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I have a friend who wants to put Flaming and Shocking on a bow to get some extra damage. All the enchants say is upon command they activate. If the enchants have the same command would they both activate and grant +1d6 fire and +1d6 electric damage?

I have not been able to find anything in the rules that states this is not legal but it doesn't seem like something that is possible. Could anyone direct me to anything that would give a ruling on this?

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I'm really interested in this question. Same-Command activation seens legit, but some people think otherwise. There's a related question about chain-activation here:… – Thales Sarczuk Jun 26 '14 at 19:08
@ThalesSarczuk I have read that before. A very good question. However in this case there is no text I have seen limiting it to only activating one of the powers. – Aaron Jun 26 '14 at 19:14
Yes, I know that is not exactly the same issue. I'm not saying it is a duplicate, in any way, just related. :) – Thales Sarczuk Jun 26 '14 at 19:24
up vote 16 down vote accepted

You can't find anything barring this because there isn't: you can stack these properties, and really, most if not all other properties. Weapon properties are expensive: what makes you think you shouldn't be able to get your money's worth?

The command activation isn't really that important: once you give the command, the energy damage stays until you turn it off. So even if you activate the damage separately, you still have both types of damage, for a total of +2d6 damage of various energy types.

I have never played a game where the activation of these properties ever came into play: they have always just been assumed to be there when you want them. I can't really think of a good reason to get more nit-picky about it.

Also, note that for a bow, there is also the option of using magic arrows. You can combine a +1 shocking bow with +1 flaming arrows to get an attack that basically counts as +1 flaming shocking.

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The only time I have seen the effects being explicitly turned on and off was during a campaign where the Rogue had flaming daggers. She would turn them off so that she wasn't effectively holding a pair of torches while sneaking about, then reactivate them during combat. But as I think about it I'm not sure if that wasn't a homebrewed ruling – D.Spetz Oct 8 '15 at 16:53
@D.Spetz I’m not aware of anything explicitly saying that flaming weapons automatically shed light (about 30% of magic weapons shed light, as with the light spell, just because they’re magic, and certain types always do, but flaming isn’t one of those). While this is weird, so is the fact that, despite being “sheathed in fire,” these weapons pose no threat to the wielder, so it’s not unreasonable to decide this is also magically not-bright fire. On the other hand, it’s also reasonable for a DM to say “no, it’s fire, there’s light, deal with it.” – KRyan Oct 8 '15 at 17:12

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