Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Snazzy gear is one of the most fun portions of Dungeons & Dragons. Decking your character out with Wondrous items isn’t just fun; it’s also essential for your character’s overall success in-game.
Necklaces are just one gear option that players can choose from, and many of them provide the player with magical bonuses that improve their stats and make it easier for them to progress through the game.
We’ll cover all the necklace rules you need to know and outline your options for necklaces in D&D 5e.
Necklace Rules: How Do I Wear a Necklace?
There are absolutely no requirements for putting on a necklace besides having a neck and having at least a single pair of hands available to put the necklace on.
The real key to necklace “rules” is actually in the attunement rules. In short, you can wear any necklace you gods damned well please, but whether you can use the magical properties of that necklace is determined by your attunement or lack thereof.
Some magic items require a creature to form a bond with them before their magical Properties can be used. This bond is called attunement, and certain items have a prerequisite for it.
If the prerequisite is a class, a creature must be a member of that class to attune to the item. (If the class is a Spellcasting class, a monster qualifies if it has Spell Slots and uses that class’s spell list.)
If the prerequisite is to be a Spellcaster, a creature qualifies if it can cast at least one spell using its Traits or features, not using a magic item or the like.
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.
Attuning to an item requires a creature to spend a Short Rest focused on only that item while being in physical contact with it (this can’t be the same short rest used to learn the item’s properties).
This focus can take the form of weapon practice (for a weapon), meditation (for a wondrous item), or some other appropriate activity. If the Short Rest is interrupted, the attunement attempt fails.
Otherwise, at the end of the Short Rest, the creature gains an intuitive understanding of how to activate any magical Properties of the item, including any necessary Command words.
An item can be attuned to only one creature at a time, and a creature can be attuned to no more than three magic items at a time. Any attempt to attune to a fourth item fails; the creature must end its attunement to an item first.
Additionally, a creature can’t attune to more than one copy of an item. For example, a creature can’t attune to more than one Ring of Protection at a time.
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.
A creature can also voluntarily end attunement by spending another Short Rest focused on the item, unless the item is Cursed.
Let’s break down each section of the Attunement rules and purge all the jargon to make them easy to understand without a deep knowledge of tabletop games.
Essentially, Attunement is the process of magically communing with an object to unlock access to its magical abilities. Items with no magical powers do not require attunement to use.
Weapons that require attunement can still be used without attuning to them, but their magical properties do not work. When an unattuned character attempts to wield a weapon they cannot attune to, they become no different from a Simple Weapon of that type.
To attune to an item, a player must spend a short rest in physical contact with the thing, focusing on it. In layman’s terms, you must spend 4 hours hugging your new item and deeply thinking about it.
You must love your new item for these 4 hours as a man loves a woman or Nikola Tesla loved that one pigeon.
Items requiring Attunement can only be attuned to one creature at a time. So, Derek, the Goblin Rogue, can’t share his Amulet of Health with Janet the Human Cleric.
Janet has to get her Amulet of Health, or Derek will lose his attunement to the item once Janet attunes to it.
However, Derek’s attunement could end on its own if he suddenly were to fail to meet the prerequisites for attuning to the item (due to a curse, for instance), is 100 or more feet away from the thing for at least 24 hours, or if he voluntarily ends his attunement by spending another Short Rest having break-up cuddles with his amulet.
In Fifth Edition, a player can only attune with a maximum of three items. Nothing is saying that the items have to be of different types.
The rules surrounding that are “as long as you can reasonably wear or wield it without trouble.”
So, it’s technically possible to wear three magic necklaces. You’ll probably have difficulty getting a Dungeon Master to agree to three helms, though (I would let you if you can come up with a place to slot all three easily…)
What Options for Magic Necklaces Do I Have?
There isn’t a vast breadth of magic necklaces, but that can be attributed to the fact that there aren’t that many magic items, to begin with.
Magic items are intended to be rare… if they were not few and far between, they wouldn’t be very wondrous or magical anymore, would they?
Within the core errata, there are maybe five magic necklaces, including magic amulets intended to be worn on necklaces; yes, we had amulets. Yes, you could pocket the charm and not wear it around your neck.
But we think not including them goes against the spirit of the rule here. There are only a few magic necklaces outside of the core errata. There aren’t that many magical items. Again, that’s by intention.
Amulet of Health
Wondrous Item, rare (requires attunement)
Your Constitution score is 19 while you wear this amulet. It has no effect on you if your Constitution is already 19 or higher without it.
Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location
Wondrous Item, uncommon (requires attunement)
While wearing this amulet, you are hidden from divination magic. You can’t be targeted by such magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.
Amulet of the Planes
Wondrous Item, very rare (requires attunement)
While wearing this amulet, you can use an action to name a location that you are familiar with on another plane of existence. Then make a DC 15 Intelligence check.
On a successful check, you cast the plane shift spell. On a failure, you and each creature and object within 15 feet of you travel to a random destination.
Roll a d100. On a 1–60, you travel to a random location on the plane you named. On a 61–100, you travel to a randomly determined plane of existence.
Necklace of Adaptation
Wondrous Item, uncommon (requires attunement)
While wearing this necklace, you can breathe normally in any environment, and you have advantage on saving throws made against harmful gases and vapors (such as cloudkill and stinking cloud effects, inhaled poisons, and the breath weapons of some dragons).
Necklace of Fireballs
Wondrous Item, rare
This necklace has 1d6 + 3 beads hanging from it. You can use an action to detach a bead and throw it up to 60 feet away. When it reaches the end of its trajectory, the bead detonates as a 3rd-level fireball spell (save DC 15).
You can hurl multiple beads, or even the whole necklace, as one action. When you do so, increase the level of the fireball by 1 for each bead beyond the first.
Necklace of Prayer Beads
Wondrous Item, rare (requires attunement by a Cleric, Druid, or Paladin)
This necklace has 1d4 + 2 magic beads made from aquamarine, black pearl, or topaz. It also has many nonmagical beads made from stones such as amber, bloodstone, citrine, coral, jade, pearl, or quartz.
If a magic bead is removed from the necklace, that bead loses its magic.
Six types of magic beads exist. The GM decides the type of each bead on the necklace or determines it randomly. A necklace can have more than one bead of the same type.
To use one, you must be wearing the necklace. Each bead contains a spell that you can cast from it as a bonus action (using your Spell Save DC if a save is necessary).
Once a magic bead’s spell is cast, that bead can’t be used again until the next dawn.
- d20 Bead of… Spell
- 1-6 Blessing (Bless)
- 7-12 Curing (Cure Wounds [2nd level] or lesser restoration)
- 13-16 Favor (Greater restoration)
- 17-18 Smiting (Branding smite)
- 19 Summons (Planar ally)
- 20 Wind walking (Wind walk)
Decking out your character in the latest and greatest magic gear is just one of the best parts of being in a Dungeons & Dragons party, but the most crucial part is that you and your friends are having fun!
So, we encourage DMs to work with their players to find ways to incorporate a player’s vision and players to remember that their DMs are people who are doing them a solid favor by running the game for them (and, in many cases, writing the whole campaign from scratch!).
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When I’m not writing about RPGs, I’m playing Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, X-Wing miniatures, and many other lovingly-crafted tabletop games with the people I love.