Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question
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: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/36281/… –  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

1 Answer 1

up vote 12 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 not-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.

share|improve this answer
The only reason you'd want to turn an energy type off is if it's detrimental to attack with that type (such as using shocking against a shambling mound). At that point, the two real choices are "they all go on and off together" or "they're each separate". And that's up to the player and GM. –  Bobson Jun 26 '14 at 20:10
@KRyan - actually, the rules for flaming/shocking etc state that "The effect remains until another command is given". So sticking to the RAW, when you use the second command to activate the second energy type, you automatically deactivate the first. Although personally I always treat these commands as free actions and allow their effects to stack - but that's a deviation from the basic rules... –  G0BLiN Jun 26 '14 at 21:09
@G0BLiN No, false, and wrong. "Another command," as in, some second, other "turn off" command. There's a command to turn on, and another command to turn off. The property does not turn off the moment you issue any other command, for instance the one associated with the other property, unless for some reason one's "turn off" command was the other's "turn on" command. –  KRyan Jun 26 '14 at 22:05
@G0BLiN Then you are needlessly and horrifically shafting your players. –  KRyan Jun 27 '14 at 1:04
"Alright sword, turn on your fire damage!" - "Sweet, fire! Rogue, unlock that door for us." - Poof, fire goes out because a new command was given (to the rogue, but nowhere does it mention that this new command has to be to the weapon). RAW gets wonky when you try to be an ass about it. –  Theik Jun 27 '14 at 9:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.