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We had a recent event in our campaign where our Warlock cast the Polymorph spell (PHB, p. 266) to change another player into a Giant Ape.

I had the Warding Bond spell (PHB p. 287) cast on the player that was polymorphed. My question is about the mechanic of Warding Bond interacting with Polymorph.

For Warding Bond you have a pair of platinum rings which the caster and the target wear, so does casting Polymorph on the beneficiary of the Warding Bond annul the effect of an active Warding Bond?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related, in a way: "Is a spell suppressed or removed when the target temporarily becomes invalid?" \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 May 17 '20 at 8:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Senmurv: I... don't really see how my edit answered your question. I was just trying to present the issue as you saw it, not indicating that you were right that the warding bond spell would end. Your own rephrasing seems to ask the same underlying question as the one presented in my edit, but it's still clear what the question is so that's fine :) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 17 '20 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast thanks - yeah I think the clue I picked up was in that the platinum rings need to be worn - though still unsure about whether the Polymorph breaks the spell or simply "suppresses" it. \$\endgroup\$ – Senmurv May 20 '20 at 8:42
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I would answer this in a similar manner to my answer to this question, however in this case I would ultimately say

It is up to the discretion of the DM

Warding bond has a very specific material component (emphasis mine):

a pair of platinum rings worth at least 50 gp each, which you and the target must wear for the duration

As I contend in the linked question, warding bond has a direct link between the wearing of the platinum ring and the duration of the spell, so the spell immediately ends if the ring is no longer worn. So the question becomes:

Is the polymorphed creature still considered to be wearing the platinum ring?

Regarding worn equipment, the polymorph spell uses the following phrasing:

The target’s gear melds into the new form. The creature can’t activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment.

In this case, the target is not receiving any benefit from the ring itself; the target receives benefit from a spell, the ring is merely a material component. The ring, as with the rest of the target's equipment, melds into the new bestial form. At this point I do not believe there are any hard rules governing whether a melded item can be considered "worn". I would point out, however, the following text from the druid's Wild Shape class feature does in fact make a distinction between merged items and worn items (emphasis mine):

You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature’s shape and size. Your equipment doesn’t change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can’t wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.

Because Wild Shape gives you the option to wear an item (if the form will allow it), while polymorph does not, I (personally) would rule that the subject of the polymorph spell is not considered to be wearing the ring after their transformation, and thus the spell would cease as well. But again, this is not a hard rule, so your DM may decide that a platinum ring melded into the appropriate appendage of the bestial form is enough to satisfy the requirements of the warding bond spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for you answer @smbailey - in your last conclusion, do you think the spell "ceases" as in stops altogether or is it suppressed so that it is still active if the Polymorph ends? \$\endgroup\$ – Senmurv May 20 '20 at 21:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ My interpretation of the duration being directly linked to the ring being worn leads me to conclude that if the ring is not worn then the duration has ended. So if I were ruling it, I would say the spell ends. \$\endgroup\$ – smbailey May 20 '20 at 21:54

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