Is it possible to remove the attunement property of a magical item?

It seems odd to me that there could be a dragon slaying sword that is a bane to all dragons who touch it, that sometimes won’t slay a dragon.

I would like my players to be able to remove said limitation if a player is willing to put in the effort.

I’m imagining some form of ritual or magical engineering to remove the attunment restriction of a magic item. Does such a thing exist in the rules?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also beware that we can only entertain the question you ask at the beginning, since this is a site strictly for Q&A, not discussion or personal opinions. If you clarify which game you’re asking about, an editor will also need to remove most of the text that’s not necessary to understand the question “can attunement be removed from an item” before the hold can be released. If you want to keep it intact and invite people into a discussion of ideas or of your scenario, you will want to use a different site, such as a discussion forum. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2018 at 6:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I’ve cut this down to the kind of question RPG.se accepts, to demonstrate what the site is focused on: it doesn’t ask for ideas or suggestions, just facts. Before proceeding further: Is this version of the question something you’re interested in having answered? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2018 at 14:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ If this version of the question is acceptable, I have an answer ready for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gael L
    Dec 27, 2018 at 17:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jack it certainly does look openable, but I (for one) am holding my reopen vote until we hear from OP whether this is a question they're interested in. (SSD's comment.) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Dec 28, 2018 at 4:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ The question's open, but I'm not sure it should be. I'm closing it again and opening a meta on the subject. (meta here) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Jan 2, 2019 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


For reference, the description of Attunement (from DMG p. 136) states:


Attuning to an item requires a creature to spend a short rest focused on only that item while being in physical contact with it (this can't be the same short rest used to learn the item's properties). This focus can take the form of weapon practice (for a weapon), meditation (for a wondrous item), or some other appropriate activity. If the short rest is interrupted, the attunement attempt fails. Otherwise, at the end of the short rest, the creature gains an intuitive understanding of how to activate any magical properties of the item, including any necessary command words.

An item can be attuned to only one creature at a time, and a creature can be attuned to no more than three magic items at a time. Any attempt to attune to a fourth item fails; the creature must end its attunement to an item first. Additionally, a creature can't attune to more than one copy of an item. For example, a creature can't attune to more than one ring of protection at a time.


As the DM, you are more than welcome to remove the attunement requirement or edit items in other ways. I don't recall any specific rituals for doing so in the rules.

In my opinion however, there is a cap in the number of attunements you may have so that players cannot use a potentially-infinite number of magical artifacts simultaneously. If you allow players to use powerful items without attunement you may have problems with balance.

Also, it makes sense for a dragon-slaying sword to not always be able to slay dragons because the magic inside it deals the extra damage, not the physical sword. Someone who is not attuned would not be familiar with its magic and would not have "an intuitive understanding of how to activate any magical properties" and would therefore only be able to wield it as a regular sword.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you had experience tweaking the attunement rules? I ask because success with that would be really interesting to me; in conversation Jeremy Crawford once said that attunement, concentration, and bonus actions are the three things he'd most warn people off of tweaking in fear of breaking the game wide open. So I'd love to hear about someone's contrary or confirming experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Jan 2, 2019 at 14:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I haven't had personal experience with tweaking attunement unfortunately, I just think that the limits are there for a good reason. If you wanted to increase or decrease the total number of attunements a player could have for a high- or low-magic game, I'm sure that could work. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2, 2019 at 14:54

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