in the bag.

"You can use your action to try to pin a creature grappled by you. To do so, make another grapple check. If you succeed, you and the creature are both restrained until the grapple ends."


Yes, it can be done if your DM is willing to allow it.

3 important things here

1. There is no air in the bag of holding unless it is open so an unconscious creature would average approximately 4 minutes to be revived from the inevitable suffocation because they cannot hold their breath.

2. The "inside" of the bag of holding is an extradimensional space.. so it's impossible to open from inside that space except by magic, as it is akin to a portal that opens as the bag is opened...

3. If the "party" in the bag has any form of trans-dimensional teleportation they could get out.... if they are conscious <(see #1)>

source: Matthew Mercer, DM, Critical Role, Campaign 2. Grog Strongjaw ended up in a bag of holding for a minute...


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