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The description of the Shield of Missile Attraction says, in part (emphasis mine):

This shield is cursed. Attuning to it curses you until you are targeted by the remove curse spell or similar magic. Removing the shield fails to end the curse on you. Whenever a ranged weapon attack is made against a target within 10 feet of you, the curse causes you to become the target instead.

Un-attuning from the shield, or having another creature attune to the shield, are notably absent from the list of conditions that end the curse.

RAW, it seems that an endless chain of creatures can attune to the shield, causing (among other things) curse rates in the county to skyrocket. Is this a correct reading?

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Yes it can.

The description gives the end conditions for the curse:

you are targeted by the remove curse spell or similar magic.

This is consistent with the DMG’s guidance for curses:

Some magic items bear curses that bedevil their users, sometimes long after a user has stopped using an item.

If a different creature attunes to the shield, your attunement ends because such ending of attunement is involuntary:

A creature’s attunement to an item ends if the creature no longer satisfies the prerequisites for attunement, if the item has been more than 100 feet away for at least 24 hours, if the creature dies, or if another creature attunes to the item. A creature can also voluntarily end attunement by spending another short rest focused on the item, unless the item is cursed.

Upon attuning to the shield, the next creature is also cursed. Phil Boncer explains this “cursed item transfer” nicely in this answer:

Only the last sentence about attunement refers to the voluntary process:

A creature can also voluntarily end attunement by spending another Short Rest focused on the item, unless the item is cursed.

This is reinforced by the sentence under cursed items:

Attunement to a cursed item can't be ended voluntarily unless the curse is broken 1st such as with the Remove Curse spell.

Neither of those affect the forms of ending attunement involuntarily:

A creature's attunement to an item ends if the creature no longer satisfies the Prerequisites for attunement, if the item has been more than 100 feet away for at least 24 hours, if the creature dies, or if another creature attunes to the item.

So in this case, Player B can indeed attune to the item if he can get his hands on it, and this does (involuntarily) end the attunement to the item of Player A.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How to wreak havoc with an enemy army. Step 1: craft a shield of missile attraction that looks like their standard issue shields. Step 2: deliver it to an outpost claiming you discovered it on the road some time ago, and this was the first place you found to return it to its rightful owners. Step 3: Wait while the shield makes its rotation through the local unit. Step 4: Attack. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17, 2021 at 18:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheoBrinkman Do soldiers normally attune to their standard-issue gear though? \$\endgroup\$
    – Brilliand
    Dec 17, 2021 at 21:57

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