Identifying Items While Sleeping

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Havard
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Identifying Items While Sleeping

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:04 pm

So, if I understand the rules correctly, if you sleep one night with a magic item next to you, you will understand how it works.

Are people using this rule?

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Re: Identifying Items While Sleeping

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:45 am

Is this what "attunement" is?
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Re: Identifying Items While Sleeping

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:48 am

My group isn't using this rule. I purchased the Identify ritual when my tome warlock was around 6th level, to solve this problem. Prior to that, my group would haul the magic items back to town after each adventure and then pay a pretty penny to have a wizard spend hours casting his ritual on each item to tell us what they were. Couldn't risk them being cursed, after all.

On a side note, my DM took a break from D&D shortly after 2nd Edition released, so he has a more old school sensibility.

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Re: Identifying Items While Sleeping

Post by RobJN » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:52 pm

Wand of Wonder would sure make for some interesting dreams.... ;)
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Blacky the Blackball
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Re: Identifying Items While Sleeping

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:19 pm

Havard wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:04 pm
So, if I understand the rules correctly, if you sleep one night with a magic item next to you, you will understand how it works.

Are people using this rule?
I don't think you've got that quite right - it's a short rest rather than a night's sleep; and you have to actively focus on the item during the rest.

The guidelines for identifying an item in the DMG are basically:

1) A Detect Magic will reveal that it is a magic item at a range without needing to touch it.
2) Handling it for a short period of time will also make it obvious it's magic.

Neither of those will tell you anything about what type of item it is.

3) If it's a potion, tasting it will identify it (but might expose you to being poisoned).
4) If it's a spell scroll, an Int (Arcana) check will identify it.

If it's neither of the above:

5) Casting the Identify spell (either using a spell slot or as a ritual) will identify it without danger.
6) Holding it and focusing on it for the duration of a short rest will identify it (but might expose you to any curse the item has) - it doesn't say that you don't get the normal benefits of a short rest while doing this, so I'd assume you still do.

I use the rule, but to be honest it rarely crops up. There are so many different ways to get the Identify spell (Wizard, Warlock, Cleric, Bard, Magic Initiate feat) that it's rare that nobody in the party will have it; and since a caster who can do ritual magic can cast Identify five times during a short rest and identify five different items (remember, the 100gp pearl isn't consumed in casting, so it costs nothing to cast), it's very rare that the party will need to rely on people meditating with unknown items to identify them.

But they can if they want to, or if whoever has the Identify spell doesn't have ritual magic and doesn't want to spend the spell slot.
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:45 am
Is this what "attunement" is?
Attunement is something else. It's nothing to do with identifying items.

Basically, it's a device to stop characters being loaded up with too many magic items. While most lesser items don't require attunement, the more powerful or exotic ones do require the user to attune to them before they can use them.

Anyone can attune to items, but only one person can be attuned to a given item at once and each person can only be attuned to three items at any one time.

So it prevents a powerful item being casually handed from person to person and it prevents one character having more than three powerful items at once.

Attuning to a new magic item also takes a short-rest's worth of focusing on it, just like identifying it, although you need to have already identified it first - I don't think you can attune to unidentified items or identify and attune to an item at the same time.
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Re: Identifying Items While Sleeping

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:02 pm

No sense in having the Identify spell, with this attunement rule in place, is there?

Assuming that your group adheres to this attunement rule, I guess a case could be made for requiring Identify for any magic item that did not have attunement, or for powerful Artifacts, Relics or Unique items.
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Re: Identifying Items While Sleeping

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:33 pm

The Identify spell isn't that great for identifying items any more, since all it does is:
  • Reduce the time needed from 1 hour to 1 minute (or 11 minutes if you're casting it as a ritual)
  • Identify it safely without exposing you to any curses that may be on the item
Obviously, whether those two benefits make it worth taking the spell will depend on how time-critical things are and how often your DM puts cursed items in the game (most DMs I know never do).

However, this doesn't mean that the Identify spell is useless. In 5e the spell has an additional function - if cast on a person or object it will identify what other spells have been cast on that person/object. So it's useful for those times when a Detect Magic has revealed that someone or something has a spell on them but not what spell it is. An Identify will now provide that information.
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Re: Identifying Items While Sleeping

Post by CommanderCrud » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:06 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:33 pm
...how often your DM puts cursed items in the game (most DMs I know never do).
That's a shame.

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