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Can either end of a Rope of Climbing be commanded to attach - or just the end opposite to what you are holding?

If you hold one end of the rope and use an action to speak the Command Word, the rope animates. As a Bonus Action, you can Command the other end to move toward a destination you choose...You can also tell the rope to fasten itself securely to an object or to unfasten itself, to knot or unknot itself, or to coil itself for carrying.

After animated - can you let go of the rope after it is animated or do you have to hold it the whole time? Even if you have to hold it to command it - could you command either end to fasten to something? (Thus ensuring a “magically” secure attachment at both ends.)

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Addendum: After reading the answers below - it raises the question whether a PC can grab one end of the rope - tell it to fasten to them - then grab that fastened end and tell the other end to go fasten elsewhere - thus giving a “secure” attachment at both ends. This would likely depend upon whether a DM rules you can “hold” the end of a fastened rope.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please add a comment if one downvotes so we can understand the issue with the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Praxiteles
    Apr 9, 2018 at 11:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not the downvoter but my guess is that it was because of the number of questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – lucasvw
    Apr 9, 2018 at 13:08

2 Answers 2

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Can either end of a Rope of Climbing be commanded to attach - or just the end opposite to what you are holding?

It seems to me that the rules you quoted are pretty clear that only the other end can move or fasten. Emphasis added:

If you hold one end of the rope and use an action to speak the Command Word, the rope animates. As a Bonus Action, you can Command the other end to move toward a destination you choose...You can also tell the rope to fasten itself securely to an object or to unfasten itself, to knot or unknot itself, or to coil itself for carrying.

Your other questions:

After animated - can you let go of the rope after it is animated or do you have to hold it the whole time?

This is a little murkier, but I think as written, commanding the rope requires you to hold one end and use the command word. If you let go, you no longer meet the initial conditions for giving commands.

Even if you have to hold it to command it - could you command either end to fasten to something? (Thus ensuring a “magically” secure attachment at both ends.)

Nowhere in the rules for this item does it say that the knot is 'magical'. The rope is magical in that it can move and knot itself, but as written, anyone would be able to untie that knot.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Reading the same sentence I get the exact opposite interpretation. 'You can also' indicates it is talking about a different option rather than an extension of the same option. I will update my answer with a bit more clarity as it clearly isn't as obvious as I thought. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 9, 2018 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I could be wrong, but if you're holding the end, how can that end tie itself to something without you letting go? \$\endgroup\$
    – lucasvw
    Apr 9, 2018 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you're necessarily wrong on this. You have an interpretation that is backed up by quoting the rules. And your point on the non-magical knot is...on point. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2018 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lucasvw you don't have to hold the very end. You could also probably let go during the tying action since it has already been commanded. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 9, 2018 at 13:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ See my answer here which supports the idea of the rope acting more like an automatic no risk grappling hook. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2018 at 14:02
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If you hold one end of the rope and use an action to speak the Command Word, the rope animates. As a Bonus Action, you can Command the other end to move toward a destination you choose...You can also tell the rope to fasten itself securely to an object or to unfasten itself, to knot or unknot itself, or to coil itself for carrying.

Emphasis mine.

'... you can also' indicates to me that it is an option in addition to the ability to move one end and not an extension of that option. So you can move one end AND/OR take the other options. Knotting for example doesn't just knot the end furthest away.

So, yes you can command either end to attach to something.

As for holding the rope there is no mention of having to keep hold, so therefore logic takes over and you don't have to.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the key is not that it says "you can also," but that the bit about moving says "the other end," and the bit about fastening says "the rope." \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2018 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DerekStucki the bit about the other end is in a different sentence. So you can do something while holding one end, OR you can do something else which doesn't specify how you have to hold it. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 10, 2018 at 6:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ It does specify how you have to hold it. The first sentence specifies holding one end. \$\endgroup\$
    – lucasvw
    Apr 10, 2018 at 11:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lucasvw But that is in reference to a different action. It is ONLY referencing the movement. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 10, 2018 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have just almost edited this post and split out the different sentences, and even I can't agree with my logic, but I can't agree with @lucasvw either. It is just so ambiguous since when a sentence ends the stipulations in that sentence are generally accepted (As far as I can see on this site) not to apply to following sentences unless stated. I will leave this answer up for now since it was my initial interpretation, but I am leaning more towards an answer that says 'it is ambiguous, ask your DM' and might post that at some point. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 10, 2018 at 14:14

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