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The properties of the hammer of thunderbolts seem to suggest to me that (for the vast majority of the time) the player owning this item will not have it attuned. How do you rule on the current attunement status of this item at any given moment, given that players will almost certainly not "live" in their gauntlets of ogre power?

The description of the hammer of thunderbolts says (emphasis mine):

You must be wearing a belt of giant strength (any variety) and gauntlets of ogre power to attune to this weapon. The attunement ends if you take off either of those items.

I can certainly see very specific cases say for example when the owner takes a specific short rest prior to entering the tower to specifically re-attune the weapon, but what about for encounters where there is less opportunity to plan. What about encounters that happen several hours after a short rest where the player might reasonably have been expected to take their gauntlets off to eat, drink, shake hands, wipe their brow, read a map, go to the bathroom...

I'm not asking about whether the gauntlets must be attuned to, as I believe that question has been settled and only wearing them is required. See this unofficial tweet by rules designer Jeremy Crawford from January 2018:

Hammer of thunderbolts has a special property that requires you to be wearing two other specific magic items. The text of hammer of thunderbolts doesn't say you must be attuned to them.

However, as quoted above, the description of the hammer of thunderbolts says one's attunement to it ends if you "take off" either of the two other magic items.

How should I rule on the current attunement status of this item at any given moment (e.g. in the event of a random encounter or after a reasonable amount of time has passed since it was last attuned), given that players will almost certainly not "live" in their gauntlets of ogre power?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh! The hammer is unique in that removing the gauntlets completely ends the attunement so you'd have to spend an hour reattuning. So being attacked in your sleep while not wearing gauntlets means you simply cannot benefit from the hammer unlike many other items. Is this the idea? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 May 21 at 16:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch The Hammer becomes unattuned if the gauntlets or belt are EVER removed (as I understand it). Then requiring a short rest to re-attune. (as I understand it). This is very different than simply slipping on your gear in the morning and being fully equipped. I'm asking how people rule on the current attunment status of the hammer in the event of a random encounter or after a reasonable amount of time has passed since it was last attuned. Given that "life" might reasonably dictate that a player remove their belt or gauntlets to at the very least poop. \$\endgroup\$ – JonSG May 21 at 16:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Naut I believe they're asking how to deal with the fact that players will frequently find themselves not attuned to the hammer given that life will require they remove their belt or gauntlets \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 May 21 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I believe that neither the belt nor the gauntlets must be attuned as the weapon requires only that they be worn (to even possibly be attuned). The issue is that attunment to the weapon specifically ends when either of those other items are EVER removed. This is something I believe would reasonably happen within a few hours of a short or long rest. I don't think it is reasonable for a character to eat let alone urinate or poop without removing one or more of these items. \$\endgroup\$ – JonSG May 21 at 17:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. I've edited the question to clarify the phrasing based on your clarifications in your comments. Please check to make sure it still matches your intent. :) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 22 at 0:08
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It's going to be up to the DM, but there isn't a specific rule requiring removal of gauntlets or belts.

Neither the gauntlets nor the belt count as 'armor' in terms of donning/doffing or even limiting attunement by class or race. Because of that, there is no written rule about whether a character must take them off to do anything.

It is entirely up to the purview of the DM, along with how a player wants to play their character, to determine if this is actually an issue.

I would generally recommend not having it be an issue, though. If the table has come up with a path to get these items, don't take it away - or if you do, give them the time necessary to reattune.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While I agree with the general notion that it is "up to the GM". In this specific case, there is an oddly specific requirement. If this was about not being able to switch to some other set of gauntlets I would have thought the description would have said that rather than being about simply removing items \$\endgroup\$ – JonSG May 21 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonSG If you want to be truly RAW, then no, you don't have to remove them. Those items do not have a requirement for removal. Any removal of them would either be by the player's choice or the DM's requirement. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 21 at 17:36

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