I was looking at this question, and it occurred to me that there is actually another question involved: If items in an extradimensional space are counted as being possessed by a character with regard to effects and saving throws. This is actually important for many reasons. Here are a couple of examples for extrapolation:

  1. Someone tosses a grenade into a bag of holding being carried by a character. Do the nonmagical items in the bag of holding get a saving throw vs the effects of the grenade? Certainly items in a nonmagical backpack would. Does being in an extradimensional space preclude them from being in a character's possession somehow?
  2. If items are in a character's possession, would items stored in a limited-size extradimensional space be enlarged when a character was enlarged? If so, it seems that would cause the chest to then exceed capacity when items were enlarged, possibly rupturing or resulting in other consequences. (see this answer for context)

2 Answers 2


Saving throws? Nope

Items within a creature's bag of holding (Dungeon Master's Guide 248) (2,500+ gp; 15+ lbs.) or other extradimensional spaces don't benefit from the creature's saving throws: "An item attended by a character (being grasped, touched, or worn) makes saving throws as the character (that is, using the character’s saving throw bonus)" (Player's Handbook 166). Typically, if an item is just sitting around loose on one plane, and the creature's on another plane, the creature can't also be grasping, touching, or wearing the item even if the creature is, for example, carrying or wearing the opening to that first plane. (However, as always with Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, exceptions undoubtedly exist.)

I'd suggest having a player who's a decent mathematician adjudicate what occurs when a grenade—like a fragmentation grenade (DMG 146) (modern era weapon; 1 lb.) that deals 4d6 slashing damage (Ref save (DC 15) for half) in a 20 ft. radius—is primed and put into an extradimensional storage space. High school geometry wasn't my thing (and, sincerely, Mr. Walker, thank you for the generous C), but the Internet says that a 20-ft. sphere has about 4,189 cu. ft., and the biggest bag of holding is only 250 cu. ft. Thus, even if it's an impact-triggered fragmentation grenade rather than an airburst one (likely given its DMG description), its explosion will fill the bag of holding with shrapnel.

This will probably be bad for mundane items stored within ("Nonmagical, unattended items never make saving throws. They are considered to have failed their saving throws, so they always are affected by (for instance) a disintegrate spell" (PH 166)), but unattended "[m]agic items always get saving throws. A magic item’s Fortitude, Reflex, and Will save bonuses are equal to 2 + one-half its caster level" (167), so they might be okay.

But that's not the real concern, is it? The real problem is that "if sharp objects pierce [a bag of holding] (from inside or outside), the bag ruptures and is ruined. All contents are lost forever" (DMG 248). Cloth has no hardness and but hp 2 per inch of thickness (PH 166), and despite its magical properties, a bag of holding is otherwise "a common cloth sack" (DMG 248) rather than a deeply weird 8-or-more-in.-thick cloth sack (!) that might survive a fragmentation grenade explosion.

In other words, that bag's gonna pop, that stuff's gonna be gone forever, and you probably don't want to be caught holding the bag—literally!—when that grenade goes off. (Ask the DM what happens if you are.) Why did you do this again?

Size changing? It depends

The typical low-level event that causes a creature to change size is the 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell enlarge person [trans] (PH 226—7). In part, the spell says, "All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly enlarged by the spell.… Any enlarged item that leaves an enlarged creature’s possession… instantly returns to its normal size." To me, it makes sense that worn or carried objects are an even smaller set of objects than grasped, touched, or worn objects.

So, while the bag of holding's apparent size would be affected by the enlarge person spell (allowing, for example, the enlarged creature to reach into the bag normally), the bag's contents would retain their normal sizes—at least until grasped by the creature affected by the enlarge person spell! This means,—depending on the DM's acumen with extradimensional physics and love of Gygaxian gotchas—, that an enlarged creature that reaches into a bag of holding she's carrying to extract a 9-lb. longspear instead has hold of an 18-lb. longspear that's the proper size for a Large creature!

This could be bad. The DM could rule— arbitrarily and, in my opinion, probably capriciously—that the newly embiggened longspear punctures the bag merely because it's suddenly now even longer. Alternatively, the DM may rule that a bag of holding that's filled nearly to capacity is overloaded by the additional 9 lbs. of longspear that's not yet out of the bag. Either ruling destroys the bag and sends its contents into the void.

This DM wouldn't be so harsh: items need to be placed in the bag for their weights to count against the bag's capacity, and I consider items that are carried (as the creature is now doing with the grasped longspear) as not having been placed. It counts toward the creature's encumbrance not the bag's capacity. When an enlarged creature grabs an item in a bag of holding, the creature becomes that item's boss (therefore enlarging it), and it's none of the bag's business what happens next. The enlarged creature, in my campaigns, could extract the item normally without fear of the bag rupturing.

The effects of other kinds of size change on extradimensional spaces will depend on, first, the method used—the 7th-level wu jen spell giant size [trans] (Complete Arcane 109–10) is less clear than the enlarge person spell, but the 1st-level psychic warrior power expansion [phycometabolism] (XPH 105–6) and the 5th-level Sor/Wiz spell animal growth [trans] (PH 198–9) are pretty much the enlarge person spell reskinned. Second, effects will depend on the extradimensional storage container itself: Heward's handy haversack (DMG 259) (2,000 gp; 5 lbs.) has different properties from a portable hole (DMG 264) (20,000 gp; 0 lbs.), for instance.

With that in mind, a list of every way to change size cross-referenced with every extradimensional storage container is beyond this answer's scope. Generally, though, I suggest that a DM be kind when considering if bags of holding and the like should pop. Players probably signed up for a game of heroic magical adventure not extradimensional Jenga.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Cloth has 0 hardness and 2 hp per inch of thickness btw. The bag is likely only having 1 hp LOL \$\endgroup\$ Aug 28, 2023 at 10:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TerryWindwalker I totally overlooked the paper or cloth entry on that table. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 28, 2023 at 11:03

General answer to the main question:

It would be reasonable not to count items in an extradimensional space as being possessed by a character with regard to effects and saving throws, but the rules did not provide a precise definition of "carried", so it would be arguable and would require DM's decision.

For question 1:

RAW-wise, maybe no.

The problem here is the definition of "carried", which has not been provided by the rules.

If an item is not carried or worn and is not magical, it does not get a saving throw. It simply is dealt the appropriate damage. (Items Surviving after a Saving Throw)

Someone may argue that those things in a bag that they are carrying are still "carried". In most scenarios, however, "carried" is mostly used to refer things that something touching part of the character, likely being held by them.

...carried items are simply dropped. (Changing Form)

I would say it would be defined by the DM. I personally don't feel it reasonable that a rogue can save all items in a bag of holding because his Ref is high, even if an explosion happens right inside of that bag.

Case: Someone tosses a grenade into a bag of holding being carried by a wizard, which would explode in the following round. The clever wizard instantly throw that bag to a rogue, and then all items are saved because now a rogue with high Ref save is holding that bag. (Sounds silly enough to me.)

For question 2:

RAW-wise, no.

All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly enlarged by the spell. Melee and projectile weapons affected by this spell deal more damage. Other magical properties are not affected by this spell. (Enlarge Person)

So since the other things (portion, spell material, and other sorts of stuff in your bag, regardless of being dimensional or not) are not "equipment worn or carried by" you, they are not enlarged. (This could possibly give the characters a hard time picking what they want from a bag since their hands are getting larger, if the DM is trying to simulate reality; RAW-wise, it always take a move action to retrieve a stored item, regardless of its size.)

Also, if the term "carried" in question 1 is extended to things inside a bag of holding, it would be funny that enlarging someone causes a sword (which is equipment) in that bag of holding to be enlarged and cause the bag to be broken.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I also reference for your interest the fact that spell effects cannot cross (pass through) the surface of the interface of a rope trick. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Aug 27, 2023 at 16:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko The question says the grenade is thrown into the bag, though. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 27, 2023 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Indeed so, my point was partly to imply that it is an open question if something can simply tumble into or be throw in without a being's hand or other manipulative appendage placing it inside said bag. If it functions like a portable hole, then yes, something could be thrown in with a good roll, but if it functions like other extra/non dimensional interfaces, then no, it cannot be thrown in. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Aug 31, 2023 at 1:17

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