log in or register to remove this ad

 

General How long does a body take to decompose in a bag of holding?

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
So, with all the heavy conversations on the board lately, I thought I'd post a fun, uplifting topic.

But, yeah, seriously. Our kobold PC artificer has been secretly stashing body parts in his bag of holding to use for his future...creations.

I didn't realize this until we were talking out of character and someone mentioned that a bag of holding can preserve stuff and I said, "Uh, no it can't, the magic affects space, not time". Then he dropped the bomb of, "oh, that's not good, what will happen to all the bodies?!"

So we have this long conversation of, "how dry is it in a bag of holding? Is there bacteria? It's airtight when sealed, will that effect the rate of decomposition?" etc, etc...

Essentially, how many days will it be before he opens the bag and a horrible, horrible smell wafts out and hard questions start being asked?

Thanks in advance, I look forward to your answers!
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


Mistwell

Legend
OK, so let's start with this line from the description of the bag of holding, "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."

So, very limited oxygen supply, and it's sealed from the outside world. Which means it's a pretty sterile environment. Not perfect, but fairly sterile.

As a rule of thumb I'd say double the number of days organic matter can survive without rotting while it's in the bag.
 

But, yeah, seriously. Our kobold PC artificer has been secretly stashing body parts in his bag of holding to use for his future...creations.

Essentially, how many days will it be before he opens the bag and a horrible, horrible smell wafts out and hard questions start being asked?
One day after stashing them, he'll come back and find them gnawed. Two days later, and only bones are left. And three days later, and the bag will be empty.

What you've described is exactly how a bag of devouring is born...
 



One thought that occurred to me is if the Bag of Holding is from the Artificer's Infusion, it seems reasonable for the artificer to be able to modify it so that it is a vacuum.

Now that might not help with his current meat supply, but hey Kobold's are hard working, if nothing else.

This reminds me of the time, when in 2e our cleric was killed, and the group was too far away from the nearest settlement where a Raise Dead spell could be procured, before the "Rez timer" ran out. Luckily, we had a wagon...and had found some bags of salt and an ornate tub looted by Zhentarim road agents we had defeated before....so we brined the cleric's body.

Maybe D&D is satanic😈
 

Stormonu

Legend
One thought that occurred to me is if the Bag of Holding is from the Artificer's Infusion, it seems reasonable for the artificer to be able to modify it so that it is a vacuum.

Now that might not help with his current meat supply, but hey Kobold's are hard working, if nothing else.

This reminds me of the time, when in 2e our cleric was killed, and the group was too far away from the nearest settlement where a Raise Dead spell could be procured, before the "Rez timer" ran out. Luckily, we had a wagon...and had found some bags of salt and an ornate tub looted by Zhentarim road agents we had defeated before....so we brined the cleric's body.

Maybe D&D is satanic😈
That isn't satanic, the British pickled Nelson's body (in brandy, not salt, though) after Traflagar so they could get him home for burial.

My group currently has a Kenku Necromancer who stores his skeletons in his bag (instead of a closet). After his most recent acquisitions, I went with the three-day rule - "Guests are like fish, after three days, both stink".
 


Immeril

Explorer
Since a bag of holding contains enough air to allow 1 creature to breathe for 10 minutes, I would think that there's a difference between putting a live creature or a corpse in the bag.
If you put a corpse in the bag, there is still 10 minutes of air available. Enough for aerobic organisms to start decomposing the corpse.
But what if you put something living in the bag, and you make sure to keep the bag closed until it's time for an experiment?
 

Galandris

Adventurer
Decomposition is governement by the God of Rotting Things, who command that bodies are decomposed after 10 days so much that Raise Dead is no longer possible, unless He is appeased through the use of the Gentle Repose ritual. What are those bacteria you're speaking of? Some kind of archons serving Him?
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
Thanks for all the good advice:

One day after stashing them, he'll come back and find them gnawed. Two days later, and only bones are left. And three days later, and the bag will be empty.

What you've described is exactly how a bag of devouring is born...
I loooove this! I'm not the DM, though. I might whisper the idea in his ear...

decomposition will be slower but in the end it will happen.

You could slow it down further if you throw in a kilo or so if fine iron dust as an oxygen absorber.

Vacuum sealed meat can last at room temperature for about two weeks before the point you wouldn’t want to eat it.

I don’t know what the experiments entail but assuming they involve reanimating the remains, i’d say that’s about the time you lose the freshness and start the decay.
Except, every time you open the bag, it lets in more air....

One thought that occurred to me is if the Bag of Holding is from the Artificer's Infusion, it seems reasonable for the artificer to be able to modify it so that it is a vacuum.

Now that might not help with his current meat supply, but hey Kobold's are hard working, if nothing else.
Huh, that's a good point! It could, basically, give the extra effect of a Gentle Repose.

What you need is Heward's Handy Bodybag.*


*This is a throwback to Wulf Ratbane's Story Hour for you old timers. ;)
It's been a while so I'm foggy on the details but I remember!

Decomposition is governement by the God of Rotting Things, who command that bodies are decomposed after 10 days so much that Raise Dead is no longer possible, unless He is appeased through the use of the Gentle Repose ritual. What are those bacteria you're speaking of? Some kind of archons serving Him?
+1
 

jasper

Rotten DM
One day after stashing them, he'll come back and find them gnawed. Two days later, and only bones are left. And three days later, and the bag will be empty.

What you've described is exactly how a bag of devouring is born...
By the power invested in me by the internet GAWDS. All bags of devouring Must be called "Delericho Bag". I further proclaim, and bags of holding which have bodies in for more 7 days become "Delericho Bag". So it is said. So it shall be done!
 



Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Assuming it works like a sealed coffin, the body will undergo anaerobic decomposition. Long story short, instead of decaying the body basically melts because there's nowhere for the water in your body to go. So leave the body in the bag and after a couple of days everything in the bag will be covered in corpse goo.

So sure, put that body in the bag. Good luck finding anything while searching through corpse soup.
 

Ambush

Explorer
Assuming it works like a sealed coffin, the body will undergo anaerobic decomposition. Long story short, instead of decaying the body basically melts because there's nowhere for the water in your body to go. So leave the body in the bag and after a couple of days everything in the bag will be covered in corpse goo.

So sure, put that body in the bag. Good luck finding anything while searching through corpse soup.
...just turn the bag inside out to get out the soup..............

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
 

Assuming it works like a sealed coffin, the body will undergo anaerobic decomposition. Long story short, instead of decaying the body basically melts because there's nowhere for the water in your body to go. So leave the body in the bag and after a couple of days everything in the bag will be covered in corpse goo.

So sure, put that body in the bag. Good luck finding anything while searching through corpse soup.
The scientific (and fan of all the CSI and NCSI series) in me applaud your response, the gamer is disgusted. Corpse soup... The bag of devouring suits my fancy in more than one way. It gave me devilish ideas for the artificer in one of my groups.
 



COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top