Alice dies wearing a Ring of Mind Shielding and their soul enters the ring. Bob finds the ring and puts it on, but does not attune to the ring. Can Alice communicate with Bob?

From the description of the item:

If you die while wearing the ring, your soul enters it, unless it already houses a soul. You can remain in the ring or depart for the afterlife. As long as your soul is in the ring, you can telepathically communicate with any creature wearing it. A wearer can't prevent this telepathic communication.

When Alice dies, their attunement ends:

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.

If Bob is wearing the ring but not attuned, they gain only its nonmagical benefits

Without becoming attuned to an item that requires attunement, a creature gains only its nonmagical benefits, unless its description states otherwise. For example, a magic shield that requires attunement provides the benefits of a normal shield to a creature not attuned to it, but none of its magical properties.


1 Answer 1



You have correctly quoted the rules.

However, specific beats general:

If a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific rule wins.

To my reading, the specific in the RoMS:

As long as your soul is in the ring, you can telepathically communicate with any creature wearing it.

beats the attunement rule.

However, the GM will need to make a ruling.

If you are the GM

To me, the narrative point of the ring is that someone puts on the ring and Alice can then talk to them. You're not breaking anything ruling in either direction, so you can safely rule whichever way makes the most sense for your game.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 I think it is even pretty certain - obviously you cannot be attuned to the ring any more when dead, but the ring explicitly says that your soul can remain within when you die, and while whithin, communicate with any wearer (and it is making no stipulations that the wearer must be attuned either). If you'd need to still be attuned, that would be self-contradictory \$\endgroup\$ May 8, 2022 at 17:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ But does Bob need to be attuned for the telepathic communication. That's where I think the specific-beats-general comes in. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    May 8, 2022 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I fully agree. He does not. The clause is not talking about a later person, and does not require the wearer be attuned. It is not one of the powers the wearer can use to talk with the soul. It is at the discretion of the soul. The wearer cannot even prevent it! \$\endgroup\$ May 8, 2022 at 18:25

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