D&D 5E Magic item attunement, like-dislike?

I really dig it. PCs really need to think about what magic items they pick up. The limit of three, since not every magic item calls for attunement, is fine by me.

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I ignore most of the attunement rules and just tell a player when I feel they can't get any more major items. I also find it funny what items need attunement and what items don't.


Using Intelligence for Attunement sense makes the most sense to me if you were to choose a stat to use, but if players are constantly dumping Int then they are valuing it the least for a reason. If Int checks came up more, that could encourage them to play more intelligent (not necessarily smarter) characters rather than maxing out Perception. Basing Attunements slots on Int causes it to be a (nearly-)required stat for all classes, especially for at higher levels. It's a bit forceful for my taste.


I love the atttunement system, and my players report loving it too.

Specifically because it enable me to hand out magical treasures whenever I feel like, and whatever magical items I feel like handing out, while minimizing the downsides of having done that because only 3 items or less with major impact on how the game plays can be employed by one character at any time rather than everything I hand out being able to be strapped on to somebody for benefits.

I will agree that there are probably some items which require attunement that don't strictly need to in order to remain well balanced - but I don't think I'd manage to agree with anyone which particular items those are, so I'm okay with leaving them all as-is. Better to be underwhelming, from a power relative to game point of view, than overwhelming.


We had an Iron Kingdoms themed 5e game where we built an Engineer class (parallel to rogue) which had an option in one of its archetypes to basically maintain one or more items that were "attuned" such that anyone could use them as though they were attuned.

Attunement is working great. Characters can own as many items as they want but have to choose which ones are available for use on a per adventure basis.

Going into the swamp of certain death? Time to attune to the trusty ring of water walking.


First Post
I really like it. And as a 3.5 DM with item creation and +6 this and +6 that...nope, not again.

The only thing about a stat tie-in would be negative stats. If a fighter has an 8 Int, does that mean only 2 attuned items? It seems that would encourage meta-stating characters with the goal of maximizing eventual magic items (if any). I don't want to force a barbarian at level 1 to think "I'll just have to dump Cha and not use intimidate since I need Int for magic items"


First Post
I like attunement as is, but...

I think scaling would be interesting:

Level 1-5, 1 attunement
Level 6-10, 2 attunement
Level 11-15, 3 attunement
Level 16-20, 4 attunement



I like it...but then again, I've used the "7 magic item on your person maximum" rule from the old Bard Games RPG The Arcanum. (yeah...7 magic items maximum on your character...otherwise they all stop working for you).

So far, nobody has ever gotten to the point where they had to decide to attune or not to an item due to having more than 3. Highest level campaign has been 6th level though...so there's that. In that campaign I also had a house rule that never came into play where a PC could get a "magic-item-set" that was created to be used together. Individually, the items were fairly minor, but once they were all together, their true power came to bare once a PC attuned to them. These items were all then "one item". A character could have the "Thasslean, Sword of the Waves [cutlass +1]", then get "Thassleans Guard [Shield +1], and finally acquire "Thassleans Helm [Helm of Comprehend Languages]". Once all three were attained, they became known as "Thassleans Trifecta", where they all together only counted as a SINGLE item for attunement. They also got other abilities (Sword of Speed, Shield or Reflection, Helm of Fish Command) added on to their original.

This made for one "super item", but it all would add to the uniqueness and history/background of the campaign world (not to mention player pride if he/she managed to get all the items in a 'set').


Paul L. Ming


41st lv DM
As a DM I have no problem allowing players to use however many magical items they've found. If I did I wouldn't have made those items available.... So I only apply attunement if I think that'll make an item more interesting. Likewise on ignoring it.

As a player? I don't care. It's rare that our games - of any edition - have had do many items where such a rule might even seem neccecary.


Dances with Gnolls
I like the rule enough. It helps keep powerful magic items special, it also encourages thoughtful choices when a player should encounter that limit.

Though I run powerful magic items a bit differently, it still works fine in application.

I have not run into any issues with it either as DM or as a player.

A thing I detested was always the pile of magic items a character could (and sometimes had to) deck themselves out in.


I like the concept behind the rule. The notion that some items can be more powerful than items of equivalent rarity but with the balancing factor that you can only draw that extra power out of a certain number of them is a decent idea. However, I also know that groups often run very different games and either the three item limit or the requirement of attunement for certain specific items may not seem the right for some groups.

Ultimately, what I think of the most when it comes to attunement is an intelligent magic item that I gave to a PC in a campaign a few years ago. The item was very vain and jealous, and it refused to work if its bearer was also wearing/using other magic items.


First Post
I use the following depending on if I am DMing a high magic or standard magic game. For high magic I use the proficiency bonus as the number of items that can be attuned. I find this to be a good balance as the heroes progress through the different tiers.

For most normal games I just use the default attunement rules of three.

EDIT - spelling


Dragon Lord
I like it. Seems fitting. I don't follow it exactly as written, but I do follow it in spirit. I don't always require the full attunement time.


I like the system, for many of the same reasons already listed.

The 3 item limit is definitely a "dial" that can be turned up or down depending on the campaign.


First Post
The system is great and the number is great. Just some itens could change.

But if you like ultra item power (10 rings, 5 amulets, 3 belts...) just ignore it.
I was thinking in a BBGE in the future that is a magic item collector, with some power that ignore attunement and lots of magic itens hunting the PCs for they tresure.

I think I saw that on a cartoon, don't remember the name...


I like the concept of attunement in that attuning to a magical sword unlocks its greater magical powers, but part of me doesn't like it or doesn't like the limit of 3. Really though, I think we need to see some higher level play with more items before I can have a proper opinion on it.

I agree - I like the attunement as a kind of binding the PC to the item, and that process enables the item to grow in power/unlock/awaken other abilities of the item over time. I really like that scaling ability of the item which I think attunement fits well with (or indeed, turning a non-magical sword into a magical one, like an heirloom item or something?). I think that works really well with "low magic" worlds - the PCs still get various interesting magic item abilities, but fewer individual items, as such.

I am not fussed about the "3 item limit" aspect.


Part of what I like about attunement is personalizing the attunement process. For example, in a recent running of the LMoP adventure the PCs found a necromantic magic item. In order for a PC to attune to the item, he had to feed the magic item his own blood.

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