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D&D 5E Increasing/Modifying Attunement

What did you increase it to? Were there any other limits?
I set it to 2 + Cha modifier (min 2), because that was used in the playtest. Given my party included a bard, paladin, and sorcerer, they were able to use far too many. The fighter, barbarian, and rogue had about 3 each, but no one was unhappy with the disparity. The sheer number half the party could use was ridiculous though.
 

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Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
I've actually given out attunement slot increases as certain rewards. Off the top of my memory, it was an ancient artificer that taught them how to break their attunement limit for 1 more item as a reward for an adventure.

Naturally, it was a uniform buff so its not like any particular character got any stronger than the other and I was much stricter with Magic Items at the time anyways.

It worked decently. The players enjoyed the tangible power boost for an adventure reward. It might be exploitable if your players are astute and aware of how magic items work.
 

My approach is going to be to change which specific items require or don't require attunement. I'm in the midst of a detailed analysis and attempt to reverse engineer the rules WoTC used to determine it in the first place (and I have found there are several unwritten rules).

After I finish my analysis, I'm going to decide how I should change those rules to better fit the feel I'm going for. I might very well include some sort of "item slot" consideration. My main goal is consistency and not requiring attunement on items that are more interesting but not more powerful than equal rarity items that don't require attunement (weapons are example offenders here, where some require attunement despite being no more powerful than simple +X weapons). I should note that attunement isn't supposed to be about power of the individual items anyway, but rather about interaction of items for a particular character or for the party.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
My approach is going to be to change which specific items require or don't require attunement. I'm in the midst of a detailed analysis and attempt to reverse engineer the rules WoTC used to determine it in the first place (and I have found there are several unwritten rules).

I can see wanting to do that. Actually, I already custom make almost every single magical item in my campaigns (issue #4 of my zine is going to be a collection of some the results), so could easily do that on the fly - but despite running what other folks have called "magic poor" games in the past, a limit of three seems too few and I like that most things require some attunement.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
I would tie it to Intelligence, make it 2 + your int bonus. Tying it to intelligence also gives non-wizards and non-artificers a reason to invest in intelligence.

I think intelligence makes sense thematically too, for two reasons: First intelligence it is tied to Arcana which is knowledge of magic to start with. Second if you think of attunement as figuring out and keepoing track of how a magic item works intelligence would make the most sense.
 
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Mort

Legend
I would tie it to Intelligence, make it 2 + your int bonus. Tying it to intelligence also gives non-wizards and non-artificers a reason to invest in intelligence.

I think intelligence makes sense thematically too, for two reasons: First intelligence it is tied to Arcana which is knowledge of magic to start with. Second if you think of attunement as figuring out and keepoing track of how a magic item works intelligence would make the most sense.
Sure, you can justify it.

Except that you are heavily favoring the wizard (and possibly artificer) over other classes. Wizards will be able to attune to 5+ items. Others will have to sacrifice A LOT to attune to more than 2.

You shouldn't so heavily favor ANY class in regards to magic items.
 


I've considered trying to replicate the way Exalted handles it: you have a number of points to spend based on level/stats, and different items cost different amounts. A character might decide to go all-in on a big, powerful item like a holy avenger, or they could spread it out over several weaker items (thus getting a lot of breadth). The setup should have a benefit to holding/not using points, like extra uses of abilities, and there would need to be some class-specific variants (artificers, and I would want bladelocks to get more efficiency out of points spent on the Pact Blade).

I never got around to fleshing it out, though, because it doesn't solve a real problem for me. The system as-is works well enough for most games.
 

Kinematics

Explorer
I hadn't considered the balance between casters and non-casters before. It's an interesting tweak.

Most games I'm in, we use the proficiency = attunement slots method. If you were trying to balance for available magic, I might consider doing that plus +1 for non-casters, +0 for half-casters, and -1 for full casters. ⅓ casters would count as their base non-caster for these purposes. For multiclassing, I'd probably just use whatever the highest-leveled class was to determine the effect.

So.... <fiddle, fiddle> Here's a table.
LevelNon-casterHalf-casterFull-caster
1321
2321
3321
4321
5432
6432
7432
8432
9543
10543
11543
12543
13654
14654
15654
16654
17765
18765
19765
20765

Honestly, I'm not sure I'd be happy with that. It's not much of a shift from the proficiency total, and in the "prime time" range of level 5-12 it's not too disruptive, but it still feels a bit improper, and at the upper levels perhaps a little excessive.

I do like the idea of treating a "set" of items as only taking one attunement slot. One friend of mine got a set of gear that altogether took something like 6 attunement slots, not even counting the gear he already had. (We were playing a Pathfinder module converted to 5E.) He ended up using only 2 or 3 items, and it just felt like a complete waste.

Even if it hadn't been an issue of system conversion problems, the idea of a set of magic items that are designed to work together on a common theme should be a cool and exciting thing to encounter, not a "Oops, you can't do that because 5E."
 

Even if it hadn't been an issue of system conversion problems, the idea of a set of magic items that are designed to work together on a common theme should be a cool and exciting thing to encounter, not a "Oops, you can't do that because 5E."

It occurs to me that a good way to do that might be to treat such sets as 2 attunement slots. Then you have one slot left, but there is a bit of a cost to get all that value.
 

I do like the idea of treating a "set" of items as only taking one attunement slot. One friend of mine got a set of gear that altogether took something like 6 attunement slots, not even counting the gear he already had. (We were playing a Pathfinder module converted to 5E.) He ended up using only 2 or 3 items, and it just felt like a complete waste.

Even if it hadn't been an issue of system conversion problems, the idea of a set of magic items that are designed to work together on a common theme should be a cool and exciting thing to encounter, not a "Oops, you can't do that because 5E."
Also helps dual-wielders, since they no longer need an extra attunement for their weapons compared to other warriors.
 

aco175

Legend
I tend to give out a few more items that the books say, so I bumped the attunement to add another slot at 8th and 12th level. Never really thought about limiting items to locations on the body like 2 head items or such. The players limit themselves with this where nobody has tried to have wear two sets of boots or bracers.
 

Note that there's a line in the DMG that you can't use a worn item if you can't wear it, and to use two of them you need to be able to wear both at the same time. So you can't wear two pairs of boots, but you could wear magic socks and magic boots at the same time. The limit on rings is around 20, though.
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Yeah, I'd file this under "Not Broken/Don't Fix." Three attunement slots is plenty for nearly every character build. That said: I have allowed players to remove the attunement requirement of specific items, if they complete a certain quest.

For example, the warlock in the party recovered a Staff of Frost, but couldn't attune to it without sacrificing another item to free up an attunement slot. So I created a little side quest where he completed a mission for his patron, and his reward at the end of the mission was that his Staff of Frost no longer required attunement.

Giving out more attunement slots for everyone feels a bit heavy-handed to me (and a bit boring.)
 

the Jester

Legend
In 1E, fighters could use spell scrolls, wands, whatever, and this helped close the gap.
Sorry, but that's incorrect. 1e fighters couldn't use spell scrolls- you had to be a member of the right class (e.g. a cleric to use a cleric scroll). Magic items were highly restricted- most wands had a (M) or (C, M) next to their 1e listing, indicating which classes could use them (c = cleric, m = magic-user, etc). 1e fighters were definitely not able to use what we now think of as "caster only" items. There were a few exceptions, but it definitely wasn't the general case.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
My guess is that it will make absolutely no difference to our style of play, except allow the PCs to have a couple more items available at higher levels - but we'll see.

Right now my party of 5th level heroes have, not including potions or scrolls (items marked with an "A" required attunement)

Gnome Bard/Wizard: Magic Dagger, Cloak of Elvenkind
Half-Orc Barbarian: none currently!
Tiefling Ranger/ Sorcerer: Magic Scimitar +2 (A - secondary powers only), Scarab of Proof Against Poison (A), various one-use magic arrows.
Human Druid: Staff of Thunder +1 (A - secondary powers only), Wand of Shocking Grasp
 
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the Jester

Legend
My approach is going to be to change which specific items require or don't require attunement. I'm in the midst of a detailed analysis and attempt to reverse engineer the rules WoTC used to determine it in the first place (and I have found there are several unwritten rules).
I'm very interested in what you find, if you'd care to share once you're done.
 


I include a feat that increases attunement slots by 1, and allows casting of Identify as a ritual.

Its there if you want it, otherwise 3 slots is more than enough.
 

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