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Warding Bond has a duration of 1 hour and has a material requirement of

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

If one of the two rings is removed, does the spell end, or are its effects merely suppressed? If the ring is replaced within the 1-hour duration, would Warding Bond need to be re-cast, or would its effects resume?

This question was prompted by reading Does casting the Polymorph spell on a creature break an active Warding Bond spell affecting that creature?

If an in-game example is important, however, imagine Melthior and Sir Bartus are a couple of bros hanging in a park. For a lark Sir Bartus casts Warding Bond on Melthior and at the same time gives Melthior a platinum ring as part of the casting. They spend 15 minutes goofing about before Melfior is like "Hey Bartus, cool spell and all but I gotta scram. Here's your ring back" and removes the ring to give back to Sir Bartus. At that moment however Viscardi and Kalrook, a couple of local ruffians, arrive and make clear their intention to skirmish. Recognizing the danger Melthior replaces the platinum ring upon their finger. Does Sir Bartus need to re-cast Warding Bond in order to protect his friend or is the spell still effective once the ring is replaced?

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The spell ends if the ring is removed

Warding bond has a very specific material component.

The section on material components states:

...if a cost is indicated for a component, a character must have that specific component before he or she can cast the spell.

As a general rule, I would say that once a spell is cast, the materials used to cast it no longer need to be considered. However, warding bond is different from other spells in this wording on the 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

I would rule this as a case of specific-beats-general in that the use of the word "must" indicates that the duration is directly linked to the ring being worn, and thus the spell ends immediately upon removal of the platinum ring(s).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There is also the alternative possibility that the rings cannot be removed. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 25, 2021 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BaconyRevanant I believe that is the interpretation sptrashcan went with in their answer. Either way, if the ring was removed it means the spell has ended. \$\endgroup\$
    – smbailey
    Mar 25, 2021 at 15:35
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The spell states that the rings must be worn for the duration of the spell. There is no other option in that statement: once the spell is cast, the rings must be worn while the spell is in effect. This is one of the effects the spell produces, and the spell must end or be suppressed before the rings can be removed. Therefore the premise of the question is impossible: because the spell had not ended, Melthior was not able to remove the ring in the first place.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If that were the case, I would expect to see a phrase closer to "the rings cannot be removed for the duration". Since material components are required to be provided to enable the spell to be cast, I interpret the wording to mean, "which you and the target must wear for the duration to enable that duration". Given that many spells do not last their full duration if certain conditions are not met, the context of this clause being included in the material components description seems more likely to suggest a requirement for maintaining the spell, rather than an imposed effect of the spell. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 22 at 5:10
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That depends on what you mean by "resume" and "duration"

Duration is a technical term, defined in the rules. Oddly, a spell can be cast before it's duration begins. So the answer to your question, using highly technical verbiage, is no. But perhaps you didn't know the technical verbiage when you asked the question, so I will elaborate.

The ring can only be removed and replaced if the spell is cast with the Ready action, and only before the duration of the spell begins.

A spell's duration begins when its effects take place. So, you can cast the spell without actually wearing the rings, with the Ready action.

When you ready a spell, you cast it as normal but hold its energy, which you release with your Reaction when the trigger occurs.

In general, this allows you to ready an action to cast the spell when my ally dons the ring. But here is a situation pertaining to this edge case, in this context. "I ready an action to cast warding bond when my ally dons his ring. In the meantime, a tiny opponent steals my ring as casts it aside. Fortunately, my other ally retrieves the ring and replaces in before the spell is triggered."

With the specific example you offered in the OP, the spell would fail. But, if you could engineer that situation into something that happens within a single round, you can use the technique I describe.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Sep 27 at 15:47

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