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So the description for the Book of Exalted Deeds states the following:

As soon as the book is read, it vanishes to some other corner of the multiverse, where it's moral guidance can bring light to a darkened world.

Of course to get the benefits of the book, one must be attuned to it and read it. Under the description for attunement, however, it states that attunement is lost if the owner is more than 100 feet from the object for over 24 hours.

So my question is whether the book breaks the typical rule for attunement, or if the book simply does not require attunement after it is read. One of these must be true, or else the book would be rather useless.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Good first question! Still, sometimes StackExchange Q&A sites could be confusing in one way or another. I recommend you to read tour and help center pages. They should cover most of the issues. Once you'll have 20+ rep feel free to drop by in to Role-playing Games Chat! \$\endgroup\$ – RollingFeles May 3 '17 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did the original actually include that stray apostrophe or is that a slight misquote of the original? \$\endgroup\$ – Glen_b May 5 '17 at 6:48
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Attunement is required to read it, but the benefits stay

The book requires attunement to open:

A heavy clasp, wrought to look like angel wings, keeps the book's contents secure. Only a creature of good alignment that is attuned to the book can release the clasp that holds it shut.

After that, it requires to be read for 80 hours by the attuned creature. That is, attunement is not sufficient a condition to gain the benefits of the book:

Once the book is opened, the attuned creature must spend 80 hours reading and studying the book to digest its contents and gain its benefits.

After attuning to the book to open it, as well as qualifying as the only person who can currently read it, as well as spending the required 80 hours to finish reading it, you gain the benefits as listed.

And then, once the book is read and the benefits are gained, it vanishes:

As soon as the book is read, it vanishes to some other corner of the multiverse where its moral guidance can bring light to a darkened world.

One of the benefits you gain from this book is increased Wisdom:

Increased Wisdom. After you spend the requisite amount of time reading and studying the book, your Wisdom score increases by 2, to a maximum of 24. You can't gain this benefit from the book more than once.

Of particular interest is the note: [y]ou can't gain this benefit from the book more than once. This implies you can find the book again and gain the other benefits more than once. This means that those other benefits you gained on your first attunement must have remained with you the second time around; otherwise you cannot gain them more than once.

So we must conclude that the benefits stay with you after your attunement with the item breaks for the first time, due to finishing reading it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. This seems like a solid analysis of the wording for the book. \$\endgroup\$ – Dead Moon May 3 '17 at 16:20
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The Book requires attunement for its random properties to function and for a character to open it and read it. Once you finish reading it and it departs, you lose access to these random properties after 24 hours, as normal.

The benefits you gain from reading the Book must remain after it departs, or the item doesn't make sense. Note that they say "Once you've read and studied the book." Other magic items tend to say things like "while you are attuned to [item]" or "while [item] is on your person," while the Book's entry doesn't use such qualifiers.

This language isn't universal, unfortunately, and with a quick glance through the book I don't see other items that require attunement and yet have lasting positive effects.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree the benefits must remain, but I don't see why the random properties would be lost. It seems odd to include the random properties on the book if they only last 24 hours. \$\endgroup\$ – Dead Moon May 3 '17 at 16:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like all random properties say "while you are attuned." You can carry the book around without reading it, but 24 hours after you read it you lose attunement and therefore the random properties. \$\endgroup\$ – Gregory Avery-Weir May 3 '17 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right. That's interesting. For non cleric/paladin characters, it would likely be more beneficial to hold onto the book for the random properties than to read it. It might even be better for cleric/paladins to hold onto it, depending on what the properties are. \$\endgroup\$ – Dead Moon May 3 '17 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Assuming you character knows the book will vanish once theyve read it. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o May 3 '17 at 17:25

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