Related: Why is this uncommon magic item better than this rare magic item?

The related question and associated answers indicates that the opportunity costs of attunement can be significant driving factor for the purpose of determining a magic item's rarity. Presumably, if you don't have to attune to an item, then you can benefit from it with minimal opportunity cost.

This logic seems to break down when evaluating the Ring of Warmth and the Ring of Resistance (cold):

Ring of Warmth

Ring, uncommon (requires attunement)

While wearing this ring, you have resistance to cold damage. In addition, you and everything you wear and carry are unharmed by temperatures as low as −50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ring of Resistance

Ring, rare (requires attunement)

You have resistance to one damage type while wearing this ring. The gem in the ring indicates the type, which the GM chooses or determines randomly.

Both rings require attunement, however, the uncommon Ring of Warmth appears to confer all the bonuses of the rare Ring of Resistance and confers bonuses beyond as well.

Is there a reason why the Ring of Warmth is uncommon while a Ring of Cold Resistance would be rare?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Miniman, Wyrmwood, Momonga-sama, Jason_c_o, Mark Wells Oct 10 '18 at 1:14

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The DMG environmental hazards section pretty much says they both do the same thing, i.e. having resistance makes you immune to the environmental cold. Never quite understood the difference or requirement for RoW. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Oct 9 '18 at 19:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this a design reason question? Those types of questions have been decided to be off-topic. If you have a different question in there such as "Is there any difference between the power level of these magic items", please make that more clear. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Oct 9 '18 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron I'm not actually sure. It might be on the brink of design reasons, but the related question was answerable regarding why one item was uncommon and another rare, so this one might as well. As some answers are coming in that I'd consider useful, I'm inclined to leave it as both are pretty close to the same question for me. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Oct 9 '18 at 19:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical: Personally, I think both questions as "designer reasons" questions, as they simply ask why the rarity of the items is what it is. Any answers are simply attempting to speculate as to the reasoning. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Oct 9 '18 at 23:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because designer reasons are no longer on topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Oct 10 '18 at 0:53

Some kinds of Damage Resistance are more valuable than Cold Resistance

Cold damage in general doesn't hit as hard as other damage types. For example, among Cantrips, the Fire Bolt spell deals 1d10 damage as a base, whereas the Ray of Frost spell only deals 1d8 as a base, and Frostbite only deals 1d6 as a base. All three of these spells are Cantrips, making their 'theoretical' usefulness on par with each other (and each of them have secondary effects that might make them more attractive for use), but their damage is all different. So one can observe that, at least in this very limited example, a Ring of Fire Resistance is probably better than a Ring of Cold Resistance.

When you extrapolate this example to look at the breadth of damage types inflicted by creatures and hostile spell effects, you'll generally see that Cold Damage tends to hit less hard than other damage types, making Cold Resistance in general less attractive.

As to why Ring of Cold Resistance is the same rarity as those other rings, but not the same rarity as Ring of Warmth, it's pretty much just because they're all based on the same template. Some DMs might permit a Ring of Cold Resistance being moved into the Uncommon pool if they're keen to this discrepancy.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I had a brain-fart \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Oct 9 '18 at 23:42

Opportunity for more than just cold

The Ring of Resistance simply has the ability to offer Resistance to more than just cold.

Yes, there's still a 1 in 10 chance you'll get Cold, but you could get a resistance to something that is much more common (like fire) - which makes it more valuable.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This may be correct based solely on game statistics of enemies faced, however, depending on your location and the season (something most DMs seem to overlook while creating a setting) Cold resistance may be much more valuable. Example: If you are in the tundra at the Jarl of the Frost King fire resistance doesn't do much good. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Oct 9 '18 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth Very true, but you could also be in poisonous gas fields, or a baking desert, etc. My answer was attempting to say that while Ring of Warmth gives you some nice things, the Ring of Resistance gives you an opportunity for different nice things that could be more impactful. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 9 '18 at 21:15

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