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Is there a limit to the number of magic items I can wear?

For example, can I wear a magic ring on each of my fingers and each of my toes, a couple of magic amulets, a magic robe over my magic armor over my other magic robe, a magic cloak and a magic cape on each shoulder, and a boot of flying and a boot of striding and springing, and benefit from all of these items at once?

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up vote 32 down vote accepted

You may equip as many magic items as you can properly wear, only three of which can be requiring attunement.

Many magic items require attunement, which is a process that lets a specific character make use of the item's magic abilities; non-attuned items only provide their non-magical benefits. Your character may only be attuned to three items at any given time. For details, see "Attunement" on pages 136-138 of the Dungeon Master's Guide

In addition to the three attunement slots, you may use as many items not requiring attunement as you can wear.

The other half of your question is answered on pages 140-141 of the Dungeon Master's Guide, under "Wearing Magical Items": items must be worn as intended. For example, a cloak must be properly over the shoulders, boots and gloves must be worn in matched pairs, a pair of gloves cannot be worn over another pair of gloves, etc.

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A character can only benefit from the magical qualities of items donned in the appropriate manner. The total number is not actually limited, but there are limits.

"A character can't normally wear more than one pair of footwear, one pair of gloves or gauntlets, one pair of bracers, one suit of armor, one item of head wear, and one cloak." (DMG, pg. 141, col. 1, para. 2.)

This entry continues with a caveat for the DM only to decide: "You [the DM] can make exceptions; a character might be able to wear a circlet under a helmet, for example, or be able to layer two cloaks." Therefore, ask your DM.

Further instructions state that: "Items that come in pairs - such as boots, bracers, gauntlets, and gloves - impart their benefits only if both items of the pair are worn." (DMG, pg. 141, col. 1, para. 3.)

Magical items must be donned in the intended fashion (DMG, pg. 140, col. 2, para. 3) including rings to be placed on a finger, digit (DMG, pg. 139, col. 2, para. 2), or tentacle (DMG, pg. 141, col. 1, para. 2).

The more powerful items (rings and otherwise) have an "attunement" requirement (DMG, pg. 138, col. 2, para. 1) which, among other details, limits the magical benefits to 3 such items. The character may wear/use more than 3 items requiring attunement, but can only be attuned to 3 at a time, and will only gain the magical benefits from those 3 attuned items (plus any other magical items not requiring attunement). An attunement process prevents switching attunements on the fly (DMG, pg. 138, col. 1, para. 3).

Given that, you could pile rings onto your fingers. However, don't be surprised if your DM then rules that your character risks one or more penalties to Dexterity, attacks, increased fumble, move silently, etc., when using such laden hands.

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@Miniman It's not arbitrary to penalize munchkin behavior. Either the GM should not allow the behavior at all (my preference) or should make it so inconvenient that the behavior is strongly discouraged. – Corey Mar 21 at 9:28
@Corey "Munchkin behaviour"? Ignoring the fact that we embrace all playstyles, if the DM gave you a bunch of rings, how is it "munchkin behaviour" to use the things? – Miniman Mar 21 at 9:32
@EverettSteed Ah, but that's entirely different - that's not an arbitrary penalty, that's just actions having consequences. – Miniman Mar 21 at 10:09
@EverettSteed How on earth do you remove someone's fingers without them waking up? – GMJoe Mar 21 at 23:48
@GMJoe In DnD 5e, there are no rules stating that a person asleep (meaning non-magical sleep) is entitled to awaken, nor a saving throw to possibly awaken, even if taking damage. The condition "asleep/sleeping" is not listed in the Appendix A: Conditions (PHB pgs 290-292). But the condition "asleep/sleeping" subsumes the conditions "unconscious" (DMG pg 248, col 2, para 1 "Using and Tracking Conditions") and "incapacitated" (PHB pg 292, col 1, para 5 "Unconscious"). None of these entries make allowances for a sleeping character to awaken if attacked or damaged. – Everett Steed Mar 22 at 20:53

My typical rule concerning rings is that you can have only two working at the time and those are the rings that are on the ring finger because in the ring finger there is a vein or a nerve or some other biological feature which allows them to communicate their power to the wearer. This way you can have a semi-logical explanation of the limit you impose. Freely inspired by the traditional reason why the wedding ring must be on the ring finger

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I don't know precisely why they voted you down, but I suspect that it's because the question is specifically about what the 5th ed. rules state, not about how to fix a potential wrinkle in said rules. – Everett Steed Mar 21 at 11:20
I suspect it has more to do with the fact that this answer isn't based in the rules at all. – LegendaryDude Mar 21 at 14:33
@LegendaryDude: 3.5 and 4e both had the two rings rule, but it's lacking from 5e. – Mooing Duck Mar 21 at 18:44
@MooingDuck Regardless of what the number of rings allowed in any previous edition was, this answer makes no attempt to address the actual rules involved in D&D 5e and thus does not make a good answer for RPG.SE, or for the question that was asked, especially since the question isn't asking for house rules. – LegendaryDude Mar 21 at 19:00
@LegendaryDude: Totally. I was merely explaining the probable source of the posters error. – Mooing Duck Mar 21 at 20:16

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