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Can a non-player beast benefit from a magic item's effects? For example, would a cat that was wearing a headband of intellect get the extra intelligence the item gives?

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All creatures can benefit from and use magic items subject to their anatomical limitations and other capacities.

For example, a creature without a head cannot use a Headband of Intellect and a creature with a head but without the knowledge and understanding of magic items (like most beasts) would not know to wear it. Of course, if someone else were to put it on their dog, say, then it would benefit and now have intelligence enough to work out what's going on.

Volo's Guide to Monsters specifically calls out beholders as wearing rings on their eye stalks and using wands through telekinesis.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm a little dubious about this example because the Headband of Intellect requires attunement, and according to the 5e SRD attunement seems to be a pretty deliberate process. I love dogs, but I've never known one smart enough "to spend a short rest focused on only that item while being in physical contact with it", especially since being focused on it "can take the form of weapon practice (for a weapon), meditation (for a wondrous item), or some other appropriate activity". \$\endgroup\$ – Percival Feb 3 '17 at 14:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Percival You are probably right in some cases, but I don't think attunement is meant to be a specific, detailed process. Its more coming to know the item you are wearing/using. In the examples mentioned it makes sense you cannot use a sword well until you practice with it. But equipment simply requires wearing it and interacting it (I would expect). \$\endgroup\$ – Sh4d0wsPlyr Feb 3 '17 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want to really be specific and the dog example is not to your liking, awake him with the spell. After that he will definitely be a good boy and attune to it. And now I want a super intelligent awakened Shrub XD \$\endgroup\$ – Bazhell Feb 15 at 8:49

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