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My heroes are well on their way to becoming champions of the realm. On their adventures they finally found a Bag of Holding. Being new to D&D they didn't really know the limitations of the bag itself so they were drilling me with endless questions. I was able to hold them off for a while, however they asked me:

Can I chuck fireballs into the bag and release them as a huge fireball after a while?

My thinking was that the Bag of Holding is a separate dimension, however there is no oxygen so technically the fire would die out. But that lead me to ask myself: can you send ice missiles or frost breathe into the bag and send them out later?

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Nope, for two reasons.

First, simply because the contents of the bag aren't held in any kind of stasis. A fireball spell is somehow put in? The spell of duration “instantaneous” is over now. It won't be there later, “waiting” to be brought back.

So what would happen with successfully (see below!) chucking fireballs in, is burning up any flammable contents of the bag (they're unattended, sitting there in the pocket dimension, and won't benefit from the PC's own saving throws, after all), and the fireball being done. Opening the bag later will just have… nothing… happen, while the intended target of the fiery destruction looks at the bag-holder funny.

(That's assuming that filling a bag of holding with fireballs doesn't count as the bag being “overloaded, pierced, or torn”, which would additionally spread the contents' ashes across the Astral plane.)

Similarly for other spells of instantaneous duration.

But that is only the least of the hurdles to overcoming this.

The second, more important problem is that the bag doesn't permit free-flowing movement between dimensions anyway, so spells can't be cast into it in the first place for lack of line of sight. The trouble is that the bag's mouth isn't a portal that allows free passive movement of items/air/material/explosions between the bag-owner's dimension and the pocket dimension. The mouth is a magical surface of some kind that is activated only by a creature actively putting or taking objects. (Notice that an action is required to add and retrieve objects, and that the contents of a bag won't spill out if you turn it upside-down.)

This means that, even if a spell is somehow successfully cast “into” the bag (perhaps the caster jumps in briefly?), something like a delayed blast fireball or a similar injurious spell with a convenient timer won't “spew” out of the mouth of the bag at the determined time. Instead, such spells will just take effect in the pocket dimension, never passing out of the bag.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Wow, I have managed to perfectly contradict myself (or, perhaps more charitably, my understanding of the item has evolved), since I answered the related question What would happen if you opened a Bag of Holding underwater? Huh, now what. *consternation* \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 2 '16 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Nov 4 '16 at 2:19
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[Grin]

I'm not really sure that RAW you CAN cast a fireball into a bag of holding. Per the Fireball description, you have to see the target point.

A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you choose within range

Can you actually SEE within a bag of holding? Possible. So, assuming you CAN... [IE - the DM allows it]

Item the first - time does not stop inside a bag of holding. If you toss a fireball within the bag - it still goes boom.

Reasoning for item 1 - This can be inferred by the bag of holding reference that breathing creatures will run out of air - they are not in suspended animation.

Breathing creatures inside the bag can survive up to a number of minutes equal to 10 divided by the number of creatures (minimum 1 minute), after which time they begin to suffocate.

Item the second - the fireball has a radius of 20ft. that equals a 40ft diameter sphere. it expands around corners. Depending on the DM, if you don't close the sack, it might just flare out into your face (that's a DM call).

Reasoning for item 2 - The description of the bag of holding specifies the volume within it (64 cubic feet - which is a lot less than a 40ft diameter sphere - picture a 4x4x4 cube).

Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere

and

The bag can hold up to 500 pounds, not exceeding a volume of 64 cubic feet.

Opinion - DM call - anything else within the bag would also likely be affected / have to save against the fire damage. This would have to be a DM call though as nothing specifically addresses this. In addition, the DM would also have to make the call on whether or not the Bag was affected by the fireball within.

The one thing that this analysis seems to indicate though is that you CANNOT just dump out a fireball or other instantaneous spell effect.

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