D&D 5e: The First Battle of Attunement

So we I have DMed four sessions of D&D 5e, using a my Montporte Dungeon...previously we had been using AD&D 1e and then Blood & Treasure. Additionally, +Rob Conley DMed The Mines of Phandelver for our gaming group. So we have some time with D&D 5e under our belt.

One of the rules we hadn't used--and it is a significant one--is Attunement. Attunement is buried in the Dungeon Master's Guide at the beginning of the magic item section on pages 136 and 138. Basically, most of the more powerful magic items and many of the lesser ones can only be used by characters who have "attuned" themselves to the item during a short rest. Characters can be attuned to a maximum of three magic items at a time.

So I decided to roll out the rule, with mixed reviews from the players. Some liked the idea. Others not so much. Honestly, I am ambivalent about it myself, but I wanted to see how it would play out in actual game play. So we tried it. I am still not sure, although I have done more reading and more research on it.

Here are two very thoughtful blog posts from a couple of the guys in our Monday gaming group:


  1. I don't think I'm quite done with attunement. I really like the idea of contests of Will on the way to attunement with an item, and an ability to use the items, but either with a struggle or a price. More to come . . .

    1. I kind of think that if I cannot come with something that is both interesting and simple that I will bag it. Or maybe just expand the number, like this: Attuned Item Limit = 2 + Prof Bonus + INT Mod + CHA Mod.

      If the limit is raised, then every magic item could require attunement (except potions, oils, powders, scrolls, or ones specifically created for "instant" attunement). In that case, maybe the base will still be 3 (or even 4). I don't know...it is a lot of bother, particularly as we did not start with this from the beginning of the campaign.