Ring of Regeneration states:

If you lose a body part, the ring causes the missing part to regrow and return to full functionality after 1d6 + 1 days if you have at least 1 hit point the whole time.

If a character has is missing a body part and then finds and attunes a Ring of Regeneration, will their missing body party regrow?

What if they lose the body part after they have put the ring on their finger, but before it is finished attuning?


2 Answers 2



For the regrowth effect to work, you have to lose the body part while already having the ring attuned. Ring of Regeneration states:

If you lose a body part, the ring causes the missing part to regrow ...

"Lose" is a present tense verb

The ring says "If you lose a body part" not "If you are have lost a body part". The "losing" needs to happen after the ring has been attuned, otherwise it won't trigger.

Imagine going to a bar and the bartender says "if you throw a dart into the center of the dartboard, I'll give you a free drink". Do you think they will be happy if you say "ok, give me the drink, I hit the bullseye last week"?

Perhaps as part of the attunment process the ring magically establishes what your body is like, so it knows what to regenerate. Whatever the in world explanation, it doesn't seem like it would help if you've already lost a body part before you put on the ring.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Lose might be present tense, but the description is not fixed in time, the 'causes ...' could be read from the minute the ring is created rather than when it is attuned unless it says so, which it doesn't. So assume I know about the ring, lose a finger, attuned l the ring 10 years later but the tenses still add up because I lost the finger well after reading the 'causes ...' section. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 10:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Feels like a stretch to me. Typically magic items only have any effect while attuned. Is there a basis for thinking that Ring of Regeneration doesn't have to follow this limitation? Surely if you punch someone then pick up a flame blade you wouldn't expect it to instantly deal fire damage, right? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 0:13

Yes, because the triggering incident can occur before attunement

Some magical items specify that you need to be attuned for a trigger to to count towards a lasting effect. An example of this is the Ring of Air Elemental Command which says:

If you help slay an air elemental while attuned to the ring, you gain access to the following additional properties...

Naturally you can only benefit from an item that requires attunement while attuned so items that specify a trigger and don't specify attunement do not have any benefit until you are attuned, at which point the benefit is often no longer applicable. For example the Ring of Spell Turning says:

if you roll a 20 for the save and the spell is 7th level or lower, the spell has no effect on you and instead targets the caster

This ring cannot help unless you have already attuned to the ring because the benefit occurs at the same time as the trigger.

In the case of the Ring of Regeneration the trigger of losing a limb can occur before attuning and the benefit of "ring causes the missing part to regrow and return to full functionality after 1d6 + 1 days" starts once you have attuned.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe your question mainly addresses "what if the ring is on the finger but is not attuned", where as I intended the question to be "what if you have neither equip nor attuned the ring". I have added a modification to make this distinction clear, thanks for your answer. I don't particularly agree that magic items take effect before they are attuned unless specified, but I will have to look in to it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 7:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ To be specific I don't think any magic item will do take effect before it is attuned. I just think there is an argument to be made that the trigger for an effect, even if phrased in present tense, can occur at any time before the item is attuned to. \$\endgroup\$
    – user60913
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 7:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I guess I don't really understand why the trigger can occur before the ring is equip. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 7:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think he's trying to use his examples of certain things triggering magical effects to say that he thinks the spell gets triggered as soon as the ring is attuned even though the "trigger" happened before attunement. The trigger is having that missing limb. \$\endgroup\$
    – ADDO
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 20:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ One thing to add is that the ring would have been imbued with the regeneration spell in order to be enchanted. The regeneration spell doesn't require you to have the spell cast on you before you lose the limb, so it could be argued that the ring doesn't need to be attuned before (loss of) hand either \$\endgroup\$
    – ADDO
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 20:21

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