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One of my players intentionally gave an Ancient Red Dragon a sword that he was bonded to so that he could summon it at some point in the future and therefore draw the ire of a super powerful being to some location, kinda as a last ditch suicide bomb. I fully intend for this to work (it's super clever.) However, I do find it kind of odd that there doesn't seem to be anything anyone can do to stop this — even if the dragon knew about the bond it can't break it. This is even stranger when compared to Drawmij's Instant Summons, which could at least be dispelled, and that's a level 6 spell costing 1000 gp.

So can a weapon bond be broken? If so, how?

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Yes

A weapon bond can be broken in the following ways that I could find.

  1. The fighter breaks the bond by bonding a third weapon.

  2. Wish.

  3. DM fiat (aka story reasons).

And... that's it. The fighter apparently can't even voluntarily break the bond without binding a third weapon.


As for Drawmij's Instant Summons, there are a few key differences.

  • The Fighter is limited to weapons, the Wizard by item size.
  • The Fighter is limited to two, the Wizard by gold.
  • The Fighter takes an hour, the Wizard a minute
  • The Fighter must be on the same plane, the Wizard doesn't have to be.
  • The Fighter doesn't care what situation the weapon is in, the Wizard has to hope nobody is holding or carrying the item.
  • The Fighter can't be dispelled, the Wizard can.
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The Bond is powerful

And only seems breakable by choice of the Eldritch Knight. The language for the only possible way to break the bond is (PHB, 75)

You can have up to two bonded weapons, but can summon only one at a time with your bonus action. If you attempt to bond with a third weapon, you must break the bond with one of the other two.

And the only way to prevent it from being summoned is if (PHB, 75)

...you are incapacitated.

But it also must be

On the same plane of existence

And most importantly, you must have a bonus action available to summon it.

If you can apply any of the above conditions to the Knight, you would prevent the summoning.

Tricksy Dragons...but the Red Dragon is not Tricky.

Given that Red Dragons are "covetous" and "obsessive collectors", the Dragon may have recourse to try and trick the Fighter into unbonding the weapon. Possible hooks is to somehow convince them that the weapon is now on another plane and no longer worth holding the bond.

But the player's plan is faulty

Unfortunately, the Ancient Red can only move at a max speed of 80. If the player is far way, which he probably would be, the Dragon would have no idea where the weapon went and would be angry at the player, but enough to spend the time to hunt them down? It might be a suicide play, but it'd be a very delayed suicide.

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No (outside DM fiat, such as allowing dispel magic to remove magical effects that are caused by non-spells), but it can be suppressed and detected.

The bond is "a magical bond between yourself and one weapon". As such, things that can generally affect magical effects can affect the bond. I'm unaware of a more general version of dispel magic that can remove any magical effects (as opposed to ones specifically caused by spells), but there are a few spells that can take advantage of the bond being magical.

Antimagic field suppresses magical effects (including non-spell ones) within its area. If either the Eldritch Knight or the weapon is within the area, the bond should be suppressed and the weapon should not be able to be summoned. This, of course, comes with a limited timespan unless a permanent location with the same properties exists within your setting.

Detect magic can detect if an object bears magic, which a bonded object would since the bond itself is magic. Granted, it's likely indistinguishable from any other magic the sword would bear; this method would only be useful in detecting that something suspicious was going on if the sword was supposed to be mundane.

Identify would teach the caster any magical properties of the (magic-imbued) object, which would include the bond. If the dragon happened to be a curious enough fellow to wonder what the properties of the item it obtained was, finding a method of casting identify on it would reveal the ruse and potentially draw the ire of the dragon a bit earlier than expected.

Beyond these, I'm unaware of any method beyond extradimensional storage (such as a bag of holding) the dragon could use in preventing its theft or removing the bond.

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