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Tonight while leveling characters my players raised a question that stumped me. Does ongoing damage of the same type, from different players stack? Say you have two players that each have moves that apply 5 ongoing fire damage to the target. If both of them hit the same target, would it take 10 fire damage when resolving the ongoing damage?

I would assume different types stack no problem (say poisoning a foe then setting them on fire), and I am leaning toward yes for damage of the same type from different sources.

The specific moves are the Fighter's "Crack the Shell" which says:

Hit: 2[W] + Strength modifier damage, and the target takes ongoing 5 damage and a -2 penalty to AC (save ends both).

and the Paladin's "Unrelenting Punishment" which says:

Effect: The target takes ongoing 5 damage (save ends). Whenever the target takes this ongoing damage, you regain hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Both of these, I assume, are 'untyped' ongoing damage as the ongoing damage isn't specified in the body of the attack.

So the 2 main points in this question:

  • Does the ongoing damage of the same type from 2 different sources stack on the same target?
  • Does the ongoing damage of this specific scenario stack if both players attack the same target?

Edit: After some research it seems like if these 2 attacks affect the target they would be tallied separately, ie 2 cases of 5 ongoing damage and not 1 case of 10 ongoing damage. So for the purpose of this exercise let's say that "stack" just means "would both instances be able to be applied to the same target" and not "combined into 1 larger damage number".

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Damage stacks if the types are different (and untyped damage counts as its own type). If they're the same type, only the highest number applies.

In this case, the damage doesn't stack because they're both untyped; the sources do not matter. You could certainly apply both simultaneously, and the saves would be independent.

Rules Compendium, page 224

Different Types of Ongoing Damage: If a creature is subjected to ongoing damage of different types (including no type) at the same time, it takes damage of each of those types every round, and it must make a separate saving throw against each damage type.
Example: If a creature is taking ongoing 5 damage (which has no type) when a power causes it to take ongoing 5 lightning damage, it is now taking ongoing 5 damage and ongoing 5 lightning damage, and it must make saving throws against each effect.

Same Type of Ongoing Damage: If a creature is subject to multiple instances of ongoing damage of the same type at the same type (including no type), only the highest number applies.
Example: If a creature is taking ongoing 5 damage (which has no type) when a power causes it to take ongoing 10 damage, the creature is now taking ongoing 10 damage, not 15.

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