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5E Why do Armblades need Attunement?

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
Was there any reason why WotC made it were an Attunement slot was required for an arm blade? I understand if the weapon that is apart of it requires Attunement to begin with, but why does it require Attunement when it’s a normal weapon? Is having your melee weapon not get knocked away worth that much?
 

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Not familiar with the item, but probably because it's still a magic item, even if it provides no bonus. Adamantine and Mithril armor are the same.
 

MarkB

Legend
Possibly not. But it isn't only a weapon that can't be knocked out of your hand, it's a weapon that people won't even know you have until you deploy it, and one that you're never going to be caught without because you'd set it aside during a period of apparent safety. Those are properties that might well make a weapon worthy of requiring attunement.
 

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
Possibly not. But it isn't only a weapon that can't be knocked out of your hand, it's a weapon that people won't even know you have until you deploy it, and one that you're never going to be caught without because you'd set it aside during a period of apparent safety. Those are properties that might well make a weapon worthy of requiring attunement.
But couldn’t any person hide a dagger on themselves? With a quarterstaff someone could “Would you take the walking stick of an old man?” trick that honestly makes sense in the world.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Attunement is one of those features that keeps proliferation down. If you have limited options for what you can attune, you're going to be a bit choosier than if you don't. You might be willing to devote one of your attunements to having one armblade, but maybe not two.
 

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
Not familiar with the item, but probably because it's still a magic item, even if it provides no bonus. Adamantine and Mithril armor are the same.
An armblade is a magic weapon that attaches to your arm, becoming inseparable from you as long as you're attuned to it. To attune to this item, you must hold it against your forearm for the entire attunement period.

As a bonus action, you can retract the armblade into your forearm or extend it from there. While it is extended, you can use the weapon as if you were holding it, and you can't use that hand for other purposes.
 

MarkB

Legend
But couldn’t any person hide a dagger on themselves? With a quarterstaff someone could “Would you take the walking stick of an old man?” trick that honestly makes sense in the world.
Any person could try such a thing, and it'd be great if it worked, and if they happened to be particularly into daggers or quarterstaves. With this item you can just do it by default, and with your preferred weapon.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
To be clear - as written, an armblade is a warforged component (and can only be attuned by a warforged).

As for why it must be attuned? Well a hidden weapon that cannot be disarmed or otherwise taken away may not be thy most powerful item ever, but it's not nothing. It's even equivalent to some class abilities (though not quite as good).
 


Al2O3

Explorer
I guess it's a way to either represent it being a part of the body or a way to make it warforged only. I don't think I've seen any magic item with any restriction on who can use them that doesn't accomplish it though attunement.

In short, I believe it's about enforcing "warforged only" rather than risking too many powerful items.
 

This looks like more of a thematic reason for attunement rather than a mechanical one. I know I'd have a hard time justifying an arm blade once I reached my attunement limit.
 


Was there any reason why WotC made it were an Attunement slot was required for an arm blade? I understand if the weapon that is apart of it requires Attunement to begin with, but why does it require Attunement when it’s a normal weapon? Is having your melee weapon not get knocked away worth that much?
Because it's attached to the warforged.

It has nothing to do with the power of the item (quite a lot of relatively low powered magic items require attunement, and some powerful ones don't), it's because it's not something you can toss from one party member to another.
 
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Adamantine and Mithral armor do not require attunement. Nor does Elven Chain, or Armor +X.
Correct, but my point was that by RAW they are still magic items, even if most people don't think of them as such. In 3E (and possibly 4e) they were simply special metals, not magic. Magic items sometimes require being attuned, especially weapons. I wasn't familiar with the item, so it was the simplest explanation, since he called it "a normal weapon."
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Correct, but my point was that by RAW they are still magic items, even if most people don't think of them as such.
That is only in terms of treasure distribution and crafting.

In terms of the game mechanics, they are not magical. A Detect Magic spell will not note Mithral or Adamantine armor, for example.
 

Attunement is the simplified 5E version of the item slot system. Seems reasonable to me that an item which physically becomes part of you would take up a "slot".
 

Coroc

Hero
But couldn’t any person hide a dagger on themselves? With a quarterstaff someone could “Would you take the walking stick of an old man?” trick that honestly makes sense in the world.
Well, depends on the dagger. If it has a cross guard of some size and a blade length of 10", then it gets a bit complicated.

I would require a sleight of hand check for this. I would allow a player though who declares he hides a dagger (with feasible dimensions) in his boot. I do it that way also some times, when I am a player.
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
I think this is a case of how the designers use attunement for too many things. As others have said one of the things attument is used for is to limit an item to certain races and classes, and it makes sense to limit it to warforged. (I wish that attument wasn't used for this, but there you go).

I agree that it's probably not worth it in terms of limiting power. The benefit is less useful than a +1 sword (let alone a +3 sword). I also don't see danger of passing the armblade from PC to PC, which is another valid use of attunment.

There also seems to be a trend of using attunment to represent things that become a part of you, which I think is silly. (Tangent, I really dislike that prosthetic limb also from Eberron also requires attunement.)
 

That is only in terms of treasure distribution and crafting.

In terms of the game mechanics, they are not magical. A Detect Magic spell will not note Mithral or Adamantine armor, for example.
Interesting view, considering that none of that is listed in either item description. I think you're carrying over baggage from prior editions. Unless I've missed a section outside of the item description, in 5E they're magical by RAW. I agree with you and consider them as such in my campaign, but for purposes of discussing Armblades, the actual rules need to be used.
 

Raduin711

Adventurer
Armblades are a little bigger than daggers, right? Daggers are concealable but a pat-down will possibly reveal them. I am not sure how you would discover a retracted armblade.
 

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