My question is rather simple and has to do with the extra-dimensional space* created by a Rope Trick spell.

*Note: It is not clear to me whether this kind of space is a Demiplane or not, but should any solid source clarifying this also help with the actual question, it will be welcomed.

I would like to know how exactly time works in the aforementioned space. SRD describes 4 different ways for time to operate in a given plane: Normal, Timeless, Flowing and Erratic.

However I am not aware which one of these applies for a given demiplane or where I can find rules defining that. Any official sources would be appreciated.


Well, Rope Trick descriptions reads as follow:

The upper end is, in fact, fastened to an extradimensional space that is outside the multiverse of extradimensional spaces (“planes”).

Well, what is an "extradimensional space" then?

A number of spells and magic items utilize extradimensional spaces, such as rope trick, a bag of holding, a handy haversack, and a portable hole. These spells and magic items create a tiny pocket space that does not exist in any dimension.

Then, let's look at the planes that might have a different Time Flow:

  • Astral Plane: Timeless
  • Demiplanes: as they are mostly artificial, they can be created with a different Time Passage trait.
  • In Pathfinder only: Limbo (Erratic Time), Plane of Time (Erratic Time), Purgatory (Timeless)

So, the only way for a Rope Trick to have a different Time Flow would be to belong to the Astral Plane, Limbo, or Plane of Time (obviously not the case), or to be a Demiplane.

However, as mentioned above, the extradimensional space created by a Rope Trick is specifically described as "outside the multiverse". And when we look at what the Planes are:

The planes of existence are different realities with interwoven connections. Except for rare linking points, each plane is effectively its own universe with its own natural laws. The planes break down into a number of general types: the Material Plane, the Transitive Planes, the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, and the demiplanes.

So the Demiplanes belong to the Multiverse. A Rope Trick extradimensional space is outside of the Multiverse. (a short but interesting thread on the issue)

And if there were still a possibility that Rope Trick was considered as linking to a Demiplane (which would open an awful can of worms), you can just rely on the following:

Normal Time: This trait describes the way time passes on the Material Plane. One hour on a plane with normal time equals one hour on the Material Plane. Unless otherwise noted in a description, every plane has the normal time trait.

So as a conclusion:

  • A Rope Trick space is different from a Demiplane.
  • Passage of Time is normal in a Rope Trick space, as in a Bag of Holding or Portable Hole.
  • \$\begingroup\$ So crawling into a rope trick while you're on the Astral Plane will switch flow from Timeless to Normal? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jeroen
    Jan 16 '13 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jeroen According to RAW, yes. It also means that spending two months in the Astral Plane with some food in your Bag of Holding is a bad idea. However, as mentioned below, it is safe to assume that it could just follow the Passage of Time trait of the Plane it is in. Both are good in their own way, it's up to the GM. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 26 '13 at 15:07

I think it's safe to assume Normal (or whatever the plane you're casting the Rope Trick in is doing) unless something explicitly says different - or the GM decides it would be fun to have it work another way.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't it copy the properties of the plane you started in? So if you were in a Timeless plane, you would still be affected by the Timeless property inside a rope trick? \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon Gill
    Dec 17 '12 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SimonGill That sounds quite reasonable. I assumed there would be a source stating that demiplanes inherit their properties from their "parent" plane but I haven't found something similar. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eldebryn
    Dec 17 '12 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is no such thing as a "Parent plane" for a Demiplane actually :) They are created outside of any other plane, independent from them (except some specific occasions). \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18 '12 at 5:59

I’ve never heard of anyone ruling that it flows any differently from Normal. Certainly, without an explicit statement that it does, it would be very odd to assume that it’s supposed to operate at a different speed.


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