Here's a pic of what I was talking about in my post upthread, about using an 8x8 grid to represent 64 cubic feet of volume.
It's not perfect, but it's easy to use and I like it better than handwaving it.
No, the wording in 5th edition is deceiving, but that's the external appearance (as is more explicitly stated in previous editions). If the internal dimensions were 2 feet in diameter and 4 feet deep the bag would only hold a bit more than 12.5 cubic feet (the circle having an area of pi times the one-foot radius in squared feet, times four for the depth).
Since the dimensions of the interior space are not defined, just the total volume, it's DM's choice as to what the maximum length you can fit in a bag of holding is, but if you insist on an immutable defined cylinder, three feet in diameter and nine feet long is about right.
That definitely works. For me, I don't mind if they get more square footage out of it. It's a magic item and it being a bit more wonderous than written doesn't bother me. As long as they limit themselves to the weight and few restrictions from my last post, it's all good.
This has got me thinking. Every single magical item is different so I agree one BoH is not going to be the same as the next. It may be smaller, bigger, only hold metallic items, imbue everything you put into it with the power to detect evil, etc. Or perhaps the extradimensional space within changes every time you open it. But I think were on the right track.
This is from Roll20 so Im going to assume is current and correct for 5E.
"This bag has an interior space considerably larger than its outside dimensions, roughly 2 feet in diameter at the mouth and 4 feet deep. The bag can hold up to 500 pounds, not exceeding a volume of 64 cubic feet. The bag weighs 15 pounds, regardless of its contents. Retrieving an item from the bag requires an action.
I know its clearly definiens that the bag is 64 cu. ft. and can hold 500 pounds, This meticulously requires the players and DM must book keep. Thats not something I'm interested in but I also don't want the party thinking this is a never ending well of storage.
Has anyone ever came up with another method/system for tracking contents, remaining space in a BoH? As in a small item takes up "x" amount of storage and cu. ft, etc? I underatand the opening is a 2' Dia so theres no need to discuss what can fit in it.
Or seven leopards. Either regular leopard or snow leopard. Player's choice. So it could be six snow leopards and a regular leopard or three leopards and four snow leopards.
Or 25 Maine Coon Cats.
Or up to 50 house cats of any other breed.
Or any combination of cat that adds up to 500 lbs. and 64 cubic feet.
Cats don't have souls so you don't have to worry about the ~1 oz. weight loss after death. Doesn't sound like a lot but if you had 50 house cats that had souls, the difference between them being alive vs. dead would be over 3 lbs. To put it another way, that's a third of a dead house cat.
This should help you keep track of things by putting that space into more concrete terms.
I think this in combination to what we've mentioned above is a good solution. Give PCs and DM a bit of leeway while still maintaining limits. Looking at the pic, the longbow takes up 3 squares. Thats a good indicator, its on the edge, takes up a good portion of space. Either take it out or risk the consequences of putting the next item in. It provides a visual for the players along with the wt/space limit rules I decide.