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This is the second take on this problem, incorporating feedback from the first round, full background detail can be found there.

In brief, I am looking to create a simple, single focus magic item that helps characters carry more weight, without the extra benefits and complications that a Bag of Holding has1.

Sack of Looting

Wonderous Item, Uncommon

This item appears like a large sack that weighs 5 pounds. It can hold 360 pounds of content, without changing its total weight. Items put into the sack automatically shrink to fit while inside, and any item will fit in, as long as its weight is increasing the contents to no more than 360 pounds. You can put items into the sack or take them out with a normal object interaction. Creatures are unaffected by the sack's magic (you can put them in if small enough, but they are neither shrunk, nor is their weight affected). If the sack is destroyed, its contents return to their normal size and weight.

Are there any balance, mechanics or wording issues this item would have?


1 Such as for example,

  • the question if something in the bag counts as carried
  • questions about the nature and workings of the interdimensional portal that provides access to the bag
  • the ability to hide items from divination because they may not be not on the same plane of existence in the bag
  • issues of what happens when you put the bag into another extradimensional space; or if you do that on the astral plane
  • questions about the size of objects and the opening and if they fit into the bag
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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably, should be 'its contents return to their normal size and weight'. Also, probably, should mention that items that leave sack return to theri normal size. Because right now, RAW, they shrink to fit, but return to normal size only if sack is destroyed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Nov 12, 2022 at 7:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sarge: they only shrink to fit "while inside", so that part should not be an issue. Not sure what the difference in meaning is between "resume" and "return to", but I'm not a native speaker, so I will change that. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2022 at 7:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you explain what you see as "without the extra benefits and complications"? I know the complications of bag within bag (and other variations), but is there more to it than that? \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Nov 12, 2022 at 7:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Groody: It's a question of wording, but 'shrinking' is more of a process, then a state. Sort of... 'Character looses hp each round, if it's on fire'. If you put out fire - character stops loosing hp, but nothing says if they regain those hp back. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Nov 12, 2022 at 7:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott There is extensive discussion on it in the original post. For example, questions about what counts as carried for spells, or using it to hide things from magical detection in another dimension. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2022 at 8:14

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There's still the question, as with the last iteration, of what happens with volume and weight, if not moved to another dimension. Getting rid of those that entirely without the pitfalls (hole within a hole) of a "regular" Bag of Holding is what I attempted to navigate around with my answer then. If volume is reduced making the bag show its degree of "fullness", not negated, I'd advise some clearer language around the "shrink to fit" terminology.

Second, the Bag of Holding requires an Action to retrieve objects. You are going with a Free Object Interaction instead, which is considerably cheaper and raises the combat/stress utility of the item significantly. I'd say this is where most balance issues arise, as this becomes a very convenient hammer space, for instance allowing a melee fighter with spare weapons to disregard disarms, or a wand/scroll user to instantly swap between a large arsenal at-will.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 I think the free action is a very good point - just imagine how many arrows/bolts will fit in there! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Nov 12, 2022 at 9:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ The volume in this one is adressed explicitly — stuff shrinks to fit. The wight of objects gets magically ignored (other than counting towards the limit) when inside the sack. Maybe I could word it differently, but tgat is the intent. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2022 at 9:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin Ah, so the bag swells and becomes fuller and fuller in proportion to how much of its weight capacity is used? \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Nov 12, 2022 at 9:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Re weight: Yes, that is how I imagine it. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2022 at 9:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ From, ah I got it, you see a blance concern. Fair point, in that case it might be a solution to demand a full action in the item text I already had upvoted your answer, so no change there) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2022 at 10:13
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Frame Challenge: What value do you see in creating a new magic item, versus house rules to an existing magic item?

The main problem I see is that you are trying to create a new item to avoid what you see as "complications" but "without extra benefits" but has their own "complications" and includes "extra benefits". So what are you really gaining?

If the O.G. Bag of Holding is complicated, put down some house rules to explain how you'd handle different situations. If new situations come up, refer back to the house rules and see if there is a precedence and if not, tack on a new amendment.

But whether you stick with the O.G. Bag of Holding or the New Sack of Looting, you're warping the laws of physics and space... And that's always going to be complicated to our Euclidean thinking brains.

For actual issues

  1. What are the actual dimensions of the "large sack"?
    • A point you brought up in the original post was "the standard sack is [...] puny small: just 30 lbs and 1 cubic foot of content." But that's all we have to go on. So if this is a large sack, you need to say how large it is.
  2. How big is the opening?
    • You say that items shrink to to fit, but then also say you can put creatures in if small enough. How small is small enough? I'm just picturing a sack that can unhinge its jaw and expand to wrap around anything.
  3. How big is the inside?
    • I'm sure one of the things you call a "complication" is the fact that characters need to worry about size. Yes, because otherwise you could store a 3-story-tall ladder in there. Or a young tree. Or 5 barrels.
  4. How much shrinkage?
    • How much does an object shrink? Enough so it just fits? When I add the first barrel, it shrinks down enough to fit in the sack. But now I want to add the second barrel. But that first barrel only shrank to fit, but it's filling up the sack. Does it shrink farther now that I'm adding more weight? Do the two barrels shrink to the same size or is the first one always going to be smaller?
  5. What does the sack look like on the outside when it's full?
    • Do things shrink down enough to disguise what's inside, or would there be outlines? For instance, when I put 5 barrels into the sack, does it look like there are 5 small barrels in the sack, or did they shrink so much that the bag still looks empty?
  6. What happens on the 361 pound?
    • Does it just not go inside? Does it cause the sack to explode? Does it cause something else to fall out? If so, how does it chose what to eject?
    • What if something gains weight while in the bag? Does it fall out? Or push something else out instead to make room?
  7. Pulling "items" out
    • It states you can pull "items" out the sack as a free action. This makes it effectively a quiver. A character can store 360 flasks of Alchemist's Fire and pull them out, one by one, every round and throw them. Or that 3-story ladder. Or a small tree just pops into existence.
    • Additionally, you mention "items" in plural, which means a character could pull all 5 barrels out at once as a free action.
  8. What happens to creatures that ARE inside the sack?
    • As pointed out above, how small does a creature have to be to fit in the sack? And once inside, what happens? Can they breathe? Can they try to get out? Can people outside see the movement of the creature inside?
    • If creatures don't shrink, but everything else does, can they interact with the objects inside the bag? Like, can my gnome use a shrunken alchemist kit to build an infinite supply of shrunken Alchemist's Fire flasks that expand when pulled out? Or will their mass crush everything inside?
    • If creatures don't shrink, but "items" do, does that mean the clothes and armor a creature is wearing shrinks and crushes the creature? There is nothing about items being worn or carried.
  9. What destroys the sack?
    • The rules for the Bag of Holding are pretty clear about things that can destroy it. How does one destroy one of these bags since it doesn't talk about being "overloaded, pierced, or torn".
  10. Since the items inside are still on this plane, can they be crushed? Take falling damage?
    • Unlike a Bag of Holding, the items in this Sack are still on this plane. Which means that they would still be governed by our physics. So if I drop the sack down a hole, I'm really dropping 5 barrels, just smaller. Shouldn't they suffer fall damage?
    • On the flip side, if I come at the Sack with a warhammer, would the items inside get crushed, or would they shrink even further to avoid the blow?

I think I'm done posing questions. The other posters also have valid concerns I didn't bring up.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the logic in this kind of situation. My main concern is that the objective with this item was to make something like a Bag of Holding but without the "interdimensional space" part. The more I think about it, the more difficult it seems to me to adapt the Bag of Holding to this constraint without making it a very litteral patchwork of additional rules, so I can understand the will to make an entirely new item instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Nov 14, 2022 at 8:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott Putting in a long ladder or several empty barrels would be perfectly fine, that is the idea. Others have mentioned that one should probably ask for a full action to put/retrieve something, which I would change (but do not want to invalidate the answer, so am leaving it as is here). Creatures would breath normally, like in any sack. The shrinking worn/carreid equipment however is a real issue. Would it rip? Or should one declare worn/carried items are also unaffected, which would be practical but a bit weird. Most magic items have no explicit destruction rules, I think that is OK. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14, 2022 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd say if you try and put something in that brings the weight over 360 lbs, it won't fit, as the sack is already full. One could say that explictly, although one does not need to do so for a normal sack either. If it is full, its full. No magical rotation of items. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14, 2022 at 17:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Matthieu, I agree. In trying to remove the complications from the BoH, the OP is now faced with complications from the SoL. Likewise, trying to remove the extra benefits from one creates different extra benefits for the other. That's why the frame challenge; find solves for one convoluted magic item instead of now having two convoluted magical items. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Nov 14, 2022 at 20:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott You mean, like this? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14, 2022 at 20:51
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Issues that I can see.

1. Are there any limits to the size of the object that can be stuffed into sack?

I mean - Bad of Holding says that it is 2 feet in diameter at the mouth - which limits size of objects that can be stuffed into it. In his case - there seem to be no limits. What if some player would take four 10-feet planks and nail them together to form a square and then would try to stuff it into this Sack of Looting?

2. What happens on overweight?

Sack is said to be able to hold 360 pounds without changing its weight... but what would happen if we'd overstuff it and place one more pound inside? Would it just rupture and spit out its contents, like Bag of Holding? Eject random items one-by-one till it's back to 360 pounds? Just get one pound heavier? Explode powerfully enough to destroy a universe?

3. What happens with people inside the sack?

It's said that people are not shrunk and their weight is not affected, so, I suppose that sack with person inside would look like sack with a person inside... But what about weight. Sack always weight 5 pounds. Items inside are said to be shrunk - but even smaller items are not weightless, so sack somehow reduces their further, aside from shrinking, right? So, if 100-pound person climbs into sack, then a) Sack looks like a sack with person inside and weights 105 pounds b) Sack looks like a sack with person inside and weights 5 pounds c) Sack looks like a simple sack and weights 105 pounds d) Sack looks like a simple sack and weights 5 pounds Which ones is correct?

Also, does that 100 pound person counts against limit of how much sack can carry or not?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There is no entry size limit, other than object weight. That's on purpose. One of the annoyances with Bag is it forces you to figure out how large each thing is and if it will fit the opening. This does away with that complication. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2022 at 8:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Second point I think is a good catch, should expand the language to cover that. The last point I hoped to cover by stating the creature is not affected, so it would look like a sack with a creature but weigh 105 pounds alltogether. At least, that is the intent. The weight would count against the limit, too \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2022 at 8:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the 1st point and unorthodox usage of the sack. Imagine that ten-feet sided square placed around something. Or someone. Then it's pushed into the sack... How much force does the shrinking and pulling of the sack produce? You can put something in with an action and round is like six seconds... so it's supposed to pull in or spit out object of any size within a couple of second... \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Nov 12, 2022 at 9:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sarge this very much reminds me of a certain peasant railgun... \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Nov 14, 2022 at 8:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Matthieu - exactly. Gnome is said to weight around 40-45 pounds. Let's make it sixty, taking in accounts clothes, items gnome may be carrying, etc. 10 foot pole weights 7 pounds - which means that 300 pounds allow us to store ~42 10-foot poles, tied together. So, it's potentially - 420-foot long stick that can be deployed with an action. Okay, let's say that due to weight of ropes used to tie them and other losses - actuall length is less - like 300 foot long. Still, it's 300 foot long stick being shot out within like 3 seconds. 100 foot per second. 68 mph. Like being hit with a modern car. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Nov 14, 2022 at 16:35
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Interactions with spells and spell effects is not clear.

There are some spells that creates objects or effects that can be manipulated. Some examples are reported below, but the list may be not complete.

Bigby's hand.

The spell Bigby's Hand creates (emphasis mine)

[...] an object that has AC 20 and hit points equal to your hit point maximum.

When the enemy caster casts this spell, a character may try to cover up the magical hand and due to the shrinking property it will be put inside the bag. How this is handled? Is it possible? If so, does the hand keep on existing? Can the caster keep on controlling it?

Delayed Blast Fireball

This spell creates a glowing bead, that explodes when the spell ends, when the original caster decide to make it explode or when a creature, after a successful DEX save, throws it against another creature or a solid object:

If the glowing bead is touched before the interval has expired, the creature touching it must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the spell ends immediately, causing the bead to erupt in flame. On a successful save, the creature can throw the bead up to 40 feet. When it strikes a creature or a solid object, the spell ends, and the bead explodes.

What happens if a character tries to cover up the glowing bead with the bag in order to put it inside? Is the spell still active? Does it explode? What happens to the objects inside the bag and to the bag itself?

Freezing Sphere

A counterpart of Delayed Blast Fireball: the Freezing Sphere spell. It is possible to manage a small globe and decide to throw it after the casting of the spell (emphasis mine):

A small globe about the size of a sling stone, cool to the touch, appears in your hand. [...] You can also set the globe down without shattering it. After 1 minute, if the globe hasn't already shattered, it explodes.

Is it possible to put the globe inside the bag? If yes, what happens when the globe is put inside the bag? Are the object and the bag itself damaged by the eventual explosion?

Similar problems may arise with similar spells, such as Flaming Sphere, Watery Sphere, Storm Sphere.

Divination sensors

Some spells such as Arcane Eye, Clairvoyance create magical sensors: if the owner of the bag is able to see such sensors, can they put the sensors inside the bag?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Given that the objects rules text does not say anthing about any of those, my take is that they would work normally within. That would be a lot of punch for a tiny hand of force. Exlplosions inside would deal normal damage. The fireball and freezing sphere do not damage objects as far as I know, but the fireball could set flammable objects inside on fire. The sack as a magic item will benefit from the typcial resistance to damage of all magic items, so likely would not count as flammable, unless the DM decided otherwise. Sensors could be put into it too, and would work. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14, 2022 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually thought about limiting what can be put in to objects, or even mudane objects, but settled on "items" as I don't really see an issue with the effect of shrinking other things than objects, even magical force constructs, as long as they are only shrunk within. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14, 2022 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ The main issue I really see (other than maybe asking for an action to put stuff in or take it out), is what happens to worn / carried items of a creature that goes into the sack. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14, 2022 at 18:46
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The item description does not specify when and how the item shrinkage occurs. This leaves some ambiguity in adjudicating what happens in some edge cases. Many objects that weigh much less than 360lbs are much larger than a typical sack. An example that comes to my mind is a conventional wooden table. Per the item description this object, which has overall physical dimensions of say 3'x4'x4', somehow gets shrinkified as it is put into the bag. Does this happen as soon as any part of the table enters the mouth? if so, you can get unexpected "peasant gun" type of effects, and other unusual effects if the object is connected to or encloses another object or creature, e.g. a rope that is wrapped around a creature. On this aspect the Bag of Holding is simpler in terms of not requiring magical modification of the objects placed into them, though it does require estimating the size of objects to rule whether they fit inside as noted in the OP.

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