So you want to get rid of that +5 sword of flame tongues, eh? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s how to destroy magic items in DND:
Magic items in DND can be destroyed by spells, divine intervention, acid, or lava. A magic item can also be taken by an enemy, hidden, or teleported to another plane. Dungeon Masters or Player Characters can damage, dispose of, and destroy all magic items.
This blog post will provide Dungeon Masters with everything they need to know about destroying magic items.
- The different methods of destruction
- The dangers they pose to characters
- Tips on how to dispose of magic items safely
Can You Destroy Magical Items in DND? (Official Answer)
Yes, you can destroy magical items in DND.
While magic items are often quite powerful, they are not indestructible. The Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) says:
Most magic items are objects of extraordinary craftsmanship. Thanks to a combination of careful crafting and magical reinforcement, a magic item is at least as durable as a nonmagical item of its kind. Most magic items, other than potions and scrolls, have resistance to all damage. Artifacts are practically indestructible, requiring extraordinary measures to destroy.
Additionally, Sage Advice published a tweet by Christopher Perkins (DND staff) who said, “Magic items tend to be resilient, but they are not indestructible. The DM can make it easy or hard. An acid pit might work!”
Therefore, magic items can be destroyed. However, destroying a magic item is not always easy.
And is often more difficult to destroy a high-level magic item than a low-level one.
When the right conditions are met, nearly any item is vulnerable.
Ultimately, whether or not a magic item can be destroyed depends on the DM’s discretion and the item’s specific properties.
7 Ways to Destroy Magic Items in DND
As any Dungeon Master knows, magic items are a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, they can be immensely powerful, giving players an edge in battle and providing them with new abilities.
On the other hand, magic items can be dangerous.
They can fall into the wrong hands or be used for evil ends. So, what should a Dungeon Master do when faced with a problematic magic item?
The answer is simple: destroy it.
However, destroying a magic item is not as easy as it sounds. Magic items are often resistant to mundane methods of destruction, such as fire or crushing.
Furthermore, simply getting rid of a magic item doesn’t always solve the problem; the magical energy released when an item is destroyed can be just as dangerous as the item itself.
In short, destroying a magic item requires both knowledge and caution.
1) Cast a Powerful Spell (Like Wish)
One of the most effective methods is to use a powerful spell such as Wish or Disintegrate.
These spells can break through the magical barriers that protect the item, and they can also disrupt the magical energy that sustains it.
As a result, the item is left in a weakened state that is susceptible to further damage.
In a DND encounter, this might look like a powerful wizard casting Wish on a magic sword, causing the sword to shatter into pieces.
The wizard would then be able to loot the sword’s remains for valuable materials.
Keep in mind that the Wish spell often backfires with unintended consequences.
Alternatively, if the wizard wanted to completely destroy the sword, they could cast Disintegrate, causing the sword to vanish entirely.
2) Ask a Deity to Destroy the Magic Item
Another way is to ask a deity to destroy it.
This can be done through a simple prayer or by performing a ritual. The deity may then choose to grant the request or not.
If they do, the item will be destroyed and can no longer be used.
This method can be very effective in removing powerful magic items from the game. However, it is not without its risks.
Asking a deity to destroy an item is a serious matter, and should not be done lightly.
If the deity does not grant the request, the character could end up angering them, which could have serious consequences.
If the item is destroyed, there is no guarantee that it will not reappear in another form.
3) Cast It in Acid or Lava
Most people know that acid and lava are dangerous substances. But did you know that they can also be used to destroy magical items?
Some magical items are so powerful that they can only be destroyed by extreme heat or cold.
Others can only be destroyed by being exposed to powerful acids or chemicals.
Let’s say the party comes across a powerful amulet. The amulet is too powerful for any of them to destroy, so they decide to take it to a nearby volcano and toss it in.
As they approach the volcano, they are attacked by a group of orcs.
After a fierce battle, the party prevails and hurries to the edge of the volcano. One of the dwarves steps forward, takes the amulet in one hand, and hurls it into the center of the lava flow.
There is a bright flash and then the amulet is gone, destroyed forever.
4) Disable It Forever
If you can’t technically “destroy” a magical item, perhaps you can disable it.
One of the most common methods is to cast dispel magic. This will temporarily or permanently remove any enchantment from a low-level magic item, rendering it mundane.
Other methods include encasing the item in a material that nullifies magic.
Or, at least, prevents its use. Burying it in a mountain of stone or under a glacier of ice, for example.
Another option is to subject the item to extreme temperatures, either hot or cold. Finally, a creature with powerful magical abilities can simply consume the item.
Good luck with a DND party trying to recover magic boots from inside the belly of a dragon.
While some of these methods may take more effort than others, they all offer a way to (almost) permanently rid the world of a dangerous or troublesome magical item.
5) Snatch It in the Night
The magic item could be snatched away by a more powerful creature or being.
Thieves might steal the item while the players are sleeping or monsters can attack the party and take the item as loot.
If the players are aware that this is a possibility, they can take precautions to protect their belongings, such as posting guards or using magic to lock up their possessions.
However, this should be used sparingly as a plot device.
It can feel like “cheating” if it happens too often. When used wisely, though, it can be a fun and challenging way to keep the game interesting.
6) Teleport It Away
In a DND campaign I played years ago, my party came across a sword that could cut through anything.
However, the sword also had a curse on it that caused anyone who used it to become possessed by a demon.
My party was eventually able to “destroy” the sword by teleporting it into another dimension, where it could not cause any harm.
A magical item can also be “destroyed” by sending it to another plane of existence.
A TPK is known as a “total party kill.”
This would be my absolute last resort for destroying a magic item. In a TPK, the entire DND party is wiped out.
There are no survivors.
Therefore, only use this if the DND group is ok with it. Otherwise, you risk some very upset players who might opt out of the group.
If you want to know more about TPKs, I wrote a good article about it over here.
Here is a good video I made about how to destroy magic items in DND:
Why Would You Want to Destroy Magic Items in DND?
In Dungeons and Dragons, magic items are often highly coveted prizes.
They can give characters a significant boost in power, and can even be essential for completing certain quests. However, there are also some very good reasons why a character or DM might want to destroy a magic item.
One of the most common reasons is that the item is simply too powerful for the game.
If an item is giving a character an unfair advantage, it can ruin the fun for everyone else.
Additionally, if an item is significantly more powerful than anything else in the game, it can unbalance the game and make it less enjoyable.
Another reason why someone might want to destroy a magic item is that it has a corrupting influence. Many items in D&D have dark histories, and some of them are even cursed.
These items can pose a serious threat to the characters, and may even be intelligent and malevolent beings in their own right.
Destroying such an item can be the only way to protect oneself from its power.
Finally, certain weapons or armor may have properties that make them incredibly deadly in the hands of evil characters.
In these cases, it may be best to simply get rid of the item rather than risk it falling into the wrong hands.
How To Destroy a Magic Item Without Your DND Group Hating You
There are two sneaky (and creative) ways to destroy magic items in DND without your group rebelling against you.
These two ways come down to making it the players’ choice.
Here are the two ways:
- Make it harder to keep the item
- Make it easier to get rid of the item
Now, let’s explain with a few examples so that these two methods are crystal clear.
Make It Harder To Keep the Item
This can be done by having powerful monsters always after them.
Or, by giving the item a flaw that causes bad luck or turns the group against each other. You could also make the item difficult to use or require regular maintenance.
If the party is constantly dealing with negative consequences because of the item, they’ll eventually want to get rid of it themselves.
Another option is to have the item gradually lose its power over time.
This can be done by having the item drain charges, or by having it gradually lose its efficacy. Eventually, the party will realize that it’s not worth keeping around anymore and will get rid of it.
Make It Easier To Get Rid of the Item
A DM can also provide an incentive for the players to get rid of the item.
Here are a few ideas:
- Reward the players with XP or gold for destroying the item.
- Make it so that the only way to destroy the item is by completing a difficult quest or challenge.
- Force the players to face dire consequences if they don’t get rid of the item, such as a TPK.
Ultimately, it’s up to the DM to decide what’s best for their game.
But offering a reward for getting rid of a magic item can help to motivate even the most avaricious players.
How To Destroy Magic Items in DND (FAQ)
Let’s rapidly go over some common related questions I get about destroying magic items.
Can Magic Items Be Disintegrated?
Yes, many magic items can be dissolved or disintegrated down to nothing.
This can be done with:
- Other magic items
- Extreme heat
- Monsters (like acid slugs)
Can Magic Items Be Damaged?
Yes, magic items can be damaged.
Most magical items are susceptible to heat, crushing, breaking, shattering, or other forms of injury.
Can Magic Items Be Disabled?
Yes, magic items can be disabled.
You can disable magic items with spells or by damaging the item so much that it no longer works (at least, not as intended).
Can You Destroy Magic Weapons In DND?
Magic weapons can be destroyed just like any other magical item in DND.
This means that you can destroy:
- Magic swords
- Magic shields
- Magic crossbows
- Magic axes
- Magic whips
- Magic maces
And that applies to any and all other types of weapons infused with magic.
Real Example of Destroying a Magic Item in DND
I thought it might be cool to share a story of how a magic item was destroyed in one of my campaigns.
Here is a narrative description of what happened:
The heat was unbearable. Sweat poured down the dwarf’s face, stinging his eyes.
His armor felt like it was made of hot coals, searing his skin with every move. He had been chasing the orc shaman for days, and he was getting perilously close to the edge of the volcano.
He knew that if he could just get his hands on the shaman’s amulet, the quest would be over.
Finally, he cornered the orc at the edge of the lava flow. The shaman held up the amulet and taunted the dwarf. The dwarf gritted his teeth and charged forward.
Just as the shaman was about to unleash the power of the amulet, the dwarf leapt forward and grabbed it from his hand. The heat was intense, but he managed to hurl it back into the volcano before collapsing from exhaustion.
With the amulet destroyed, the shaman’s power was broken and peace returned to the land.
Final Thoughts: How To Destroy Magic Items in DND
From experience, I highly recommend that you talk with the player (the one with the magic item) prior to your next game session.
Explain what you want to do and why.
Most players will understand and cooperate without any trouble at all. If there are concerns, you can handle them privately, away from the rest of the group.
Before you go, check out some of these other DND articles:
- DND and Cloaks: 11 Things You Need To Know
- Can DND Characters Change Alignment? (Explained)
- Can DND Characters Swim? (Explained for Beginners)
Wizards of the Coast (Dungeon Master’s Guide)
Decades of experience playing and DMing DND