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Wearing and Wielding Items

Using a magic item’s properties might mean wearing or wielding it. A magic item meant to be worn must be donned in the intended fashion: boots go on the feet, gloves on the hands, hats and helmets on the head, and rings on the finger. Magic armor must be donned, a shield strapped to the arm, a cloak fastened about the shoulders. A weapon must be held. In most cases, a magic item that’s meant to be worn can fit a creature regardless of size or build. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they magically adjust themselves to the wearer. Rare exceptions exist. If the story suggests a good reason for an item to fit only creatures of a certain size or shape, you can rule that it doesn’t adjust. For example, drow-­‐‑made armor might fit elves only. Dwarves might make items usable only by dwarf-­‐‑sized and dwarf-­‐‑shaped folk. When a nonhumanoid tries to wear an item, use your discretion as to whether the item functions as intended. A ring placed on a tentacle might work, but a yuan-­‐‑ti with a snakelike tail instead of legs can’t wear boots.

Multiple Items of the Same Kind

Use common sense to determine whether more than one of a given kind of magic item can be worn. A character can’t normally wear more than one pair of footwear, one pair of gloves or gauntlets, one pair of bracers, one suit of armor, one item of headwear, and one cloak. You can make exceptions; a character might be able to wear a circlet under a helmet, for example, or to layer two cloaks.

Paired Items

Items that come in pairs—such as boots, bracers, gauntlets, and gloves—impart their benefits only if both items of the pair are worn. For example, a character wearing a boot of striding and springing on one foot and a boot of elvenkind on the other foot gains no benefit from either.


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