Ioun Stone 5e Guide

The Stones of Power: Ioun Stone 5e Guide

Magic items are often some of the best equipment your characters can get their hands on, but Dungeon Masters have to be careful when deciding what ones to give their players access to. Once players get to high enough levels, some of the best magic items that they should keep an eye out for are Ioun Stones.

These magical stones can have a range of effects, making them handy for any party, but if you’re a DM, you’ll have to be careful not to give them to your party too early. Once you’re ready to drop one or two, though, here is everything you need to know about these powerful artifacts.

Welcome to a Ioun Stone 5e Guide.

Key Info Up Front

What is an Ioun Stone?

What is an Ioun Stone

Ioun Stones are magical items that can be attuned to a wielder to float around their head and grant them passive bonuses. They’ve been present in DnD since the very first edition, making them a staple of the tabletop RPG that has continued to grow and evolve alongside each edition’s release. While they were initially called either Congenio’s pebbles, their name was eventually changed to the more catchy Ioun Stones to help them sell better.

They were created by a powerful enchanter named Congenio Ioun. After initially creating them, he worked to make them as easy to sell to others as possible by giving them catchy names and creating consistency between what a stone does and its appearance.

Congenio ended up living to be 1,000 years old, but once he died, other enchanters continued his work, creating the then extremely popular Ioun Stones. However, over the years, the origins of the Ioun Stones have been lost, leaving the knowledge of how to create them only to be held by the most powerful of spellcasters in the world.

Once an adventurer gets access to an Ioun Stone, they have to attune themselves to it, after which the stone will float around their head and grant its benefits to the wielder. This has given them an iconic appearance that is instantly recognizable across the realm and has become a status symbol of the most powerful magic wielders in the Forgotten Realms.

Ioun Stones also have various appearances depending on which stones are used for their creation, which also plays into their place as a status symbol as certain gemstones are more conducive to being enchanted than others.

Now, there is a total of 21 Ioun Stones available in 5e, split between the original ones in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the additional options added in the official online adventure module Lost Laboratory of Kwalish.

Dungeon Master’s Guide Ioun Stones

Absorption

  • Rarity: Very Rare
  • Appearance: An elongated ellipsoid that is a dull lavender in color.
  • Effect: This stone allows the player to cancel any spell cast by an enemy that is level four or lower. To be able to do so, however, you have to be able to see the target casting the spell and the spell has to target you. However, once the Absorption stone has been used to cancel 20 levels of spells, it burns out and is no longer helpful.

When it becomes burned out, it takes on a faded appearance and stops floating around your character’s head. If your stone only has a few levels left available to absorb, it is unable to absorb a spell higher than that level. This means that if your stone has two levels left, it cannot be used to absorb a level three or four spell cast on you.

Best Characters for this Stone: This stone has a universal appeal and can be used by any character since canceling out enemy spells is always helpful, and it doesn’t focus on any particular attributes. However, suppose you’re a player whose party receives this stone.

In that case, I recommend giving it to a party member that is particularly vulnerable to spell attacks or saving throws, such as a Barbarian or Fighter as it will likely save them more frequently than characters with higher mental ability scores.

Agility

  • Rarity: Very Rare
  • Appearance: This Ioun Stone is a perfect sphere with a deep and rich red coloring.
  • Effect: While a character is attuned to this stone, their Dexterity score is increased by two points. However, it does not increase their maximum, so it cannot take your score higher than 20.

Best Characters for this Stone: By the time your party is getting their hands on scarce magical items, any characters that focus on Dexterity above other abilities should have reached 20 already and can find a Manual of Quickness of Action to increase it to 22 instead of getting the Agility Ioun Stone.

For that reason, I recommend giving this stone instead to a character that can benefit from higher Dexterity to increase their armor class instead of a Rogue that uses it for damage. Of course, if your Dexterity-based party member has managed to find the Manual of Quickness of Action yet, it is a viable strategy to have them use this stone until they find the manual as well.

Awareness

phantom rogue 5e guide

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: This stone is a rhomboid that has a dark blue coloring that borders on being completely black.
  • Effect: As long as your character has this Ioun Stone attuned, you are unable to be surprised or caught off guard.

Best Characters for this Stone: This stone is best used by the party’s scout. A Ranger or Rogue that is experienced in traveling ahead of the rest of the party to find enemies will benefit the most from this stone to keep themselves from getting caught off guard by an enemy, leaving them vulnerable without the rest of the party there.

Fortitude

  • Rarity: Very Rare
  • Appearance: The Fortitude stone is a spinning rhomboid with a soft pink coloring.
  • Effect: While your character is attuned to this stone, their Constitution ability score is increased by two but cannot go over the maximum of 20.

Best Characters for this Stone: Likely, your party’s Defender will already have a Constitution of 20 by the time your party is getting Very Rare magical items. So, you should give the Fortitude stone to another martial character that risks getting hit but is primarily focused on dealing damage and likely won’t have maxed out their Constitution score yet.

Greater Absorption

  • Rarity: Legendary
  • Appearance: Greater Absorption Ioun Stones are usually ellipsoids with marbled lavender and green patterns running through them.
  • Effect: This superior version of the Absorption Stone allows you to cancel spells that are targeting you and cast by an enemy that you can see. It can cancel spells up to level eight, and this stone can absorb 50 levels of spells before it burns out and becomes mundane.

Best Characters for this Stone: Similar to the normal Absorption Stone, I recommend giving this stone to a character that does not have the ability, scores, or resources to avoid damage from spells and magical effects routinely.

Insight

  • Rarity: Very Rare
  • Appearance: The Insight Ioun Stone is a sphere that softly glows with rich blue color.
  • Effect: The Insight stone increases the Wisdom score of whoever wears it by two, up to the player’s maximum.

Best Characters for this Stone: Any spellcasters in your party should have a Wisdom of 20 already by the time you get the chance to claim this stone, and even then, they can get a Tome of Understanding for a permanent +2 buff and an increase to their maximum. So, I recommend instead giving this to characters that benefit from perception but don’t need it for critical actions of their class, such as a Ranger.

Intellect

  • Rarity: Very Rare
  • Appearance: This stone is another blue sphere but is defined by being marbled with a delicate scarlet pattern as well.
  • Effect: Intellect Ioun Stones increase your character’s Intelligence by two, up to the player’s maximum.

Best Characters for this Stone: Again, characters in your party that required Intelligence, likely a Wizard, should already have their Intelligence up to 20 by the time you find an Intellect Ioun Stone.

So while they look out for a Tome of Clear Thought to bump it up even higher, this stone should instead go to the Librarian of your party that is responsible for making Knowledge skill checks.

They likely won’t have been focusing intensely on being better at History checks, so an increase of two should be a nice boost for them.

Leadership

  • Rarity: Very Rare
  • Appearance: Another spherical Ioun Stone, this one can be identified by its mixed pattern of pink and green elements.
  • Effect: The Leadership stone will increase the Charisma ability score of anyone who attunes to it by two without passing the character’s maximum value, likely 20.

Best Characters for this Stone: Finding a character for this stone can be a bit tricky. Any Warlocks or Bards that you have in your party will likely have their Charisma maxed out already and should be more than prepared to operate as the party’s Face. However, Charisma doesn’t have many uses outside of social interactions or spells if your class allows it, so you will likely have to give this one to anyone in your party that is interested in it.

Mastery

Mastery dnd

  • Rarity: Legendary
  • Appearance: The Mastery Stone is a thin prism with a pale green coloring.
  • Effect: As one of the most universally appealing Ioun Stones in 5e, the Mastery Stone increases your character’s proficiency bonus by one.

Best Characters for this Stone: This stone is useful for absolutely everybody. Proficiency score is a core mechanic of 5e that has an impact on literally every class. However, if your party wants to get as much mileage out of it as possible, give this one to a Rogue with Expertise so that their ridiculous skill check modifiers can get even more robust.

Protection

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: Protection Ioun Stones are usually prisms with washed-out rose coloring.
  • Effect: As long as your character is attuned to the Protection Ioun Stone, their armor class is increased by one.

Best Characters for this Stone: This is another stone that can be useful to any character, but getting the most out of it will highly depend on your party’s composition. If your party relies heavily on a Defender, they will get a lot out of this stone to help them avoid some more damage, as even an increase of one to their armor class can be pretty big.

Your party may also want to give this stone to a party member that is a bit squishier and could use the increase, such as a Monk or Hexblade Warlock that puts themselves in danger consistently but doesn’t have the best defensive options.

Regeneration

regeneration dnd

  • Rarity: Legendary
  • Appearance: Regeneration Ioun Stones are gemstones carved into spindles that have a pearly white color to them.
  • Effect: While this Ioun Stone is attuned to a character, they will regenerate 15 hit points every hour. However, you can only benefit from this effect as long as you have at least one hit point already.

Best Characters for this Stone: While free hit points every hour sounds very handy, it is not frequent enough to be very useful during combat encounters. Most combat encounters last no longer than a minute in in-game time, so only 15 every hour won’t save your characters there.

So, when determining a character for the Regeneration Ioun Stone, I recommend choosing a character that takes some damage in combat but doesn’t require frequent healing, like a caster or ranged attacker. This way, they won’t have to take up healing spells from support party members because they’ll be able to regenerate the little bit of damage that they take while outside of combat.

Another option, however, is to give this to a Defender or martial character so that they don’t have to use as many hit dice when taking short rests.

Reserve

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: A prism-shaped stone that has a vibrant purple hue.
  • Effect: Reserve Ioun Stones are one of the most adaptable Ioun Stones in 5e. They can be used to store up to three levels worth of spells which can then be cast later. Any spellcaster can store spells in the stone by grabbing onto it while casting the spell, which means that if the character attuned to the stone can’t cast spells can use the spells stored in the stone. The spells then use the attributes of the original caster, and once it is used, the slots it took up in the stone are left open.

Best Characters for this Stone: The Reserve Ioun Stone can be useful for any character. It really depends on what spells your party casters have access to and which of those get used most frequently by the party.

A Rogue could use the stone to store Misty Step to get out of bad situations. A Wizard can use stored Shield spells to help defend themselves. A Barbarian can use a stored Thunderwave to deal massive amounts of damage after wading into crowds of enemies.

Strength

Image from DND wiki
  • Rarity: Very Rare
  • Appearance: The Strength Ioun Stone is a rhomboid with pale blue coloring.
  • Effect: While a character is attuned to this stone, their Strength is increased by two but cannot exceed their maximum.

Best Characters for this Stone: Like all the other ability score-focused Ioun Stones, any characters in your party that likely focus on Strength above all other abilities should be at 20 already and be keeping an eye out for a Manual of Gainful Exercise.

So, a Strength Ioun Stone should probably go to a Defender character that can benefit from the increase to their damage numbers but are likely focused on Constitution instead.

Sustenance

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: The Sustenance stone is completely clear and carved to look like a spindle.
  • Effect: This stone prevents a character from ever having to eat or drink to stay alive or be comfortable.

Best Characters for this Stone: This stone is useful for any character, but characters that aren’t Rangers or Druids that don’t boast strong Survival skills will likely benefit the most from it. However, if your game doesn’t track the physical needs of your character very much, you probably won’t see much benefit in getting this one.

Lost Laboratories of Kwalish Ioun Stones

Supreme Intellect

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: A sphere covered in consistent facets that can be any color of the creator’s choosing.
  • Effect: The Supreme Intellect stone grants a +1 bonus to the wearer’s Intelligence checks.

Best Characters for this Stone: This stone is best for characters that fulfill the Librarian role for your party and are responsible for making knowledge checks to gather information. It is important to note that casting spells as a Wizard does not count as Intelligence checks, so they won’t benefit much from this Ioun Stone even though they boast high Intelligence.

Historical Knowledge

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: Historical Knowledge stones are interesting in that they are made of smooth spheres of steel rather than gemstones.
  • Effect: The Historical Knowledge Ioun Stone gives the wearer proficiency in the History skill. If the character already has proficiency in the History skill, they instead have it increased by one.

Best Characters for this Stone: This Ioun Stone is not nearly as impactful as others on this list but is an easy pick for any characters that make History checks frequently. This also means that you will get the most out of this if yo ur Dungeon Master runs a campaign where History checks are useful.

Natural Knowledge

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: These Ioun Stones are polished spheres made of Brass.
  • Effect: This Ioun Stone gives the equipping character proficiency in the Nature skill. If they are already proficient in it, they can instead enjoy a +1 increase.

Best Characters for this Stone: These Ioun Stones are best for Druids or Rangers that use the Nature skill frequently. Not only does this align well with their flavor, but also puts it in the hands of a character that will likely use it frequently.

Religious Knowledge

Image from forgotten realms fandom
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: Religious Knowledge Stones are small gemstones of a golden color.
  • Effect: As you can probably guess by now, the Religious Knowledge stone gives anyone attuned to it proficiency in the Religion skill, and if they are already proficient, they instead get +1 to the skill.

Best Characters for this Stone: It’s hard to imagine a character better suited for this stone than either a Paladin or Cleric that will get the most out of its use for their party.

Language Knowledge

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: These stones are red crystals that shine like jewels.
  • Effect: While a character is attuned to this stone, they gain fluency in a language chosen by the Dungeon Master.

Best Characters for this Stone: Your party’s Face will likely get the most out of this stone, especially since your Dungeon master should pick a stone that they know will be useful eventually in the campaign.

Suppose your party’s Face already knows the associated language. In that case, you can instead give it to another party member, allowing them to communicate with the Face in a language that others can’t understand.

Self-Preservation

  • Rarity: Rare
  • Appearance: These Ioun Stones are usually created with silver gemstones.
  • Effect: The Self-Preservation Ioun Stone gives the wearer +1 to their Intelligence saving throws.

Best Characters for this Stone: You’ll get the most use out of this stone by giving it to a player that is usually very vulnerable to Intelligence saving throws like Barbarians. This way, it will help cover one of their biggest weaknesses.

Vitality

Image from dandwiki
  • Rarity: Very Rare
  • Appearance: Vitality Ioun Stones are identified by their spherical shape and mix of green and blue colors.
  • Effect: This stone gives its wearer a +1 to all of their death saving throws.

Best Characters for this Stone: An increase to death saving throws is useful for any type of character. However, I recommend giving it either to characters that are on the frontlines and tend to go down a lot or any especially vulnerable characters like Wizards or other casters that have a harder time defending themselves when they do take damage.

FAQs

Question: How many Ioun Stones are there in 5e? 

Answer: There are 21 Ioun Stones in 5e so far, with most of them being in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and some being included in the online official adventure, Lost Laboratories of Kwalish.

Question: Can Ioun Stones be destroyed in 5e?

Answer: Yes, Ioun Stones can be attacked, and if they are successfully hit, they take only ten damage to destroy.

Question: Is there any limit to how many Ioun Stones one character can have at a time in 5e?

Answer: There is no limit to the number of Ioun Stones that one character can use at a time in 5e described in the rules. However, they do require the character using them to be attuned to them, so your character can only have a number equipped equal to their open attunement slots.

Conclusion

Ioun Stones are one of the more exciting magic items in 5e because of the sheer variety in the 21 different options that Dungeon Masters have to drop for their players. They may not always have the most exciting effects for players to integrate into their play styles, but often straight mechanical increases are the most impactful.

So, once your party starts reaching higher levels, consider getting some Ioun Stones to start buffing the members of the party in ways that highlight their individual roles.

Scroll to Top