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The relevant text is as follows:

1st Circle – Dance of the Sun and Moon: You embark upon the path of the Careful Sun or the Reckless Moon. Choose one of the following abilities (this choice is permanent):

Reckless Moon: Once per [Encounter], when you make a successful Reflex saving throw against an offensive action that would normally have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as a spell with a save of “Reflex half ”), you may instead ignore the effect entirely.

The 5th circle benefit has a very similar wording, with only two clauses difference.

5th Circle – Cloak of the Sun and Moon: Your devotion to the Careful Sun or Reckless Moon provides additional benefits. Choose one of the following abilities (this choice is permanent):

Reckless Moon: Once per [Encounter], when you make a Reflex saving throw against an offensive action that normally deals half damage on a successful save, you may take no damage from that offensive action instead on a successful save, or take half damage from that offensive action instead on a failed save.

It appears the 5th circle benefit here is simply a lesser form of the first! Do they stack, so that the character can ignore/half one damaging effect and one effect of any type per encounter?

If so, that seems to me like a pretty lackluster 5th circle.

If I'm wildly off base here (for instance, Reflex saves vs e.g. spells might be more important than I realize?), please let me know.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, and welcome to RPG Stack Exchange! Check out our tour to see how we work here, and when you reach 20 reputation, you'll be able to join us in Role-playing Games Chat. I've removed the "thank you" sign-off from your post, since we espouse greetings & sign-offs of this variety to focus just on the question itself. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 5 '17 at 11:10
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These two abilities are direct translations of the evasion and improved evasion abilities from D&D 3.5, on which Legend is based. The only significant change in what the abilities do is that in Legend Reflex saves can have “lesser effects” that aren’t just “half damage.”

  • Reckless moon’s dance is equivalent to evasion: for effects that allow a Reflex save for a lesser effect (3.5: for half damage), your successful save instead negates the effect entirely.

  • Reckless moon’s cloak is equivalent to improved evasion: for effects that allow a Reflex save for a lesser effect (3.5: for half damage), you take the lesser effect (half damage) even when you fail the saving throw.

This yields three separate cases:

  1. Neither dance nor cloak: you take the full effect on a failed save, and a lesser effect on a successful save.

  2. Dance but not cloak: you take the full effect on a failed save, and no effect on a successful save.

  3. Dance and cloak: you take the lesser effect on a failed save, and no effect on a successful save.

Of course the wording was also changed, presumably in an attempt to be clearer—note that much of the text for the cloak version of reckless moon is actually just repeating the benefit of dance, to make it clear that cloak upgrades dance, rather than replaces it. I’m not wholly convinced that this is clearer than 3.5 had it, without the redundant clarification, but that’s what it was going for.

Which one is better is debatable; Legend just used the same order for these effects that 3.5 did. I tend to concur with you that the “improved” version is actually the less-important effect, but oh well.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not a new benefit in the original source material, it is restated so people know they still get the benefit of the old ability when they learn the improved version. It's idiot-proofing. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jun 5 '17 at 12:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. I know. I worked on this game, I’m pretty familiar with it. I’m now somewhat unsure what the purpose of these comments is? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 5 '17 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because you don't point out that the text duplicates itself as idiot-proofing. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jun 5 '17 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Ah, OK, that is a useful, constructive comment that I can act on. I thought that explaining what each does was sufficient to clarify that, but I can add that in, it’s never a bad idea to be more clear. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 5 '17 at 13:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ How about this rewrite for clarity? Reckless Moon: When using your Reckless Moon ability on a Reflex save, a failed saving throw will now result in the lesser effect. \$\endgroup\$ – placeholder Jun 5 '17 at 16:06

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