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The astral body you project through the Astral Projection spell "replicates" your possessions while leaving them physically alongside your real body.

Previous questions have argued that Bags of Holding open up to a separate extradimensional space. I interpret that to mean that the extradimensional space is distinct from both the starting plane and the Astral Plane1

Assuming that the 'replicated' Bag of Holding on your Astral form functions2 would it be possible to:

  1. Have someone on your original plane open the physical Bag of Holding with your body, place an object inside the extradimensional space inside the bag, and close it.

  2. In the astral plane open the "replicated" bag, and reaching into the same extradimensional space and therefore remove the real item (not just a projection), and close the bag.

  3. Repeat

My first thought is that this wouldn't work, because the Bag of Holding on your projected form is a replica that might just have the appearance of working, with everything in it being only a replica as well ...but it seems by that logic any item projected along with your astral form would also only 'be a replica' and thus not work.

But if this did work, it might be more efficient (but slower) than using a spell like Gate to move objects or carrying them on your person as in other spells.


1I found someone indicating that Bags of Holding in earlier editions actually connected to the Astral but this does not appear to be the case in 5E based on the item description.

2 Admittedly I am not sure that's a safe assumption— apparently this is also different in earlier editions

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Jul 24 at 12:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ For any software developers here, the question essentially boils down to whether a Bag of Holding is pass-by-reference or pass-by-value. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flater
    Jul 25 at 12:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, if you assume that you can access the "same" bag contents; does that then not automatically lead to having created a portal to the astral plane? This seems to open up a whole host of issues in terms of what happens to the matter when you go through that portal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flater
    Jul 25 at 12:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ More efficient but slower than Gate? By what measure of efficiency? Both are 9th-level spells, and Gate doesn't consume any of its material components. Astral Projection costs 1100 gp of materials per creature. It lasts for an hour instead of a minute, so maybe you mean throughput per day (spell slot), especially if you don't have a huge pile of (crates of) things ready to push through a gate all at once. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25 at 17:21

3 Answers 3

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This is up to the DM.

The spell description simply does not give us a clear idea of the relationship between your real possessions and those possessions you have while under astral projection. Your question here goes well beyond the scope of what the spell description tells us, so you will just have to work it out with your DM. So before you try it, talk to the DM about it so you can come to an agreement away from the table, so you aren’t disappointed if your expectations are subverted by the DM surprising you with a disappointing ruling.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is probably the best objective answer, but I was posing it more of a hypothetical, not really a legitimate plan I intend to use. It seems like the consensus is that it is a bit of a gray area, so it would ultimately land in the DM's lap \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25 at 18:36
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You may be able to do what you want with a Demiplane

As Thomas states, with a bag of holding you run into the question if the replicated bag is the same bag as the original bag. (There also is the question of what happens to replicated consumables, are they independent of the original ones and can be used "for free", or will using them affect the originals?).

As Astral Projection is a 9th level spell, and 90% of all D&D games stop by spell level 5, I would not hold my breath for a Sage Advice clarification on it, either. This will be up to your DM to decide.

However, you can get around the problem by using demiplane. If you are a wizard and have level 9 spells, it should not be an issue to have this level 8 spell either. Put everything you want to access in the astral plane "for real" into the demiplane, if needed on the prior day. Then, when in the astral plane, call up that same demiplane by using the spell again. You will have access to all your real stuff.

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    \$\begingroup\$ " are they independent of the original ones and can be used "for free", or will using them affect the originals?" If I chop your arm off in the astral plane, do you lose an arm in real life? I would expect it to be consistent between people and consumables. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flater
    Jul 25 at 12:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Flater: If you ask me, I would think so too, hence my question about if you can just use a scroll's replica and still have the real scroll; unfortunately the only answer I got was "it's undefined, ask your DM" -- and maybe that is the right answer; but maybe yours would be. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I may not be the most knowledgeable, but a scroll seems to be a bit of a grey area as we then get into possible discussion about that which gives the scroll power; which might remain connected between the astral plane and the real world; much like how your mind remains connected. A more physical item like a non-magical consumable seems a safer example as you're then really only questions what happens to the matter, not any metaphysical attributes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flater
    Jul 25 at 12:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes I think Flater is aware of this, that is his very point: if damage to your body replica is ephemeral, then using up consumable replicas also should be ephemeral. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25 at 18:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin Correct, my question was rhetorical. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flater
    Jul 26 at 4:51
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It would appear the bag of holding is a replica, not the same bag. We can reach this conclusion from these snippets of the spell description:

Your astral body resembles your mortal form in almost every way, replicating your game statistics and possessions.

This seems to imply that the possessions are considered part of of your mortal form, for the purposes of this spell, and they are replicated to your astral form.

Your astral form is a separate incarnation. Any damage or other effects that apply to it have no effect on your physical body, nor do they persist when you return to it.

So what ever you do to the bag of holding while in the Astral Plane do not apply to the "mortal form". And, this also implies it works the other way around, anything done to your mortal form does not affect your astral form (except either form dropping to 0 hit points ends the spell, explained explicitly).

So, while it is not entirely explicit, it is very strongly implied that once you have your replica astral from, including possessions, are separate incarnations.


However, this is still not very helpful. Yes, the Bag of Holding is a replica, not the original, but does the replica access the same extra-dimensional space?

If it does access the same space, and you take an item out in the Astral Plane, what happens to the item, when it suddenly is a real item and not an Astral projection? And more importantly, what happens to a replica item, when placed in the replica Bag in the Astral Plane?

If it does not access the same space, then is the replica bag empty, when opened in the Astral Plane, or does the spell also replicate the extra-dimensional space and it's contents?

There are even more options. Perhaps the replica BoH simply does not work, it can't access the original extra-dimensional space, and it does not have its own.

These questions are left for the DM to answer, but I hope the above points will allow making a more well-reasoned ruling, or for a player to argue for the ruling they'd like.

As a purely subjective, personal ruling, depending on the campaign, I might allow transferring items between Astral and original plane by giving access to the same extra-dimensional space, so players would be able to do more stuff in and with the Astral Plane. Or, if wanted to keep Astral Plane as just a small diversion, a means of travelling, then the replica bag would simply not work, it'd be like an ordinary bag, so players would not waste time by fooling around with it.

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